The Summer Getaway by Susan Mallery
Published by Harlequin ISBN 978133547990
Hardcover, $27.99, 416 pages
I enjoy getting lost in a good story, and Susan Mallery's books never steer me wrong. (I always look forward to a new addition to her Happily, Inc. series.) Her latest novel is a terrific stand-alone, The Summer Getaway.
Robyn is a forty-something woman, divorced from her husband and mother to daughter Harlow, who is engaged and in full-on wedding planning. Harlow works for her dad in his charter boat service as a captain and has designs on getting her dad to buy a kayak rental business for her to run.
Son Austin is out of high school and working for his dad too. Robyn would prefer Austin went to college first before settling on working for his father, but Austin chose not to do that. Harlow has her heart set on getting married at the house she grew up in, where Robyn lives now. But in her divorce agreement, Robyn has to either sell her house and split the proceeds with her ex, or buy him out. She only has a part-time job, so buying him out is not feasible.
Harlow is furious with her mother for ruining her wedding plans, and Robyn's ex's choice of current girlfriend is too much for Robyn to deal with. When Robyn's current boyfriend says something disrepectful to her, she travels to Santa Barbara to visit with her great-aunt Lillian, who at the age of 94 is preparing for the future.
Lillian asks Robyn to come and catalogue all of her massive home's furnishings and art works for donation to museums and for sale. She will leave the entire contents of the house to Robyn when she passes away. The actual house will go to her husband's distant cousin, Mason, who has been invited to come and live with Lillian.
Mason never knew his cousin Leo and is surprised to find out he will inherit this oceanside mansion. He is a twenty-year veteran of the army and a military historian, and immediately he is attracted to Robyn. The attraction is mutual and Robyn surprises herself with her actions.
Austin decides to travel to Santa Barbara to visit his mom, and Harlow tags along, now angry at her father. Robyn's friend shows up having blown up her own marriage, and then Robyn's ex-husband show up. Pretty soon an entire clown car of people (including her ex-boyfriend) have made the trip from Florida to Santa Barbara seeking Robyn's guidance, and her summer getaway has gone off the rails.
It seems that every character is at a crossroads in his or her own life, and expect Robyn to help them fix it. Robyn is like so many women who are always there to take care of family and friends. I bet some women will be able to relate. (Although most of us won't inherit the contents of our great-aunt's mansion.)
It's refreshing to see a mature couple like Mason and Robyn have a hot physical relationship, instead of the usual 20 or 30-something characters in novels. Can they overcome all the obstacles thrown in their way by Robyn's family and friends?
The Summer Getaway has something for everyone, and the characters and some of the issues they face are relatable (we are all concerned about our children, no matter how old they are). I loved the beautiful setting of an oceanside mansion that I could see in my mind's eye (and want to visit.) Escape your life for a few hours with Susan Mallery's delightful The Summer Getway.
Thansk to Harlequin for putting me on Susan Mallery's tour.