Welcome to my stop on the excerpt tour for The Stepsisters by Susan Mallery. Her books are the perfect beach reads and last summer her book, The Friendship List, was one of my favorite poolside books.
Today I’m super excited to be sharing an excerpt of The Stepsisters. I’m reading the book right now and it’s got me in the mood for summer already!
#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery pens a love story of a different sort…a heartfelt tale of friendship between two women who used to be sisters.
Once upon a time, when her dad married Sage’s mom, Daisy was thrilled to get a bright and shiny new sister. But Sage was beautiful and popular, everything Daisy was not, and she made sure Daisy knew it.
Sage didn’t have Daisy’s smarts—she had to go back a grade to enroll in the fancy rich-kid school. So she used her popularity as a weapon, putting Daisy down to elevate herself. After the divorce, the stepsisters’ rivalry continued until the final, improbable straw: Daisy married Sage’s first love, and Sage fled California.
Eighteen years, two kids and one troubled marriage later, Daisy never expects—or wants—to see Sage again. But when the little sister they have in common needs them both, they put aside their differences to care for Cassidy. As long-buried truths are revealed, no one is more surprised than they when friendship blossoms.
Their fragile truce is threatened by one careless act that could have devastating consequences. They could turn their backs on each other again…or they could learn to forgive once and for all and finally become true sisters of the heart.
Adam returned carrying a plate stacked high with the crispy snacks. He smiled as he set it between them.
“Why are you working in retail?”
“Because I don’t have the training to be a jet pilot,” she said, reaching for a taquito. She thought about mentioning her tutoring, but that wasn’t impressive, either.
“Seriously, why? You’re rich. You don’t need to work.”
She licked her fingers as she stared at him. “I’m not rich. Where did you get that idea? I have a small settlement from my ex-husband and that’s it. I’m paying my mom rent and I enjoy eating, which means I need to be a working girl.” She frowned. “Not in a hooker sense.”
“I just assumed you’d married money,” he said, then raised a hand. “Not in the hooker sense. Just in the beautiful women tend to gravitate toward wealthy men sense.”
“It didn’t work out that way. My first husband was a race car driver, but then he crashed and if you can’t drive, you can’t earn money. My last husband made me think he was rich, but he was lying.”
And hadn’t that been a bitter discovery, she thought, telling herself she’d moved on from the disappointment. She reached for another taquito.
“You have a sweet ride for a working girl,” he said, grabbing a taquito and dipping it in the guacamole.
She smiled at the mention of her BMW 3 Series. “She is pretty, isn’t she? She cost me a Hermes Birkin crocodile handbag, but she was worth it.”
Adam frowned. “I don’t understand,” he admitted.
“I sold a handbag and bought my new-to-me car with the proceeds.”
“No handbag is worth a car.”
“You say this as a women’s accessory expert?”
His confusion morphed into complete bafflement. “But it’s just a purse. My mom has a purse. How can there be one worth thirty or forty thousand dollars?”
“It’s a Birkin bag. A crocodile Birkin bag.”
She patted his hand. “You’re going to have to trust me on this. When I leave, you can look them up online and later you can apologize.”
He still looked shell-shocked, which was kind of sweet. She liked that the world of high fashion and ridiculous prices was foreign to him. No doubt he would assume that one of her husbands had given her the bag, which was fine with her. She saw no need to tell him how she’d earned it. She might enjoy his company, but she didn’t know him well enough to trust him with a secret like that.
“You live a life I can’t imagine,” he admitted.
“I did, but not anymore. Now I’m just a regular person.”
“How does that feel?”
No way she was going to get into that pit of failure. She gave him a bright smile. “I’m ready to be back in the States. I’m not excited about starting over, but this time I’m determined to make better decisions. And that’s enough about me. Tell me about yourself, Adam. You live here alone?”
He smiled. “I wouldn’t have invited you over for drinks if I was involved with someone.” He picked up his drink. “Let me clarify that by saying I’m offering information, not assuming this is anything more
than friendly. I’m smart enough to know my place in the universe and mine is not with the likes of you.”
She waited for the jab that was sure to follow, but he didn’t seem to have anything else to say on the topic.
Author: Susan Mallery
Release Date: 5/25/21
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Friendship Fiction
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Thanks to TLC Book Tours and MIRA for the gifted copy of this book!