Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Susan Mallery’s newest book: Boardwalk Bookshop. I really enjoy her books and this one was a perfect read outside in the warmer weather. Scroll down for my review, and a Q&A with the author. AVAILABLE NOW

The Boardwalk Bookshop by Susan Mallery, Tanya Eby (Narrator)

Published May 31st 2022 by MIRA, Harlequin Audio

About the Book: With her unique brand of witty, emotional storytelling, Susan Mallery’s latest is a heartfelt tale of friendship between three women brought together by chance who open a bookshop together on the boardwalk of the California beaches and ultimately become one another’s family.

Brought together by chance, Bree, Mikki, and Ashley become fast friends and open up a beachfront bookshop together, bringing together their three different businesses. To celebrate, each Friday at sunset they pop open champagne on the beach and enjoy the sunset together. Little did they know that that chance meeting and this simple ritual would make them one another’s family.

Bree owns the bookshop. Funny that she can’t stand authors. They’re far too demanding. But when NYT bestselling author Harding Burton, the memoirist who wrote about being paralyzed as a teenager and how he fought his way back, comes in, Bree never expected to actually like him. But anything beyond casual sex is out of the question for her. She trusts no one—a brutal first marriage and a painful childhood taught her well. Still as much as she wants to walk away, she can’t quite do it…

Ashley, Harding’s brother, owns the muffin shop and she has her own problems. She’s been happily in love with her boyfriend, Seth, for eight years. He’s thoughtful, supportive, kind, generous…but he hasn’t proposed and, she can’t hold it in any longer. When he announces that marriage isn’t for him, she’s shocked. And as much as she wishes this was enough, the truth is that she wants to be married. But what now?

And Mikki, the gift shop owner, is getting a second chance. She married her high school sweetheart, but three kids and completely different interests made them drift apart until they divorced a few years ago. They’re still close for the kids, but when someone new enters her life, he makes her feel appreciated and alive. Suddenly Mikki’s ex is making her dinner and asking her advice and Mikki must choose between the man she loved and let go of—and a chance for a brand new beginning.

Fans of Elin Hilderbrand, Robyn Carr and Susan Wiggs will love The Boardwalk Bookshop!

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Bree Larton, Mikki Bartholomew and Ashley Burton were strangers, all wanting to open a business in the same building. Meeting over a coffee, they came up with a solution – they would share the space as their businesses would compliment each other. The Boardwalk Bookshop made up of Driftaway Books, The Gift Shop and Muffins to the Max, was born, located on the beach in LA. It also begins a beautiful friendship. If only they could sort out their personal lives as well. Bree is adamant that she is not going to get hurt again. Between her parents and deceased husband, she has never been truly loved. Mikki is divorced and content with her life. She and her ex are friends, happily co-parenting and her mother-in-law even works with her, but what happens when a new man begins to show interest? Ashely is happily in love, but it seems he has no intention of marrying her. Can she stay with him without marriage, or should she move on? Three women, three friends, three different problems. Can they help each other find happiness?

Two of the things I love about Susan Mallery’s books are the relationships and the character development. I loved seeing how the friends supported each other. Even the secondary characters played important roles in the lives of one or more of the main characters. The development of their personalities and character was excellent. It was revealed throughout the book letting us gradually get to know them, just like in real life. These were three ladies I would love to be friends with, have a coffee with and share conversations with. The men in their lives, relatives and romantic interests were also interesting characters, with their own past situations that effected their decisions. I enjoy seeing everyday, relatable situations that are central to the story. They are problems that anyone could encounter which immerses me in their story. There were times in this story where I laughed, got angry, felt sad and also was filled with happiness, all what I have come to expect when reading a Susan Mallery story. I did a read/listen with this book and enjoyed both formats. Tanya Eby is a narrator I am very familiar with. She is a good fit for this book, with her sweet, easy to listen to voice bringing the characters to life for me. I definitely recommend this book in either format, but if you enjoy audiobooks, it is a great one to listen to.

BUY LINKS: Bookshop.orgAmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-a-MillionKindleNookGoogle PlayApple BooksKoboWalmartTarget

Q & A with Susan Mallery

Tell us about your latest book, who is the main character(s) and what can we expect when we pick it up?

The Boardwalk Bookshop is about three strangers—Bree, Mikki and Ashley—who lease a beachfront retail location together and the friendship that blossoms among them. Bree owns the bookshop, Mikki the gift shop, and Ashley the bakery. I wanted to explore the transformative power of friendship. Because they have one another, these women are empowered with the strength and courage to change their lives. The Boardwalk Bookshop is an emotional, uplifting story that you’ll finish with a happy sigh. And I hope it will inspire you to strengthen your own bonds of friendship.

Bree is one of the most wounded characters I’ve ever written—hurt by neglectful parents when she was young, and by repeating that pattern with the man she married. Now widowed, she’s determined to protect herself at all costs. Then Ashley’s brother comes to her bookshop, a motivational author and adventurer who has inspired the world with his story. . . and teaches her that loneliness is a choice she doesn’t have to make. If only she can find the courage to risk her heart again.

Mikki is kind of rocking her divorce, or so she thinks. She and her ex have remained friends, and the whole family still celebrates holidays together. But when she starts dating again and meets a guy with real potential, things get messy fast. Mikki is one of those women who goes into mom mode for anyone in need of nurturing. She also has a wicked sense of humor and a very special, secret relationship that I know will make readers laugh. And maybe blush.

The youngest of the three friends, Ashley is deeply in love with the guy of her dreams. And he loves her, too! Finally, she found The One. Except she’s about to discover that Seth doesn’t believe in marriage. He believes that love is stronger when people make a choice every day to stay together. Can she be happy with him forever, even if she never becomes his wife?

Which of the characters in The Boardwalk Bookshop would you want to have a drink/coffee and a chat with?

I love them all, but if I have to choose, I’ll go with Bree. She’s the most complicated and the most snarky, and I find snarky, complicated women endlessly amusing. Plus, she owns a bookshop! Hello!

What are your Favorite: food, beverage, pet, place visited, place you would like to visit, car, etc?

  • Favorite food: Chocolate and bread are tied for first place.
  • Favorite beverage: wine—I’m a big fan of Washington wines, which is why I wrote The Vineyard at Painted Moon, a book that came out in 2021.
  • Favorite pet: A mom isn’t supposed to have favorites, but I’ll confess just to you—Alex, my cat, is my guy. He always wants to be close to me, and I love that, too. You’ll often see him when I do virtual events, usually demanding dinner and affection, in that order. I do love my dog Kelli, too, but she’s more into her daddy than she is me.
  • Favorite place visited: My husband and I enjoy cruises. We’ve visited so many wonderful places, but one country whose beauty surprised me was Estonia. It’s filled with historical character and charm, and the people are warm and delightful.
  • I also love visiting my hometown, Los Angeles. That’s why I set The Boardwalk Bookshop in LA, so I could spend a few months in California—in my imagination, that is.
  • Place I would like to visit: Our next cruise will be to the British Isles, and I’m very excited. I’ll share pictures on Facebook and Instagram. I’m @susanmallery in both places, if you’d like to travel there vicariously.
  • Favorite car: My husband’s a total car guy. I’m mostly indifferent, though there are features I love. Heated seats are very nice, but a heated steering wheel is true luxury. When I need to know what kind of car a character would drive, I describe the character to Mr. Mallery and let him decide.

Thanks Susan. I have read The Vineyard at Painted Moon and definitely recommend it.

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.

SOCIAL LINKS: TwitterFacebookInstagramAuthor Website