Hold Me - Susan Mallery

Series: Fool's Gold CA (Book 16)

Destiny Mills believes passion has its place -- like in the lyrics of the country songs that made her parents famous. After a childhood full of drama and heartache, she wants a life that's calm. Safe. Everything that Kipling Gilmore isn't. Her temporary assignment with the Fool's Gold search and rescue team puts her in delicious proximity to the former world-class skier every day. Part of her aches to let go for once…the rest is terrified what'll happen if she does.

 

Though an accident ended his career, Kipling still lives for thrills -- and a hot fling with a gorgeous redhead like Destiny would be a welcome diversion. Yet beneath his new coworker's cool facade is a woman who needs more than he's ever given. With her, he's ready to take the risk. But love, like skiing, is all about trust -- and before you soar, you have to be willing to fall.

 

Very good book about two newcomers to Fool's Gold. Destiny is in town for a few months to help install and train people on the new search and rescue software. Kipling was recruited by Mayor Marsha to run the search and rescue unit. 

 

Destiny is a woman who exerts a great deal of control over her life. She grew up with famous country music parents, whose volatile personalities had a big effect on her. After seeing each of them fall in and out of love countless times, she has decided that love and passion belong in the lyrics of a song, not in her life. As a result she has some very definite and interesting views on marriage and everything that goes with it. Her calm and well ordered life has taken a bit of a turn when she becomes the guardian of the fifteen year old half sister she's never met before. 

 

Kipling came to Fool's Gold after recovering from a skiing accident that ended his career. He really misses his old life, but finds satisfaction in his new job. He has his own issues from the past that have affected his life. After watching people say one thing but do another, he has decided that actions speak louder than words, which is perfect for him. Kipling is a man who, when he sees a problem, has to find a way to fix it. He still feels guilty that it took so long to rescue his sister from their father's abuse.

 

Destiny and Kipling have chemistry from the beginning, but Destiny resists as hard as she can. Kipling is nothing like the safe and calm relationship she has in mind for her future. Kipling, on the other hand, finds Destiny to be just what he has in mind - a beautiful woman, in town for a short time, and perfect for a bit of a fling. He is intrigued by her outlook on relationships, and takes it as a challenge to show her what she is missing. He is determined in his pursuit, and some of the conversations between him and Destiny end up being pretty funny. Eventually he does tap into her passionate side, but it doesn't turn out at all the way he expected and only reinforces Destiny's opinion. Kipling's attempts to "fix" his mistakes is hilarious. 

 

The relationship between Destiny and Kipling builds slowly as both of them learn to face their fears. I really enjoyed the patience that Kipling had as he introduced Destiny to the passion that he saw in her. When he finally broke through that last wall, the change in her was amazing. At the same time, Kipling had to learn that action is great, but sometimes a woman needs to hear the words in order to believe that the feelings are real. It was especially fun to see what pushes them together and Destiny's reaction was priceless!

 

I also enjoyed the changes that Destiny went through as she and Starr got to know each other. Starr's involvement with her music gave Destiny a connection with her. Destiny's love of music was one of those things that she tried to repress, until it would become too much and she would have to sing, or write, or both. Working with Starr gave Destiny an outlet she hadn't realized she needed so badly. I also loved seeing her make friends with the women of Fool's Gold.

 

Kipling also had some lessons to learn. He has been used to seeing a need and doing something about it without really consulting anyone else. His sister is used to it, but has reached the point of having to explain to him that she doesn't want him to do that for her any more. Then there is the fix he got into with the bar. He saw that the men of the town didn't really have a place of their own, so he opened The Man Cave. Unfortunately for him, he didn't think about the effects on the long established Jo's Bar, and soon found himself running afoul of the women of the town. This spilled over onto his married business partners, leaving him especially confused. I loved seeing what he finally did, and how he and Jo worked everything out.