Want to know what happens next, click on the banner!
Excerpt: “There’s a burger special,” Pam said with a sigh. “Did you see it? If I get that, will someone eat some of my fries?”
“I will,” Nicole told her. “I get the protein plate here.”
Pam wrinkled her nose. “Of course you do.”
Shannon knew the protein plate consisted of broiled fish and shrimp with a side of steamed vegetables. Healthy, sure, but the low calorie count was of more concern to the body-conscious, bikini-clad locals.
“I’ll have a couple of fries, too,” she said. They would nicely round out the salad she generally ordered.
Pam poked Nicole in the upper arm. “You’re a stick. You should eat more.”
“I eat plenty.”
“Roots and grubs. Have a burger.” Pam leaned back in her chair. “Enjoy your metabolism while you can. Because one day, it’s all going to hell.”
“You look great,” Nicole said easily. “You’re in terrific shape.”
Pam’s brows rose. “If you say ‘for a woman my age’ I’m pitching you out the window.”
Nicole laughed. “I’d never say that. You’re nowhere near a certain age. That’s old.”
So spoke the thirty-year-old, Shannon thought wryly. Time was going faster and faster every day. She couldn’t believe she was only a few months away from turning forty, herself. She glanced at Pam and Nicole’s hands and saw the wedding bands and diamond engagement rings winking back at her. Not for the first time, Shannon considered the fact that somewhere along the way she should have gotten married.
She’d meant to, had always thought she would. Only her career had been her first priority—a fact that the men she knew didn’t like. The more successful she got, the harder it was to date. Or at least find a man who didn’t resent her devotion to her career. Lately, finding someone interesting and appealing had started to seem nearly impossible.
She briefly toyed with the idea of mentioning that. All the articles she read said that she had to put herself out there if she wanted to meet a great guy. She had to be willing to tell all her friends that she was serious and looking. Of course she had a sneaking suspicion that many articles in women’s magazines were written by people who had no idea what they were talking about. Besides, she wasn’t keen on pity. She was a successful, vital businesswoman. Hell, she was the chief financial officer of a company grossing more than a billion dollars a year. She didn’t need a man in her life. Which wasn’t to say she might not like having one around.
“How’s my favorite young man?” Pam asked.
Nicole smiled. “Tyler is great. I can’t believe he’s turning five in a couple of months. It’s going so fast. He’ll be in kindergarten in September.” She paused. “In a way, that will be nice. There’ll be less day-care juggling.”
As she finished speaking, her smile faded and a muscle twitched in her cheek. As if she were clenching her teeth.
Shannon hesitated, not sure if she should ask what was wrong. Because she already knew the answer. The three of them had been in the same exercise class for nearly two years. While she and Pam were faithful participants, the same couldn’t be said for anyone else. For some reason, the Friday noon class tended to attract the flakier clients.
Which meant it had often been just the three of them. They’d talked between Pilates moves, had shared various ups and downs. Shannon knew that Brandon, Pam’s youngest, had been a wild teenager—to the point of driving so drunk, he’d wrapped his car around a tree. Now he was a sober, determined student in medical school. She’d listened as Nicole had tried to explain her bewilderment that her stable, hard-working husband had quit his job to write a screenplay and surf. In turn, Shannon had shared the tribulations of her own personal life. Everything from the challenge of being the only female executive at a tech company to the difficulty finding a Mr. Right who supported her career goals.
While Shannon searched for a delicate way to ask if Nicole’s comment meant Eric was still determined to conquer Hollywood, Pam plunged right in.
“He continues to be an idiot?” she asked.
Nicole wrinkled her nose. “He’s not an idiot. He’s…” She hesitated. “Confusing. I know it’s been six months, so I should be over it, right? It’s not that I didn’t know.”
Pam angled toward her friend. “Honey, everyone says they want to write a screenplay or be on American Idol or something, but no one takes them seriously. There are dreams and then there’s real life. Eric has a wife and a son. He walked away from a great job to type and surf. Who does that?”
Nicole winced. “He’s writing, not typing.”
“Details. He’s not contributing financially or in any other way.”
“He helps,” Nicole said, then sighed. “Sort of. I don’t know what to do. You’re right. Everyone says they want to be rich or famous, and that’s great. But I don’t know. When he walked in and told me he’d quit his job…” She raised her shoulders. “I still don’t know what to say.”
Shannon got that one. She had been just as shocked as her friend and she didn’t have to live with Eric. She supposed a case could be made for everyone having the right to follow his or her dreams, but in a marriage, shouldn’t both parties get a vote? That was what had been so stunning about Eric’s decision. He hadn’t mentioned it or negotiated or anything. He’d simply walked away from his job and told his wife after the fact.
“While I don’t recommend this for every situation,” Pam said slowly, “have you considered smothering him with a pillow?”
Nicole managed a soft laugh. “Not my style.”
“Mine, either,” Pam admitted. “I’m more direct. But it’s an option.”
Shannon grinned. “This from a woman who carefully dresses her dog so she won’t be cold? You talk tough, but on the inside, you’re a marshmallow.”
“Don’t tell,” Pam said, glancing around, as if afraid they would be overheard. “I have a reputation to protect.” She touched Nicole’s hand. “All jokes aside, I know this is difficult for you. You want to shake some sense into him and right now you can’t. Hang in there. You two love each other. That’ll get you through.”
“I hope so,” Nicole said. “I know he’s a good guy.”
“He is. Marriage is like life. Just when you think you have it figured out, it changes. When I stopped working, I felt guilty that John was carrying the whole financial load. But we talked about it and he finally convinced me he liked having me home. I take care of things there and he handles bringing in the money.”
A world she couldn’t imagine, Shannon admitted, if only to herself. It was as if Pam was from another planet. Or another era. Shannon knew there were plenty of stay-at-home moms. The difference was she didn’t know any of them. Not as friends. The mothers she knew were like Nicole—always scrambling to keep up.
Although now that she thought about it, there were a couple of friends who had left their jobs and become stay-at-home mothers. Only once that had happened, Shannon had lost touch with them. Or maybe they’d lost touch with her.
“There are always rough patches,” Pam said. “But if you remember why you’re together, then you’ll get through it.”
Text Copyright © 2015 by Susan Macias Redmond
Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A.
Title: The Girls Of Mischief Bay
Publish Date: Feb 24, 2015
Book Blurb: 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.
Sacrificing a personal life for her career is how Shannon Rigg .became VP at 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 really can have it all.
Although Pam Eiland adores her husband, she feels restless now that the kids are grown. Finding sexy new ways to surprise him brings the heat and humor back to their marriage, but when unexpected change turns her life upside down, she'll have to redefine herself. Again.
Through romance and heartbreak, laughter and tears, the girls of Mischief Bay will discover that life is richer with friends at your side.
I think every person who reads this book will pick one of the friends to really like the best. For me, I loved Pam. She was the real "Mom" of the group. She had a good marriage and life and she wanted to stay appealing to her husband. She had a few moments of vanity when her daughter announced her pregnancy, but I could forgive her for that. Oh and if you don't get a few chuckles out of the weekend getaway she has with her hubby, well, you have no sense of humor!
She's also the character that goes through the most in her relationship. Let's just say, her unexpected change isn't a good one
As for the other two ladies, I liked Shannon next and then Nicole, though I'm not sure why. I would have liked to understand her booty call relationship with Quinn better. The guy she becomes involved with is pretty close to perfect, though there are a few things that cause tension between them as the story goes along.
Nicole and her husband annoyed the hell out of me. I couldn't believe that it took the whole novel for their relationship to play out. But this only proves that not everyone's story is a happy one. I just was hoping for something better for her. Plus Eric was a first class jerk.
This was a wonderful novel that I devoured in a little over a day. I loved immersing myself in Pam, Shannon and Nicole's lives.
Rating: 5 flowers
A Pacific blue beach towel
Pure Paradise body cream
Luxury moisturizing bath bar from the San Francisco soap company
An autographed copy of EVENING STARS by Susan Mallery (the first book with a character from Mischief Bay)
Flip-flop tea candle holder
Map of Mischief Bay
THE GIRLS OF MISCHIEF BAY Post-It book
THE GIRLS OF MISCHIEF BAY bookmark
Handy bath mini-tote
Susan Mallery lip gloss
Susan Mallery 3D luggage tag
Susan Mallery pen
Follow the tour