My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - in and out as able over 3days
Pages - 448
Publisher - Mills&Boon
Source - Review copy
Blurb from Goodreads
When fate brings three strangers to a charming space for lease on the California coast, the Boardwalk Bookshop is born. Part bookstore, part gift shop, part bakery, it's a dream come true for Bree, Mikki and Ashley. But while their business is thriving, their personal lives are…not.
Bree, wounded by brilliant but cold parents and her late husband's ultimate betrayal, has sworn to protect her heart at all costs. Even from Ashley's brother, a writer and adventurer who has inspired millions. He's the first man to see past Bree's barricades to her true self, which terrifies her. Mikki has this divorce thing all figured out—somehow, she's stayed friends with her ex and her in-laws…until a new man changes how everyone looks at her, and how she sees herself. Meanwhile, Ashley discovers that the love of her life never intends to marry. Can she live without being a wife if it means she can have everything else she's ever wanted?
At sunset every Friday on the beach in front of the Boardwalk Bookshop, the three friends share a champagne toast. As their bond grows closer, they challenge one another to become the best versions of themselves in this heartachingly beautiful story of friendship, sisterhood and the transformative power of love.
Bree, Mikki and Ashley are business partners within the Boardwalk Bookshop, part bookshop, part cake shop and part gift shop. Alone they couldn't do it but together they could achieve their dream so three strangers became partners and friends somewhat. All very different, Bree runs the bookshop, has encounters with men on her terms and after everything she has been through vows not to get in deep with anyone. Ashley is happily in love with boyfriend Seth and all she wants is to get married and have her happy every after but Seth has different values and Ashley finds herself between the man she loves so much and the one thing she really wants, marriage. Mikki the third of the trio has been divorced for a few years now, her kids pretty much grown and her and her ex hubby get on better now than ever. Just as Mikki is about to dip her toe back into the dating world a curve ball she could never have predicted pops up.
The three storylines flow pretty decent and I didn't find myself distracted as we went from one to the other. The three ladies are friends as well as business partners, very different people and do a wee meet every Friday with a bottle of fizz. When one of Ashley's nearest and dearest is drawn to Bree things can get a bit tricky. Of them all I felt so much for Bree, whilst she is a bit of a self saboteur, you can totally understand why when you get into it and her parents. I actually felt heartsore for her, whilst never having that kind of relationship with a parent(s) you can't help but want to hug her. No doubt she would push you away if you tried but you get the meaning.
Ashley I went a bit back and forth on, I absolutely understand where she was coming from but some points she was a bit self involved, wrapped up in her wants than consideration of Seth having a similar feeling just on the opposite end.
Mikki oh I cringed a wee bit in one of two of her moments but again between a rock and a hard place I did feel for her. With all of the women you can't help but think what would you do/say/react to their situations.
My reading is struggling just now due to personal circumstances but it was nice to slip into their world and leave my own behind. The characters, like them or not, you absolutely drew to them and their dilemmas. I looked forward to seeing how it was going to unravel for each, 4/5 for me this time. This is my first Mallery book but it won't be my last, she weaves a tale that allows you to step in and lose yourself for a little while! I used to love Mills and Boon as a teenager, this book reminded me of that and hopefully will read a bit more now.
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