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by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I'm discussing different book genres/categories. Each day, I will give a few details about the...

March 7, 2022

The Summer Getaway by Susan Mallery ~ an Excerpt

One woman discovers the beauty in chaos in this poignant and heartwarming story about the threads that hold family together from #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery.

With her divorce settlement about to run out and a mortgage she can’t afford, Robyn Caldwell needs a plan for her future. She nurtured her family and neglected herself. But how’s she supposed to think when her daughter has become the most demanding bride ever, her son won’t even consider college, her best friend is on the brink of marital disaster and her ex is making a monumentally bad decision that could bring everything crashing down on Robyn’s head? So when her great-aunt Lillian invites her to Santa Barbara for the summer, Robyn hops on the first plane.

But it’s hard to run away when you’re the heart of the family. One by one, everyone she left behind follows her across the country. Somehow, their baggage doesn’t feel as heavy in the sun-drenched, mishmash mansion. The more time Robyn spends with free-spirited Lillian, the more she sees the appeal in taking chances—on dreams, on love, on family. Life is meant to be lived on purpose. All she has to do is muster the courage to take a chance on herself.

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cover of The Summer Getaway by Susan Mallery
March 2022; HQN; 978-1335479990
audio, ebook, print (416 pages); women's fiction


Harlow thanked everyone for the day, accepted a very generous tip and handed out business cards, along with a reminder to review them online. After giving her brother his half of the tip, she tidied up the galley and saloon. Austin, crew rather than captain, got stuck cleaning the head and restocking supplies. Forty minutes later, they were done.

“What are you doing tomorrow?” she asked Austin as they walked to the main office of Caldwell Charter Boats.

“Getting ready to move into my new place.”

Harlow laughed. “You rented a furnished apartment. What do you have to get ready?”

“I want a bigger TV. I’m going to ask Mom if I can take the eighty-inch one from the media room.”

“You are such a guy. Why do you need an eighty-inch television?”

Austin slung his arm around her shoulders. “Needing it isn’t the point. Having it is.”

“You’re weird.”

“Maybe, but also your brother so you gotta love me regardless.” He dropped his arm and waved. “Enid! You’re here. That must mean you’ve finally decided to admit you’re desperately in love with me. Let’s sail to Tahiti, where we’ll live on the beach and I’ll worship you forever.”

Harlow slugged her baby brother in the arm. “Stop it. You’re embarrassing her.”

Austin’s blue eyes were bright with laughter. “She loves the attention. I mean, come on. It’s me.”

Harlow hugged her friend. She and Enid had been BFFs since kindergarten. They’d both recently graduated from college, with Harlow going to work for her dad and Enid prepared to enter medical school. Austin, younger by four years, had tagged along when he could—until high school.

Enid, a pretty brunette with more brains than anyone Harlow knew, smiled at Austin. “One day I’m going to call your bluff.”

He winked. “Just say the word, Enid mine.”

“He’s all talk,” Harlow said with a laugh. “Let me go see my dad for a sec, then I’m ready to head out.”

“Where are you going?” Austin asked Enid. “Want a handsome guy to escort you?”

“Do you know one?” Enid asked teasingly as Harlow went into the building. The door closed, cutting off Austin’s response.

She found her dad on the phone in his office. The tone of his voice and the way he was rotating his chair back and forth told her he was on with one of his women.

Buy The Summer Getaway at Amazon

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