Friday, April 29, 2016

THE FRIENDS WE KEEP by Susan Mallery

Sequel to The Girls of Mischief Bay
February 23rd, 2016
Contemporary/Women’s Fiction
Trade Size Paperback
Reviewed by Dawn (
Obtained by Self-Purchase
3.5 Hearts

For Gabby, Hayley and Nicole, life in Mischief Bay is calm, peaceful and one full of wonderful friends and family. Gabby is looking forward to returning to the workforce, Hayley is recovering from yet another miscarriage and Nicole is still reeling from her divorce. But as these three find out, life can turn on a dime and it will forge the strongest of bonds between these two as they navigate the changes ahead.

I absolutely adored the first book in the Mischief Bay series and couldn’t wait to get my hands on this follow-up to it. THE FRIENDS WE KEEP is a heartfelt, amusing yet tender story of three friends in the back-drop of the sunny California. Ms. Mallery captures the laid back and relaxing life that makes up this part of the world perfectly. This is an author who knows how to capture the spirit of small town life, the multi-faceted characters that make up it and the world they live in. I loved how this author continued these three characters stories seamlessly with THE FRIENDS WE KEEP and I just could not put it down.

Meet Hayley, Gabby and Nicole. Three lifelong friends dealing with issues everyone has dealt with one way or another. Hayley is determined to get pregnant despite the fact she and her husband are dealing with another loss, her body can’t handle anymore stress and Hayley can not see herself being anything else but a mom. Gabby is determined to return to the workforce now that her twins are going to school fulltime. But when an unexpected curveball pops up, Gabby will have to stick to her guns or else get lost amid the expectations her husband is determined to thrust on her. Nicole is still reeling from her divorce and shocked that it wasn’t so nasty. But gun-shy over another romance, she hides behind her work and her son until the right man shows her that life isn’t for hiding but living…if she takes a leap of faith. I have to admit all three stories; woven seamlessly within one another is hard to do. Because face it, you might get lost with one character or ignore another, but this author just nailed it on all three. Her characters storylines just weave themselves seamlessly through one another, there are no hang-ups or story arcs not finished and I have to admit, it just works together perfectly when it could have gone down in flames if this author went one way or another. The connection these three have towards one another is delightful to read and I am sure, we all have those friends that know us inside and out, are there for you through the good and the bad and more. The characters are delightful, intriguing and I, for one, could not get enough of them. Ms. Mallery creates characters that are 100% human, with all their fallible and quirks, vulnerabilities and strengths and more. That right there is what makes this new book in the Mischief Bay series so entertaining. The characters are just like you and me, dealing with whatever life likes to throw at you and just muddling along as best you can.

THE FRIENDS YOU KEEP is highly entertaining, heartfelt and definitely enjoyable. This is an author who knows how to capture her readers’ attention and never let go of it until the very end. The writing just flows smoothly and cleanly, the setting of the story had me at sunshine and sandy beaches and I got to admit, out of all the books I have read from this author, the Mischief Bay series are by far my favorite of her books. THE FRIENDS WE KEEP is more than what life throws at you, it’s about conquering your fear, and rising up to the challenges and finding that love is indeed just as powerful as you might expect it to be. But mostly, it’s also about friendship & family. With the stroke of her pen, this author captures all of life’s messy relationships in one fell swoop and delivers a story that will have you laughing one minute, crying the next and back to giggling as you cheer over the characters antics. If you enjoy a story that is full of heart and love authors such as Debbie Macomber or Robyn Carr, then you will adore this new series by Susan Mallery. I highly recommend reading book one first, The Girls of Mischief Bay, so you can see just what happened to these three women and how they deal with whatever life throws at them. Now all I can ask this author is- please more Mischief Bay books!

This is an objective review and not an endorsement


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