The Boardwalk Bookshop by Susan Mallery
Published by MIRA ISBN 9780778386087
Trade paperback, $16.99, 448 pages
Summer for me always means it's time for a Susan Mallery book (or two!), and in addition to her earlier The Summer Getaway (my review here), Mallery's The Boardwalk Bookshop is here just in time for beach weather.
Three women decide to take a lease on a building right on a California beach boardwalk. They each have their own business- Bree owns the Boardwalk Bookshop, Mikki has opened a touristy giftshop, and Ashley sells her delicious treats in the bakeshop.
Bree is a young widow, and was raised by parents who weren't interested at all in raising a child. They were too busy with their careers as literary authors. Bree was left on her own, wondering why her parents didn't love her. It made her cautious with others, unwilling to get close to anyone, let alone date.
Mikki is a divorced women with two teenage children she shares with her ex-husband. She gets along with her ex, and her ex-mother-in-law even works at her gift shop. It's been three years since her divorce, and her friends are trying to convince her it's time to start dating. In this world of online dating, it's daunting.
Ashley has the perfect boyfriend. She and Seth like the same things, and agree on just about everything- except for the concept of marriage. Ashley wants to get married, Seth thinks they don't need to be married to have a lifetime of happiness.
While their business seems to be doing well, their love lives need work. Ashley's brother is an author, and she fears that he will fall in love with the beautiful Bree who will break his heart. Mikki is contemplating connecting with a man she met online, and Ashley is torn between her love for Seth and her wish for the serious commitment of marriage.
The friends meet every Friday night to share a bottle (or two) of champagne on the beach and review their week. If you are a fan of the bubbly, you'll get some terrific suggestions for different bottles to pick up at your local liquor store for your next get-together.
I truly liked all the characters in this endearing novel. Mikki's mother (who works with Bree) and her mother-in-law are both wonderful characters, and the way that all the women support each other is heartwarming. The men in this story are also interesting, well-drawn, not stereotypes.
As someone who works in a bookshop, I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. I would love nothing more than to work in Bree's bookshop on the beach, it would be heavenly. Put The Boardwalk Bookshop in your beach bag this summer, you'll enjoy spending time with these three ladies.
Thanks to Harlequin Books for putting me on Susan Mallery's tour.