Monday, July 20, 2015

review || THRILL ME { excerpt tour }

HQN Books | July 28, 2015 | Contemporary Romance
Fool's Gold, book 18


Meet the Mitchell brothers of Fool's Gold, California—five gorgeous men who've left a trail of broken hearts in their wake… 

Maya Farlow learned the hard way to depend only on herself, so when she fell too deeply for the bad-boy charms of Del Mitchell, she did the only thing she could—she ran. Stunned, Del left Fool's Gold to make his name and fortune in extreme sports.

Now ten years later, Maya's been hired to promote her hometown's new slogan, The Destination for Romance. The celebrity spokesman is none other than Del, the man she dumped but never forgot. Awkward!

Although Del's not the type to hold a grudge, he's determined to avoid falling a second time for the woman who broke his heart. He's a daredevil, not an idiot. Trouble is, in all his adventures, he never found a rush as exhilarating as Maya's kiss. Maybe risking his heart will prove to be the biggest thrill of all…
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{ excerpt } .

from Chapter Three

Maya’s office was in the same building as the Fool’s Gold cable access studio. The local news had its own location on the other side of town. Until this minute she’d enjoyed the separation. Having to see “real” reporters on a daily basis would have been depressing. It wasn’t that she wanted to be one anymore. It was just having to look into the eyes of her abandoned dream, as it were, could have been difficult. Although at this second, facing down a wild, hungry bear would have been preferable to what she was doing.

“I don’t understand,” Eddie Carberry said stubbornly. “People like our show. Did one of the Gionni sisters say something to you? Because I know they’re pissed that we’re getting better ratings than they are. Who wants to watch a TV show about hair when there are naked butts to be seen? Plus they each have a show because of their feud, so it’s twice as much of the same.”

“The shows are about styling hair,” her friend Gladys pointed out. “Not that watching someone work a curling iron is all that interesting.”

Eddie and Gladys had to be in their seventies. They were spry enough and certainly determined, Maya thought grimly. Had Mayor Marsha realized the impossibility of the task when she’d hired Maya? Because Maya had always thought she and the mayor were friends. Maybe she’d been imagining the connection.

“Styling or talking, hair is hair. What we do is more interesting and Bella and Julia can’t stand that.” Eddie put her hands on her hips. As she was wearing a bright yellow velour tracksuit, she looked a bit more comical than intimidating, but there was a gleam in her eye that had Maya keeping a safe distance.

She continued to hold out the piece of paper. “I’ve cut and pasted the exact language from the government website,” she said firmly. “It’s very clear. The FCC has defined broadcast indecency as ‘language or material that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or excretory organs or activities.’“

“What’s excretory?” Gladys asked.

“What does it sound like?” Eddie gave her a pointed look.

Gladys wrinkled her nose. “Yuck. We’d never do that. What about free speech? We claim the First Amendment.”

“What she said,” Eddie added. “We have the right to free speech.”

Maya looked at her notes. “The court says that you can’t show naked butts when children might be watching.”

Gladys and Eddie exchanged a look.

“So not on our five o’clock broadcast but we can show them at eleven?” Eddie asked.

Maya held in a groan. “I’d rather you didn’t show them at all.”

“But you’re not the boss of us,” Eddie pointed out. “And what about all those TV dramas that show butts?”

“They’re on at ten,” Gladys added. “So we’ll show butts at eleven. It’s an excellent compromise.”

One Maya hoped Mayor Marsha could live with.

“But not at five,” she clarified. “You don’t want the FCC shutting you down or fining the station. If we had to pay a fine, we’d lose our budget and then you wouldn’t have a show at all.”

“Your job is to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Eddie told her.

“No, my job is to manage the cable access shows. Your job is to follow the rules.”

Eddie gave her a smile. “You have backbone. I like that. I remember when you were a teenager, waiting to go off to college. Look at you now—all grown-up.”


The male voice had them all turning. Maya caught sight of Del and nearly threw herself in his arms. Not that she wasn’t thrilled to see him, but the distraction was even better.

“Del!” Gladys hurried toward him. “You’re back.”

“You know it.”

He caught the old lady in his arms and hugged her, then turned to Eddie. After kissing them both on the cheek, he winked.

“Are you two making trouble?”

“Always,” Eddie said proudly.

Maya shook her head. “No more trouble. They both just agreed not to show naked butts before eleven. It’s a victory for decency standards.”

Eddie sniffed. “But after eleven, we’re all butts, all the time. Del, give us a picture of yours. We hold a contest for people to guess whose butt belongs to whom. No one’s seen yours in ages. It would be fun.”

He laughed and hugged them. “I’ve missed you two. There’s no one like you anywhere I’ve traveled.”

“If you think we’re all that,” Gladys said, “why don’t you come back and sleep with us? Seventy is the new thirty-five.”

Del’s amusement didn’t waver. “Let’s not ruin the promise of what can never be,” he told them.

“He’s turning us down,” Eddie said with a sigh. “Men are idiots.”

Gladys patted his cheek. “She’s right, but you can’t help it.”

The old ladies waved and walked out of Maya’s office. She sank into her chair and wondered if she’d actually escaped so easily or if there were more early-afternoon butt issues in her future.

Del took the empty chair across from hers. “They’re really doing a butt contest?”

“Yes, and I’d rather not talk about it. Mayor Marsha is worried about the FCC getting involved. I had to look up the definitions and everything. Not my favorite part of the job.”

He glanced toward the door. “I missed them a lot. They’re one of the best parts of this town.”

“Seriously? They frighten a lot of guys.”

“No way. They’re fun.”

“I wonder if we should redefine our terms,” she murmured.

He leaned back in his chair. “Relax. They like you. They’ll listen.”

“I hope you’re right. What brings you here?” Their appointment wasn’t for a couple of days.

He shrugged. “I was in the neighborhood.”

Easy enough to be, she thought. Fool’s Gold was hardly a big place. But still.

for more stops on the excerpt tour

{ fool's gold retreat } .

Susan Mallery will be in Chicago for a 2-day Fool's Gold Getaway Reader's Retreat, July 31-August 1. How fun! For tickets and information, please click here.


  1. Thank you for joining the THRILL ME excerpt tour! I appreciate you helping to spread the word about my books. (I almost said "the sword." That would have been wrong. ;) )

  2. Thanks for featuring this excerpt for the tour!