Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, we're joining a TLC Book Tour already in progress starring the latest from that writing phenom we know and love, the one and only, author Susan Mallery! Her newest release fits both the Contemporary Romance and Women's Fiction genres, opening up her writing talents to an even wider reading audience...you know, just in case you haven't already read and loved her work (hello...Fool's Gold series, anyone?!). The story itself speaks of familial bonds, especially those between sisters...both by blood and by choice...and what happens when secrets are left to fester, grow, and turn what could have been into what was and my never be. So, if you would please, pull up a chair and kick back as we welcome today's blog tour guest and book of choice...
About the book...
Kelly Murphy's life as a tulip farmer is pretty routine—up at dawn, off to work, lather, rinse, repeat. But everything changes one sun-washed summer with two dramatic homecomings: Griffith Burnett—Tulpen Crossing's prodigal son, who's set his sights on Kelly—and Olivia, her beautiful, wayward and, as far as Kelly is concerned, unwelcome sister. Tempted by Griffith, annoyed by Olivia, Kelly is overwhelmed by the secrets that were so easy to keep when she was alone.
But Olivia's return isn't as triumphant as she pretends. Her job has no future, and ever since her dad sent her away from the bad boy she loved, she has felt cut off from her past. She's determined to reclaim her man and her place in the family…whether her sister likes it or not. For ten years, she and Kelly have been strangers. Olivia will get by without her approval now.
While Kelly and Olivia butt heads, their secrets tumble out in a big hot mess, revealing some truths that will change everything they thought they knew. Can they forgive each other—and themselves—and redefine what it means to be sisters?
The best way to share this story is through the eyes of its characters as they are the ones that truly make this tale what it is. Whether it be their quirky personalities, transparent demeanor, ulterior motives, or unusual take on "the truth", they all work to shape the story in remarkable ways. First up, the ladies...
Kelly...I loved her no nonsense approach to life, how she'd take each day as it came, and the way she'd pour herself into her work. It was her life's breath, the only thing outside of her family structure she'd ever known, and she was good at it too...but that doesn't mean it should have to be her everything. After her last relationship ended and the decimation of her home life so many odd years ago, I get that she's gun shy...can't blame her either, I'd be too...but I was also glad to see the changes that came her way. NO, I DID NOT WANT HER HURT...but sometimes the greatest healing comes after the biggest heartaches.
Olivia...you were a tough nut to crack. Gospel truth...I didn't like you for the longest time, probably longer than Kelly. Once you had your own weaknesses bared, I finally felt for you. I get it...how you turned out, the road you took, even the way you viewed life...it made sense....but it still didn't make it right, for you or for those it affected. When you finally found your footing and starting turning things around, I was so happy for you...but I did worry about that rather large (and blonde) secret you were unintentionally keeping as it had the power to blow up right in your face. After all, full disclosure is just that, full disclosure, and while your past didn't dictate the necessary behaviors to follow, once your heart found its voice, you finally had a fighting chance of really being free.
Helen...though a "sister of the heart" versus blood, your bond with Kelly was so much stronger than the one she carried with her actual sister. Grant it the past had a lot to do with it, but don't sell yourself short either! You were a true blue friend through thick and thin, despite where your other interests may have wanted to lie...or with whom. The fact that you respected her so much to not screw things up even at your own detriment was heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time. I was so happy when you finally broke your silence but so scared for you as well, and hoped against hope that it would turn out right in the end (though really, could you have chosen a better communicator for crying out loud?). You're strength of character and ability to always find your way were commendable, but your real beauty was the size of your heart.
There...we've mentioned the most important women in our midst, Marilee...SO does not count. (THAT WOMAN! UGH!) As for the fellows...
I was always at odds on my like or dislike for Griffith as he is just so plain faced, not in looks but in personality. I mean, he's quite literally a guy who says what he means but not always with the usual finesse. His desire to work on his connection with Kelly was commendable, but...um...yeah, the study sessions were definitely not what I was prepared for. *ahem* Anywho, he's still a good guy, just a little odd...though aren't we all? Next up, Sven...and I finally understand the undressed drawing of him on my Tulip Sisters bookmark. Let's just say, he's not ashamed of his body and much prefers the buff. Her penchant for nudity aside, he's actually a good guy...much more so than I initially assumed. Grant it, he does mess up in an uber buttheaded way, but we'll blame it on the fact that he's a guy and call it a day. Speaking of being a guy, let's chat a sec about Jeff. His potential love connection is not what we usually see in most novels, but it doesn't mean it has any less ability to set the night on fire. One things though...he needs to work on his communication skills, or lack thereof. I mean to be all hot and heavy one moment and then disappear for all practical purposes the next, speaks more for a guy half his age, and even then it's aggravating!
In the end, the tale woven around these character's lives is one to remember and I can definitely see myself making the trip back to Tulpen Crossing should the opportunity present itself. Though we do get a final wrap up of sorts at book's end, tying everyone's loose ends together, just like that jiggly concoction hospitals are so fond of, there's always room for more...stories, characters, and world building world, that is! Highly recommended to Susan Mallery's current fan base as well as those just being introduced and looking for a new add to their reading list this summer.
About the author...
Susan Mallery is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of books about the relationships that define women’s lives—romance, friendship, family. With compassion and humor, Susan keenly observes how people think and feel, in stories that take readers on an emotional journey. Sometimes heartbreaking, often funny, and always uplifting, Susan’s books have spent more than 200 weeks on the USA Today bestsellers list, thanks to her ever growing legions of fans.
Critics, too, have heaped praise on “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!”
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, January of 1992. 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 Seattle with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a tattletale toy poodle. Her heart for animals has led Susan to become an active supporter of the Seattle Humane Society. Animals play a big role in her books, as well, as she believes they’re an integral component to a happy life.
Special thanks to Lisa at TLC Book Tours and the Harlequin Books team for the ARC for review. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, THIS TOUR, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title just celebrated its BOOK BIRTHDAY last week via HQN, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing. Be sure to visit the other stops along the tour for more interesting insights, features, and fun!
Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!