A Million Little Things. Susan Mallery

book cover

Date: February 28th 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 368
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
4.5 stars                      Add to Goodreads

Zoe Saldivar is more than just single-she’s ALONE. She recently broke up with her longtime boyfriend, she works from home and her best friend Jen is so obsessed with her baby that she has practically abandoned their friendship. The day Zoe accidentally traps herself in her attic with her hungry-looking cat, she realizes that it’s up to her to stop living in isolation

Her seemingly empty life takes a sudden turn for the complicated-her first new friend is Jen’s widowed mom, Pam. The only guy to give her butterflies in a very long time is Jen’s brother. And meanwhile, Pam is being very deliberately seduced by Zoe’s own smooth-as-tequila father. Pam’s flustered, Jen’s annoyed and Zoe is beginning to think “alone” doesn’t sound so bad, after all

    My thoughts banner

A Million Little Things – #3 in Susan Mallery’s Mischief Bay series, is a book I looked forward to from the time I knew it was in the pipeline. I had enjoyed the first two and was so ready to dive into the next one. And… it delighted me as much as the first two.

We have three women – Zoe, Jen and Pam. Zoe and Jen are friends, Zoe works from home and I loved the opening scene where she deals with a misbehaving ladder to the attic. Jen has a little guy who is perfect in every way, but… he isn’t talking and she is worried. Surely by now that milestone should have been celebrated. Added to that she is hyper alert over every little germ and obsessive over organic food. In other words a bit of an uptight mess.  So much so it is impacting on her marriage and her friendship with Zoe.

We met Pam in the first book, a lively woman who had the sudden loss of her husband to deal with. She is Jen’s mother and up until now has been worried about Jen and her anxiety over little Jack. However there is some likeness between mother and daughter, as Pam too has been a little on the anxious side. It becomes full blown when her son who she set up to get to know Zoe, meets a hiccup in his life that she just can’t get her head around: she is in danger of losing her son if she can’t give up her need to keep him safe.  Pam has until now had a good friendship with Zoe and Zoe kind of sees her as a mother figure, someone to go to as her own mother has died.

There are some great men in the book as well. Kirk is Jen’s husband and he has taken on new work with the LAPD and has a new partner – Lucas, and Jen doesn’t really approve of him. She has judged him on certain appearances and found him lacking. That changes through the story and it was one of the interesting aspects of proceedings. Steven – Pam’s son is a great guy and I really liked him, he was strong minded and made his own decisions for happiness.

All in all I found this a very satisfying and enjoyable read. I liked the characters, their issues and the explorations of them. It was a perfect, light read.  Keep them coming Susan Mallery.

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The Friends We Keep. Susan Mallery

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The Friends We Keep
Susan Mallery
Published: Mira
Date: February 23rd 2016
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 416
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Thanks to the Publisher via NetGalley
4 stars                            Add to Goodreads

After five years as a stay-at-home mom, Gabby Schaefer can’t wait to return to work. Oh, to use the bathroom in peace! No twins clamoring at the door, no husband barging in, no stepdaughter throwing a tantrum. But when her plans are derailed by some shocking news and her husband’s crushing expectations, Gabby must fight for the right to have a life of her own.

Getting pregnant is easy for Hayley Batchelor. Staying pregnant is the hard part. Her husband is worried about the expensive fertility treatments and frantic about the threat to her health. But to Hayley, a woman who was born to be a mom should risk everything to fulfill her destiny—no matter how high the cost.

Nicole Lord is still shell-shocked by a divorce that wasn’t as painful as it should’ve been. Other than the son they share, her ex-husband left barely a ripple in her life. A great new guy tempts her to believe maybe the second time’s the charm…but how can she trust herself to recognize true love?

My thoughts banner
Three friends – three journeys, where will it lead each of them? Susan Mallery again managed to capture my attention as I delighted in The Friends We Keep. These kinds of books of hers are the ones I love the most. They delve into issues that could happen to anyone and take the women through the ups and downs as they learn and grow through them.
Nicole we met in the first Mischief Bay book, and so I was eager to find out where she was now. We find her divorced and managing really well with her son, while Eric her ex husband is still a pain in the butt where fatherhood is concerned. Nicole has an issue with Brad the Dragon writer who has taken over her son’s life in reading. She thinks the author must be making a mint of money from the books and merchandise and is quite anti towards him. A left over from her husband who had left her to become a screen writer, Nicole does not trust and is afraid to love. When by chance she meets Jairus the author, there is a hilarious first encounter, she is in for a long roller coaster ride into a possible new relationship.
Gabby is the mother of 5 year old twins and one fifteen year old stepdaughter.  Gabby loves her family but is eager to get back to work, until suddenly there is a spanner in the works. And Andrew her husband seems to have stopped listening to her. Gabby needs to find her voice and she does!  I loved the relationship build between Makayla (stepdaughter) and Gabby. It had me reading on, wondering with each curve ball where things would go next. To begin with Gabby is the stepmom with ‘all the pain but none of the power.’ Up until now Makayla who lives with Gabby and Andrew most of the time has been like and honored guest and Andrew allows that to happen.
Hayley seemed to be the most lost of all the women. She was adopted and has always had to vie with a sister who was born about a year after Hayley was adopted. Morgan has always been demanding and well… bitchy! Hayley has never felt really loved and so her desire to have a baby is really important to her. Yet the possibility is looking less and less likely. While Nicole her friend seems to understand, others think she should ‘get over it. To accept reality and adopt’. I was so unsure how her story would pan out, but I have to admit as I closed the book, it was her story that brought tears of happiness to my eyes.
As the women live their lives they are there for each other. Sounding boards to the one needing it. Their friendships were vital and important. I loved how each woman found her voice and her true heart’s desires. A great read.
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