Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Review: Almost Perfect by Susan Mallery

February 23rd, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

Almost Perfect by Susan Mallery

Source: Borrowed from the library

Publication date: July 1, 2010

Publisher: HQN

Series: Fool’s Gold #2

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

About the book:

Back in high school, Liz Sutton was the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Then she’d stolen the heart of the most popular boy in town, and their secret romance helped her through the worst of times. Until Ethan Hendrix betrayed her and everything they’d ever meant to each other. Devastated and pregnant, Liz left Fool’s Gold, California–forever, she thought….

Now Liz must return to town and face the man who doesn’t know of their son’s existence. And this time she won’t have the option of making a quick getaway. Ethan and Liz can’t deny their passionate attraction, even after all these years. But will their desire be enough to spark a second chance at love?

My Review:

Wow, I never thought I’d see the day that I would give a Fool’s Gold book a 2 star rating because I adore Susan Mallery and this little town she’s built.  I have been reading this series out of order depending on which books I pick up at the library or pop up in my used book store.  So I’ve read a bunch of books in this series and am only just finding my way back to this one.  Yes, some haven’t worked as much for me as others but Mallery’s writing usually keeps me in love enough with the town they are all 3 star or higher books. This one, however, was a total and utter fail.

My main issue was with Ethan. I hated him from the start. I found his self-righteousness, self-pity and anger towards Liz unreasonable and horrible. As a mom I can understand anger over missing seeing your child growing up but honestly whose fault was that? He was a total jerk towards Liz when they were teens and obviously didn’t deserve her then. Then his excuse that nothing happened between he and Pia when Liz found them naked in bed together? Pathetic, especially since it’s because he was too drunk to get the job done. Then rather than truly blaming his dead wife for keeping the information from him (who by the way he only married because he knocked her up as well.) he puts all the anger back on Liz. Even more pathetic. And come on, even though it’s brought up a couple times it is referred to more as a joke over his habit of getting girls pregnant. He claims “since when is doing the right thing bad” when he talks about marrying his previous wife and willing to marry Liz. Ummmm, how about doing the right thing from the start and not getting them pregnant in the first place if you don’t actually WANT to marry them? I kept waiting for Ethan to redeem himself and he never truly does. The nail in the coffin was when he started bad mouthing Liz to their son. No matter how angry I may get at my children’s father I would never, ever bad mouth him to them. I think it’s disrespectful and immature. You should never drag your kids into a fight like this. The worst part is though he finally admits he was wrong when Liz confronts him, he never deals with it with their son. He does this several times as he makes several sexist comments and other dumb statements to their son. Ethan is basically a child caught up in a temper tantrum and lashing out.

I also had mixed feelings about some of the side characters and the town itself. There is a lot of apology about no one stepping forward or noticing the abuse Liz went through when she was a child. Yet, somehow again they overlooked that a 14 yr old and an 11 yr old were living on their own for months! Liz notices immediately when she arrives that they look unkempt, their clothes were dirty and their shoes falling apart. No one else seemed to notice this? I get her nieces were trying to hide it but those are pretty blaring signs in a small town. Liz’s oldest niece, Melissa, also got on my nerves being a spoiled brat abou the potential move from Fool’s Gold and being ungrateful for all Liz has done for them. That though was at least understandable because she is 14 and has been through a lot but it still grated on me. And then there was Pia who I actually liked in the the other books. It irked me that while she went through a lot and was a self-admitted b**ch to Liz in high school she never comes outright to apologize. Even Denise, Ethan’s mom, eventually apologizes.

Lastly came Liz who I actually really liked and admired at how well she did for herself, for being such a great mom and showing such restraint when hateful people passed judgment on her choices with no facts. BUT I hated how she rolled over so often when Ethan lashed out at her. I get she had guilt that he missed out on their son’s early years but honestly most of that wasn’t her fault. So why should she be a door mat to his anger? Then to keep sleeping with him. That’s what ticked me off. No matter what horrible things he did, she kept going back for more.

Ethan’s sisters were just about the only redeeming part of this story and I will say it’s a testament to Mallery’s writing style that I kept reading to the last page hoping for some great turnaround. I still highly recommend this series but steer clear of this one book.

Find it online:

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Posted in 2 Star Books, Books, Contemporary, Romance

2 Responses

  1. anna (herding cats & burning soup)

    Oh boo. That stinks. I’ve read the series out of order as well. I didn’t love book one then skipped a bunch and loved the last slew of them. It’s such a bummer when one of the characters just…rubs you so wrong.

  2. Kate @ Ex Libris

    I am so sorry you didn’t like this book! This author is usually such fun….

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