Book Review: The Friends We Keep

Book Review: The Friends We KeepThe Friends We Keep by Susan Mallery
Series: Mischief Bay #2
on February 23rd 2016

In this insightful and compelling story from book club favorite Susan Mallery, three close friends test the boundaries of how much a woman can give before she has nothing left.
After five years as a stay-at-home mom, Gabby Schaefer can't wait to return to work. Oh, to use the bathroom in peace! No twins clamoring at the door, no husband barging in, no stepdaughter throwing a tantrum. But when her plans are derailed by some shocking news and her husband's crushing expectations, Gabby must fight for the right to have a life of her own. 
Getting pregnant is easy for Hayley Batchelor. Staying pregnant is the hard part. Her husband is worried about the expensive fertility treatments and frantic about the threat to her health. But to Hayley, a woman who was born to be a mom should risk everything to fulfill her destiny—no matter how high the cost. 
Nicole Lord is still shell-shocked by a divorce that wasn't as painful as it should've been. Other than the son they share, her ex-husband left barely a ripple in her life. A great new guy tempts her to believe maybe the second time's the charm…but how can she trust herself to recognize true love? 
As their bonds of friendship deepen against the beautiful backdrop of Mischief Bay, Gabby, Hayley and Nicole will rely on good food, good wine and especially each other to navigate life's toughest changes.

This is the second book I received via the Susan Mallery review crew. The first being Marry Me At Christmas, the 19th book in the Fool’s Gold series by Mallery. The Friends We Keep is the 2nd book in her new series, Mischief Bay, with the first being The Girls of Mischief Bay.

In this second novel, we are reintroduced to Nicole Lord, a recent divorcee, who owns and runs Mischief in Motion – the local yoga studio. She is also mother to Tyler who loves Brad the Dragon. Divorced from Eric, a screenwriter in Hollywood, she hasn’t dated or been with anyone in quite a while, so after a meeting with someone she wasn’t a fan of, love might be in the air for her again.

Hayley Batchelor, who we first met in the first novel as the receptionist/assistant for Pam’s husband and his construction company, is still having infertility problems. After multiple miscarriages, Hayley may never be able to have a child of her own causing conflict between her and her loving husband, Rob. As a lifelong dream feels like it is coming to an end and newly formed friendship may be just the answer she needed.

We are somewhat re-introduced to Gabby Schaefer, a stay-at-home mother to 5-year-old twin daughters, Kenzie and Kennedy, step-mother to 15-year-old Makayla, and wife to Eric. She has a excellent relationship and romance with her husband but feels she has an iffy one with her step-daughter. She’s been out of the work force for over 5 years and is excited to rejoin once the twins start school. After an unexpected surprise, her life and those around her may be turned upside down. (She is also the sister-in-law of Shannon from the first novel.)

I really enjoyed reading this book so much so that I nearly refused to put it down. I just needed to know what was going to happen to the three very strong and independent women. It’s a great story of friendship and love.

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