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Veena’s review of The Girls Of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery
Women’s Fiction published by MIRA 24 Feb 15

If you’re looking for a light-hearted summer romance, then this is not the right book for you. I personally wouldn’t even characterize this as a romance.  Instead it’s a beautiful story about life and love and choices set in a beautiful part of Southern California. Like real life, it’s got the highs and lows that everyone goes through in their day-to-day routines. This book is a realistic story about three women who became friends despite their differences. As we spend time with each woman and delve into their life and psyche, I find myself transported into the different stages of my own life as I rejoiced with them, cried with them, and laughed with them.

Nicole is the youngest of the trio, who, with a young child, is struggling to find the balance between career and family, while her husband is off discovering himself. Shannon sacrificed love and children to become CFO of a billion-dollar corporation, but now her ticking biological clock and loneliness remind her that she wants more from life than just her career. Pam, at the wrong side of fifty, suddenly starts to feel her age and misses the excitement of youth. As we follow each friend through the story, it’s hard not to become intertwined into their lives.

Pam is the one who seems to have it all, which she freely admits as she thanks the universe for all the goodness in her life, and yet she’s struggling with the desire and the need to find a younger, more exciting woman in herself. In typical California style, she goes for her first Botox and experiments with the need for a facelift before she settles on a novel approach to bring excitement into her life. It definitely seems like she may finally be on the path to restored contentment and excitement when life throws her a curved ball. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but it’s an interesting to journey with her to see if she’ll discover the courage to persevere through life’s ironies and win, despite everything.

Nicole has all the ingredients that make life happy – the requisite husband, child, a beautiful home, and a business. Her husband, though, is a jerk, having quit his job with no notice to write a screenplay, and now poor Nicole is juggling to keep all her balls in the air. As her story unfolds, it is somewhat inevitable and yet …

Shannon is the tycoon. She’s finally ready to settle down, but the guys she meets are dorks and the one she’s in a relationship with is just a booty call for him, I think, more than her. Then she meets this perfect guy, but he comes with baggage of his own, being divorced and the father to two children. Where will her needs and desire to be a parent fit in with Adam’s ready-made family and co-parenting with his ex-wife?

I shouldn’t be surprised because I read Ms. Mallery’s books all the time and yet I find myself impressed with this story and look forward to the forthcoming stories in this new series.

Grade: A


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.

Read an excerpt.