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June 11, 2019
Blurb: The Baxter sisters come from a long line of women with disastrous luck in love. But this summer, Sunshine and Margot will turn disasters into destiny…
As an etiquette coach, Margot teaches her clients to fit in. But she’s never faced a client like Bianca, an aging movie star who gained fame—and notoriety—through a campaign of shock and awe. Schooling Bianca on the fine art of behaving like a proper diplomat’s wife requires intensive lessons, forcing Margot to move into the monastery turned mansion owned by the actress’s intensely private son. Like his incredible home, Alec’s stony exterior hides secret depths Margot would love to explore. But will he trust her enough to let her in?
Sunshine has always been the good-time sister, abandoning jobs to chase after guys who used her, then threw her away. No more. She refuses to be “that girl” again. This time, she’ll finish college, dedicate herself to her job as a nanny, and she 100 percent will not screw up her life again by falling for the wrong guy. Especially not the tempting single dad who also happens to be her boss.
Master storyteller Susan Mallery weaves threads of family drama, humor, romance and a wish-you-were-there setting into one of the most satisfying books of the year!
SASCHA DARLINGTON’S REVIEW
Like Susan Mallery’s last women’s fiction novel, California Girls (see my review), The Summer of Sunshine & Margot is about sisters and, in this case, fraternal twin sisters, Margot and Sunshine. Both sisters are disasters with regard to romantic relationships. Margot has a thorn-in-her-side called Dietrich, a self-absorbed man who expects her to drop everything when he crooks his finger while Sunshine tends to fall in love at the drop of a hat, abandon her job, and follow the new man, much to her own detriment.
As the story begins, both women have vowed that they will change and no longer fall into the soul stealing behavior they’ve practiced before.
I liked both Margot and Sunshine as well as the other characters in the novel. I was especially fond of quirky Bianca, a 50-something film star with a capricious nature, despite the fact that she’s frequently described as self-absorbed. Mallery has made her vulnerable and very likable.
The Summer of Sunshine & Margot is the perfect vacation read with enough substance to keep a reader happy while spinning a fantastic tale. However, unlike the case with California Girls, I didn’t finish the novel feeling satisfied. While I’m sure it wasn’t the situation, the ending felt so rushed as if the writer realized she’d gone over the word limit, and now the ending had to be mumbled. While there was a grand gesture on Alec’s part, which was good, I still felt a little dissatisfied. Also, something about the two graphic sex scenes felt a little off to me. Certainly in one situation, it’s because I am not a fan of reading about someone’s telephone sex. ’nuff said.
Regardless, The Summer of Sunshine & Margot is undeniably better than a lot of current romances and women’s fiction, mainly because Mallery knows how to write characters. All of the characters have depth and change, and the readers cares about them. They feel real. Sunshine and Margot are wonderful characters and I almost wish that Sunshine’s story hadn’t been so tidily wrapped up because I could have enjoyed another novel with her in it, reading about her school-life, and becoming the person she wants to be.
If you’ve looking for good summer vacation reads, you might add this one to your list.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.