When We Met: Susan Mallery
Creating your own safety net and protection from harm, unwanted affection or abuse is not always that easy. Growing up Taryn Crawford learned that not all parents cared about their children and some took the easy way out and just left. With a mother who decided to leave her at the hand of an abusive father, Taryn learned early on the meanings of the words, distrust, betrayal and fear. But, one incident would change it all as her deranged father who used her as a punching bag when drunk and frustrated because of his own shortcomings, caused her to do more than just fall off of a ladder and break her arm. The world sees what we often don’t think they do and some keep their thoughts and feelings silent until it is too late. With the help of a kind neighbor and 500 dollars Taryn fled and never looked back. Taking menial jobs just to survive she learned about her father’s suicide from reading a newspaper article. Now, she was truly alone but Free! Working hard, going back to school, living in her car and finally get her degree she forged ahead and met Jack Crawford an NFL football player and their relationship soared if just for a short time. With his help she was able to live, go back to school and eventually earn her degree working for the Football team. But, when things went south and their relationship led to divorce, rather than desert her, Jack invested in their future. Taryn is smart and the brains behind the PR company Score which houses itself in a town called Fool’s Gold. Cool name!
Angel Whittaker is not, new to Fool’s Gold like Taryn and works with Ford Maddox as the senior trainer for his company that provides security services. Both Angel and Taryn have their own secrets. When they meet you can feel the electricity in the air more powerful that a lightning bolt and hotter than the lava of an erupting volcano. Both share the same common goal: No serious relationship. Angel because of the death of his wife and son in a car accident that rocked his world and Taryn because of the abuse she endured at the hand of her father. But, like magnets that attract or polar opposites that cannot resist each other Angel and Taryn play the cat and mouse game better than Tom and Jerry. Angel an ex-sniper and military man whose personality is strong, whose presence makes her shudder and whose demeanor would make any girl melt. Power hungry: Her’s come from wearing her spiked heels and his from the way he presents and carries himself. Both Taryn and Angel wanting a relationship, keeping at a pleasant distance. Score, Taryn’s company is hoping to get an account for a clothing line that caters to hikers, bikers and outdoor lovers. Fearing that she might fail and learning that part of the deal requires that she goes camping with her three-hunky partners and the owner of the clothing company, Angel and Taryn make a pact or an unsigned deal. Angel unknowingly volunteered to mentor 7-year-old girls that have joined the Future Warriors of Maazib. These girls are special and need encouragement. Some from broken homes and others lost parents. With Taryn’s help Angel hopes to succeed knowing very little about girls. HE will teach her about sports and camping and she will help with the girl’s volunteer project that he got roped into by the town’s puzzling mayor: Mayor Marsha. Things heat up, meetings take place and now we meet Larissa whose job everyone would most definitely envy as she is the masseuse for the Football players and she gets to have more than must some fun. Fool’s Gold: the town with the Happy Endings! Why would anyone want to change the slogan? But, Taryn has been enlisted to try. With both main characters dealing with their own baggage, one due to the death of his family and the other from a scarred childhood, can they find a common ground together? No committed relationship, definitely hide your emotions and do not let them show and of course forget about the chemistry or things might turn permanent and that is against the rules. But, sometimes things change and a meeting takes place, Taryn gets to see Angel in action as we watch Consuelo the one who teaches the classes at the bodyguard company take down one of the guys she works with letting readers know that the women created by author Susan Mallery are strong, persistent and can handle it on their own.
Both Taryn and Angel harbor their own fears, as do many of the other characters in this novel. Isabel is going to forge into a new business and expand her wedding side with a retail side with a new manager and Taryn’s check to help get it started. The prime focus becomes the Future Warriors of Maazib and when these 7 year old girls get together, start talking they are non stop and really fun. With Chloe finally starting to talk, her friend Regan enamored with Angel the group finds its way to go camping, learning how to pitch tents and then something would happen that would change it all. Fools Gold may be a town where there are happy endings but sometimes obstacles arise and things change. As Taryn took lessons in outdoor camping, kayaking and more Angel learned to adjust to being a Grove Keeper. But, his guilt for what happened to his wife and son resound loud and clear and just might ruin what he has with Taryn. How do you deal with people who really care when all of your life you felt alone? How will both Taryn and Angel put the past behind and move forward? Can they?
One sentence would change Taryn’s relationship with Angel but not before a flashflood hits the campsite and endangers all of the girls. What happens will surprise readers as Taryn faces the ultimate decision of her life: Whether to trust Angel when in trouble or not! When Regan and Chloe disappear looking for Regan’s Grove Bracelet, Taryn goes after them and what happens next is heart stopping and remind campers that panicking is not good, understanding rescue and emergency measures paramount and the end result is not expected. Three words or one short phrase or sentence changed it all for Taryn and Angel. Will they wind up together? Will they march in the final parade with all of their Acorns? What happens when 7 year olds are smarter than the adults you just won’t believe? When We Met! Angel/Taryn: The story is not over yet there is much more to come!
Meet Sam, Jack, Kenny, and Consuelo and find out more about the members of CDS and what happens when a business prospect says the wrong thing and the guys come to Taryn’s defense. Find out why Consuelo is afraid to marry Kenny and if they ever tie the knot? Find out more about Fool’s Gold and you just might wish that this town really existed and live there. Family is everything and yet Taryn for the first time feels part of a town, have new friends but still hides behind her clothes, shoes and designer bags. But a woman named Bailey would change her perspective and wait until you see the ingenious idea author Susan Mallery comes up with to help solve a fashion problem for Bailey and so many others. An ending that will bring tears to your eyes and a town that is so picture perfect that you will definitely want to visit or live there. Fool’s Gold: More than just a town with happy endings: A town with heart, hope, loyalty, kindness and love. A story about trust, loyalty, friendship, abuse, fear, guilt and most of all love.
When We Met: Everything Changed: just ask Angel and Taryn
Fran Lewis: Reviewer