Divorce left Harper Szymanski with a name no one can spell, a house she can’t afford and a teenage daughter who’s pulling away. With her fledgeling virtual-assistant business, she’s scrambling to maintain her overbearing mother’s ridiculous Susie Homemaker standards and still pay the bills, thanks to clients like Lucas, the annoying playboy cop who claims he hangs around for Harper’s fresh-baked cookies.
Spending half her life in school hasn’t prepared Dr. Stacey Bloom for her most daunting challenge—motherhood. She didn’t inherit the nurturing gene like Harper and is in deep denial that a baby is coming. Worse, her mother will be horrified to learn that Stacey’s husband plans to be a stay-at-home dad…assuming Stacey can first find the courage to tell Mom she’s already six months pregnant.
Separately they may be a mess, but together Harper and Stacey can survive anything—their indomitable mother, overwhelming maternity stores and ex’s weddings. Sisters Like Us is a delightful look at sisters, mothers and daughters in today’s fast-paced world, told with Susan Mallery’s trademark warmth and humor
I absolutely adore The Mischief Bay series by Susan Mallery. Sisters Like Us is the fourth novel in the series and each one has been better than the last, including this one. Harper and Stacey are as different as sisters can be but they both have two things in common: they are hard workers and the both love their families unconditionally. Bunny, their mother, is a bit of a nut job. As the girls grew up, she set ridiculous expectations when it came to decorating for holidays (i.e. Groundhog Day) and decorating the table for dinner (every.single.night). As an adult, Harper felt the pressure from her mom and kept her ridiculous traditions alive but Stacey did not. Stacey and Harper are both very interesting characters. They are both strong, independent women who know (mostly) what they want out of life. I really enjoyed reading about about their struggles and triumphs. Harper has the most amazing job, so it seems. Virtual assistant? Yes, please.
As expected, Susan Mallery added a few human-like canine characters to Sisters Like Us; three of them to be exact. Harper’s daughter, Becca, inherited three dobermans from her great aunt after she passed away. All three dogs play an interesting role in the novel. The dog characters in Susan Mallery’s books are always my favorite. I find it so fascinating how she manages to really bring out the true value of a family pet in all of her novels.
Becca’s character pulled at my heart stings. Poor girl couldn’t catch a break. A familiar face does play an important role in not only Becca’s life, but also Harper’s, in Sisters Like Us. Lucas is a featured returning character in this Mischief Bay novel. You have to love to hate him, although I leaned more towards love than hate. Just you wait and see.
Stacey’s feelings about being a mother are real and genuine. More than a few women feel unsure, and uneasy, about how they will transition into motherhood. Before becoming a mom, wondering how to balance family life and work life is a constant internal battle for Stacey. Stacey’s struggle with going back to work while her husband stays home with the baby is an uncommon topic that needs to be approached more often. I love the way Susan Mallery made it a hot topic throughout Stacey’s entire journey. As I have said before, most of the time, you love your baby as soon as you find out you’re having one, but sometimes, more often than we think, it takes a while for mother’s to like their baby. If you’re a mom (or even a dad), you might know this feeling.
Hands down, my favorite book in the series so far. I can’t wait for the next installment to see which characters will pop up again. .
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.