Another great trilogy by Susan Mallery

After the holiday hustle and bustle was over the only books I felt like reading were something light and easy. I checked my "to be read" book list and headed to the paperback shelves, grabbed a copy of Just One Kiss by Susan Mallery, and found just what I was looking for. Susan Mallery, author of the long running Fool's Gold Series, is one of my favorite authors. Just One Kiss takes you back to the town of Fool's Gold, California with all its warm and quirky characters, and is the first in a trilogy within the long running series.

Justice Garrett and Patience McGraw were best friends in high school - until the day Justice disappeared. It just happened to be the same day Patience was ready to tell him that her feelings toward him had changed from friendship to love. When she went to his house that day he was gone without a trace and it looked as though no one had ever lived there. Patience never found out what had happened to him and was sure she would never see him again. She had no choice but to forget Justice and move on with her life. A few years later, she married and had a daughter, Lillie, who is now ten years old. Lillie's father left them shortly after she was born and Patience has tried her best to survive as a single mom. After being gone for fifteen years, Justice returns to Fools' Gold, a special ops military man with plans to open a defense academy. When he appears one day at the hair salon where Patience works, it's immediately clear that the feelings they had for each other as teenagers are still there. Justice reveals why he had to leave town and Patience finally gets the answers she has been waiting for.

While Justice is moving forward with opening the defense academy in Fool’s Gold, Patience and her mother, Ava, are opening their own dream business, a coffee shop cleverly named "Brew-haha", thanks to an unexpected inheritance of one hundred thousand dollars from Patience's Great Aunt Becky. Patience’s mother is a wonderfully inspirational character. She has MS but doesn’t let that stop her from living her life to the fullest and finding happiness in her dreams. As the sparks fly between Justice and Patience they both have their own inner struggles to deal with as well. Justice realizes that being in the special ops military doesn't leave a man with the time or inclination to start a family, or have a real life, while Patience is wondering if she can trust Justice to stick around.

Just One Kiss features many of the characters from the other Fool's Gold series books, and the author includes a bit of back story for those characters so it is easy to remember who is who after so many novels. As she introduces new characters, she also hints at future love connections and makes you want the story to continue. I know it prompted me to check out the next two in the trilogy, Two of a Kind, and Three Little Words. Now, if I could only find time to sit down and read!

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