Saturday, July 30, 2011

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥: Only Mine by Susan Mallery

Only Mine (Fool's Gold #4)
Release Date: August 1st, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin
Page Count: 379
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publicist, Little Bird Publicity, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!!)

Her town’s lack of men may make headlines, but it isn’t news to Dakota Hendrix. The beautiful blonde has bigger problems to deal with, such as overseeing the romance reality competition filming in Fool’s Gold. Screening eligible bachelors is a difficult enough task, but Dakota hits an unexpected snag when a sexy stranger comes to town.

Finn Anderssen will do anything to keep his twin brothers—the perfect contestants—off the show. Despite Dakota’s better judgment, she finds herself drawn to the mysterious outsider. Like her, Finn knows about heartbreak and how a family can fall apart, so she doesn’t dare to hope for anything more than a fling. After all, even in the Land of Happy Endings, finding true love is never as easy as it looks on TV.
What Stephanie Thinks: I just love small-town romances. They're everything what you could imagine a romance story to be: sweet, real-life, and swoon-worthy, but without the bodice-ripping or (let's admit it, the embarrassingly) complex storyline.

In Only Mine, Dakota, who's never been very active in the dating game due to Fool's Gold's lack of bachelors, gets stuck managing an actual dating game: a little something called reality television. Sasha and Stephen are two of the most eligible contestants; they're tall, athletic, absolutely gorgeous—and they're twins. The audience should go crazy over them.

The only problem is their older brother, Finn, who's raised them singlehandedly since they were thirteen, as he's livid about the situation. Sasha and Stephen only have one semester left in college before they graduate, and they're leaving it all behind, for a stupid dating game. Finn needs to get them off the show, and he needs to do it now.

What he doesn't expect, is to meet Dakota, a girl unlike any other, a girl who always prefers to look on the brighter side of life. And soon, he finds himself falling in love, when he know he shouldn't.

The book is predictable, but the little moments in between are what make it so enjoyable. I really liked watching Dakota and Finn's relationship grow, from mild flirtation, to intimate friendship, to something more. Mallery's writing style isn't phenomenal or anything, but it is easy and clear. One flaw is its redundancy. All the details seem to be repeated multiple times, which I'm sure is meant to strengthen and emphasize the plot, but is actually slightly irritating. Other than that, the simple, but realistic love story she creates through two lovable, could-be-your-best-friend characters, is what makes Only Mine a fast-paced, emotional romance.

Stephanie Loves: "' ... sometimes when things are going really well, we find the one thing we're pretending we're not looking for.'"

Radical Rating: 8 hearts: An engaging read; highly recommended. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥