{ARC Review} When We Met by Susan Mallery

Title: When We Met
Series: Fool's Gold #13
Author: Susan Mallery
Published: 29th April 2014
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: eARC provided via Netgalley for fair & honest review
Rating: 3.5/5

New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery invites you back to Fool's Gold, where a newcomer to town might finally meet the man she never knew she needed… 

Angel Whittaker earned his scars the hard way, but the scars that can't be seen are the ones that haunt him the most. Since he moved to Fool's Gold, California, he's cobbled together a life for himself as a bodyguard trainer. If he's not exactly happy, at least his heart is safe. 

Working with pro-football superstars taught tough-talking PR woman Taryn Crawford one thing—she can go toe to toe with any man. But then dark, dangerous former Special Ops Angel targets her for seduction…and challenges her to resist his tempting kisses. 

Even in four-inch heels, Taryn never backs down. Unless, somehow, Angel can convince her that surrender might feel even better than victory.

The story:
Taryn is a smart, confident and independent business woman, and moving into a small town like Fool's Gold is quite challenging. But one of the locals, Angel, grabs her attention from the beginning. Their mutual attraction is evident, and the fact that they are both after a fun, so strings attached fling, it all seems perfect. However as their relationship heats up, emotions start to get involved and that's when things get complicated.

Angel is still tormented by the loss of his wife and teenage son. After loosing them in a car accident, while he was away he continually beats himself up for not being there to protect them. As a result he's sworn off any new relationship, in fear of not being able to protect them either. Taryn on the other hand, grew up in an unloving and abusive home, and is closed off from any kind of intimate relationship. But as they grow closer they start to realise that falling in love isn't something that you can control.

The characters:
Angel, the scary, hard core ex Special Ops, with a scars both inside and out, was a complex character. He never gotten over the fact that he couldn't protect he's wife and son from dying in a car accident and as a result has shut himself off from any emotion connections, afraid he won't be able to protect them either. 

Taryn was perhaps a little more difficult to connect with. She loves high fashion labels and spends a fortune of shoes. She also has several different animal skin items like a snake skin purse etc (which as an animal loving vegetarian was difficult for me to be okay with) Taryn is by no means a bad character, I think it's just for me personally I couldn't relate to her personality or attitude.

The romance:
The romance in this book, is all about healing and learning to trust again. At first neither are looking for a serious relationship or any kind of commitment. Their romance starts out as just a fun and sexy romance. But gradually they connection between them grows stronger and it becomes obvious that they are both developing real feeling for each other. But Taryn's reluctance to trust anyone with her heart and Angel's fear of not being able to protect her, prevents them from making any sort of commitment. It was really sweet watching them finally realise how they felt and do something about it.

The writing:
Susan Mallery has a really nice writing style. It's fast pace and has plenty of humour to keep things light and fun. The setting of this series is excellent, with plenty of side characters from past novels bring the town to life. The pacing was excellent with a tense and exciting climax to the story!

While I didn't connect with the heroine as well as I have with some of the previous books, I don't think it will be an issue for most readers. When We Met is another sweet and fluffy romance for the Fools Gold series.

Sexuality: medium-strong / several sex scenes
Violence: mild
Language: mild
Drugs & alcohol: mild

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