From the publisher:
The California sunshine’s not quite so bright for three sisters who get dumped in the same week…
Finola, a popular LA morning-show host, is famously upbeat until she’s blindsided on live TV by the news that her husband is sleeping with a young pop sensation who has set their affair to music. While avoiding the tabloids and pretending she’s just fine, she’s crumbling inside, desperate for him to come to his senses and for life to go back to normal.
Zennie’s breakup is no big loss. Although the world insists she pair up, she’d rather be surfing. So agreeing to be the surrogate for her best friend is a no-brainer—after all, she has an available womb and no other attachments to worry about. Except…when everyone else, including her big sister, thinks she’s making a huge mistake, being pregnant is a lot lonelier—and more complicated—than she imagined.
Never the tallest, thinnest or prettiest sister, Ali is used to being overlooked, but when her fiancé sends his disapproving brother to call off the wedding, it’s a new low. And yet Daniel continues to turn up “for support,” making Ali wonder if maybe—for once—someone sees her in a way no one ever has.
But side by side by side, these sisters will start over and rebuild their lives with all the affection, charm and laugh-out-loud humor that is classic Susan Mallery.
Susan Mallery writes great characters then puts them through hell, but they always find their happily ever after which is why I keep reading her. These sisters care about each other but also recognize each other’s faults. Even though I didn’t necessarily love all the sisters equally, I quickly became invested in what happened to them. I was especially rooting for Ali, who felt that Finola was her mother’s favorite and Zennie was her father’s favorite, leaving her out in the cold. So when her fiance dumps her via his brother, I really felt for her.
Finola’s world crashes when her husband leaves her for a young pop star, who is a bitch, by the way. Finola’s reactions felt very real to me, and I liked watching this character learn about herself and grow. I was very surprised by, and especially loved, her happy ending.
Zennie’s break up isn’t really even a break up. She went out with Clark a few times, thought he was nice but she just wasn’t interested in a relationship. So when he dumps her, it’s more surprising than upsetting as usually Zennie is the one to walk away. Meanwhile her best friend, a cancer survivor, asks her to be a surrogate so she and her husband can have a baby. After some soul searching Zennie agrees, but her family and friends are not all on board with her decision. Again the reactions all the way around felt real to me. So did Zennie occasionally thinking about Clark; after all, she wasn’t the one who dumped him and that gives her pause.
Mallery does such a good job with family dynamics and intersperses plenty of drama and laughter and of course, romance. I found myself totally engrossed, staying up much too late to finish it. But I had to get to the happy ending and I’m very glad I did. Another terrific read from one of my favorite authors.
3/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
CALIFORNIA GIRLS by Susan Mallery. Forever (January 29, 2019). ISBN 978-1455541829. 496p.
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