Review

The Summer Getaway. Susan Mallery

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Published: Harlequin
Date: 15th March 2022
Source: Publicist via NetGalley

Single mom Robyn Caldwell needs a new plan for her future. She has always put her family first. Now, with her kids grown, she yearns for a change. But what can she do when her daughter has become the most demanding bride ever, her son won’t even consider college, her best friend is on the brink of marital disaster and her ex is making a monumentally bad decision that could ruin everything?

Take a vacation, of course. Press reset. When her great-aunt Lillian invites her to Santa Barbara for the summer, Robyn hops on the first plane to sunny California.

But it’s hard to get away when you’re the heart of the family. One by one, everyone she loves follows her across the country. Somehow, their baggage doesn’t feel as heavy in the sun-drenched, mishmash mansion. The more time Robyn spends with free-spirited Lillian, the more possibilities she sees—for dreams, love, family. She can have everything she ever wanted, if only she can muster the courage to take a chance on herself.

Robyn is at a crossroads, she is beginning to grow in awareness of what her life is like now and a desire for something more. She visits her Aunt Lillian across country. There she meets Mason who will inherit Lillian’s house when she dies. There is immediate attraction between the pair.

The only problem is Robyn attracts all those in need of her love and support. And there is a long line of them. Eventually the house is full.

I enjoyed the family atmosphere, the way Harlow and Austin, Robyn’s children made choices about their futures. Aunt Lillian was a delight and Mason someone special.  I did feel by the time the last person arrived at the house it had become a little farcical.

Eventually everything is all worked out, I was surprised by the change in one character and the outcome of the relationship, possibly it needed to end, but I thought the way in which it happened was somewhat over the top.

I enjoyed the epilogue and the way everything worked out.

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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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Some good reading to be had this week. Plus because we didn’t do everything on the island that we visited last week we went over again and walked around the perimeter of the island. It was mainly in bush and on a very good track. We spent a longer time so we brought our lunch and caught the 2:30 pm ferry back to the mainland. Another good day!

What I read last week:

I really enjoyed Love Comes Softly and The Library was a big winner for me. Review to come.

Another Chance to Dream  was okay. Review for The Summer Getaway to come.

What I am reading now:

Set during the North / South Civil War in the USA.  So far very good.

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Listening to…

Very good cosy series, involving a bookshop.

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Up next:

Review book.

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Audiobook Abundance

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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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I didn’t get a lot of reading achieved this week for one reason and another. I had one day outing in Wellington and a little sea trip out to an island in the harbour. Chips, scallops and oysters when back on the mainland.  The weather was perfect. The island is small – the department of conservation look after it. No rats or stoats! It was used as a prisoner of war camp in WW2. Later an animal quarantine place. Now just DOC. And people like us visit and walk about and enjoy the view.

Waiting for the ferry and arriving in at the island. At the welcome gate.

What I read last week:

An adult romance story by L. M. Montgomery. Enjoyed it very much.

The Blue Castle

What I am reading now:

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And listening still to…

Another Chance to dream

Up next:

book cover Last Week’s Posts

February Reading Round Up

Bookish  Moments that Warm my Heart

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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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Welcome in all and I hope you are all okay. It is so good to touch base each week with readers in various parts of our world and to find out how you are all doing as well as what you are reading.

Here in NZ omicron is very present and we now have big numbers each day. I am hibernating a bit, although if the weather is good a friend and I will take a trip to an island in Wellington harbour one day. Meanwhile camped out in streets and around parliament in Wellington is a large number of people objecting to covid restrictions. Some have become sick so they fashioned tin foil hats (some of them) because they believe the government is sending radiation to destroy them. I know lots of crazy happening! They have caused big disruption. I do not feel kindly towards them!

And meanwhile we have one big Crazy and  the Ukraine situation. I feel the only thing I can do is pray.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

And I am listening to…

Another Chance to dream

Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Romance Books

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Review

The Christmas Wedding Guest.

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Published: Harlequin
Date: 28th September 2021
Source: Publicist via NetGalley

The Somerville sisters believe in love, but they’ve lost faith it will happen for them. Reggie hasn’t been home since the end of the world’s shortest engagement. When her parents decide to renew their vows, she buffs up her twinkle to help with the Christmas wedding. Unexpectedly, Toby, her first love, is back too, and the spark between them shines as brightly as ever. In the spirit of the season, will they let go of past hurts and greet the New Year together?

Done waiting for the one, Dena is pregnant and on her own—on purpose. But then a gorgeous, sad-eyed songwriter checks in to a room at her inn. Micah, unable to write since he lost his wife, finds inspiration in Dena’s determination to be a mom. One snowflake-speckled kiss and he’s a goner. But Dena is afraid to believe that a rock star could fall for a cookie-cutter small-town girl like her.

This book is beginning of a series by Susan Mallery in Wishing Tree – a small town in Washington state, that really gets into the Christmas spirit.

Reggie is home to help her mother organise a very special renewal of vows, and brings with her, her Great Dane – Belle, and for me just might be the star of the show.  Reggie is about to discover that maybe love just might be around the corner.  Belle certainly works out early on, where her affection is going.  Harrison a young boy just might be my second star of the show.

Dena is a teacher, single and pregnant, because she wants a family and just hasn’t found the right man. But could he be not that far away after all. If only she could believe.

The characters are interesting, the setting is one of those lovely Christmas settings, and there is a strong sense of family and sisterhood.

For me though I found a lack of tension in the plot, there is a lot of sweet set up, but I had to wait for a long time to get to where it became really page turning.  It finally finished in a satisfying way.

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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 just a few days to Christmas. I hope you all have a family Christmas where ever possible. I will join my sister and her family all going well. So far omicron hasn’t made it to where I live and hopefully it won’t before Christmas.

Enjoyed my reading this week, a mix of my own books and review books. I have a bit of a back log on audiobooks, and Audible gave us a credit which was rather nice. Now I need to choose!

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

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And I am listening to…

Heirs and Graces

Up next:

A review book

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Last Week’s Posts

Sleigh Bells Ring  RaeAnne Thayne

New to Me Authors of 2021

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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 well and out of the track of those tornadoes.  Where I am its rain! and rain! With the odd respite.

This week I was able to go and buy Go Tell The Bees I am Gone. It is #9 in the  Diana Gabaldon Outlander series. I’ve read them since they first began and even listened to her speak when she was here many years ago. I heard a really good interview with her on the radio yesterday and so now I am all geared to read her 800 odd page book. First though I want to get some of my review books read so that I can clear a good long space for reading her book.

What I read last week:

I really enjoyed the audio Love and Lavender, and what a treasure 84 Charing Cross Road was. Mary Kay Andrews Christmas story was delightful and Can’t Go Back I reviewed.

What I am reading now:

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And listening to…

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Up next:

A review book publishing on January 1st. Three novellas from the Shenandoah series.

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Last Week’s Posts

Can’t Go Back.       Debra Webb

Favourite Covers of 2021

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Book Connections

Christmas Reading Plans

These are the Christmas books I have on my shelf and I hope to read some of them at least during December. I have most likely mentioned them in other posts, but now they are grouped as “Christmas”.   Book covers are linked to Goodreads in case you want to check them out.

book coverChristmas in Peachtree Bluff is one. It is #4 in the series. Usually I listen to this series, but as this was a Christmas one and I seem to be getting behind in my listening I opted for the book.

The holiday season, three generations of women from the same family and a hurricane threatening.

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I love the cover on The Christmas Escape.  Two friends, a marriage in crisis and set in Lapland over Christmas. Does sound promising.

book coverAnd another that I would usually choose to listen to. However I decided this time I would buy The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan.

Set in Edinburgh and in an old dark bookshop. A woman who needs to sort out her life, and heal the rift with her family. And a bookshop that needs to be given new life.

book coverAn old house, an old Santa suit and in that suit a letter with a Christmas wish. Ivy sets out to find out about the writer and family. And no doubt discovers something that will make her happy.  The Santa Suit.

book cover I don’t have The Christmas Wedding Guest. But it went on my list after reading a lovely review for it over on Nise’s blog.  Another family themed book. Two sisters and their parents. The parents want to renew their wedding vows at Christmas. The sisters of course help make this happen. And while doing so, perhaps they will find love of their own.

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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:

 Instagram:                 Pinterest: 
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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