It’s no secret around here that I really enjoy Susan Mallery’s novels. I’m excited to bring you an excerpt from Susan Mallery’s latest stand alone novel, THE SUMMER OF SUNSHINE AND MARGOT.
Join us for an excerpt tour, starting May 28th, followed by a review tour and Instagram tour.
Now on to the excerpt from The Summer of Sunshine and Margot:
The house was typical for the neighborhood. Built in the 1920s with a strong Spanish influence, the structure was a U shape with a patio at the center. Just past the kitchen was the mudroom. Beyond that was a family room and then her en suite bedroom. Behind the attached garage was a large workout room she really had to start using.
Exiting the kitchen in the opposite direction led to a formal dining room, a formal living room, then the hallway curved. Declan had an office, then Connor’s room was next, then the master.
The rooms were oversize, the beams in the ceiling original and the garden was something out of a fantasy. Sunshine didn’t know much about plants, but she knew enough to keep her window open so she could smell the night-blooming jasmine just outside.
She walked toward the mudroom, stopping at the walk-in pantry. On the far wall was a wine cellar with glass doors. She figured it must hold at least four hundred bottles of wine, grouped together by type. She pulled out racks, searching for a relatively inexpensive red blend. Dinner was casual and the wine should be, too.
She found a foil cutter and bottle opener in one of the drawers in the pantry and carried the open bottle and two wineglasses back into the kitchen, then opened a bottle of sparkling non- alcoholic apple cider for Connor. If they were going to get fancy, it was nice to share.
While Declan got Connor settled, Sunshine dropped the hot rolls into a large bowl then tossed them with melted butter and garlic. The salad was already in place, as were the plates. She gave Connor and Declan each a roll before putting the extras on the table and taking her chair.
The kitchen table seated six. The three of them were clustered at one end, with her across from Connor. Without thinking, she put salad on his plate, only to realize that might be something his father wanted to do.
“Oh, um, sorry. Did you want to…”
“Go ahead,” Declan said easily, pouring them wine.
She nodded, then waited for him to serve himself before taking the bowl from him and putting salad on her own plate. When she was done, she reached for her glass of wine just as Declan started to hand it to her. They bumped and the glass nearly spilled.
Sunshine felt herself flushing. Great. Just great. The awkward first days were supposed to be over by now. Living in someone’s home, and being an almost-but-not-quite part of the family wasn’t an easy transition.
Declan shook his head. “We have to work on our dinner skills,” he said, his voice teasing.
“The last few weeks have been hectic with my work schedule and we haven’t had a chance to get to know each other. If you don’t have plans, why don’t you join me in my study after Connor goes to bed and we’ll talk about how things are going so far.”
“That would be nice,” she said. “Thank you.”
Connor held up his glass of cider. “I want to make a toast.”
“Do you?” Declan raised his wineglass. “What is it?”
Sunshine picked up her glass and waited. She had a feeling this wasn’t going to be the statesmanlike moment Declan seemed to be expecting.
Connor grinned. “And jelly.”
“Toast and jelly,” Declan murmured, before taking a sip of his wine. “I couldn’t be more proud.”
Connor giggled. Sunshine winked at him.
“We went to The Huntington after school today,” she said, picking up her fork. “To the desert garden.”
“My favorite!” Connor announced.
“One day I’ll get to see one of the other gardens. At least I hope so.”
Connor raised his shoulders in an exaggerated sigh. “In two more times. I promise.”
“Yay! And thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” He turned to his father. “How’s the hotel?”
“Good. The building approval has been finalized, so I can get to work on designing the gardens.” He looked at Sunshine. “The decisions about the materials they’re using will influence what I suggest.”
“Sure. You wouldn’t want the flowers to clash with the siding.”
“Exactly. Connor, how was school?”
“Good. I got an A on my spelling test. We studied really hard.”
“The lesson combined spelling words with different kinds of currency,” Sunshine added. “Euro, yen, ruble, the word currency.”
“That one’s hard,” Connor said as he finished his salad. “And ruble is like rubble but only one b.”
“I’d heard that,” Declan told him. “Good for you.” Sunshine had just stood to collect the salad plates when Connor piped up with, “Sunshine starts school on Monday and she’s scared.”
“Yes, well, no one’s interested in that,” she murmured, walking into the kitchen and pulling the lasagna roll-ups out of the oven.
“You’re going back to college?” Declan asked.
“Back would be a misstatement, but yes.” She slid the steaming pasta onto plates and carried them to the table. “I’m at Pasadena City College, studying toward a degree in child psychology. I’m starting with my general education classes.”
“Good for you.”
Once she was seated, she sipped her wine and told herself she didn’t care what her boss thought of her lack of education. Just because he had an advanced degree and a fancy job and a house and a kid and his life was totally together didn’t matter to her.
She sighed. It wasn’t Declan, she reminded herself. He simply represented everything she didn’t have. Roots. Direction. A plan. Her twenties had raced by in a series of relationships that left her with exactly nothing to show for the time except for a string of bad decisions and broken hearts. Some of those hearts had even been hers.
But that was all behind her now. She’d had a come-to-Jesus moment, she was focused and she had a life plan. And nothing and no one was going to cause her to veer off course. Of that she was sure.
About THE SUMMER OF SUNSHINE AND MARGOT
- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: HQN (Original Edition June 11, 2019)
The Baxter sisters come from a long line of women with disastrous luck in love. But this summer, Sunshine and Margot will turn disasters into destiny…
As an etiquette coach, Margot teaches her clients to fit in. But she’s never faced a client like Bianca, an aging movie star who gained fame—and notoriety—through a campaign of shock and awe. Schooling Bianca on the fine art of behaving like a proper diplomat’s wife requires intensive lessons, forcing Margot to move into the monastery turned mansion owned by the actress’s intensely private son. Like his incredible home, Alec’s stony exterior hides secret depths Margot would love to explore. But will he trust her enough to let her in?
Sunshine has always been the good-time sister, abandoning jobs to chase after guys who used her, then threw her away. No more. She refuses to be “that girl” again. This time, she’ll finish college, dedicate herself to her job as a nanny, and she 100 percent will not screw up her life again by falling for the wrong guy. Especially not the tempting single dad who also happens to be her boss.
Master storyteller Susan Mallery weaves threads of family drama, humor, romance and a wish-you-were-there setting into one of the most satisfying books of the year!
Find THE SUMMER OF SUNSHINE AND MARGOT
About Susan Mallery
#1 NYT bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming, humorous novels about the relationships that define our lives-family, friendship, romance. She’s known for putting nuanced characters in emotional situations that surprise readers to laughter. Beloved by millions, her books have been translated into 28 languages.Susan lives in Washington with her husband, two cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Visit her at SusanMallery.com.
Connect with Susan Mallery
Susan Mallery’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS for THE SUMMER OF SUNSHINE AND MARGOT
Tuesday, May 28th: Sincerely Karen Jo
Wednesday, May 29th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Wednesday, May 29th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Thursday, May 30th: Jathan & Heather
Friday, May 31st: Books and Spoons
Saturday, June 1st: The Lit Bitch
Monday, June 3rd: Audio Killed the Bookmark
Tuesday, June 4th: Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, June 5th: Reading Reality
Thursday, June 6th: Romantic Reads and Such
Friday, June 7th: Broken Teepee
Monday, June 10th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy
Monday, June 10th: @diaryofaclosetreader
Tuesday, June 11th: @booksandjil
Tuesday, June 11th: @_ebl_inc_
Wednesday, June 12th: @girlandherbooks
Thursday, June 13th: @thebooksellersdaughter
Friday, June 14th: @nerdybooknurse
Friday, June 14th: @radbabesread
Saturday, June 15th: @thesaggingbookshelf
Sunday, June 16th: @ohthebooksshewillread
Monday, June 17th: @pnwbookworm
Monday, June 10th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy
Tuesday, June 11th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Reads
Wednesday, June 12th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Thursday, June 13th: Reading Reality
Friday, June 14th: Kahakai Kitchen
Monday, June 17th: Pacific Northwest Bookworm
Tuesday, June 18th: Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, June 19th: Booked on a Feeling
Thursday, June 20th: Seaside Book Nook
Friday, June 21st: Jathan & Heather
Monday, June 24th: Run Wright
Tuesday, June 25th: @libraryinprogress
Wednesday, June 26th: What is That Book About
Monday, July 1st: Amy’s Book-et List
Tuesday, July 2nd: A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, July 3rd: Books & Bindings
Friday, July 5th: @booktimistic
Monday, July 8th: Bibliotica
Tuesday, July 9th: Romantic Reads and Such
Wednesday, July 10th: Sincerely Karen Jo
Wednesday, July 10th: Broken Teepee
Thursday, July 11th: Why Girls are Weird
Friday, July 12th: View from the Birdhouse
Monday, July 15th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Tuesday, July 16th: Treestand Book Reviews
Wednesday, July 17th: Book Fidelity
Friday, July 19th: Not in Jersey