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.Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery
Series: Mischief Bay #4
Published by MIRA on January 23, 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Marriage & Divorce, Romance, Siblings
Source: TLC Book Tours
Buy on Amazon
The grass is always greener on your sister’s side of the fence…
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.
Susan Mallery is one of those writers who has the gift of bringing fictional people to life, and I’m always left invested in their stories. Family-focused and romantic with real-world problems, I thoroughly enjoy reading another installment of the Mischief Bay series and getting to know a new set of main characters. SISTERS LIKE US features a set of siblings–Harper and Stacey–who couldn’t be more different or at different points in their life. While eager to please, happy homemaker Harper is still dealing with the effect that her divorce from a cheating husband that she put through podiatry school has on both her and her sixteen-year-old daughter, pragmatic and highly intelligent Stacey is happily married to both Kit and her scientific job trying to find the cure for MS but she’s uneasy about her pregnancy. Throw in Harper’s client Lucas, a sexy womanizing cop from the last book and a very judgmental and pushy mother of the sisters, and there’s a ton of complications and obstacles to be faced along the way.
Both Harper and Stacey grew up living under their mother’s impossible to follow Susie-homemaker example, and they couldn’t have turned out more different if they tried. Harper tries to be just like her mom–decorating the table for dinner every night, making everything they eat from scratch, even going above and beyond for her clients in her fledgling virtual personal assistant business that she’s started to bring money in after the divorce. But her mother believes in being a supportive wife that stays home and cooks, cleans, and takes care of the children, and Bunny is very vocal about the turn Harper’s life has taken for the worst in the last few years. All Harper wants is to provide a stable life and to earn enough money to keep her and daughter Becca comfortable, but everything is so much harder than she’d thought it would be–especially under the scrutinizing, disapproving eyes of her mother.
Stacey is a brilliant scientist, even graduating from high school early with the support of her astronaut grandfather–much to Bunny’s chagrin. She is married to a wonderful teacher named Kit, who’s happily agreed to be a stay-at-home dad to the baby girl that Stacey is actively trying to only gestate in her belly. Socially awkward but super caring is a great way to describe her. From a young age, Stacey has been told by her mother that she’s not like normal girls, so she’s convinced that she can’t bond with their child and she’ll be a horrible mother. When Kit’s nephew Ashton comes to live with them for the summer before he goes off to MIT, Stacey finds that she has trouble relating to an older teenager, so how will she deal with a baby of her own? Bunny will disapprove of Stacey’s return to work so early after giving birth, as well as Kit’s roll as caretaker, so she just doesn’t tell her mother that she’s pregnant–until the evidence of her growing baby bump is front and center.
Harper’s daughter Becca is struggling with normal teenage things, and she’s isolated since her best friend moved across the country. She finds solace in the dobermans that her father’s great-aunt left her in the will, and she must work to earn the car that she was left as well. Since her father has checked out after the divorce and finding a new wife, she turns to Lucas to fill the fatherly roll. Lucas is surprisingly charming and loyal as he’s constantly at Harper’s house, even doing little things to make both Harper and Becca’s lives a little easier. As he integrates himself in their lives, they all find that he’s a welcome addition to their family–even if he speaks the truth a bit gruffly and often. There’s no sugar coating things as far as Lucas is concerned.
I give SISTERS LIKE US a five out of five. I really liked both Harper and Stacey. Their sisterly bonds were strong and true, especially when they have to deal with their mother. This book really explored the complicated relationships between family: mother and daughters, sisters, daughter and father. But the main theme of family isn’t just blood, it’s who you choose to share your daily life with that really shines throughout the turbulent times in this novel. Lucas proved to be deeper than we saw in A Million Little Things, and I really loved getting to know his character through his actions with the three generations of women in SISTERS LIKE US. These novels are stand alone books, and a few characters from the previous novels do pop in from time to time. I highly recommend any of Susan Mallery’s novels for their warmth, sprinklings of humor, and the realistic and heartwarming exploration of women’s lives.
Find SISTERS LIKE US
About Susan Mallery
Susan Mallery is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of books about the relationships that define women’s lives—romance, friendship, family. With compassion and humor, Susan keenly observes how people think and feel, in stories that take readers on an emotional journey. Sometimes heartbreaking, often funny, and always uplifting, Susan’s books have spent more than 200 weeks on the USA Today bestsellers list, thanks to her ever growing legions of fans.
Critics, too, have heaped praise on “the new queen of romantic fiction.” (Walmart) Booklist says, “Romance novels don’t get much better than Mallery’s expert blend of emotional nuance, humor, and superb storytelling,” and RT Book Reviews puts her “in a class by herself!”
Although Susan majored in Accounting, she never worked as an accountant because she was published straight out of college with two books the same month, January of 1992. Sixteen prolific years and seventy-four books later, she hit the New York Times bestsellers list for the first time with Accidentally Yours in 2008. She made many appearances in the Top 10 before (finally) hitting #1 in 2015 with Thrill Me, the twentieth book in her most popular series, the Fool’s Gold romances, and the fourth of five books released that year.
Susan lives in Seattle with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a tattletale toy poodle. Her heart for animals has led Susan to become an active supporter of the Seattle Humane Society. Animals play a big role in her books, as well, as she believes they’re an integral component to a happy life.
Connect with Susan Mallery
Susan Mallery’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS for SISTERS LIKE US:
Tuesday, January 2nd: Romantic Reads and Such
Wednesday, January 3rd: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, January 4th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Friday, January 5th: Books a la Mode
Monday, January 8th: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, January 9th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy
Wednesday, January 10th: Reading Reality
Thursday, January 11th: The Sassy Bookster
Friday, January 12th: OMG Reads
Saturday, January 13th: I Wish I Lived in a Library
Monday, January 15th: Suzy Approved
Tuesday, January 16th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Wednesday, January 17th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Thursday, January 18th: Books & Spoons
Friday, January 19th: Moonlight Rendezvous
Monday, January 22nd: Reading Reality
Tuesday, January 23rd: Books and Bindings
Tuesday, January 23rd: Chick Lit Central
Wednesday, January 24th: I Wish I Lived in a Library
Thursday, January 25th: From the TBR Pile
Friday, January 26th: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, January 29th: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, January 30th: Moonlight Rendezvous
Wednesday, January 31st: OMG Reads
Monday, February 5th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Friday, February 9th: Not in Jersey
Monday, February 12th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Tuesday, February 13th: Book Mama Blog
Wednesday, February 14th: Deborah Blanchard
Friday, February 16th: Book Nerd
Monday, February 19th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Wednesday, February 21st: Why Girls Are Weird
Thursday, February 22nd: Thoughts on This ‘n That