Susan Mallery is an excellent writer with numerous novels under her belt, I have only read a couple of her books but every time I read one I am left feeling satisfied and happy. Let’s be honest, I think we could all use a little happy right now right?! Mallery is known for her romances and stories about women and their friendships as well as their romantic entanglements. But this book promises to be a little on the different side.
Today I am thrilled to be part of a progressive excerpt tour for her latest novel out now, The Step Sisters. I think this is a super fun way to hype this book! When I downloaded my excerpt to read I was like wait, I need them all now because I am hooked on this one right now! If you love stories about sisters and the complexity of sister and sister like relationships then this is going to be one you want on your radar!
This one sounds like it’s going to be a bit of an emotional read but it sounds like it’s going to be emotional in a good sort of way and I cannot wait to continue reading it! And I do hope that you follow along on the excerpt train to check out all the wonderful goodness this book has to offer!
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.
After making arrangements to have her car picked up and taken to the service department at the dealership, Daisy checked on Krissa one more time before heading to the opposite end of the second floor. The master suite was large, encompassing several rooms, including a study she used as her home office, along with his-and-her bathrooms and closets.
She grabbed jeans, a T-shirt, fresh underwear and a bra before heading into her bathroom. She pinned up her hair and then stepped into the steamy shower.
Alone for the first time all day, she allowed herself to think about Jordan. At some point she was going to have to let him know that now Krissa was sick. He was, after all, their father.
Bitterness welled up inside of her. Yes, he was their father and he was also the man who had walked out on his wife and kids two days ago, with no warning. She’d finished her shift, gone to her locker and had found a text from him saying that he was going to be moving out for a few days. Just like that. No conversation, no explanation, just him gone.
She’d been stunned, hurt, outraged and scared. Fortunately outrage had won, allowing her to hold it all together. Because while he’d been in a hotel somewhere, she was left with everything else, including letting their kids know their father was gone.
She’d told him it was unfair to scare them with what was happening. He’d agreed and they’d decided to tell Ben and Krissa that he was away at a conference. But that excuse would only last for so long, she thought as she stepped out of the shower and grabbed a towel. At some point she and Jordan were going to have to talk about what was happening in their marriage. Easier said than done considering she didn’t know herself.
Oh, sure they fought from time to time and for the past few weeks, he’d seemed quiet. And lately they’d both been busy and hadn’t had much time for each other, but that was normal. Life got in the way, then they worked on fixing the problem. Only Jordan didn’t seem interested in fixing so much as going for the dramatic gesture.
As she dressed, she tried to figure out what he was thinking. Resentment kept clouding her judgment, making her want to grab him by his shirtfront and shake some sense into him. Given that she wasn’t especially strong and that he was a good eight inches taller, the odds of that happening seemed unlikely.
She slipped on flats, then grabbed her phone. She should let the school know she was keeping—
I’m moving into an extended-stay hotel later today so it’s easier for me to have the kids over while we figure out what’s going on with us.
She stared at the text. Fury overtook outrage. “No you didn’t.”
She hit the call button and waited, knowing there was a better than even chance he wouldn’t pick up. The phone rang and rang. She wasn’t sure if he was avoiding her or with a patient. She was about to hang up when he answered.
“You got my text,” Jordan said by way of greeting.
“Yes, I did. Really? Is this how you wanted to tell me what was happening? By text? You couldn’t face me in person or call? Let me answer the damned question. What’s going on with us is you left. You just walked out with no warning, leaving me to pick up the pieces. Has it occurred to you that your inability to communicate might be part of the reason we’re having problems in the first place?”
“Why do you always get like this?”
The unfair statement nearly left her speechless. “You moved into a hotel. You didn’t talk to me, you texted me. When I tried calling, you wouldn’t pick up. I still don’t know why you left. It was supposed to be for a few days. Now you tell me, again by text, that you’re checking into a long-term-stay hotel. Not that we’ve talked about anything. You’re just gone. And you want to know why I get like this?”
“I can’t talk to you when you’re unreasonable.”
Anger built up inside of her, accompanied by a big dose of fear. Because somehow that was always what happened—no matter how things started, he found a way to shut her down. If she shrieked back at him, which she wanted to do, she was proving his point. What was the right response?
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