I received this book for free from the TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery
Series: Mischief Bay #1
Published by MIRA on February 24, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, General, Girls & Women, Marriage & Divorce, Parents, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Source: TLC Book Tours
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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.
The Girls of Mischief Bay is my first foray into Susan Mallery’s works, and I was not disappointed by this emotional, vibrant contemporary story about three friends of different ages and stages in their lives. I posted an excerpt from Chapter 1 as part of the author’s Excerpt Tour in January, and now I’m posting my review for the Review Blog Tour with Kismet Book Tour. (The full tour’s schedule can be found here.)
Three girlfriends at different stages of their lives, but easily able to offer love and support to each other…
Pam is 50 and happily married for 30 years, but even though she feels fulfilled and happy for the most part after raising a family and living an ideal life with her husband by her side, she can’t help but feel like their marriage has gone stale and predictable. Turning 50 has left her feeling old and irrelevant, even though her kids and friends assure her that isn’t so. When she enrolls her husband and herself in a class to spice up their sex life, they feel like newlyweds again–until the last thing that either one of them thinks will happen, happens. Suddenly, Pam finds herself having to navigate the murky waters and untraveled territory that she never thought she would, and even her friends Shannon and Nicole might not be able to reach her.
Shannon is nearing 40 and married to her career, but she’s really starting to regret not getting married and having children when it’s starting to become too late. When she meets a man that seems perfect for her in every way, will she be able to keep her high paying and demanding position and have a committed relationship? Are kids in her future or will the mention of her desire for children scare her dream guy away?
Nicole is in her 20s and married with a lovely 5 year old son. When her husband unexpectedly quits his IT job to write a screenplay, leaving the financial responsibility solely on her shoulders along with most of the household chores and child duties, Nicole finds the strain of doing it all too much. Can their marriage survive when her husband only lives for his writing and doesn’t seem to care about the family anymore, and more importantly, can she and her son survive without him if everything falls apart?
There’s some truly chaotic and hard, emotional times ahead for our three ladies…
Each woman is going through some really trying, emotionally exhausting times in their lives–whether it’s professionally, personally, or both. But they have each other to lean on and help each other out, and I really loved how each woman brought something unique to the relationships. Pam is such a wonderfully warm caregiver, but she’s also an astute businesswoman from working with her husband’s company over the years. Nicole is able to multi-task like no one’s business, and she has a young son that can cheer up Shannon and Pam in the blink of an eye. Shannon has the financial knowledge to help Nicole and Pam when they need advice, but she also helps them out with party planning when needed.
There’s something for everyone in these fantastic characters…
Nicole, Pam, and Shannon are such relatable, realistic characters, and I saw so much of myself at different stages of my life in them. Plus I’ve known a few women like them. I think we’ve all had a friend that was pushing 40 and never married because they focused on their career instead, or the woman who married young and had a child–only to find that maybe she never really knew her husband that well to begin with. But even though I’m just now getting to 40 this year, I did relate emotionally with Pam since I’ve been with my husband since I was 17, and after that many years together, I can definitely relate to the easy type of relationship they have.
This coastal Los Angeles suburb is like a fourth main character...
Mischief Bay really comes to life under the skilled sculpting of Susan Mallery. From the seaside boardwalks with the unique restaurants and stores, to the picturesque beaches and even the homes that the characters live in, this suburb of Los Angeles was vivid and bright in my imagination. I could clearly picture the places, and I can’t wait to visit there again in the next book.
I give The Girls of Mischief Bay a 4.5 out of 5. This book was such an emotional, realistic roller coaster ride, and I certainly had to wipe my tears away throughout a good portion of the book. The characters are wonderfully written and well-fleshed out, and the situations they go through are heart-wrenchingly real. I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves contemporary women’s fiction that is well written and deftly plotted.