What a perfect book to read to escape the doldrums of everyday life and all of its challenges! Robyn is a divorced mom, a woman who has never really found her niche in life but who desperately wants to. She is dealing with her spoiled daughter Harlow who wants her to keep the expensive home she can no longer afford just so Harlow can get married there. She is also dealing with a selfish ex-spouse who flaunts his affairs and who insists that his way is always best. When Robyn has finally had enough of the drama at home in Naples, Florida, she takes a flight to visit her great-aunt Lillian, a wonderful elderly woman who dispenses wisdom and encouragement as if it’s her second nature. There, Robyn meets Mason, a retired army drill sergeant who will inherit Lillian’s house when she dies. Mason and Robyn have interesting conversations as they realize how much they have in common and how attracted they are to each other. What started out as a getaway from everything for Robyn turns quickly humorous and chaotic as all the people she thought she left behind follow her to California. The plot is multi-layered and character-driven, written with an eye for detail that I greatly appreciated. There is romance, drama, wise advice and unforgettable characters who made an indelible mark on my heart and mind. Of course, not all of the characters are likable, nor are they meant to be, but they are all portrayed realistically, complete with flaws, doubts and hard decisions to make. This is a book that is well-paced, with just enough conflict to keep me guessing about the outcome and enough romance to keep me enticed. With a mansion filled with antiques that also interested me as well as the Pacific Ocean in the backyard, the setting was perfection! All in all, this is one of the best standalone books for beach reading that I have ever read and I highly recommend it. It’s cleverly plotted, intricately woven and so filled with emotional highs and lows that this book is a getaway for anyone who reads it.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harlequin Trade Publishing via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
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 website: https://www.susanmallery.com/
“I’m going to sleep with Dimitri.”
Robyn Caldwell picked up her glass of white wine and briefly thought about swallowing the entire contents in one gulp. Mindy’s statement was certainly gulp-worthy. But she knew pacing herself through lunch was the responsible thing to do. A lesson her friend had yet to learn.
“You are not,” Robyn murmured, because shrieking wasn’t attractive. Especially at “the club,” where their friends and frenemies were also enjoying Thursday’s lobster salad. The dining room was filled with forty or so women, all dressed in Florida chic—diamonds sparkling, gold or platinum charm bracelets clinking, necklaces resting on tanned and toned skin.
“I might,” Mindy Krause said, picking up her champagne. “He’s gorgeous.”
“Of course. He’s a thirty-year-old tennis pro. What else would he be?”
Mindy, a petite brunette who was six months from turning forty, sighed. “I need a Dimitri in my life.”
“You have a great husband. Payne loves you and the kids, and never has eyes for another woman. Why would you screw that up?”
“Payne would never know.”
“There aren’t any secrets in this town. Not in our social circle.”
Something Robyn had learned the hard way herself. She’d been blissfully unaware of her ex-husband’s affairs until a “friend” had oh-so-sweetly informed her.
“Maybe just some kissing,” Mindy mused. “I want a little Dimitri action. The fantasies make me happy, so imagine what the real thing would do.”
“The fantasies are safe. The real thing could destroy everything you have. Knowing you’ve cheated would devastate Payne.”
Mindy’s mouth formed a pout. “I never see him anymore. All he does is work.”
Robyn stared at her friend-slash-boss. “You two talked about how that promotion would be more work for him but that it would be worth it. You wanted this for him.”
“I didn’t know how much he’d be gone.”
The unreasonable statement grated nearly as much as Mindy’s whine. “This isn’t a good look for you,” Robyn murmured. “You’re changing the rules without telling your husband. That never ends well.”
Mindy dismissed the warning with a quick shake of her head. “I’m not worried. Besides, if he does find out, I can just move in with you.” She laughed. “You’ll soon have that big house all to yourself.”
“You have four kids,” Robyn pointed out. “If things go south in your marriage, I’d rather have Payne move in.”
“Well, that would get people talking.” Mindy held up her empty glass to the server. “More, please.”
The server obliged.
Mindy took another sip. “My sister called, swears she found a Thomas Pister chest in a tiny shop in Wales. It’s dirt cheap, so I’m afraid it’s a fake. She’s looking for someone to prove authenticity. Wouldn’t that be a find?”
“It would. I’d love to see it.”
Thomas Pister had built beautiful chests and cabinets in the late 1600s and early 1700s. His intricate designs with stunning inlays sold quickly and for huge amounts. Depending on the condition and the materials, a good-sized chest of drawers could go for sixty or eighty thousand dollars.
Excerpted from The Summer Getaway by Susan Mallery, Copyright © 2022 by Susan Mallery, Inc.. Published by HQN Books.
Indie Bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335479990