Formats available: hardcover, large print, paperback, ebook, audiobook
Genres: Chick Lit, contemporary romance, women's fiction
Published by HQN Books on August 4, 2020
Purchasing Info: Author's Website, Publisher's Website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Bookshop.org
[ ] Dance till dawn
[ ] Go skydiving
[ ] Wear a bikini in public
[ ] Start living
Two best friends jump-start their lives in a summer that will change them forever…
Single mom Ellen Fox couldn’t be more content—until she overhears her son saying he can’t go to his dream college because she needs him too much. If she wants him to live his best life, she has to convince him she’s living hers.
So Unity Leandre, her best friend since forever, creates a list of challenges to push Ellen out of her comfort zone. Unity will complete the list, too, but not because she needs to change. What’s wrong with a thirtysomething widow still sleeping in her late husband’s childhood bed?
The Friendship List begins as a way to make others believe they’re just fine. But somewhere between “wear three-inch heels” and “have sex with a gorgeous guy,” Ellen and Unity discover that life is meant to be lived with joy and abandon, in a story filled with humor, heartache and regrettable tattoos.
Welcome to the Excerpt tour for The Friendship List by Susan Mallery. Susan always manages to write stories that sweep me up and take me away, and I’m sure that The Friendship List will be no exception. I’m so sure, in fact, that I’ll be reviewing this book next week! I’m definitely looking forward to reading this, and I hope you will be too!
Excerpt from The Friendship List by Susan Mallery (continued from yesterday’s Excerpt at Moonlight Rendezvous)
When Unity had driven away, Ellen returned to the kitchen where she quickly loaded the dishwasher, then packed her lunch. Cooper had left before six. He was doing some end-of-school-year fitness challenge. Something about running and Ellen wasn’t sure what. To be honest, when he went on about his workouts, it was really hard not to tune him out. Especially when she had things like tuition to worry about.
“Not anymore today,” she said out loud. She would worry again in the morning. Unity was right—Cooper was going to keep changing his mind. Their road trip to look at colleges was only a few weeks away. After that they would narrow the list and he would start to apply. Only then would she know the final number and have to figure out how to pay for it.
Until then she had plenty to keep her busy. She was giving pop quizzes in both fourth and sixth periods and she wanted to update her year-end tests for her two algebra classes. She needed to buy groceries and put gas in the car and go by the library to get all her summer reading on the reserve list.
As she finished her morning routine and drove to the high school where she taught, Ellen thought about Cooper and the college issue. While she was afraid she couldn’t afford the tuition, she had to admit it was a great problem to have. Seventeen years ago, she’d been a terrified teenager, about to be a single mom, with nothing between her and living on the streets except incredibly disappointed and angry parents who had been determined to make her see the error of her ways.
Through hard work and determination, she’d managed to pull herself together—raise Cooper, go to college, get a good job, buy a duplex and save money for her kid’s education. Yay her.
But it sure would have been a lot easier if she’d simply married someone with money.
“How is it possible to get a C- in Spanish?” Coach Keith Kinne asked, not bothering to keep his voice down. “Half the population in town speaks Spanish. Hell, your sister’s husband is Hispanic.” He glared at the strapping football player standing in front of him. “Luka, you’re an idiot.”
Luka hung his head. “Yes, Coach.”
“Don’t ‘yes, Coach’ me. You knew this was happening—you’ve known for weeks. And did you ask for help? Did you tell me?”
Keith thought about strangling the kid but he wasn’t sure he could physically wrap his hands around the teen’s thick neck. He swore silently, knowing they were where they were and now he had to fix things—like he always did with his students.
“You know the rules,” he pointed out. “To play on any varsity team you have to get a C+ or better in every class. Did you think the rules didn’t apply to you?”
Luka, nearly six-five and two hundred and fifty pounds, slumped even more. “I thought I was doing okay.”
“Really? So you’d been getting better grades on your tests?”
“Not exactly.” He raised his head, his expression miserable. “I thought I could pull up my grade at the last minute.”
“How did that plan work out?”
Keith glared at him. “You think this is funny?”
Keith shook his head. “You know there’s not a Spanish summer school class. That means we’re going to have to find an alternative.”
Despite his dark skin, Luka went pale. “Coach, don’t send me away.”
“No one gets sent away.” Sometimes athletes went to other districts that had a different summer curriculum. They stayed with families and focused on their studies.
“I need to stay with my family. My mom understands me.”
“It would be better for all of us if she understood Spanish.” Keith glared at the kid. “I’ll arrange for an online class. You’ll get a tutor. You will report to me twice a week, bringing me updates until you pass the class.” He sharpened his gaze. “With an A.”
Luka took a step back. “Coach, no! An A? I can’t.”
“Not with that attitude.”
“You knew the rules and you broke them. You could have come to me for help early on. You know I’m always here for any of my students, but did you think about that or did you decide you were fine on your own?”
“I decided I was fine on my own,” Luka mumbled.
“Exactly. And deciding on your own is not how teams work. You go it alone and you fail.”
Tears filled Luka’s eyes. “Yes, Coach.”
#1 NYT bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming, humorous novels about the relationships that define our lives-family, friendship, romance. She’s known for putting nuanced characters in emotional situations that surprise readers to laughter. Beloved by millions, her books have been translated into 28 languages.Susan lives in Washington with her husband, two cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Visit her at SusanMallery.com.