Instead of showing up for the society wedding of the century, Samantha made a run for it, driving clear across the country with no clue where she was going or what she would do when she got there. When the sleepy little town of Nugget had her hitting the brakes, she found herself with no work experience and no marketable skills. But she's smart and willing to work hard, and her knowledge of planning classy events seems like it may come in handy at recently renovated Nugget Inn. If only the owner wasn't such a jerk.
The Verdict: Despite the fact that Samantha was from a wealthy, high society world that most of us can't even imagine, she was incredibly easy to like. She appreciated finery and certainly didn't turn her nose up at the better things in life, but she was personable, hard working, and intelligent. She didn't expect that the world would fall at her feet at the mention of her name (in fact, she pretty much hid and downplayed her identity as much as possible), and her thoughts and emotions were not those of someone spoiled rotten but rather of someone who simply wanted to find meaning in life.
Nate is someone I never really warmed up to in previous books. He wasn't a bad guy, sure, but he was rather stiff, and while he may have been generous enough to act as a donor when his best friend wanted to have a baby, we never really got to see much of Nate as a feeling human being — until now. His inner conflict regarding the daughter he technically fathered but wasn't a father to allowed for a deep look into what made the man tick, and it was impossible not to feel for him in that situation. And then there was his past…
Nate still harbored a lot of negativity after his fiance ran out on him before their wedding years ago, so Samantha's story of running off from her would-be groom definitely set him on edge. The consummate businessman, Nate couldn't get past Samantha's lack of useful education and work history, and on the personal side of things, her situation felt to him like another betrayal. No matter how nice she was, he couldn't see past his own issues — at least for a long while — and it took him a lot of time to finally let himself see who Samantha was on the inside.
Both characters were strong and proud, so you can just imagine the head-butting that happened between them on an almost daily basis. Their mutual attraction certainly complicated things as well, but proximity has a way of making people get to know each other, walls and all. Plus, Samantha was such a sweetheart that it was only a matter of time before Nate fell for her. Watching him fight it, though, was certainly entertaining!
As with the previous books in the series, Samantha and Nate are complex and fully developed characters, and their main interactions aren't only with each other. There's a full supporting cast of townspeople and family, all of whom enrich the plot and keep the story from straying into any dull territory. The Nugget series is so well written and rich with both main stories and side stories that it's impossible to put any of the books down once I've started, and now I'm just dying to get my hands on whatever comes next!
***FicCentral received this book from Kensington Books (via NetGalley) for free in exchange for an honest review.