February 18, 2016

The Friends We Keep. Susan Mallery

book cover
The Friends We Keep
Susan Mallery
Published: Mira
Date: February 23rd 2016
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 416
Genre: Women's Fiction
Source: Thanks to the Publisher via NetGalley
4 stars                            Add to Goodreads
After five years as a stay-at-home mom, Gabby Schaefer can't wait to return to work. Oh, to use the bathroom in peace! No twins clamoring at the door, no husband barging in, no stepdaughter throwing a tantrum. But when her plans are derailed by some shocking news and her husband's crushing expectations, Gabby must fight for the right to have a life of her own.

Getting pregnant is easy for Hayley Batchelor. Staying pregnant is the hard part. Her husband is worried about the expensive fertility treatments and frantic about the threat to her health. But to Hayley, a woman who was born to be a mom should risk everything to fulfill her destiny—no matter how high the cost.

Nicole Lord is still shell-shocked by a divorce that wasn't as painful as it should've been. Other than the son they share, her ex-husband left barely a ripple in her life. A great new guy tempts her to believe maybe the second time's the charm…but how can she trust herself to recognize true love?

My thoughts banner
Three friends - three journeys, where will it lead each of them? Susan Mallery again managed to capture my attention as I delighted in The Friends We Keep. These kinds of books of hers are the ones I love the most. They delve into issues that could happen to anyone and take the women through the ups and downs as they learn and grow through them.

Nicole we met in the first Mischief Bay book, and so I was eager to find out where she was now. We find her divorced and managing really well with her son, while Eric her ex husband is still a pain in the butt where fatherhood is concerned. Nicole has an issue with Brad the Dragon writer who has taken over her son's life in reading. She thinks the author must be making a mint of money from the books and merchandise and is quite anti towards him. A left over from her husband who had left her to become a screen writer, Nicole does not trust and is afraid to love. When by chance she meets Jairus the author, there is a hilarious first encounter, she is in for a long roller coaster ride into a possible new relationship.

Gabby is the mother of 5 year old twins and one fifteen year old stepdaughter.  Gabby loves her family but is eager to get back to work, until suddenly there is a spanner in the works. And Andrew her husband seems to have stopped listening to her. Gabby needs to find her voice and she does!  I loved the relationship build between Makayla (stepdaughter) and Gabby. It had me reading on, wondering with each curve ball where things would go next. To begin with Gabby is the stepmom with 'all the pain but none of the power.' Up until now Makayla who lives with Gabby and Andrew most of the time has been like and honored guest and Andrew allows that to happen.

Hayley seemed to be the most lost of all the women. She was adopted and has always had to vie with a sister who was born about a year after Hayley was adopted. Morgan has always been demanding and well... bitchy! Hayley has never felt really loved and so her desire to have a baby is really important to her. Yet the possibility is looking less and less likely. While Nicole her friend seems to understand, others think she should 'get over it. To accept reality and adopt'. I was so unsure how her story would pan out, but I have to admit as I closed the book, it was her story that brought tears of happiness to my eyes.

As the women live their lives they are there for each other. Sounding boards to the one needing it. Their friendships were vital and important. I loved how each woman found her voice and her true heart's desires. A great read.

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  1. I like that Nicole gets to meet the author of her son's favorite series, especially because she's annoyed with him, lol! Sounds like a lovely book.

  2. Great review as always Kathryn. I have this in my pile too :)

  3. I love Susan Mallery's books! This one is definitely in my TBR list! Great review!

  4. I love this kind of story and can't believe I haven't yet read this author. Thanks for sharing....

  5. The older I get the more I'm drawn to books about strong female friendships. I'm probably most interested in Nicole's story, but I'll probably relate most to Hayley's journey. I will definitely be looking for this at the library!

  6. This sounds interesting. I like Susan Mallery's writing but got kind of burned out with the Fool's Gold series. I like the sound of Nicole especially. I'll have to look for this one. I love friendship stories!

    1. I burned out on the Fool's Gold series too Katherine!

  7. I have probably read Susan Mallery in the past. I need to look her up on GR. I do love a good book that intertwines several characters together. The first one I so remember while teaching fifth grade is E.L. Konisburg's A View from Saturday.

  8. I do not know if I have tried her books but I should

  9. I liked this one - a good women's fiction novel.

  10. I like women's fiction that centers around lasting friendship. I haven't read Mallery (don't know why, an oversight) but I've heard good things about her. I like the cover too, which for me means something. I guess from your comments about the Fool's Gold series that I should start with this series instead if I pick up her books. I think I saw her titles on the library bookshelf a couple of days ago.

    1. I wouldn't recommend that Rita, I say look for her women's fiction books like the Mischief Bay and Blackberry Island books. Unless of course you like straight romance more, then it would be Fool's Gold.

  11. I don't think Ive read anything by this author. This sound like a book I would enjoy. I'm going to add it to my 'ToRead' list. Thanks for your great review Kathryn!

  12. This sounds great, especially the strong female relationships! Lovely review, definitely going to check out this series!!


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