Thursday, February 24, 2022

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Excerpt and Review of "The Summer Getaway" by Susan Mallery, Served with Fish with Three Herb Salsa & Braised Little Gems

Aloha! I am excited to be today's stop on the TLC Book Except Tour for The Summer Getaway by Susan Mallery. Along with the excerpt, I am posting a review and a dish that I think suits the summer mood of the book.

HQN; Original edition (March 15, 2022)
Hardcover 416 pages

Publisher's Blurb:

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.

My Quick Review:

I enjoy Susan Mallery's books for beach and pool reads as they are easy to pick up, put down, and get swept away to a vacation escape in between. They cover the gamut of relationships from family to romance and always with some character growth thrown in. Robyn is a likeable character, as are many of the supporting characters. I wanted to explore her Aunt's historic Santa Barbara house and all its treasures (and also want to know where I can get a relative to leave me a mansion or its contents--I promise to take the 15 cats with it!) ;-) Is the story completely realistic, no, but it is a good soapy drama that was fun and engaging to read and I found myself wanting to stay with the characters after I finished.


Author Notes: #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



Robyn faked her way through lunch. She preferred to mull over Madison’s bombshell before
talking about it. She alternated between disbelief and resignation. What had Cord been thinking? Dating his daughter’s fiancé’s twin sister? Really? Couldn’t he settle for someone only ten years younger who wasn’t related to Kip?

Once she was home, she quickly texted her ex, asking him to stop by that evening. Within
seconds, he answered with, What did I do now?
She ignored the question.

Six works for me. See you then.

She thought about texting Harlow and asking her about her father dating Zafina, but decided that wasn’t a good idea. Based on her daughter’s silence on the subject, she would guess Harlow didn’t know. Better to find out if it was a weekend fling that could be ignored or something that was going to blow up in their faces.

“Dammit, Cord,” she muttered, wondering why, four years after their divorce, she was still dealing with his messes.

In the kitchen, she got out ingredients for a citrus marinade. Once she’d juiced the oranges and the limes, she chopped basil before turning her attention to the chicken pieces. She carefully removed the skin and any visible fat. While she’d always tried to provide healthy meals for her family, since she’d started dating Jase, she’d become even more aware of the food she prepared. She put the chicken and marinade into a large resealable plastic bag. She’d just finished when Austin, her youngest, walked into the kitchen.

“Hey, Mom,” he said, stretching before slumping onto one of the bar stools by the large island. 
His dark blond hair fell into his eyes. He was tall and lean, with that too-skinny look teenaged boys had. Sometime in the next couple of years he would start to fill out.

“You’re home early.”

“It was only a six-hour fishing charter.”

“That’s why you were gone before sunrise.”

“I had to be on board by five thirty.”

“Pesky fish and their timetables.”

Austin flashed her a grin. “I blame the fishermen.”

“Them, too.”

Austin, barely eighteen and a recent high school graduate, eyed the plastic bag. “More chicken?”

“It’s healthy.”

“Did you have to start dating a cardiologist? All we ever have is chicken and fish.”

She held in a smile. “That’s not true. Last week I made vegetarian enchiladas.”

“I know, but I try not to think about it. Couldn’t you start seeing a guy who owns a rib place? That would be better for me.”

“It’s not bad for you to learn to eat healthy. You won’t be eighteen forever.”

“I’m figuring I’ll be eighteen for about a year.”

She laughed. “I think you’re right. You hungry?”


She cleaned up, then walked to the refrigerator. “Isn’t there leftover Thai?” A takeout dinner she and Austin had shared. Something they would only have when Jase wasn’t coming over.

“I had it for breakfast.”

“There’s still some of the poached salmon. I could heat that and put together a salad.”

Austin made a gagging noise in the back of his throat. “I want something good.”


You can read the next excerpt at From the TBR Pile tomorrow:

Here are the rest of the stops on the excerpt tour:

Monday, February 21st: Books Cooks Looks  
Tuesday, February 22nd: Reading Reality 
Wednesday, February 23rd: SusanLovesBooks 
Thursday, February 24th: Kahakai Kitchen 
Friday, February 25th: From the TBR Pile 
Friday, February 25th: View from the Birdhouse 
Sunday, February 27th: Subakka.bookstuff 
Monday, February 28th: Laura’s Reviews 
Tuesday, March 1st: Bookchickdi 
Wednesday, March 2nd: The Bookish Dilettante 
Thursday, March 3rd: What is That Book About 
Friday, March 4th: The Romance Dish 
Sunday, March 6th: The Cozy Book Blog 
Monday, March 7th: Girl Who Reads 
Tuesday, March 8th: Bibliotica 
Wednesday, March 9th: Helen’s Book Blog 
Thursday, March 10th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers 
Friday, March 11th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy 
Sunday, March 13th: Novel Gossip 
Monday, March 14th: Books and Bindings 

What food would I pair with this book? As it was set in Florida and California and on the water in both, a healthy fish dish is in order.
I have all kinds of fish recipes on the blog but this book took me back to a 2010 post, where I made three local fish with Nigella Lawson's Three Herb Salsa and Braised Little Gems (Lettuce) from her Forever Summer cookbook. These dishes definitely have that healthy, summer vibe going on.

You can find the recipes here.

Note: A review copy of "The Summer Getaway" was provided to me by the author and the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.  

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.


1 comment:

  1. That dish looks amazing. Great photograph. I have enjoyed Mallery's novels for the same reasons you mention.


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