Monday, August 3, 2020


Print Length: 327 pages
Publisher: HQN Books; Original edition (August 4, 2020)
Publication Date: August 4, 2020
Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.

[ ] 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.


Chapter Three
The shrieks, laughs and yells were louder than usual, as the last day of school wound down. Ellen sat at her desk, thinking her students would be shocked to know Ms. Fox was just as excited as they were at the thought of having the summer off. But while they were done for the semester, she still had final exams to finish grading.
Ah, to have a subject that lent itself to Scantron testing, she thought wistfully, eyeing the tall stack of papers she would be wading through. But on her tests, partial credit was always available for the work done correctly, so every pencil mark had to be studied for its potential value to the final answer. She pulled the top test off the stack and uncapped her red extra fine point Sharpie and went to work.
Two hours and thirty-three minutes later, she had a mild headache and a slightly sore hand, but she had finished. She entered the grades into the computer, then happily hit the send button.
“I am done,” she said aloud, tapping her feet on the floor as she threw her arms in the air.
She’d already cleaned out her desk, so only had to gather a few personal things before walking around her classroom one last time to make sure nothing had been forgotten.
It was nearly five and the school was quiet. She locked her classroom as she left before making her way to her car. She would dump her things, then check on Coop before heading home. She wanted to work on her to-do list for the upcoming bus trip, but first she would get some takeout to celebrate. What it would be depended on whether or not Coop was, or Coop and Luka were, joining her for dinner.
She put everything in her trunk, then headed for the gym. Cooper and Luka were, as always, working out. They were obsessed with their muscles, and their earnestness about the whole thing made her giggle. Not that she let them know—they would be horrified to think they were anything but manly men.
She rounded the corner and caught a reflection out of the corner of her eye. As she glanced toward it, she saw the mirrored wall in the trophy case.
It was one of those moments when she wasn’t expecting to see herself and therefore had a microsecond of wondering “Who is that?” only to realize it was her. In that second of time she had a brief impression of a nondescript person swallowed up by clothes that were far too large.
Ellen came to a stop and stared at herself. She wore a loose tunic shirt that came to midthigh. Her pull-on pants billowed as she walked. The dark colors weren’t flattering.
Heat burned at her cheeks, although why she was embarrassed, she couldn’t say. So she wasn’t a fashionista—she was still a good person.
She remembered Keith’s comment when they’d had dinner the previous week—that no one could tell if she gained weight because her clothes were so baggy. It was just her thing, she told herself. She’d always dressed this way, hadn’t she?
Ellen continued to stare at herself as she remembered the summer before she began her first teaching job. Money had, as always, been so tight and she’d needed clothes to wear to work. She’d gone to a nice thrift store just outside Seattle where she’d found some wonderful, high-quality outfits at swoon-worthy prices. The only problem had been that they were two sizes too big.
Given her need and her budget, she’d bought them and worn them. Funny how all these years later, she’d never thought to start wearing things that actually fit.


Susan Mallery is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of books about the relationships that define women's lives—romance, friendship, family. With compassion and humor, Susan keenly observes how people think and feel, in stories that take readers on an emotional journey. Sometimes heartbreaking, often funny, and always uplifting, Susan's books have spent more than 200 weeks on the USA Today bestsellers list, thanks to her ever growing legions of fans.

Critics, too, have heaped praise on "the new queen of romantic fiction." (Walmart) Booklist says, "Romance novels don't get much better than Mallery's expert blend of emotional nuance, humor, and superb storytelling," and RT Book Reviews puts her "in a class by herself!"

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to read this one! Thank you for being on this tour. Sara @ TLC Book Tours


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