New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery's prose has been called "gritty and magical" and "luscious and provocative" (Publishers Weekly). Now she returns to Blackberry Island with the story of three women whose friendship will change their lives forever.
After Andi Gordon is jilted at the altar, she makes the most impetuous decision of her life--buying one of the famed Three Sisters Queen Anne houses on Blackberry Island. Now the proud-ish owner of the ugly duckling of the trio, she plans to open her own pediatric office on the first floor, just as soon as her hunky contractor completes the work. Andi's new future may be coming together, but the truth is she's just as badly in need of a major renovation as her house.
When Deanna Phillips confronts her husband about a suspected affair, she opens up a Pandora's box of unhappiness. And he claims that she is the problem. The terrible thing is, he's right. In her quest to be the perfect woman, she's lost herself, and she's in danger of losing her entire family if things don't change.
Next door, artist Boston King thought she and her college sweetheart would be married forever. Their passion for one another has always seemed indestructible. But after tragedy tears them apart, she's not so sure. Now it's time for them to move forward, with or without one another.
Thrown together by fate and geography, and bound by the strongest of friendships, these three women will discover what they're really made of: laughter, tears, love and all.
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Being left at the altar is not for sissies. Aside from the humiliation and hurt, there are actual logistics to worry about. Odds are if a guy is willing to leave you standing alone in front of three hundred of your closest friends and relatives, not to mention both your mothers, he isn't going to sweat the little stuff like returning the gifts and paying the caterer. Which explained why three months after going through that exact experience, Andi Gordon was putting her life savings into a house she'd only seen twice, in a town she'd only visited for seventy-two hours.
Go big or go home. Andi had decided to do both.
After signing the final paperwork and picking up the keys, she drove up the hill to the highest point on Blackberry Island and stared at the house she'd just bought. It was known as one of the "Three Sisters." Three beautiful, Queen Anne-style homes built around the turn of the last century. According to the Realtor, the house on the left had been restored perfectly. The ice-cream colors reflected the style and fashion of the year it was built. Even its garden was more traditionally English than casual Pacific Northwest. A girl's bike leaned against the porch, looking modern and out of place.
The house on the right was also restored, but with less period detail. The slate-gray trim framed stained-glass windows and there was a sculpture of a bird taking flight in the front yard.
The house in the middle still had a For Sale sign planted in the unkempt grass. While like the others in style and size, the house she'd bought had little else in common with its neighbors. From the roof, with missing shingles, to the peeling paint and broken-out windows, the house was a testament to neglect and indifference. If the building hadn't been historic, it would have been torn down years ago.
Andi had seen the seller's disclosure--listing all the problems with the house. It was pages long, listing every major issue, from an electrical upgrade done twenty years before to lousy and nonfunctioning plumbing. The building inspector Andi had hired to look over the place had given up halfway through and returned her money. Then her agent had tried to show her a lovely condo overlooking the marina.
Andi had refused. She'd known the second she saw the old place that it was everything she'd been looking for. The house had once been full of promise. Time and circumstance had reduced it to its present condition--unloved and abandoned. She didn't need a degree in psychology to understand she saw herself in the house. She understood the pitfalls of believing if she fixed the house, she would also be fixing herself. But knowing and doing, or in this case not doing, weren't the same thing. Her head might be busy pointing out this was a mistake of mammoth proportions, but her heart had already fallen in love.
Given her recent, very public broken engagement, falling for a house seemed a whole lot safer than falling for a man. After all, if the house abandoned her at the altar, she could simply burn it down.
Now parked in front of the three-story disaster, she smiled.
"I'm here," she whispered, offering the promise to both herself and the house. "I'll make you whole again."
The past three months had been a nightmare of logistics and recriminations. Buying one of the "Three Sisters" had given her something else to think about. Emailing documents for her loan was a lot more fun than explaining to her second cousin that yes, after dating for over ten years, Matt really had left her at the altar. He had actually said their decision to marry had seemed sudden and that he'd needed more...
By: Susan Mallery