BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, January 15, 2018

Quote-tastic & Review: Sisters Like Us & The Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery


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I haven't done a Quote-tastic in months but "Sisters Like Us" had so many funny moments and scenes that I had to do a quote post. Tt was hard to choose just one so I picked several.

She hadn't had sex in so long, she was pretty sure she was practically a virgin-wouldn't it be nice to have a penis again? Even if  it was just for the night? "I really have to start dating," she muttered.

She jumped back and dropped her gaze.
"Holy crap, you have an erection."
His expression was pained. "You really haven't been dating since the divorce, have you?"
"OMG, you want to have sex with me."
Yes, there were complications, yes, this could be a huge mistake, but honestly, who cared? She grabbed his hand and started for her bedroom, only to come to a stop and spin toward him.
"I don't have condoms."
"I do."

"I haven't washed the sheets in three days."
"Shocking but I'll recover."
She bit her lower lip. "I'm not sure I remember how."

One corner of his mouth turned up. "I'm happy to reacquaint you with everything you need to know."


"You don't have to bring me anything." 
"I do if you feed me."
"You already got me a guy who will scoop dog poop. That's about the best gift there is."
"You're welcome."

Series: Mischief Bay #4
Publisher: MIRA Books
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: January 23rd, 2018
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | iBooks* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

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 fledgeling 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.

Spending half her life in school hasn’t prepared Dr. Stacey Bloom for her most daunting challenge—motherhood. She didn’t inherit the nurturing gene like Harper and is in deep denial that a baby is coming. Worse, her mother will be horrified to learn that Stacey’s husband plans to be a stay-at-home dad…assuming Stacey can first find the courage to tell Mom she’s already six months pregnant.

Separately they may be a mess, but together Harper and Stacey can survive anything—their indomitable mother, overwhelming maternity stores and ex’s weddings. Sisters Like Us is a delightful look at sisters, mothers and daughters in today’s fast-paced world, told with Susan Mallery’s trademark warmth and humor.

Series: Mischief Bay #1
Publisher: MIRA Books
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: February 24th, 2015
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | iBooks* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Nicole Lord wants to be a good wife, but there's a difference between being supportive and supporting her husband, who quit his job to write a screenplay she's never seen. He won't even help take care of their son, leaving Nicole to run the house and work full-time at her Mischief Bay Pilates studio. Can she say enough is enough without losing the man she loves?

Sacrificing a personal life for her career is how Shannon Rigg rose to become vice president in her firm, but she wonders now whether she made the right choice. An exciting new relationship with a great guy convinces her that it might not be too late—until he drops a bombshell that has her questioning whether she can have it all. And if she can, does she want it?

Although Pam Eiland has a beautiful house and a husband she adores, she feels… restless. She wonders who a stay-at-home mom becomes after the kids are grown. Finding sexy new ways to surprise her husband brings the heat and the humor back to their marriage, but when unexpected change turns her life upside down, she'll have to redefine herself. Again.

Through romance and heartbreak, laughter and tears, three very different women will discover that friends can become family, and that life is richer with sisters at your side.
 

My Thoughts:

 TRIGGER WARNING FOR THE GIRLS OF MISCHIEF BAY - ATTEMPTED SUICIDE

So, I've had the first book in this series, "The Girls of Mischief Bay" sitting on my Kindle for several years. I forgot about it until I downloaded the newest book, "Sisters Like Us". I was partway through it before realizing I had the first book, lol. So when as I finished "Sisters Like Us" I picked up "The Girls of Mischief Bay". "Sisters" made me laugh but "Girls" made me cry and gutted me.

Both books address changes and loss but "The Girls of Mischief Bay"  is definitely the darker, relatively speaking, story. It deals with death, divorce, childlessness and isn't afraid to get ugly. It follows three friends, Pam, Shannon, and Nicole, and their families. I cried, a lot. The book gutted me. I had read "Sisters Like Us" right before and it was a lighter read so I was unprepared for the depth of the grief I encountered in this story. As I mentioned above, Mallery takes on suicide - suicide ideation and an aborted suicide. It shocked me at first, I wasn't expecting events to go that way. But it made sense in context and Mallery handled it beautifully. It felt realistic, mostly. There's a turn of events that was a bit too sweet and convenient and yet it felt right. I know I'm being vague; I'm trying to avoid spoilers. The other women's stories were also emotional but not as heavy-hitting. The bonds between the three women were strong, deep, and enduring.

"The Girls of Mischief Bay" was an emotional, gut-wrenching story that tore me apart but ultimately left me satisfied. It ended on a hopeful note.

Now, "Sisters Like Us", though it dealt with change too, was not as wrenching.  It had many laugh out-loud moments. As the title says, the focus is on two sisters, Stacey and Harper, and their families. And while both sisters and their families are undergoing major changes, they are good changes, mostly happy changes. The two sisters are very different. Harper is in some traditional - she tries so hard to be the perfect housewife and mother despite her divorce. She's creative and organized and a caretaker, But she's been so caught trying to get her business off the ground and make a living that she hasn't been paying attention to her teenage daughter. Harper's daughter Becca was both sympathetic and annoying. She was self-absorbed and egotistical but slowly started to look outside herself and see the world through other people's perspectives.

Stacey, though married, is not a traditional wife. She is a research scientist, committed to her work. Although it's never said, or really even hinted at, Stacey shows characteristics of autism. Her husband, who is laid back, understands his wife, accept her for who she is, and is devoted to her. She worries, especially now that she's pregnant, that she won't be enough - won't be a good enough mother, won't be a good enough wife. Now, she has good reason to think that - her mother Bunny has told her all life and continues to tell her, that she's not good enough, she's a failure, and a disappointment. Bunny also wastes no opportunity to tell Harper that her marriage failed because she wasn't a good enough wife and failed to please her husband.

I passionately hated Bunny. She was verbally and emotionally cruel to her daughters and an expert at making herself into the victim. I so very much wanted her to get hit by a car. Sadly, no such luck. But, Mallery did partially redeem Bunny near the end. At first, Bunny was over the top and unbelievable. Gradually, Mallery added some depth to her. I never grew to like her but I did understand her a bit better. Still, she could have a heart attack and die in her sleep and I wouldn't be sad.

While I've enjoyed the romances of Mallery's that I've read, I think these books, this series, may be my favorite. They're about 70% women's fiction and 30% romance. The stories are real, the characters, most of them, delightful, and I love Mallery's humor. Her storytelling draws me in and makes me care. I'm caught up in what's happening. She has a knack for writing family dynamics and for interpersonal relationships. Now, I need to bet my hands on books two and three and catch up.

4 comments:

  1. I love the sound of Sisters Like Us. Thanks for sharing...and enjoy your future reading.

    Here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

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    1. I think you'd like it and the series too.

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  2. I have Sisters Like Us coming up on my reading list and I'm really looking forward to it. It looks amazing! The Girls of Mischief Bay looks like another good one. I love series that go around beach communities - especially if they involve sisters!

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    1. Sisters was wonderful. Mallery did a great job with the relationships and writing the characters.

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