Title: ALMOST PERFECT (Fool’s Gold Bk 2)
Author: Susan Mallery
Release Date: June 29, 2010
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: HQN Books
Originality of Plot: 3/5
Characters Development: 4/5
Cover Art: 4/5
Overall: 27/35 = 77%
Liz Sutton had always known the past would come back and bite her in the butt - she just hadn’t known it was going to happen today.
Could a secret romance really lead to a perfect love?
Back in high school, Liz Sutton was the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Then she'd stolen the heart of the most popular boy in town, and their secret romance helped her through the worst of times. Until Ethan Hendrix betrayed her and everything they'd ever meant to each other. Devastated and pregnant, Liz left Fool's Gold, California—forever, she thought….
Now Liz must return to town and face the man who doesn't know of their son's existence. And this time she won't have the option of making a quick getaway. Ethan and Liz can't deny their passionate attraction, even after all these years. But will their desire be enough to spark a second chance at love?
Liz Sutton grew on the wrong side of the tracks in Fool’s Gold. Her mother was the town drunk and the town slut. Her brother took off as a teenager and lever looked back. In high school, Liz‘s world was bombarded with lies, gossip, and rumors from her fellow students. Nearly a decade later, Liz’s a big time author, who is raising her 11 year old son in Denver.
She had promised that she would never go back to the place that gave her such heartache. That was until, the day she gets an e-mail from a girl claiming to be her niece. Their father had been sent to jail. They were left in the care of their step mother who had left them to fend for themselves. Liz saw no other choice to pack her life and her son, to take care of her two nieces left behind Fool’s Gold.
Ethan Hendrix saw Liz a crossed a large crowd, but he would know that hair, those freckle, and that face just about anywhere. He and Liz dated in secretly, because he was a member of the towns founding families, and Liz came from a bad family. One day Liz overhears Ethan telling his friends that he‘d never be with a girl like her. Liz leaves town heart broken, scared, and worst of all pregnant. When Liz came back to town to confront Ethan about the pregnancy, she finds him in bad with one of the schools mean girls. Liz tries to tell Ethan about their son 5 years later, only to find his new wife home and Ethan way on a trip. Liz explains that story to Ethan’s wife and goes back home. Later Liz receive a letter from Ethan saying he wants nothing to do with her or her son.
So Liz finds herself back in the town she hates, with a man she greatly despises. Once Ethan finds out that he has a son, he tries everything in his power to get to become more a part of his son’s life.
I found Liz’s story sad, but also very touching. She overcame massive obstacles, to become an great single mother and a famous author. She dropped everything, to take care of the nieces that she had never met. She stood up to the people in town who hated her for keeping Ethan’s son from him. She is the real stand out character in this story for me. Ethan on the other hand was a different story for me. Though he thought he was doing the right things, just kept screwing up where Liz and their son was concerned. It was has hard for me to think of him as leading male material. My feelings for Ethan were only lukewarm at best. In the end, I’m still not sure if he really deserve Liz.
I found this story to contrast with the first book the Fool’s Gold Series, Chasing Perfect. In this story, the female lead sees the small town as a very negative place. In Chasing Perfect, the female lead loves almost all aspects of small town life. It was much more deep and gritty for me, not perfect and sunny. I believe that Chasing Perfect had a stronger leading man, while Almost Perfect had a better heroine. This isn’t a bad thing, just an observation.
While reading this book, I kept getting this feeling of déjà vu. Girl from the wrong side for the tracks meets the towns golden boy. They have a secret fling. “Girl from the wrong side of the tracks” gets kicked to the curb, but finds out she is pregnant. Later “golden boy” finds out that “girl from the wrong side of the tracks” is hiding their love child. “Golden boy’ gets mad, and fights “girl from the wrong side of the tracks” for custody. Actually, I’m pretty sure that Mallery has already written this story with other characters involved, but I just can’t place the name of the book.
Overall, I found this story to be an enjoyable read, but not near as good as Chasing Perfect or most of Susan Mallery’s other books. I have an ARC of the 3rd book in this series, Finding Perfect. I’m hoping that the final book in this series, is more impressive this this one.
Fool's Gold Series