Date: 24th February 2015
Genre: Women's Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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.
The Girls of Mischief Bay is the first book in a new series by Susan Mallery. As I read on into the book I began to really enjoy it and followed each of the three main characters with interest as their stories played out. Three women who are friends - Nicole, Shannon and Pam. Nicole is in her thirties, Shannon is almost forty and Pam is fifty. I wonder why it is called The Girls of Mischief Bay, these are women - not girls!
Nicole teaches pilates and works hard in her business and loves her young son Tyler. However her husband Eric has up and left his work and settled in to write a screenplay - oh and to go surfing in the morning. Meanwhile Nicole struggles on working hard and paying the bills. Eric seems to be very wrapped up in his own life and vision. He was a remote kind of character, we never really got inside his head and I had little to no empathy for him. Nicole and he are drifting apart and this is the struggle and challenge in life for Nicole.
Shannon is very successful - a six figure yearly income. She is a CFO and very competent at her job, prepared to work the long hours it takes. Yet she hankers for something more, and meets Adam, someone she is attracted to. He is divorced and shares the custody of his two children week about. For Shannon the challenge is forming a loving and trusting relationship and discovering the ups and downs of moving towards a relationship that could really be 'the one'. Shannon is discovering the need to have a child and realises her time is running out. Will Adam go along with that need, after all he has two children already?
Pam has a loving husband and three grown children - and a delicate little dog - Lulu. She and John have been married for thirty one years, as the story opens she is struggling with ageing. She is noticing all those wrinkles and other signs of ageing that no one tells you about until it happens to you! I identify with Pam! It makes her a little insecure, yet she is such a competent and talented woman who is so supportive of her friends and family. She also feels her sexual relationship with her husband John is somewhat 'meh' so she decides to book a surprise retreat weekend geared towards spicing it up. However soon Pam is dealing with a lot more serious issues than these.
Life throws a number of curve balls for these women to face and work through. At times I wanted to shake one or two of them, but like in real life it all takes time and things begin to change as time goes by. For each of these women it was a facing of the end of one way of life and the beginning of something new. Another stage in life - and with that comes loss and grief, insecurity and being totally thrown. It also makes way for something new.
Nicole is to be the main character in the next book and I look forward to seeing where her life leads. She deserves something really good, while she accepts responsibility for what has happened so far, I want her to become really confident in who she is and reach for the stars. I look forward to meeting again these three friends and their wider circle of family and friends. I wish it was already written.