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
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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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Review

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 coping. It sure is very odd times. I can’t quite take it all in. My country is today going into complete lock down and closing all except essential services.  A friend and I were laughing on FaceTime last night over the toilet paper spree and how when we were very young um… cut up newspaper was the go to.  I couldn’t cope with that now!!

Our library closes until further notice. I have a couple of books out. I’ve had to limit listening to the radio because they really like to go on about the government not moving fast enough. I think they are making people panic and its not helping – the radio people not the government! They criticise Jacinda Ardern our Prime Minister and her team, but I think they along with everyone else are doing their best.

Take care.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

Loving this.

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Listening to

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Up next:

#2 in series.

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Last Week’s Posts

Comfort Reads

The Grace Kelly Dress Brenda Janowitz

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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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Well a good week again. Again I went into the city one day during the week and we crossed the harbour on the ferry – went for a bush walk and then a swim. The weather wasn’t as warm as last week but still okay. I would hate though to travel into the city every morning in that traffic and I was only hitting the tail end. This week I plan to see the movie Little Women before it totally disappears from theatres. Just takes me awhile to do these things!

What I read last week:

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a fantasy book that I really liked, I’ll certainly read Alix E. Harrow’s next one which has something to do with witches. I finished listening to The Girl on Legare Street. I left too many gaps in-between listening and so got a little lost but I enjoyed it. The Grace Kelly Dress is a review book, and all I will say here is I think the title is misleading.

What I am reading now:

I read very few cozy mysteries but Katherine over at I wish I Lived in a Library,  reviewed the most recent one in the series and I decided why not give it a go. I’ll hopefully read through the series all going well!

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I am about to start listening to…

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Up next:

Decisions! Decisions! As I stand in front of my TBR shelf. Ignoring my Kindle! I think I’ll read

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Last Week’s Posts

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Review

Meant to be Yours. Susan Mallery

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Published:Harlequin
Date. 22nd October 2019
Source. Publisher via NetGalley

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Meant to be Yours is #7 in Susan Mallery’s Happily Inc series. However it can easily be read as a stand alone, although I am sure readers of the series will be very happy to catch up with other previous characters.

Happily Inc is a town that has come to life because it caters for specialty destination weddings. In this book we meet Renee, who is one of the actual wedding coordinators. She helps plan all the details and sees it through to the end. She is a lovely down to earth person, except that she has a big hang up about her mother. She loves her very much but can’t cope with a special ability her mother has. Renee has decided that while she plans others weddings, marriage isn’t for her.

Jasper is a writer, ex military who has seen far too much for any human being and has been deeply changed by his war experiences. He believes he can never marry because he is far too damaged and won’t be good in a committed relationship.

They meet! And are about to have all their pre suppositions challenged!

I loved the pet aspect to this book, it added warmth and charm, It also challenged our two – Renee and Jasper to see things differently. I liked the friendship aspect to the story, the women were there for Renee, the men for Jasper – and that was something new for him, now he has friends to turn to. And the love story is sweet.

I wasn’t so enamoured by the wedding planning business. How many ways to add zest to a wedding! What’s wrong with plain ordinary! It bored me somewhat.  However this town has certainly found a way to form a community and make a living which is great.  For those who enjoy a small town romance.

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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 we come towards the end of October! Hope all that celebrate Halloween enjoy it.

Our Spring weather continues to be capricious. I drove into the city in the most stinking heavy rain one day, bumper to bumper and hardly able to see where I was going. Yucky.

I also got some time to read, quilt and do a bit of gardening, earthing up the potatoes that are appearing. I need to plant beans, I am a bit behind. I only like going out on sunny days!

What I read last week:

One audio completed and enjoyed.  A Texas Kind of Christmas was for review and At the Mountain’s Edge was from my own shelf. All good reading.

What I am reading now:

Oops, accidentally picked this up for review  so am now forging ahead!

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And an audio book I bought months ago when there was a sale or something!  Cute cover.

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Up next:

A library book

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Last Week’s Posts

One Wish.  Jodi Thomas

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Review

California Girls Susan Mallery

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Published   MIRA
Date  1st March 2019
Format   Kindle
Pages   366
Source   Publisher via Edelweiss

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California Girls is set in Los Angeles and is all about three sisters and their slightly prickly, strange mother.

Life for the three sisters is rather falling apart as the book opens. Finola – a TV host is about to be painfully dumped by her husband in a very unkind kind of way. I couldn’t quite marry up the portrayal of a loving man, with the man who seems to really do something so stupid.

Ali who is about five weeks from walking down the aisle with Glen is dumped and he doesn’t do it in person. He sends his brother Daniel and it turns out Daniel is way nicer in every way! Ali is left with winding up the wedding plans and canceling everything.

Zennie is sort of dumped by her dating friend – Clark, because she is just not so into this relationship. She agrees to be a surrogate for her best friend Bernie who is unable to have children and then has to face into the annoyances of pregnancy. And if that isn’t bad enough some of her so called friends and family are of no support whatsoever.

Ali and Finola fall apart at first, they are the victims and go into that space of victimhood where one rages, drinks, eats and sees no way out. But… only for awhile – both girls discover new insights about themselves and begin to rethink their lives.  Zennie makes discoveries of her own as well.

On the whole I enjoyed this new story by Susan Mallery.

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Review

When We Found Home by Susan Mallery

book coverPublished: HQN
Date: July 2018
Format: Hardback
Pages: 424
Genre:  Mainstream Fiction
Source: Own book

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Life is meant to be savored, but that’s not easy with no family, limited prospects and a past you’d rather not talk about. Still, Callie Smith doesn’t know how to feel when she discovers she has a brother and a sister–Malcolm, who grew up with affection, wealth and privilege, and Keira, a streetwise twelve-year-old. Callie doesn’t love being alone, but at least it’s safe. Despite her trepidation, she moves into the grand family home with her siblings and grandfather on the shores of Lake Washington, hoping just maybe this will be the start of a whole new life.

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I finished When We Found Home, I’d tried to make it stretch out, but well… I just loved reading it, and of course when I do that the pages tend to turn until there are no more!

We are introduced to a family new in the making and of a little odd make up. There is Malcolm – he’s been with his grandfather for a long time and now runs the family business. However he does still remember his early days when as a young boy he was brought in under the family umbrella. It takes many years later for the grandfather to discover that there are two more girls, fathered by his wayward son. Now he has them all under the same roof and he is happy.

So many favourite characters! Although we don’t get Keira’s point of view we certainly get to know her from the other characters, especially her sister and brother. She is whisked into an alien environment and its not until Callie turns up that she receives any understanding. Malcolm is good but he’s a guy who just has no idea! We also get to know Callie through Delaney – barista and with a main character viewpoint of her own. I loved and felt for Keira through their eyes.

Each character has their own wounds and growing challenges, for themselves and in relation to each other. There is some romance of course, however we are also exploring family, life choices, facing up to a one time mistake and moving on, being orphaned and turfed into the foster system. As well as that there is envy and jealousy, distrust and other nasties.

I loved this book and the best part is when I have forgotten it in a few years I can happily read it all over again! Oh how happy it is to have favourite authors who deliver the best so consistently.

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Review

Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery

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Published:Harlequin
Date: 23rd January 2018
Format: 3-ARC
Pages: 432
Genre: Mainstream Fiction
Source:Publisher via NetGalley

Rating 4.5 stars
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Divorce left Harper Szymanski with a name no one can spell, a house she can’t afford and a teenage daughter who’s pulling away. With her fledgling virtual-assistant business, she’s scrambling to maintain her overbearing mother’s ridiculous Susie Homemaker standards and still pay the bills, thanks to clients like Lucas, the annoying playboy cop who claims he hangs around for Harper’s fresh-baked cookies.

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Sisters Like Us is #4 in the Mischief Bay series, while part of a series it is very much a stand alone as well. I had been anticipating it with reading relish because so far I have really liked this series.

There are two sisters – Stacey who is about to become a Mom, she is about 6 months pregnant and as sure as can be that she will not make a good mother. Her mother – Bunny sent her the message in childhood that there was something wrong with her, and every since she has believed it.  She has a wonderful husband Kit and his insightful nephew Ashton who would most likely hold a different opinion entirely about Stacey.

Harper runs her own business and seems often to be overwhelmed by it, taking on too much and not standing up to one demanding client. Her mother – Bunny is always harping on to her about getting all the home things right. As the book opens she isn’t getting things quite right with her daughter Becca, who is struggling with some pertinent issues.

We also meet the police cop from the book A Million Little Things.  He uses Harper’s business to deal with some of the details of his life like paying his bills. I really liked him and his approach especially to Becca, although I felt one thing he did was really not quite in character, but everyone seemed to understand!

So this story deals with mothers and daughters – what makes a good mother? How can you juggle an important job and be a mother too? And the messages we receive as children from our parents can have a huge impact.  As well we see two sisters who do really support each other, teenage friendships explored, the need for a strong father in one’s life and what makes a great teenage romantic relationship.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book – just as I expected.