BEFORE WE KISS – Susan Mallery
A Fool's Gold Romance

HQN
ISBN: 978-0-373-77881-2
June 2014
Contemporary Romance

Fool's Gold, California – Present Day

Former pro-football kicker Sam Ridge is gun-shy when it comes to marriage and getting involved in relationships after some bad experiences, so several months ago when he had a one-night fling with party planner Dellina Hopkins, he ran out of her house when he stumbled into a room that was filled with wedding gowns. Of course, Dellina has a good explanation of why the dresses were there, but Sam doesn't want to be around her long enough to listen. But when the company he co-owns hires her as the party planner for a weekend get together for clients, as the financial CEO he is forced to spend time with her. Being around Dellina only reinforces the crazy chemistry he has for her, even though he has no intention of giving in. That is, until he can no longer resist kissing Dellina, which soon leads to more. But can a man who has vowed to never marry provide any kind of future to a woman who is looking for a man who is the white picket fence type?

Dellina has raised her younger sisters after the untimely deaths of their parents and is now working hard to get her business off the ground. When she agreed to store gowns from a friend's wedding boutique, she never expected to land Sam in her bed—or that he would run away in fear when he spotted them. Since that time, Sam has gone out of his way to avoid her, so she has finally decided he isn't worth pursuing. Yet, she can't forget him, especially when she's forced to work with him. Time spent alone—albeit on the get-together planning—has their sizzling attraction raising the temperatures. But Sam has made it clear he isn't into matrimony, so should Dellina just walk away before she loses her heart to him?

Part of the continuing Fool's Gold series by Susan Mallery, BEFORE WE KISS also includes a secondary storyline featuring Dellina's younger sister Fayrene trying to hint strongly to her boyfriend that she wants him to pop the question. Will this happen? Mayor Marsha leaves a tiny, cuddly dog in Fayrene's care. How will this play into BEFORE WE KISS?

Sam's phobia about marriage is not only due to a failed marriage in the past, but because of his parents' “no holds barred” way of living. His mother is a famous sex advice book author and Sam is embarrassed at the way his parents feel free to give advice for–and show how to do—various sex acts in public. Dellina didn't realize the connection between Sam and his mother when she booked the woman to be a part of the weekend activities, so it's another reason for conflict between them. Yet, Dellina soon proves to act as a barrier for Sam to avoid his parents, and it leads to more closeness…and another night making love. But Sam isn't into permanent relationships, so is any possible future between them doomed before it can even begin?

BEFORE WE KISS is a smart, funny tale that sizzles with its crisp dialogue and the sexy scenes between Sam and Dellina. While BEFORE WE KISS can be read as a standalone, readers get lots of glimpses of other characters in Fool's Gold, so at the very least it probably wouldn't hurt to read the last book, WHEN WE MET, to get an idea of the dynamics of Sam and his partners at Score, since this part of the series focuses on them. An engaging and cute tale, I highly recommend you pick up BEFORE WE KISS for a superb reading experience you won't want to miss.

Patti Fischer