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Mischief Bay #1

The Girls of Mischief Bay

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Nicole Lord wants to be a good wife, but there's a difference between being supportive and supporting her husband, who quit his job to write a screenplay she's never seen. He won't even help take care of their son, leaving Nicole to run the house and work full-time at her Mischief Bay Pilates studio. Can she say enough is enough without losing the man she loves?

Sacrificing a personal life for her career is how Shannon Rigg rose to become vice president in her firm, but she wonders now whether she made the right choice. An exciting new relationship with a great guy convinces her that it might not be too late—until he drops a bombshell that has her questioning whether she can have it all. And if she can, does she want it?

Although Pam Eiland has a beautiful house and a husband she adores, she feels… restless. She wonders who a stay-at-home mom becomes after the kids are grown. Finding sexy new ways to surprise her husband brings the heat and the humor back to their marriage, but when unexpected change turns her life upside down, she'll have to redefine herself. Again.

Through romance and heartbreak, laughter and tears, three very different women will discover that friends can become family, and that life is richer with sisters at your side.

416 pages, Paperback

First published February 24, 2015

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About the author

Susan Mallery

658 books13.3k followers
#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming and humorous novels about the relationships that define women's lives—family, friendship, romance. She's best known for putting nuanced characters into emotionally complex, real-life situations with twists that surprise readers to laughter. Because Susan is passionate about animal welfare, pets play a big role in her books. Beloved by millions of readers worldwide, her books have been translated into 28 languages.

Critics have dubbed Mallery "the new queen of romantic fiction." (Walmart) Booklist says, "Romance novels don't get much better than Mallery's expert blend of emotional nuance, humor, and superb storytelling," and RT Book Reviews puts her "in a class by herself!" It's no wonder that her books have spent more than 200 weeks on the USA Today bestsellers list.

Although Susan majored in Accounting, she never worked as an accountant because she was published straight out of college with two books the same month. Sixteen prolific years and seventy-four books later, she hit the New York Times bestsellers list for the first time with Accidentally Yours in 2008. She made many appearances in the Top 10 before (finally) hitting #1 in 2015 with Thrill Me, the twentieth book in her most popular series, the Fool's Gold romances, and the fourth of five books released that year.

Susan lives in Washington state with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Her heart for animals has led Susan to become an active supporter of the Seattle Humane Society. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,147 reviews
Profile Image for Eilonwy.
814 reviews201 followers
December 13, 2017
Three women, three stages of life:

Pam, at 50, has successfully reared three children. But now she’s feeling old, and wondering if she should get a facelift, and how she can get some spice back into her marriage.

Shannon, about to turn 40, and CFO of an international company, is the epitome of the successful businesswoman, but she’s wondering if maybe she’d like a husband and a child.

Nicole, 30, has been married for six years and has a five-year-old son, but her husband quit his job to write a screenplay and surf, and she’s struggling with handling all the household finances for herself, plus his constant absence while he’s at writing groups and surfing.

Can they each figure out what they want or find what they need?
This all sounds kind of standard and dull, and covered by a zillion TV dramas and movies, right?

And yet somehow, in Susan Mallery’s hands, this is a story full of light, humor, and good examples of how to handle everything life throws at us with grace and bravery, even in the face of hopelessness, death, divorce, etc., as it's not all good times.

Pam and Shannon are both regulars at Nicole’s yoga studio, so the friendship between the three women feels organic and real (and occasionally sweaty). Every situation in the novel felt honest and genuine, and the characters’ motivations, their drives and their hopes and fears, are believable. I found the ending of Nicole’s story a little weak, as I needed to know more about what she and her husband saw in each other in the first place, but it’s only a minor weakness.

It’s hard to describe a book like this, because it’s about life and how it just goes on. But I enjoyed every page of it, and look forward to reading more by this author.
Profile Image for Susan Crowe.
805 reviews5 followers
March 6, 2015
I won't go over what this book is about, you can read the back of the book and find that out. I will say this, What a great book! I have cried over many books in my time, but this one had me SOBBING! Snot sucking sobbing! I felt everything these three women felt. I'm just blown away by Susan Mallery's writing. I have all three books from her Blackberry Island series and have never read them. They are definitely on the short TBR list now.
Profile Image for Dianne.
1,526 reviews117 followers
February 25, 2015
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm Reluctant to Write This, February 25, 2015

This review is from: The Girls of Mischief Bay (Kindle Edition)
I know I am in the minority with my feeling for this initial book in this new series. I almost feel as if I need to apologize for how I feel about it.

This book is wonderfully written with thoroughly fleshed and well rounded characters. I agree that these women are the types that I could see being friends with. However, as entertainment value they left something to be desired. I read to escape my everyday problems, and these characters left me depressed. Let me try to explain ----->POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD<------

We have three women, each a decade apart in age. They range from 30's to 50's. Each brings to the table some sort of issue. From being depressed about no longer being young and attractive, to being single at nearly 40, to having a husband who left his job and is contributing nothing to his marriage. I am in my 50's so of course Pam's problems hit home with me and really depressed me. I too feel out of the loop and not very content with my age. But Pam manages to do something about it and just when everything is going her way, fate slaps her upside the head in the worst way possible and makes things horrible---to the point that she contemplates suicide.

Nicole to seems to finally get her life together and have hope for her marriage - until her husband strikes it big and becomes Hollywood an all the worst definitions of the word.

Luckily as far as HEA's go, Shannon our 40 year old comes the closest but it is a path fraught with complications.

All in all, instead of leaving this book happy and with hope for the future, leaving with the knowledge that I was entertained, I left instead looking for my anti-depressants and a glass of wine.

I admit on the positive side this book did force me to contemplate my life a little closer, but is that what we really want our romance (and that was what this book was being advertised as when I chose it at NetGalley) to do? I had hoped for a slightly more frothy read, but I understand well that Ms Mallery really doesn't write frothy. At least not now.

This book also lacked in the sizzle department - tepid at best, although some sex scenes are quite amusing.
Profile Image for Bonnie.
1,370 reviews918 followers
July 14, 2017
Nicole, Shannon, and Pam are three friends that are thrown some unexpected curve balls in life with only their friendship to help keep them afloat. Nicole’s husband has quit his job unexpectedly to pursue his dream of being a screenwriter leaving her to care for their child, the household and still maintain her full-time job. Shannon has dedicated her life to her career, sacrificing anything and everything especially romance, but when she goes on a blind date she finds herself rethinking her priorities. Pam has quite the perfect life but thinks her marriage could benefit from a little excitement, unfortunately, her perfect life is thrown into an emotional upheaval when she’s forced to experience true loss.

This is my first Susan Mallery book but I was most pleased with this heartwarming story. I don’t often read contemporary stories because I typically like to escape to a world unlike my own, but sometimes it’s comforting to read stories that you can truly understand and appreciate on a personal level. This was certainly one of those types. All three women managed to possess a certain characteristic that I could relate to despite the variation in ages among them. Nicole’s amount of responsibilities becoming a stressful burden on her, Shannon’s desire to connect with her new boyfriends family and the difficulty of being a step-parent and Pam’s struggle to stay strong in the face of adversity. It was at times a sad tale but in the end managed to become a truly inspiring story of perseverance and the true power of friendship.

I received this book free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Profile Image for Melissa.
192 reviews37 followers
February 10, 2016
I did not win this book on Goodreads First Reads. I am a member of the Susan Mallery Review Crew and this book was sent to me to review. "The Girls of Mischief Bay" should have been named, "Welcome to a Big Old Slice of Life" because everyone can probably relate to any one of the main characters, Pam, Shannon, and/or Nicole. Everyone probably knows someone who has been through what these women went through or has been through it themselves. I, mostly, identified with Nicole and I'd tell you why, but I don't want to give anything about the book away. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is going through anything that's tough because the charcters in this book makes a person feel less alone. This book is now in stores and you REALLY need to go out and buy it!!!
Profile Image for Bea .
1,950 reviews138 followers
January 15, 2018
3.5 stars


So I've had this book sitting on my Kindle for several years. I forgot about it until I downloaded the newest book, "Sisters Like Us". I was partway through it before realizing I had this one, lol. So when as I finished "Sisters Like Us" I picked up "The Girls of Mischief Bay". "Sisters" made me laugh but "Girls" made me cry and gutted me.

"The Girls of Mischief Bay" deals with death, divorce, childlessness and isn't afraid to get ugly. It follows three friends, Pam, Shannon, and Nicole, and their families. I cried, a lot. The book gutted me. I had read "Sisters Like Us" right before and it was a lighter read so I was unprepared for the depth of the grief I encountered in this story. As I mentioned above, Mallery takes on suicide - suicide ideation and an aborted suicide. It shocked me at first, I wasn't expecting events to go that way. But it made sense in context and Mallery handled it beautifully. It felt realistic, mostly. There's a turn of events that was a bit too sweet and convenient and yet it felt right. I know I'm being vague; I'm trying to avoid too many spoilers. The other women's stories were also emotional but not as heavy-hitting. The bonds between the three women were strong, deep, and enduring.

"The Girls of Mischief Bay" was an emotional, gut-wrenching story that tore me apart but ultimately left me satisfied. It ended on a hopeful note.

While I've enjoyed the romances of Mallery's that I've read, I think these books, this series, may be my favorite. They're about 70% women's fiction and 30% romance. The stories are real, the characters, most of them, delightful, and I love Mallery's humor. Her storytelling draws me in and makes me care. I'm caught up in what's happening. She has a knack for writing family dynamics and for interpersonal relationships. Now, I need to bet my hands on books two and three and catch up.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Leslie.
354 reviews1 follower
February 26, 2015
Spoiler Alert/Warning Below Rating

This isn't what I would consider a romance. It's a contemporary story about friendship with some romance but not in the traditional sense of following the relationship of a main hero and heroine. What it is is a story about three women, Nicole, Shannon and Pam, who through their friendship, weather some very rough seas together.

One thing about Nicole, Pam and Shannon that sets them apart from what might be called the typical friends story is their age differences and the stage that each is in their lives. Pam is the eldest at fifty. She has been married for many years and has three grown children. Shannon, closing in on forty, is single and career driven but hoping to find love. Nicole, the youngest at thirty, is married with a young son. All three have struggles in their love lives but those struggles are different because each woman is at a different phase in her life. This kept the plot moving along.

We get points of view from each of the three women which helps give insight to how they are feeling and thinking. They share a lot of their thoughts with each other but do hold back some. Also, getting the same scene from different points of view shows how perceptions of others isn't always accurate, even with close friends.

With three different women there is a greater chance the reader will relate to at least one of the women. The downside is if the reader only relates to one of the lead characters that leaves a possible disconnect with approximately two-thirds of the narration. I found myself able to relate easiest to Pam but less so to Nicole and Shannon. Nicole mostly because of how she allowed her husband to treat her. She didn't stand up for herself, but rather tried to justify his self-centered actions. This left me feeling little sympathy for her. Shannon was a little different. With Shannon there is sympathy for her situation even though she has been in control of her life and where it has lead her up until now. Her decisions were intelligent and well thought out. I actually liked her the best.

The first half of the book was enjoyable getting to know the three women and seeing where their lives were going. It was when the bad things started to happen the story took a turn that turned out to be a turn off. It was as if some terrible, life shattering event had to happen to each woman and they might not make it back from the brink they found themselves on. I found certain parts simply depressing. Yes, they did band together and overcome and pulled each other back from the brink but in the end, the trip was a little too rough for me.

Rating: C+

Mischief Bay Series ~

The Girls of Mischief Bay

Spoiler Alert / Warning

If you have recently, and that could be months or years, depending on where you on in the grieving process, suffered the death of your spouse then this might not be the book for you. One of the main characters' spouse dies and we see her go through the aftermath of his death. It wasn't easy to read and might prove to be too difficult for someone who has been there. Or, it could have a positive affect. Reading about a character going through this might make you feel like you're not alone. I felt a warning was needed because the death in the book came as a surprise. Not the blurb nor the story leading up to the death made me think this would happen.

My sincere condolences if you have suffered the death of your spouse, at any point in your life.
Profile Image for Susan.
4,225 reviews89 followers
February 6, 2017
Good story about love and friendship. Nicole, Shannon and Pam are all friends who met through Nicole's exercise business. Each one is at a different stage in life. Nicole is a thirty year old fitness instructor with a husband and a four year old son. Shannon is a single woman, forty years old, with a successful career. Pam is a fifty year old, stay at home mom, with a husband and three grown children. Each of them is about to experience some major changes in their lives and it's their friendship that helps them get through.

Nicole arrived home one day to find that her husband Eric had quit his job to devote himself to writing a screenplay. While he spends his time surfing, writing and going to meetings, she is left running her business, paying the bills, and taking care of their son and the house. I thought Eric was a selfish SOB, concentrating on what he wants and whining about her lack of support for his dreams when all she wanted was a little help from him. I understood her frustration. When the unbelievable happens, Eric changes even more, leaving her wondering what will happen to their marriage. I liked the realism of her life, from trying to figure out how to fit everything she needs to do into her day, to her reactions to her son's current obsession with a cartoon character. I ached for her when it seemed that all her efforts weren't enough for Eric.

Shannon has made her career the focus of her life, but now she's ready for something more. She has dated some, but each relationship crashes when the man can't handle the demands of her career. She meets a terrific new guy with whom she has a lot in common. Having a demanding career himself, he understands hers. I really liked Adam. He's a sensitive guy who owns up to the mistakes he made in his previous marriage and is determined not to make the same ones in his new relationship. Shannon is falling hard for him, and for his two kids, and starts dreaming of building a family with him. But not everything goes smoothly. First he drops a bombshell that puts a kink in her hopes for that family. Then, an issue arising from his daughter's birthday party puts additional strain on the relationship. Shannon worries that it's the end of her dreams. I admit that I really wanted to shake him and make him see that he was being manipulated by his kid, and I was definitely pleased when the truth came out and he realized what an ass he'd been.

Pam was the oldest of the group. She has a happy marriage and three great kids. But she's suddenly feeling her age and that things may have gotten a bit too comfortable and predictable in her marriage. She takes steps to liven things up. It was great fun to read about their weekend away and how it turned out to be something that neither expected. I loved seeing their happiness, which made what happened next even more of a shock. I ached for her as she tried to deal with the pain and sorrow. I was especially worried about her with some of the decisions she was making, and loved seeing her make some new friends. The last day of her cruise was especially emotional.

The entire story was full of both fun and deeply emotional moments. Each of the ladies was someone I could relate to in one way or another. All of them are going through struggles and discover that they are easier to deal with when you have good friends backing you up. And sometimes, helping your friends with their troubles can point out the way to get through your own.
Profile Image for Karschtl.
2,178 reviews51 followers
January 28, 2020
Drei Frauen, die alterstechnisch, beruflich und in Punkto Beziehungsstatus an komplett unterschiedlichen Stellen ihres Lebens stehen. Und trotzdem gute Freundinnen werden, die die Sorgen und Ängste der anderen anhören und sowohl mit Rat als auch manchmal mit Tat zur Seite stehen.

Geschichten um eine solche Frauengruppe erhöhen natürlich die Chance, dass sich die Leserin mit irgendeinem Charakterzug oder Problem identifizieren kann. Doch selbst wenn dem nicht so ist, kann man das Buch einfach nur genießen. Das habe ich zumindest getan.
Ich habe letztes Jahr 2 Bücher der "Happy Inc."-Reihe von Susan Mallery gelesen, und beide nicht so gut gefunden wie dieses hier. Ich denke, weil hier die Frauen absolut im Mittelpunkt stehen und nicht die Anbahnung einer Romanze lang und breit beschrieben wird (genau das war für mich der Schwachpunkt in den "Happy Inc."-Büchern). Und die drei Frauen sind alle gleichberechtigt, sowohl was die Aufmerksamkeit, die die Autorin auf ihre Protagonistinnen legt, angeht als auch wenn es um die Stellung der einzelnen Frauen in der Gruppe geht. Eine jede ist für die andere da. Zudem ist jede nicht nur ein Abziehbild eines gewissen Typs Frau, der schablonenartig eingesetzt wurde, sondern hat eine individuelle Biografie und Vergangenheit.

Ich habe mich in Mischief Bay sehr wohl gefühlt (und war auch ein bisschen neidisch, dass es da im Februar so warm ist - aber auch nur kurz, bis ich daran dachte wie heiß + trocken es dann erst im Sommer ist) und werde die 3 Frauen ganz sicher auch im nächsten Band der Reihe 'besuchen'.

Der deutsche Titel ist allerdings recht eigenwillig und hat nichts mit der Story zu tun.
Profile Image for Jeilen.
438 reviews21 followers
March 5, 2022
No es literatura profunda ni con pretensiones,pero me entretuvo mucho la historia de estas 3 amigas. A veces me cansé también de lo que no hacían o hacían.
Profile Image for Sheree.
572 reviews107 followers
March 20, 2015
4.5 stars

Loved it! I've been craving another heartfelt series from Susan Mallery. I loved the first two books in her Blackberry Island series (not so much the last one) and The Girls of Mischief Bay has a similar feel ... warm and real.

For me, friends are the family you choose for yourself, the strength and security that true friendship brings is a beautiful thing and you can see how true this is for Nicole, Shannon and Pam.

30 year old Nicole with her oxygen-bandit narcissistic husband, Shannon almost 40, successful business woman, ready for a partner in life and Pam at 50, empty-nester, doting mother to delicate fur-baby Lulu, seeking to spice up her 30 year marriage. They're an unlikely trio but I loved what each brought to the friendship, their journey individually and together.

Susan Mallery has a knack for writing women's friendships, real women with heartaches, insecurities, strengths and flaws. Mallery doesn't gloss over the trials and sadness of life familiar to many of us or the pain and frustration of watching a loved one coping with the challenges and changes dealt them but there's also a lot to be said about the value of friendship, laughs and good wine.

A big slice of life in these pages.
Profile Image for Kirsten .
1,565 reviews252 followers
May 24, 2019
For some reason, this was the last of the Mischief Bay books Catherine and I read, yet it was the first written. I also thought it was among the best. (I liked A Million Little Things best, really.)

Susan Mallery writes very engaging women and REAL problems. Sometimes I think the men are over-the-top clueless (as in Eric, what a jerk!). The center of this story was Pam and what happens to her. As I'd read the follow-up books first, I kind of knew, but it was no less emotional for me.

I've really become a big fan of Mallery over the last year. I know I'll read more.
Profile Image for Jonel.
1,717 reviews315 followers
August 1, 2015
Mallery definitely kept me on my toes with this one. There were more that I few times where the unimaginable happened, yet in a very real & emotional manner. This was real life. Readers easily experience the joys and sorrows alongside the characters. The novel itself does start out a bit slow as you get to know the characters, which is typical for the first novel in a new series, but as you get to know the characters it really lets fly. Mallery has developed a fantastic plot that combines the emotionality of heartbreak with all the joys that the best in life can bring, sometimes within paragraphs.

I love the fact that this novel is about women whose lives are already well under way. They are such great friends yet at very different times and places in their lives. Their life experience makes them so much more enjoyable to read about and easy to relate to. I easily fell in love with each of the main characters in the series. The variety of character types gives a well-rounded feel to the novel while insuring that there’s someone for everyone to relate to. This novel encompasses so much more than a single couple.

This was quite the introduction to Mischief Bay and all that goes with it. If the series continues to progress in this manner I’m really going to enjoy Mallery’s new series.

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kristen Anderson.
479 reviews4 followers
March 23, 2015
I love Susan Mallery. I've read many of her books, including all of the Fool's Gold books. I pre-ordered this one and was very excited about the new series. Until I started reading it. And ohmylanta I did NOT like it. It had very little of the sass and humor I find in her other books. Most of the characters set my teeth on edge. The only character I truly enjoyed was Shannon- I wish the book had devoted more time to her. I started out enjoying Pam's arc until the character was hit with a tragedy and planned a way out that upset me greatly. I am not interested in reading any further books in this series, and actually only finished this one because I'd devoted too much time in it to give up.
Profile Image for Darcy.
12.1k reviews417 followers
March 25, 2015
While this book started out slow for me, I loved the friendship between all 3 women. Even better was that each one of them were different ages and at different places in their live, yet their friendship kept them strong.

Each one of the women faced problems and turned to her friends. I thought they each gave great advice, whether they were in the midst of trauma or just needed to vent. I'm happy to see where Nicole and Pam are in their lives and what they survived. With Shannon I'm on the fence, I still need to be won over there. I do look forward to reading more in this series, I want to see where these friends go from here.
Profile Image for Harlequin Books.
16.3k reviews2,770 followers
January 12, 2016
"Mallery’s series debut is an emotional lesson in triumphs and tragedies told in her iconic eloquent style. She breathes life into her three genuinely unforgettable stars and crucial co- stars. Her exceptional handling of the climactic hard knocks and joyful events, and her tiny canine co-star, rocked" (RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 stars).
Profile Image for Terri.
703 reviews20 followers
February 25, 2015
Review also found at http://kristineandterri.blogspot.ca/2...

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. he book was just released.

Every once and a while I am wrong about things and there were two things I was mistaken on about this book from the beginning. The first was I thought I had read other works by Susan Mallery however when I go back and check I did not see any. Perhaps it is because I see her name everywhere I just assumed I had? The second was I had just assumed that this would be a romance type novel. Nope, wrong again. There are elements but there was so much more.

I loved the fact that this was a story about three friends and their journey separately and together. While the storyline for each woman was tied in to the relationship struggles they were each having the underlying theme (to me) was their friendship and the fact that they were always there for each other.

I will not divulge plot but instead will express my feelings about each story

Nicole's Story

I wanted to absolutely murder her husband. He was so useless and self centered. There is no way that even for a millisecond I would put up with what Nicole put up with. A person with such little regard for family and responsibilities would share no space in my life. I was waiting for her to drop kick him right out of the story. This story appealed to my angry where is the justice side

Shannon's Story

Her story had the most appeal for the inner optimist in me. A woman who wants it all, career, man and family finally realizing that it really may be possible. A story of finding someone you can potentially spend the rest of your life with and not have to compromise your career goals. Don't get me wrong, there was conflict within the story but it left me with an optimistic outlook (even though I already have this

Pam's Story

This appealed to my OMG this may be me someday side. I identified with Pam the most as she struggled to break the patterns of a long term marriage and the routine that it settles in to. As in all relationships there is a tendency to get comfortable and want to break out of the norm. I can see this. What happens afterwards is something that broke my heart. I can't even think about walking in Pam's shoes although her storyline was very realistic. I felt I identified the most with her character.

In the end I really enjoyed how these three woman supported each other and were there when the others needed them. It is rare as we get older that we can maintain such friendships and it was refreshing to read about three adults who were in different age groups be able to provide a lifeline to each other. This was very endearing to me.

I would recommend this story and now that I have finally read Mallery's work I will be reading some more!
56 reviews
July 25, 2015
Every element of this book was a cliche. The plot, the situations and, worst of all, the dialogue. I kept reading bc I was sure it would turn around (based on the reviews), but it rode every last cliche into the sunset. Worth skipping.
Profile Image for Bianca.
431 reviews1 follower
July 17, 2015
Blah. Boring. So tired of books that spend the entire book "explaining" things. So many wasted words...It was fine. I guess I need to start picking my "beach reads" a little better
Profile Image for Vicki.
2,143 reviews82 followers
December 5, 2018
I don't find too many really good books about adult friendships, women who have each other to make it through the tough times, such as multiple miscarriages, marriage where the passion has gone, sex boot camp, dating someone with children, first time grandparent, making work one's priority and rising in a world of business that's generally a "man's world." This book covered so much.

There are three friends: Nicole, Shannon, and Pam. They are decades apart in age, which is a little bit unusual. Pam is 50-ish, Shannon is 40-ish, and Nicole is 30. Both Pam and Nicole are married, both women are having issues in their marriages. One is in a marriage with little if any passion/intimacy, the other's husband has suddenly quit his job to pursue his dream. And Shannon longs for love and a family, but she's approaching 40 and is career-driven.
One thing about this book that I love is that they face real-life issues that anyone of their ages has faced either themselves or as they have watched someone they love go through life's trials. I think that women in particular need a special someone to talk with when they go through difficult times. A person we might call our BFF, which for me is my sister, Janice. They had what I have with my sister: trust, a good listener, support, advice, a confidante, and someone that you know you can tell anything to and not be judged or belittled. That's what I loved about this story.

Another pleasant surprise for me is the children in the book. One is Pam's daughter, Jen, who , and her two sons, Steven and Brandon. Then there is Adam who has two young children named Charlotte (Char) and Oliver. They were an added treat for me.

Recommendation: I hope that readers will give this one I try. I am being sexist when I say this, but I do think women would enjoy this book more than men. Then again, who knows!

Profile Image for Jenny.
1,599 reviews55 followers
September 16, 2018
The Girls of Mischief Bay is book one in the Mischief Bay series by Susan Mallery. Three friends Nicole Lord, Shannon Rigg and Pam Eiland who though their lives were perfect. However, this was not the case. Cracks were starting to form in their perfect lives. The readers of The Girls of Mischief Bay will follow these three friends to see what happens in their lives.

The Girls of Mischief Bay is the first book I have read of Susan Mallery, and I did enjoy it. I like Susan Mallery portrayal of her three main characters and the way their lives intertwine with each other. The Girls Of Mischief Bay was well written and researched by Susan Mallery.

I became engaged with the settings of The Girls of Mischief Bay due to the way Susan Mallery describe them. The readers of The Girls of Mischief Bay will learn about the importance of having good friends.

I recommend this book
Profile Image for Obsidian.
2,676 reviews919 followers
April 14, 2015
The Girls of Mischief Bay (Mischief Bay #1) by Susan Mallery.

Genre: Romance/Women's Fiction/Contemporary

So. Have you ever read a book that you felt like was three books in one and you wished that the author had just written three separate books? That is definitely this book here.

I don't know if this latest series by Ms. Mallery means that she will not be writing anymore books based on the Blackberry Island series or not, but I hope she does since I am not a fan of the Fool's Gold series and this book though at times intriguing, did not move me at all.

I only gave this book three stars because though I loved one character a lot, the other two characters in the book were not as interesting. Also there were three separate plot lines going on and trying to mash them all together in this one book really didn't work. I think the idea is that there will be three books in this series with each character getting to be the 'lead'. I think in this case that perhaps the character of Pam was the lead in this book. I honestly don't know. Or perhaps it is Shannon since we do get somewhat a HEA with that character. There was a mention in the back of my book that Nicole would be the "lead" in the next book. I don't know how one is a lead when you have equal amount of chapters devoted to all three characters, but I will just go with it.

There are three main characters in this book, Nicole, Shannon, and Pam.

Nicole, who is trying to run her pilates studio while also dealing with her husband deciding to quit his job to write a screenplay.

Shannon who is the chief financial officer at her firm and has so far not been lucky in love.

And Pam, who is dealing with the fact that though she has been happily married for decades, she feels old and like her life is in a rut.

Out of the three women the one I was most interested in was Shannon. I tend to like books with career focused women. Shannon was interesting because though she wanted romance she was very clear on what she did and did not want to give up in terms of her life and career. Her romance to me was a bit boring though I love how she stood up for herself in the relationship. Usually women in romance novels tend to somehow always be apologizing to the hero though he was the one that messed up. It was a refreshing change to have Shannon realizing that the hero may be more trouble than he was worth. And for once no wicked ex cliche-ing (yep using cliche as a verb) all over the place.

Nicole's character was very interesting since you had her struggling with her resentment and rightful anger towards her husband who decided to follow a dream and not allow her to be involved with his decision to not work. I wish that we had actually gotten more sense of what kind of man Nicole's husband was prior to their marriage since I really could not see what about him drew Nicole to him. I think that's always a problem in romance novels when you have one character being the "bad guy". Their motivations have to make sense or they have to be something redeemable about the person, otherwise the heroine is just a fool that put up with someone's nonsense because of random reasons. Nicole's husband was written like a cartoon villain and the ending with him just didn't ring true at all.

Pam started working my nerves a lot going on about how she was 50 and about to be a grandmother which apparently means that the world is at an end. I just wish I could be more excited about this character. She was dealt a left curve in the book, and then of course I felt like a jerk for disliking the character so much. There is a hint at something involving one of her children and someone else that was introduced in this book which I am hoping I am wrong about.

The setting of Mischief Bay really didn't come alive me at all (it could have been Anytown, USA) though it is supposed to take place in California and be pretty close to Los Angeles. I think it would have helped if we got more descriptions of the houses, scenery, smell, something. One thing I love about the Blackberry Island series is that I feel like I am right on that island when someone is describing places and people. While reading this book I forgot twice that this was supposed to be taken place in California.

The writing I thought was good depending on which character was "speaking". Once again I liked Shannon's voice the most while reading. Pam's voice became grating to me after the character started bemoaning how old she is. Nicole's voice at times seems confident and strong, and then just seems to go into a tailspin here and there. I wish that Ms. Mallery had just kept one woman as the lead in the whole book since we were provided interesting tid-bits about all of the character's background, but of course there is not enough pages to get into all of that.

Finally, the ending was left open-ended (since there are three books in this series I can guess why) and did not leave me with a feeling of a happily ever after which is why I read romance novels. Heck I want everything tied up in a bow when I am done with the book. I don't like lingering questions for my romance books besides the how many kids will the hero and heroine have together.
Profile Image for Brandi.
43 reviews3 followers
March 3, 2018
What a great book! I can’t wait to read more of Susan Mallery’s books!
Profile Image for Nita Kohli.
189 reviews47 followers
January 28, 2016
A more like 3.5 stars :)

I really enjoy books that focus on family and friendship aspects of human life. I love to read how friends or family are there for each other in both good and bad times. My inclination towards these kind of books made me pick up The Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery.


The book has three main characters - Nicole, Shannon, Pam - and a reader gets to read the point of view of each of these characters and look through the life of each one of them. Nicole runs a gym (Pilates Studio) and Shannon and Pam are its members and also friend of Nicole. Nicole is in her 30's, Shannon is almost 40 and Pam is in her 50's.

Nicole is married to Eric and they have a son, Tyler. Things are fine till one day Eric announces that he has left his job in order to write a screenplay - something that he has always wanted to do. Now Eric being at home not earning, the entire responsibility of getting money in the house is on Nicole. She is not as upset with Eric for not supporting the family financially but she is more annoyed with the fact that he is not there at all. He is not even there for his son Tyler. Nicole finds herself questioning if she ever knew the man she has been married for years.

Shannon, for years, has put her career ahead of everything else in her life and that includes love and relationship. Now, a CFO of a company she wonders if she did the right thing by missing on love and starting a family. But, when she meets Adam, she feels that may be it's not too late and she can still have all that she wanted somewhere deep down her heart. Shannon begins to see a future with him but one day Adam tells her something that leaves her world and desires devastated.

Pam has a blessed life - a husband, John, who still loves her and finds her beautiful even after thirty years of marriage; three children who are all grown up but still find time for their parents and are always there for them. But, Pam begins to feel that her life is like a routine and that she is - old. She goes berserk thinking when did this happen? When did she get so aged? John loves her and the married life is smooth but there is no spark according to Pam. She takes it on herself to bring back the excitement in her marriage and try methods to make herself look young. But, then she meets with a loss that traumatizes to her an extent that she decides to take an extreme step that would for sure leave her loved ones in a state of despair. Will Pam end up hurting everyone who love her?


Each of the three girls of Mischief Bay - Nicole, Pam and Shannon are kind of characters that you will love and vouch for. The three characters are an example of everyday women you might come across in your life. Be it Nicole, who is trying to juggle her work and home so that she can balance the two in a perfect manner or be it Shannon, who is a career oriented woman who takes pride in her work and her success but also misses love somewhere at the bottom of her heart or be it Pam who has it all but still feels insecure about her age and her skin having wrinkles. So, these characters are very real and may be you will identify with at least one of them.

What I like

I like the book for its three lead heroines who are very real. They make you laugh but also make you sad when they are facing struggles in their life. I had a good laugh at Pam's attempts to look young and bring back the passion in her married life.
Also, what I loved the most about this book is its simplicity. It is a simple tale of lives and friendship of three women. There are few twists and turns but that happen much later in the book. For the major part, the story flows effortlessly and I really enjoyed this aspect of the book. Some might find it monotonous but I found it relaxing and I just sat back and read about the lives of the three women (or as the book says girls).

What I did not like

I did not really have any problems with the book. There were times when I got annoyed with Shannon as we hear her say that she is a CFO in an organization and has six figure salary, a lot! I mean really - a lot! Okay we get it girl that you are at an amazing position in the company you work for and you earn a great money but can you talk about something else? As you might begin to look like a snob now!
Other than this the book worked perfectly well for me.

My final thoughts on this book

If you are looking for a relaxing read then this is the book for you. One will enjoy the lives of The Girls of Mischief Bay for sure as the three take its readers on a ride full with romance and heartbreak, laughter and tears.

Read this and my other book reviews at www.book-choose.com
Profile Image for Karen.
120 reviews
August 2, 2020
This book was ok, not great. Too much repetition and the characters and their circumstances were more stereotypical than real to me. It was an easy read and I always like stories about women and their friendships, but this one didn’t grab me.
Profile Image for Danielle.
1,339 reviews48 followers
January 10, 2015
The Girls of Mischief Bay is the first book in a new series by Susan Mallery and to be honest I wasn’t sure after starting it if I would continue to read it, but I am glad I did. This book takes you on a journey of three women who are not only different in age, but they live very different lives.

Nicole’s husband Eric decides to quit his successful career to write a screenplay without speaking to her to beforehand which I thought was out of line. Being married things should be discussed as partners. Nicole tries to be supportive but with him always working all the chores and taking care of their son has fallen on her shoulders and she has her own business on top of that. Eric promises that he will help out more, but selling his screenplay is more important. I liked Nicole and her way of thinking, but when it comes down to it I wish she was a little stronger and more of the take charge person she wanted to be. With doubting if her marriage will survive Eric finally sells his screenplay and becomes a changed man. Now with new clothes, highlights and Hollywood parties to attend Nicole just isn’t good enough anymore.

Pam is having a hard time with her age but being 50 and having grown children does have its advantages. Her and her loving husband John take a trip to get the romance back in their lives although it’s not really needed, but I love how she wanted to spice things up in the bedroom. When a tragedy hits her family, it’s time for Pam to make some decisions and decide how to handle them one day at time. I did have a hard time with some that she wanted to make and found myself tearing up throughout what she was going through and how she was going to actually end up handling them. I think her story is the one that touched me the most in this book.

Shannon has worked hard to get to where she is in her life, but settling down was put on the back burner. Now that her career is going well she is wondering if she has missed out on getting married and having children. When she meets Adam from an internet dating site she isn’t so sure that he will call again especially since their first date was interrupted by work. With a romance blooming she is becoming more sure about starting a family with the man she is falling in love with, only one problem he has two kids from a previous marriage and had a vasectomy. With the vasectomy hanging over their relationship things get a little tense, but Adam is sure that Shannon is the one for him and will do anything to keep her in his life which was super sweet.

I really liked how Mallery set up the setting of this book and the details she provided to make it seem like you were right there along with this women in Mischief Bay that alone had e wanting to continue on this adventure with this three women. It goes to show that age doesn’t really matter when you are amongst good friends to help you through the life changes, heartaches, and what the future might hold. They are their through the good and the bad. I think these women will be friends forever.

I am excited to see what happens in the next book in the series and can’t wait to read it. Mallery has changed me over to wanting to read more Womens Fiction.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
1,438 reviews237 followers
February 24, 2015
The Girls of Mischief Bay is the first book in a new series by Susan Mallery. As I read on into the book I began to really enjoy it and followed each of the three main characters with interest as their stories played out. Three women who are friends - Nicole, Shannon and Pam. Nicole is in her thirties, Shannon is almost forty and Pam is fifty. I wonder why it is called The Girls of Mischief Bay, these are women - not girls!

Nicole teaches pilates and works hard in her business and loves her young son Tyler. However her husband Eric has up and left his work and settled in to write a screenplay - oh and to go surfing in the morning. Meanwhile Nicole struggles on working hard and paying the bills. Eric seems to be very wrapped up in his own life and vision. He was a remote kind of character, we never really got inside his head and I had little to no empathy for him. Nicole and he are drifting apart and this is the struggle and challenge in life for Nicole.

Shannon is very successful - a six figure yearly income. She is a CFO and very competent at her job, prepared to work the long hours it takes. Yet she hankers for something more, and meets Adam, someone she is attracted to. He is divorced and shares the custody of his two children week about. For Shannon the challenge is forming a loving and trusting relationship and discovering the ups and downs of moving towards a relationship that could really be 'the one'. Shannon is discovering the need to have a child and realises her time is running out. Will Adam go along with that need, after all he has two children already?

Pam has a loving husband and three grown children - and a delicate little dog - Lulu. She and John have been married for thirty one years, as the story opens she is struggling with ageing. She is noticing all those wrinkles and other signs of ageing that no one tells you about until it happens to you! I identify with Pam! It makes her a little insecure, yet she is such a competent and talented woman who is so supportive of her friends and family. She also feels her sexual relationship with her husband John is somewhat 'meh' so she decides to book a surprise retreat weekend geared towards spicing it up. However soon Pam is dealing with a lot more serious issues than these.

Life throws a number of curve balls for these women to face and work through. At times I wanted to shake one or two of them, but like in real life it all takes time and things begin to change as time goes by. For each of these women it was a facing of the end of one way of life and the beginning of something new. Another stage in life - and with that comes loss and grief, insecurity and being totally thrown. It also makes way for something new.

Nicole is to be the main character in the next book and I look forward to seeing where her life leads. She deserves something really good, while she accepts responsibility for what has happened so far, I want her to become really confident in who she is and reach for the stars. I look forward to meeting again these three friends and their wider circle of family and friends. I wish it was already written.
4.5 stars
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