Title: Chasing Perfect
Author: Susan Mallery
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Print ISBN: 978-0373774524
eBook ISBN: 978-1426854804
Length: 384 Pages
Publication Date: April 27, 2010
Format: eBook (Kindle Edition)
Purchase: eHarlequin Amazon
Welcome to Fool's Gold, California, a charming community in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. There's lots to do and plenty of people to meet, especially women. Because there's just one tiny problem in Fool's Gold: the men don't seem to stick around. Maybe it's the lure of big-city life, or maybe it's plain old bad luck, but regardless of the reason, the problem has to be fixed, fast. And Charity Jones may be just the city planner to do it.
Charity's nomadic childhood has left her itching to settle down, and she immediately falls in love with all the storybook town has to offer—everything, that is, except its sexiest and most famous resident, former world-class cyclist Josh Golden. With her long list of romantic disasters, she's not about to take a chance on another bad boy, even if everyone else thinks he's perfect just the way he is. But maybe that's just what he needs—someone who knows the value of his flaws. Someone who knows that he's just chasing perfect.
This is the first book in the Fools Gold Miniseries that Ms. Mallery has written around the fictional town of Fool's Gold, California. It is a light and fun book to read and again re-enforced why I like to read the romance genre. The goal of all romance novels should be to satisfy three goals, first tell a love story where the characters fall in love and work to make the relationship work, second it should provide the reader with an emotionally satisfactory ending and third it should leave the reader with the feeling of optimism. I feel that Ms. Mallery really accomplished that goal.
Charity Jones is a bright young woman who has never had a stable home and is desperate to connect. She had an unconventional childhood and in fact feels as if she never really had a childhood since she had to assume responsibilities at a young age that are usually reserved for adults. She gets an opportunity to move to Fools Gold, California to become their city planner and she jumps at the chance to move to a small town with hopes of settling down and eventually having a family. She wants to have what she missed as a child and she immediately falls in love with this town. She likes the people and loves the feeling of community. The only problem that she can see at first is that she is attracted to Josh Golden, a retired professional cyclist, who has a reputation as a womanizer. She is surprised to discover that she's been hired to bring businesses into town that will attract men, it seems that men don't stay in Fools Gold and that the town's demography is lopsided.
Josh Golden is an incredibly good looking man who is in the prime of his life and should still be on the professional circuit and training for the Tour de France. Unfortunately he has a small problem, he retired because he is suffering from feelings of guilt over a bike crash that took a riders life and now he panics in the company of other riders. The crash was not his fault but he had been the senior member on the cycling team and had taken responsibility to train the other riders. He finds himself seriously attracted to Charity but at first refuses to act on his attraction.
Fate does not allow Charity and Josh to ignore each other and instead constantly throws them together. They must decide if they will act on their attraction and work on having a real relationship as they both have character traits that the other is in need of. The town of Fools Gold is the perfect backdrop for their romance and is almost a character in itself.
Without giving away plot points or story details I will say that the ending was very well done and that there is quite a bit that takes place in this story besides the romance from state money that goes missing to the mayor's secret that gets revealed. I look forward to reading the next book in this series that was just released last month, Almost Perfect (Hqn)
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Crowns