Meet the Mitchell brothers of Fool’s Gold, California—five gorgeous men who’ve left a trail of broken hearts in their wake…
Maya Farlow learned the hard way to depend only on herself, so when she fell too deeply for the bad-boy charms of Del Mitchell, she did the only thing she could—she ran. Stunned, Del left Fool’s Gold to make his name and fortune in extreme sports.Now ten years later, Maya’s been hired to promote her hometown’s new slogan, The Destination for Romance. The celebrity spokesman is none other than Del, the man she dumped but never forgot. Awkward!Although Del’s not the type to hold a grudge, he’s determined to avoid falling a second time for the woman who broke his heart. He’s a daredevil, not an idiot. Trouble is, in all his adventures, he never found a rush as exhilarating as Maya’s kiss. Maybe risking his heart will prove to be the biggest thrill of all…
Series: Fool’s GoldMass
Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: HQN Books (July 28, 2015)
Maya set her tablet on the table, then cued up the video. While Phoebe watched it, she crossed to the family room and took in the changes her friend had made.
The chintz chairs and dark red sofa had been replaced with large couches covered in warm, family-friendly fabric. The walls had been painted and the artwork moved around. Fresh flowers in pretty vases had been scattered around the room.
Phoebe couldn’t help improving everything she touched, Maya thought, a little envious of the skill. Phoebe had never cared about ambition. Her dreams had been about belonging.
They’d met in college. Phoebe always told the story as if Maya had rescued her from loneliness and obscurity, but Maya knew it was the other way around. Her friend had been a rock—one of the few stable relationships she’d been able to count on.
Zane had been there, too, Maya thought. In his own curmudgeonly way. And Chase. But Chase was a kid, and Zane and she had had some difficult times. Being friends with Phoebe had always been so very easy.
Phoebe looked up from the tablet. “You’re so talented. I love this. You bring Del alive. I’ve never met him and I already like him. I love how you take us on the journey as he goes from extreme sport media darling to supercool businessman.” She looked at her watch. “In what? A three-minute segment? There’s nothing to worry about. This is an impressive story told by a news professional.”
Maya returned to the table and took the tablet. “Thank you. I don’t deserve the compliments, but I’ll accept them because I’m needy.” She paused. “So there’s nothing…”
Phoebe shook her head. “No unrequited like, let alone love. Don’t worry.”
“Thank you.” Maya dropped the tablet into her bag. “Enough about me. Tell me what’s going on with the wedding. Are you freaking out yet?”
“No, but it’s in my eight-day plan.” Phoebe grinned. “Actually I don’t think I have to freak out. Dellina Ridge is planning everything and she’s so into the details. Oh, that reminds me. We’re going to have a fitting for our dresses soon. I’ll let you know the second they come into the store.”
Phoebe had only wanted one attendant, and that was Maya. Chase would stand up with his brother. A family affair, Maya thought, still touched by the decision.
“I can’t wait,” Maya told her, and meant the words. She wanted to be there when Phoebe married Zane. She wanted to be a part of things. She might not have gotten the network job she’d wanted, but coming back to Fool’s Gold was going to be a good thing.
An hour later Maya hugged Phoebe goodbye. Before heading to her car, she detoured by the barn. Zane kept his office there. She found her ex-stepbrother working on his computer. When he saw her, he smiled.
“Phoebe said you were stopping by. Did she mention the dresses will be in soon?”
Maya stared at the man who had always seemed so disapproving and stern. “Seriously? You want to talk wedding fashions?”
“If it’s important to Phoebe, it’s important to me.”
She grinned and took the visitor’s chair. “Is that a chill I feel from the depths of hell?”
“Just taking care of what matters.”
Maya couldn’t believe how mean old Zane had changed. Although the truth was, he’d never been old or mean. He’d been the one trying to hold the family together after his father died, and neither she nor Chase had made that job easy. His younger brother had been more than a handful and she’d enjoyed pushing Zane’s buttons.
She studied him now, taking in the handsome lines of his face. In truth, they weren’t blood relatives and they’d only lived in the same house for two years. A case could be made that they could have fallen for each other. Only from the second she’d met him, she’d seen him as a brother. An annoying brother with a stick firmly planted up his ass, but family all the same. From what she could tell, he’d thought the same about her. Minus the stick.
Which meant he’d been available to fall for Phoebe. A fact that still made Maya very, very happy.
“She does want to discuss what color the Jordan almonds will be. Lilac, light blue or mauve.”
He made a note on a pad of paper. “I’ll talk to her about it later.”
She blinked. “Really? Just like that.”
Maya shook her head. “You really are crazy about her. There’s no Jordan almond question. I was just messing with you.”
His mouth curved into a smile. “I’m happy to help her decide. After I look up what they are.”
“Thank God for Google.”
“Absolutely.” He studied her. “It’s nice to have you around, Maya.”
“It’s nice to be around.” She thought about her earlier conversation with Phoebe. How she’d felt safe for the first time when she’d moved to Fool’s Gold. How her teachers had cared and she’d gotten a scholarship for college.
“Was it you?” she asked. “Who funded my college scholarship?”
Zane shook his head. “Sorry, no. I should have offered to help pay for it, but I didn’t think of it. Money was tight back then, so I don’t think my dad would have agreed.”
She remembered. But their brand of money being tight had been a whole lot nicer than her mother’s.
“I just wondered. Somebody put up the money. Mayor Marsha would never tell me who.”
“Maybe they wanted to be anonymous. You should let it be.”
She laughed. “Because I’m going to start taking your advice now?”
“Stranger things have happened.”
“Maybe, but that’s not one of them.” She stood and circled the desk, then gave him a hug. “You’re going to research Jordan almonds, aren’t you?”
Which only made her love him more.
Del sat on the front porch stairs of his cabin. It was late in the afternoon but still a long way from sunset. The temperature was warm and the kids in the area were out playing. He could hear shrieks of laughter, along with friendly taunts.
Being lazy felt good, he thought, reminding himself he should enjoy the moment. Because soon enough he would get restless and want to be doing something. The question was what. He wasn’t an entrepreneur by blood. He’d stumbled into his sky board company in an attempt to please himself. Despite the many offers to collaborate, he wasn’t interested in trying to duplicate the success.
A sleek gray convertible pulled up next to his battered truck. The visitor’s car screamed LA and he knew who it was before she got out.
New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery has won the hearts of millions of readers around the world with books described as “immensely entertaining, intensely emotional” (RT Book Reviews), “hilarious” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram), and “heartwarming” (Publishers Weekly). One major retailer recently described her as “the queen of romantic fiction.” While she deeply appreciates the accolades of critics and booksellers, Mallery is even more honored by the enthusiasm of her readers and the word-of-mouth that catapults her toward the top of the bestsellers lists time and again.Mallery lives in not-so-sunny Seattle with her husband and a toy poodle who makes her laugh every day and who’s not even a little bit impressed by her growing fame.
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