I usually don't share excerpts but I'm so excited about this one that I couldn't help but share. I've been a fan of Susan Mallery's for years though I haven't read really any of her stand-alones despite the fact that they're all on my TBR. So when I was offered this one for a review & excerpt I couldn't say yes fast enough. For starters check out the cover! Isn't it adorable and so sunny looking. I don't know about you but I am COLD and reading about anything even remotely set near a beach is the perfect escapist read. Plus, I love books about sisters as only an only child can! So here's an excerpt of Susan Mallery's Sisters Like Us (Amazon Link) and check back later in the month for the review!
They got out of the car and started for the front door. Stacey paused to study the bunny footprints on the walkway. Inadequacy gripped her with cold, bony fingers.
She would never be able to do anything like that, she thought, trying not to panic. She wouldn’t even think to do it, let alone be clear on how to execute the plan. Yes, Kit would be the one staying home with their daughter, but still—she was completely and totally clueless.
Harper opened the front door and smiled. “Hey, you two.” She ran down the steps and hugged her sister before embracing Kit. “I hope you’re hungry. I made lasagna.”
Because it was Becca’s favorite, Stacey thought automatically. Harper always did that sort of thing. She took care of the details of life. Details Stacey rarely noticed.
They went into the house. From the foyer Stacey could see the decorated table, the place settings and the crystal glasses. She thought of the plain dishes she and Kit had at home and wanted to whimper.
“Come on,” Harper said, leading them into the kitchen. “I’m trying a new herbal tea I read about online. It’s supposed to be perfect for pregnant women. It supports both the baby and the mother.” She grinned at Kit. “For you, I have a beer.”
“You’re my favorite sister-in-law,” he told her.
Harper laughed. “Of course I am.”
Stacey watched Harper pour hot tea into a mug. “I’m going to tell Mom today.”
Harper rolled her eyes. “Uh-huh. Sure you are. I usually resent you being both the pretty and the smart sister, but right now you do have your issues. I say wait until Joule is born, then hand her over. Mom will get the message.”
Kit got a bottle of beer from the refrigerator. “That’s what I said.”
The back door opened and Bunny walked into the kitchen. “You’re here,” she said, smiling at Stacey and Kit. “Why didn’t anyone tell me?”
She hugged them both, then looked around at the kitchen. “Do you need help with dinner?” she asked Harper.
“Thanks, Mom, I’m good.”
Stacey sipped her tea. Harper always made everything domestic look so easy. Her house was perfectly decorated for whatever season and always tidy and clean.
Bunny took a mug of tea and sat at one of the counter stools. She looked at Stacey. “So what’s new?”
The room went totally silent. Stacey could feel her husband and her sister both watching her, waiting to see what she would do.
She had to come clean—she understood that. If only her mother would understand. But Bunny wouldn’t. She hadn’t approved of Stacey keeping her own last name when she married Kit, that she still worked full-time, that her job had always been the most important part of her life, at least until she’d met Kit.
Stacey sucked in a breath and opened her mouth. “Mom, I—”
The call came from the front of the house. Harper walked by and murmured, “Saved by the bell, so to speak. I can’t figure out if you have the best or worst luck.”
Harper’s client Lucas walked into the kitchen with a tall, thin redhead at his side. The young woman looked to be maybe twenty or twenty-one. She held a large, fabric-covered box, which she handed to Harper.
“Lucas said this is for you.”
“It’s beautiful,” Harper said as she set it on the counter. “Where did you find it?”
“Etsy,” Lucas said, handing Bunny a bouquet of flowers. “Hello, Bunny.”
Her mother batted her lashes and smiled at Lucas. “Hello, Lucas.” She turned to his date. “And you are?”
“Persimmon,” Harper said with a grin.
“Oh, dear.” Bunny’s mouth grew pinched. “That’s an unusual name.”
“I know, right? I have a sister named Kumquat.”
“I can’t imagine what your parents were thinking.” Bunny gave her an insincere smile. “Let me get these in water.”
With Lucas and Persimmon around, Stacey was able to relax. There was no way she could tell her mother the truth now. Maybe after dinner, when Lucas and his date had left.
Stacey settled on one of the bar stools at the kitchen counter and prepared to watch the dynamics of the interactions between Lucas, Harper and Bunny.
Harper got her guests drinks. Lucas took a beer and Persimmon wanted to try the herbal tea. Stacey wondered if she was old enough to legally drink alcohol. Bunny fussed with the flowers, all the while eyeing Lucas’s date.
In a way, Bunny’s dilemma was interesting to observe. She didn’t approve of his young girlfriends, yet he was a man and therefore right by default. Stacey wondered about his preference for dating women so much younger than himself. He was attractive, intelligent and had a very responsible job. By all accounts he should be more comfortable with women closer to his own demographic. Yet he clearly favored young, beautiful but vapid women.
Kit’s theory was that Lucas had had some trauma in his life. Stacey had asked Harper, but she didn’t have any insights.
Lucas settled next to Stacey, then leaned close. “Still not coming clean?” he asked quietly.
“How did you know?”
“There’s no screaming and Bunny isn’t hyperventilating. Want me to tell her? She doesn’t scare me.”
“She doesn’t scare me, either.”
Lucas raised his eyebrows.
“Okay, she doesn’t scare me much.”
He winked at her and she laughed.