Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Friends We Keep by Susan Mallery

Title:  The Friends We Keep
Series: Mischief Bay #2
Author:  Susan Mallery
Publication Date:  March 1/16 by MIRA
Length:  400pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance/women's fiction
Shelf:  Netgalley
Rating: ★★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

In this insightful and compelling story from book club favorite Susan Mallery, three close friends test the boundaries of how much a woman can give before she has nothing left.

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?

As their bonds of friendship deepen against the beautiful backdrop of Mischief Bay, Gabby, Hayley and Nicole will rely on good food, good wine and especially each other to navigate life's toughest changes.

My Review:

This novel was written with the charm, flair and realism I’ve come to love from this author. Mallery invites us into this pocket of LA with a fantastic small town feel for an emotionally enriching novel that I couldn’t put down. I love the way that she develops this intimate story, weaving the lives of her many characters together, creating a community feel that I thoroughly loved.

I love the intimate look we get at the lives of the women that Mallery has created. I also appreciated the different personalities and lives that I got a look at. The Jairus/Nicole dynamic was a hoot. It was fun seeing their relationship from the ground floor. As understandable as Hayley’s pain was I found that she took it too far, especially at the beginning of the book, almost acting like a spoiled child. On the other hand, I was all on board with Gabby’s emotional and gut level reactions. I loved her to death. She was definitely my favourite character. Not only did I enjoy these women, but getting to know their entire families made the picture so much more complete.

This is a comical and life altering read. I couldn’t put it down from cover to cover.

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