Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Friends We Keep ~ Susan Mallery ~ NEW RELEASE and REVIEW

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.

Goodreads ~ Amazon

Elizabeth's Review

4 Stars - Would Recommend to a Friend

Review copy provided by publisher via Net Galley

If you are expecting a light-hearted, feel good romance along the lines of the Fool's Gold series, STOP NOW! Do Not Pass Go, do not collect $200. Other than being set in a beautiful California community with great characters, the stories set in Mischief Bay are very different from the Fool's Gold books.

Now that we've gotten the disclaimer out of the way, here's what you CAN expect from this visit to Mischief Bay in The Friends We Keep:
1) Excellent writing (okay, we wouldn't expect anything less from the talented Ms. Mallery)
2) Smart female leads who are each dealing with their own issues
3) Realistic friendships and relationships on multiple levels.
4) Bumps in the road that challenge relationships and the status quo, sometimes creating an unexpected, but welcome outcome.

The Friends We Keep is a book that I connected to on a personal level, especially the character of Gabby. Some of the issues she's dealing with are different than what I might face, but I could so easily slip on her stained "mom" t-shirt. I connected more with this book that I did the prior Mischief Bay story. I'm not sure why, but I definitely did. I loved how relationships, of all kinds, are the focus of the story. The friendship between Gabby, Nicole, and Haley is both supportive and critical as needed. The three women are sounding boards for each other, but always provide excellent mirrors to help see issues from a slight different perspective.

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