Review

The Stepsisters. Susan Mallery

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Published: Harlequin – Mira
Date: 8th June 2021
Source: Publicist via NetGalley

Once upon a time, when her dad married Sage’s mom, Daisy was thrilled to get a bright and shiny new sister. But Sage was beautiful and popular, everything Daisy was not, and she made sure Daisy knew it.

Sage didn’t have Daisy’s smarts—she had to go back a grade to enroll in the fancy rich-kid school. So she used her popularity as a weapon, putting Daisy down to elevate herself. After the divorce, the stepsisters’ rivalry continued until the final, improbable straw: Daisy married Sage’s first love, and Sage fled California.

Eighteen years, two kids and one troubled marriage later, Daisy never expects—or wants—to see Sage again. But when the little sister they have in common needs them both, they put aside their differences to care for Cassidy. As long-buried truths are revealed, no one is more surprised than they when friendship blossoms.

The Stepsisters by Susan Mallery is a book about sisters. Daisy and Sage are stepsisters, Daisy and Cassidy are half sisters as are Cassidy and Sage. A little complicated but not really. Their relationships with each other didn’t get off to the best of starts.  All thanks really to a mother figure who wasn’t that great at being a mother.

When Cassidy ends up at Daisy’s house after a bad accident, the three sisters have a second chance to discover what being sisters could mean. It is a rather pitted path, fraught with hiccups, very poor decisions and the need to stretch and grow on all their parts.

Daisy’s marriage has hit a rough spot and I have to say I really had no sympathy for the inept, complaining husband who projected all his feelings onto Daisy. He was one of two unlikeable characters in this story.

Each of the women grows considerably in the course of the story, and each finds a satisfying way forward. They change because they communicate with each other, they hang in there and recognise where they got things wrong.  They discover a friendship and a supportive base that would I imagine sustain them for the rest of their lives.

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Susan Mallery  Social Links:

Website:        Facebook:              Twitter:

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Goodreads:  
Bookbub:
Mailing List: 

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0778331806

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-stepsisters-susan-mallery/1137495093?ean=9780778331803  

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/books/the-stepsisters-9780778312031/9780778331803 

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780778331803 

Libro.fm: https://libro.fm/audiobooks/9781488211577-the-stepsisters 

Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Stepsisters/Susan-Mallery/9780778331803?id=7843731390040 

Target: https://www.target.com/p/the-stepsisters-by-susan-mallery-paperback/-/A-81262171# 

Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/ip/The-Stepsisters-Paperback-9780778331803/194267274 

Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-stepsisters/9780778331803-item.html 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-stepsisters 

AppleBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-stepsisters/id1527864349 

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Susan_Mallery_The_Stepsisters?id=8bn3DwAAQBAJ 

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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A week of much the same as other weeks! I watched the moon eclipse here between 10:30 pm and 11:30pm with a clear starlit sky, its always good when there is no cloud cover for something that only comes around every so often.

What I read last week:

Enjoyed all these. The Queen of Hearts was a audiobook. Review for The Stepsisters this week and now I want to read more of Georgette Heyer.

What I am reading now:

One off my print TBR shelf.

The Possibilities

And I have started listening to The Missing Sister by Lucinda Riley. (23 hrs plus) I nearly returned it to Audible because a bit of it is set in New Zealand and the narrator does a terrible NZ accent that is like a parody. I managed to calm down and talk myself into staying with it. I was going to head out and buy the book instead!!

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Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Challenging Reads

How to Mend a Broken Heart.  Rachael Johns

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Thanks everyone for joining in. I love reading how you are all doing and what you are reading. I learn so much about various parts of the world.

My week has been of  course reading and quilting and a little time with a friend. Oh and of course a little exercise with this Japanese American 80 year old mother and daughter. Yes2Next.

Great for when I don’t want to go out into the weather when its too windy or cold.  How did I ever do without You Tube.

What I read last week:

Both very enjoyable books.

What I am reading now:

These Old Shades

And still listening to The Queen of Hearts.

Up next:

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Book Connections

Picking Through NetGalley

While I might not be eligible for many books on NetGalley, I do like to keep an eye on what is publishing that I want to read.  Next week though I’ll be sharing five of the books from NetGalley that I do have to read and review and I am very excited to do so. Authors I love to enjoy.

book clubPublishes 18th May.

Wendy Wax pretty much an automatic read any book by this author. Will most likely buy it.

On paper, Jazmine, Judith, Erin and Sara have little in common – they’re very different people leading very different lives. And yet at book club meetings in an historic carriage house turned bookstore, they bond over a shared love of reading (and more than a little wine) as well as the growing realization that their lives are not turning out like they expected.

book cover Publishes 25th May

It’s about step sisters years on and putting aside differences. I usually enjoy Susan Mallery’s women’s fiction books so will be watching out for this one, maybe at the library.

book cover Publishes in July.

RecentlyI read Heather Webber for the first time and now I want to read more!

Sadie Way Scott has been avoiding her family and hometown of Sugarberry Cove, Alabama, since she nearly drowned in the lake just outside her mother’s B&B. Eight years later, Sadie is the host of a much-loved show about southern cooking and family, but despite her success, she wonders why she was saved. What is she supposed to do?

book cover Publishes in May.  Another romantic suspense from Nora Roberts. I like to keep up with them! Maybe an audiobook listen for this one. I did mention this in another post, but keeping it in view!

book coverPublishes in June. Kristan Higgins is an automatic read and buy. Her most recent books have been delving into some tough issues.

Every month, a letter. That’s what Lauren decides to leave her husband when she finds out she’s dying. Each month, she gives Josh a letter containing a task to help him face this first year without her, leading him on a heartrending, beautiful, often humorous journey to find happiness again in this new novel from the New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins.

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Review

The Vineyard at Painted Moon. Susan Mallery

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Set in the vineyards of the north west part of the USA, The Vineyard of Painted Moon introduces us to the important roles of wine producing. Chief among them is the winemaker and in this case this would be Mackenzie Dienes and she works for her husband’s family business. And… she is really good at her job, passionate to be precise.

The family? Well there is Rhys her husband, and his sisters Lori, Stephanie and Four! At the centre of all the action is the matriarch Barbara. Some of these characters are likeable and some not so much. The story is set off by a lovely man proposing to Barbara and giving her a beautiful ring. They look so in love. It sets in play for some of the characters the realisation that they are not living either truthful or satisfying lives. Some way through the book it clicked with me that Bruno who first appears at the vineyards Summer Solstice party, we have met before in another story.

I loved the choices Mackenzie made along the way. She had a lot to deal with. The family is the only one she knows, she has no family of her own. Stephanie is her best friend, she is divorced and struggling rather in life to find passion and meaning.  

Barbara is something else, its a wonder all her children are even as sane as they are. She is a controlling woman, and doesn’t seem to know much about unconditional love. Her son Rhys I couldn’t make sense of. We didn’t see into his mind but could only judge him by what he says and does. I was left feeling sad for him.

I don’t want to give the plot away. Don’t read the blurb before you start this, go straight in, which as it happens I did, so even the beginning spoilers I didn’t have. I picked this book up when I was just not finding reading engaging. 

The Vineyard at Painted Moon soon picked me up out of that slump and I loved every minute of the book, I kept wanting more and more.  The challenges the characters faced, the plot the final epilogue all my kind of read.

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Rating: 5 out of 5.
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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Hope you all had a good Christmas – I did. The weather was reasonably good but since then  it has turned quite chilly – coming into mid Summer! Oh well!

What I read last week:

Really liked this one, its a review book, I think it publishes in February.

What I am reading now:

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Up next:

Most likely…

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It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Hope you have a good week and enjoy Christmas in the small groupings it will be for you this year. Enjoy the coziness of it.

I’ll take a week’s break from blogging and will be back here next Monday with what I’ve been reading – or maybe what I haven’t been reading!

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

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Still listening to Born a Crime.

Up next:

Not really sure.  It will be a mood read, whatever it is and also I want to catch up on some viewing and leave room for some Christmas movies, plus The Bridgertons will drop on
Netflix later in the week and I want to see some of that. 

Last Week’s Posts

Boone Emily March

Five Favourite Books from Second Half of Year.

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Review

The Friendship List. Susan Mallery. Blog Tour

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Published: Harlequin
Date: 4th August 2020
Source: Publicist via NetGalley

Single mom Ellen Fox couldn’t be more content—until she overhears her son saying he can’t go to his dream college because she needs him too much. If she wants him to live his best life, she has to convince him she’s living hers.

So Unity Leandre, her best friend since forever, creates a list of challenges to push Ellen out of her comfort zone. Unity will complete the list, too, but not because she needs to change. What’s wrong with a thirty something widow still sleeping in her late husband’s childhood bed?

Unity and Ellen have been best friends forever.  Whatever is going on in their lives, they’ve been there with and for each other. When they recognise that their lives are in a bit of a rut they make a list of all the things they could do to move them from that rut.

When Ellen heard Cooper saying he was worried about his Mom and he wasn’t sure that it was right for him to go away to college, she was devastated. When Unity had a few important people in her life point out she was living in the past – she got shirty, then she got working on a list in the meantime. Still not sure she was ready to move on.

I liked both the men in the book – Thaddeus and Keith. They were honest good men, and had a lot going for them. I loved how Thaddeus treated his great aunt and Keith loved and sweated over his daughter Lissa.

The story ambles along, alternating between the two couples mainly, with some falling out and falling in. There were some funny, laugh out loud moments. It’s about friendship, moving on and growing up and second chances. In places somewhat saucy. While I prefer a women’s fiction book I am going to place this right into the romance genre.

SOCIAL LINKS:

Twitter: @susanmallery
Facebook: @susanmallery
Instagram: @susanmallery
Author website: https://www.susanmallery.com/

BUY LINKS:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indie Bound
Kindle
Nook
Google Play
Apple Books
Kobo
Walmart
Target
Bookshop.org

 

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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And another week rolls by and into the last week of July! Eek it was cold this morning – heavy frost. I love that but Brrr! I got up a little late!  Soon the sun will be heating me up and I can turn the Heat Pump off.

I enjoyed my reading mostly this week. One listening thing that caught my attention was Gretchen Rubin’s podcast of Happier where she and Elizabeth, her sister, interviewed Ann Patchett about The Dutch House. It was a great interview and I loved how the author spoke. I might listen to The Dutch House I think at some point. Oh and they mention Trevor Noah who I really love too.

I shared five books this week with older characters and Deb Nance shared with me a list on Goodreads  she has made and so I share it here as a place for me to keep it and also if you like books like that you might like to browse it.

What I read last week:

I also finished this audiobook – set in both the USA and Kenya. It was very good. I see some reviews where they thought the narrator was poor. I thought they were both excellent and carried me away into the story.

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What I am reading now:

From the Library

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And I’ve also started listening to two audiobooks – one for walking and one in the house!

Up next:

I seem to have library books coming in at a very speedy rate so I think it may need to be this one as it is due back soon and someone else has it reserved.

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Last Week’s Posts

Musical Chairs.   Amy Poeppel

Books with Older Characters.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Hope you are all doing okay. We still remain Covid19 free, except for at the border where there are cases with returning citizens. We sort of skate on thin ice as it could leak out, but so far so good. Actually it feels weird as we go about  our ordinary lives while the rest of the world continues to be very aware of the virus. I think maybe I should sort out some masks just in case. Anyway appreciating the freedom at the moment and hoping for the best.

“My biggest complaint” is my favourite loose leaf tea is no longer in the shops. Dilmah which comes from Sri Lanka. There are tea bags but I don’t like those. So using inferior tea now. I am guessing it is Covid 19 related.

Our political lives are interesting as we too have elections this year in September. There has been plenty to fill the news every day lately on that!

What I read last week:

Two quite different but both very enjoyable books.

What I am reading now:

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I am almost finished The Sun Sister by Lucinda Riley, today or tomorrow I think. It’s been very good and so good on audio.

Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Meanwhile Back at the Library. – More Library Reserves

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