Tuesday, May 31, 2022

The Boardwalk Bookshop by Susan Mallery: Review & Excerpt!

 The Boardwalk Bookshop

Book Summary

With her unique brand of witty, emotional storytelling, Susan Mallery's latest is a heartfelt tale of friendship between three women brought together by chance who open a bookshop together on the boardwalk of the California beaches and ultimately become one another's family. Fans of Elin Hilderbrand, Robyn Carr and Susan Wiggs will love The Boardwalk Bookshop!

Brought together by chance, Bree, Mikki, and Ashley become fast friends and open up a beachfront bookshop together, bringing together their three different businesses. To celebrate, each Friday at sunset they pop open champagne on the beach and enjoy the sunset together. Little did they know that that chance meeting and this simple ritual would make them one another’s family.

Bree owns the bookshop. Funny that she can’t stand authors. They’re far too demanding. But when NYT bestselling author Harding Burton, the memoirist who wrote about being paralyzed as a teenager and how he fought his way back, comes in, Bree never expected to actually like him. But anything beyond casual sex is out of the question for her. She trusts no one—a brutal first marriage and a painful childhood taught her well. Still as much as she wants to walk away, she can’t quite do it…

Ashley, Harding’s brother, owns the muffin shop and she has her own problems. She’s been happily in love with her boyfriend, Seth, for eight years. He’s thoughtful, supportive, kind, generous…but he hasn’t proposed and, she can’t hold it in any longer. When he announces that marriage isn’t for him, she’s shocked. And as much as she wishes this was enough, the truth is that she wants to be married. But what now?

And Mikki, the gift shop owner, is getting a second chance. She married her high school sweetheart, but three kids and completely different interests made them drift apart until they divorced a few years ago. They’re still close for the kids, but when someone new enters her life, he makes her feel appreciated and alive. Suddenly Mikki’s ex is making her dinner and asking her advice and Mikki must choose between the man she loved and let go of—and a chance for a brand new beginning.

About the Author

SUSAN MALLERY is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of novels about the relationships that define women's lives—family, friendship and romance. Library Journal says, “Mallery is the master of blending emotionally believable characters in realistic situations," and readers seem to agree—forty million copies of her books have been sold worldwide. Her warm, humorous stories make the world a happier place to live.

Susan grew up in California and now lives in Seattle with her husband. She's passionate about animal welfare, especially that of the two Ragdoll cats and adorable poodle who think of her as Mom.

Author Links

Twitter: @susanmallery

Facebook: @susanmallery

Instagram: @susanmallery

Author website: https://www.susanmallery.com/

My Thoughts

The Boardwalk Bookshop by Susan Mallery takes us to a store on the beach that houses a bookshop, gift shop, and muffin shop.  Three women have come together to lease the space.  You can pick up a snack, a book, and beach towel plus a cute tote bag to hold everything all in one charming shop.  We get to meet Bree, Ashley, and Mikki.  Their business is booming, but their personal lives are not.  Bree is determined to not let anyone get close to her.  She has casual flings, but she does not do relationships.  Bree has a rule to not date authors.  Then she meets Ashley’s author brother, Harding.  He can see past the barricades Bree has erected.  This terrifies Bree, but she finds herself drawn to Harding. Ashley and Seth moved their relationship to the next level three months prior when they moved in together.  Ashley is wondering when Seth is going to pop the question.  When Ashley learns that Seth has no intention of proposing, she must decide if she can be happy without a ring on her finger.  Mikki has been divorced for three years.  She is still friends with her ex-husband as they co-parent their two children.  Mikki has not dated since the divorce, and she has Earl (her battery-operated pleasure device) to take care of her needs.  But then a man enters Mikki’s life at the same time her ex-husband is interested in resurrecting their relationship.  What does the future hold for Mikki, Bree, and Ashley?
In The Boardwalk Bookshop we see three strangers come together as business partners, friends, and family.  I enjoyed following the women on their journey as they grew as individuals and in their friendship.  I believe women will relate to the characters and their issues.  I enjoyed the descriptions of the lady’s unique store.  They each managed to put their own spin on their spaces while making it cohesive as a whole.   There is foul language as well an intimate situations in the book including references to women’s personal pleasure devices.  The ending is sweet, but I wish there had been an epilogue so we could see how the characters are faring in the future.  It was interesting learning about the different champagnes and sparkling wines.  The three women tried a different bubbly each Friday after work as they enjoyed watching the sunset on the beach.  There is a recipe for red, white, and blue muffins at the end of the book along with discussion questions and a preview of Home Sweet Christmas (Susan Mallery’s next book).  The author also gives helpful information on champagne and sparkling wines plus some recommendations.  The Boardwalk Bookshop is a charming beach tale with a busy bookshop, mouthwatering muffins, an attractive author, chilled champagne, a sad sack, firm friends, and relationship woes.  

“I thought there’d be more sex.”

Bree Larton stared at her seventy-something-year-old customer, not sure how to respond. Bursting out laughing would be inappropriate and Ruth would take offense. “You need to tell me what you want so I can get you the right book,” Bree said with a gentle smile. “You wanted a political thriller. Most of them aren’t sexy.”

Ruth, barely five feet tall but feisty as a badger, pursed her lips. “Not true. James Bond has sex all the time and he spends his day saving the world. I want a book like that. Ticking bombs, financial collapse, kidnappings and then everyone jumps into bed.” She winked. “That would be a good book.”

“I can do a sexy thriller. Maybe international?” Bree started walking toward that section of the bookstore. “A couple of options come to mind. Now, on the sexy part—do you want monogamy or can the partners play around?”

Ruth’s eyes brightened. “I’d like them to play around, but nothing too kinky. And no groups. That’s just too hard to keep track of.”

Bree held in a chuckle. “All right. We’ll limit the body parts, add a little European flair.” She held out a book with a hunky guy on the cover. “If you like this one, the author has five more stories waiting for you.”

Ruth, an unnaturally yellow blonde wearing cherry-red lipstick, clutched the book to her narrow chest. “I’ll take it.”

Bree suggested several additional authors. Ruth browsed for a few more minutes, then carried a stack of books to the register.

“I think I would have been a good sidekick for James Bond.” Ruth passed over her credit card. “Back in the day, I was quite the looker.”

“You still are,” Bree told her.

Ruth waved away the comment. “I’m too old for espionage, but I wouldn’t say no to dinner with a charming man.” Her smile turned sly. “I’ll just have to keep living vicariously through you.”

“Sadly, I’m lacking a man these days.”

Ruth leaned close. “What I admire about you, Bree, is that you’re not holding out for love. You go after what you want. When I was your age, that wasn’t an option. Not in polite society anyway. I was born in the wrong time.”

Bree honest to God had no idea what to say. “I guess we have to work with what we have.” She tucked a flyer into the shopping bag. “Harding Burton is signing here in a couple of weeks.”

Ruth looked at the poster next to the counter. Her bright red lips curved into a smile. “He’s a good-looking man.”

Bree mentally shrugged. “I suppose.”

“You don’t think he’s exceptionally handsome? Those eyes, that smile. Isn’t he the one who was hit by a car and left for dead on the side of the road when he was just a teenager?” Ruth clucked her tongue. “So tragic. But he pulled through and walked again and now look at him.” Her gaze darted to Bree. “You should have your way with him and then tell me all about it.”

Bree held in a wince. “First, I’d never tell you about it and second, I don’t date authors.”

Between her late husband and her parents, she knew enough about the type to want to avoid them forever. At least on a personal basis. Work-wise, she was stuck. What with owning a bookstore and all.

“Harding seems exception-worthy,” Ruth told her. “He might have some interesting scars you could trace and—”

Bree held up her hands in the shape of a T. “Stop right there. If you’re interested in Harding’s scars, go for him. How could he resist you?”

“I’m old enough to be his mother.”

Grandmother, Bree mentally corrected, but kept silent. She had a soft spot for the ever-outspoken Ruth.

“Maybe he’s into older women,” she said instead.

“Wouldn’t that be nice.”

Ruth was still laughing when Bree walked her out of the store. Anson, Ruth’s driver, was waiting in the no-parking fire lane. Anson helped Ruth into the Mercedes. Bree stayed outside until the car drove away.

The Boardwalk Bookshop is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BAM, Google Play, Apple Books, Bookshop.org, Kobo, Walmart, and Target.  Susan Mallery has Home Sweet Christmas publishing October 4.  You can find Susan Mallery's other novels here.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I hope I have helped you find a new book to read this summer.  I will return tomorrow with Season of my Enemy by Naomi Musch.  I hope that you have an enriching day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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