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Tuesday, May 25, 2021

The Stepsisters by Susan Mallery

The Stepsisters by Susan Mallery
Published by MIRA ISBN 9780778331803
Trade paperback, $16.99, 416 pages

When you read a novel by Susan Mallery, you know you're getting a story where you will care about the characters. Her latest book, The Stepsisters, is no exception.

Daisy is having a very bad day. Her husband Jordan blindsided her with a text telling her he was moving out, when she picked up her sick eight year-old daughter Krissa from school the little girl vomited all over the car, herself, and Daisy, and then her car wouldn't start and who comes to her rescue but her former stepsister Sage, a woman she dislikes and hasn't seen in years.

Sage moved back home to LA with her mother after her third divorce from an Italian count. Now broke and working at a designer clothing boutique waiting on horrible rich women, Sage is stuck and has to figure out what her next step in life is and how to keep her mother from stealing her expensive designer handbags that Sage plans on selling to make money.

When Daisy was just a young girl, her father Wallace married Sage's mother to give Daisy a mother after her own died. Sage was jealous of Wallace's love for Daisy, and treated Daisy badly. Sage was beautiful and popular in high school, and Daisy was smart and kind.

Sage's mom and Daisy's dad had a daughter of their own, Cassidy, who is now a travel writer. When Cassidy has a bad fall on a trip, Wallace asks Daisy to take her into their family home to recuperate. With her own life in turmoil, Daisy is reluctant to take in Cassidy who, like Sage, really dislikes Daisy.

So the three women circle warily around each other, back in each other's lives and unhappy about it. The one thing they can all agree on is that they adore Krissa and Daisy's 10 year-old son Ben. Can the children bring these sisters back together again?

The Stepsisters is a wonderful book that will take you away from your own troubles as you read about these three sisters. Daisy wants to make her marriage work, and has no clue why her husband left. Sage needs to discover why she marries for money and not love, and Cassidy has to figure out why she ran away from a terrific guy who truly cares for her. Why do the sisters keep making relationship mistakes?

Mallery's characters are always well-drawn and you feel like they could be your neighbors. (Well, maybe not Daisy, she lives in a huge mansion.) She has a knack for pulling you into her story, and making you root for her characters to get their lives together and live happily ever after. You'll want to put The Stepsisters in your bag for your next flight or beach day, and pick up an extra copy for your sister.

Thanks to Harlequin Books for putting me on Susan Mallery's tour.

My review of Susan Mallery's The Vineyard at Painted Moon is here.

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