Title: Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery
Mischief Bay Series Book Four
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Romance
Length: 432 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
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 fledgling 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.
Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery is a winsome story about three generations of women and their sometimes complicated relationships. This fourth installment in the Mischief Bay series easily stands on its own, but I highly recommend the previous books as well.
Forty-two year old Harper Szymanski is a divorced mom who loves her sixteen year old daughter Becca but works long hours trying to keep her virtual assistant business going. She is a people pleaser who lets people walk all over her since she has a difficult time standing up for herself. Her relationship with her mother Bunny is a bit of a mess since Bunny is firmly stuck in the ’50s where a man is always right and a woman should always put her husband and family’s needs before her own.
Harper’s younger sister, forty year old Stacey Bloom, is a super smart and socially awkward scientist who works on the cutting edge of MS research. She and her husband Kit are about to become first time parents and Stacey is greatly concerned over her lack of maternal instincts. She is also worried about Bunny’s reaction to their nontraditional plan for Kit to become a stay at home dad while she continues working. But what troubles Stacey the most are her fears about what effect a baby will have on her and Kit’s relationship.
Becca is a typical teen who is insecure, somewhat self-absorbed and struggling with the loss of one of her closest friend’s after she moves out of state. She is also quite unhappy with the situation with her father who makes promises to her that he never keeps. He has virtually disappeared from her life which leaves her feeling unloved. Just when Becca reaches her lowest point, she meets Kit’s nephew, Ashton, and their friendship becomes a highlight in her life.
One of Harper’s favorite clients, Lucas Wheeler, is a fifty year old cop whose dating life is an endless array of short term relationships with vapid young women in their early twenties. He is a frequent visitor in their home whose friendship she greatly treasures. Lucas is surprisingly attentive to Becca and he becomes a father figure of sorts after he spend a lot of time with her helping her get her driver’s license. Lucas and Harper unexpectedly fall into a relationship but since she is so different from the women he typically dates, will there be a shelf-life to their fling?
Sisters Like Us is an emotionally compelling novel that is poignant yet humorous. The chapters alternate between Harper, Stacey and Becca’s points of view as each of them attempt to overcome their personal issues. Harper and Stacey are both struggling with Bunny’s negative influence in their lives as she continues to make them both feel inadequate. Becca matures with guidance and advice from Lucas and a surprise romance of her own. Lucas and Harper’s transition from friends to lovers is understated and their interactions are laugh out loud funny and quite moving. Old and new fans of Susan Mallery are going to love this newest addition to the enchanting Mischief Bay series.