Almost Summer: A Fool's Gold Novella (Fool's Gold, #6.2) - Susan Mallery

Series: Fool's Gold CA (Book 6.75)

Ever since she was young, Paige McLean has longed to see the world. Still, she never imagined the world would land on her doorstep in the form of a charming British surgeon who needs a place to stay when his plans fall through.


After a devastating loss, Alistair Woodbury has vowed to live his life alone. But in all his travels, he hasn't encountered a town as welcoming as Fool's Gold, nor a woman as caring--or as beautiful--as Paige. Her compassion warms him almost as much as their stolen kisses.


When it's Alistair's time to leave, will his brief visit turn into a lifetime stay?


Sweet and short (just 49 pages) story about a visiting doctor and the "angel" that nursed him back to health. Alistair had come to Fool's Gold to visit Simon and Montana (Only Yours), but he has come down with the measles and Montana's pregnant so he can't stay with them. Paige offers to take him in and cares for him through his illness.


I really liked both Alistair and Paige. Alistair is a British doctor who travels the world caring for the underprivileged. He lost his wife and daughter in an accident several years earlier. He carries a lot of guilt and sadness because he wasn't there when it happened and has decided that he won't marry again. But Paige's beauty and caring nature have him wondering what it would be like to be loved again. 


Paige is stuck in a bit of a rut. She was raised by her aunt, a nun, after her parents' deaths, and her aunt passed six months ago. Paige has always wanted to travel, but expected to take her aunt along, and is now having trouble motivating herself to go. Listening to Alistair's stories and telling him her dreams, he gives her the push to follow them. But as she's making her plans, she realizes that there's someone she can picture being with her at last.


The story may have been short, but it had all the best parts of a Fool's Gold story. Paige is sweet and fun, Her gentle teasing is just what the brooding Alistair needs to finally move past his grief. Alistair is the hero, healed by the love of a good woman. He's a little bewildered by what he's feeling, and I loved the conversation he had with Simon. Though we only see a few of the series regulars, the caring nature of the people of Fool's Gold is illustrated by the food provided to Paige while Alistair is sick. I loved the ending, which incorporates both the love of travel Paige and Alistair have and their love of Fool's Gold.