Adult Fiction · Library Find · Romance

The Best of Friends by Susan Mallery

In high school, studious Jayne Scott and wild child Rebecca Worden became unlikely best friends — a tie that endured even after Rebecca fled her family to live overseas.  After Jayne’s mother passed away, she became part unpaid assistant, part surrogate daughter to the wealthy Wordens.  But now, ten years later, Rebecca is coming home to L.A. to cause havoc for Elizabeth, the mother who all but rejected her.  And Jayne finds herself pulled deeper into the Wordens’ complicated family dynamics — especially when Rebecca’s brother, David, returns as well.

David is the man Jayne always wanted and knew she could never have.  But when he gravitates toward her in spite of Elizabeth’s protests, her vow to escape the family’s shadow is put to the ultimate test.  And as lies are shattered and true feelings exposed, Jayne must decide where loyalty ends, and love begins….  

 Favorite Quote:

 1)Elizabeth forced herself to breathe slowly. “Blaine, I swear, you look for ways to annoy me.”

 He retreated to the butler’s pantry, then reappeared with two drinks.  He handed her one.  “I don’t plan.  Sometimes the opportunity presents itself, and I succumb to the temptation.”

 “Resist,” she snapped.

 2)Back to the real world, where girls like her didn’t get the handsome prince, and the glass slipper never really fit.

Jayne Scott, poor little orphan girl who was brought into an incredibly wealthy family is, ten years later, still paying thanks by being an “assistant” to the grand dame of the family, Elizabeth.  Sure, Elizabeth and her husband took Jayne in when her mother died and paid for her college, but Elizabeth treats her like a parlor slave in the antebellum south.  The daughter, Rebecca, bane of her mother’s existence and Jayne’s best friend, is nearly as bad as her mother, whom she claims to despise (hint:  they’re exactly alike).  And yet, Jayne feels some kind of obligation to the two of them, and continually lays down for them to walk all over her.

I liked Jayne.  She was a smart girl, independent, kind, but she had a very overinflated sense of duty and had been told (or treated) too many times like she was insignificant and unworthy.  At the snap of Elizabeth’s fingers, she comes running to do her bidding.  Enter David, the “young prince” of the family returning home, the man who Jayne has been in love with for over a decade.  Elizabeth insists that Jayne help David to find the perfect house for his future wife and family and other inane tasks such as assisting Elizabeth in throwing parties designed to catch said wife. But not just any wife, someone “appropriate,” wealthy, successful, someone in his league.  Which of course, leaves out poor Jayne. 

The story takes place in Los Angeles, which is entirely suitable for the selfish, self-centered characters that inhabit it.  I’ve read stories like this before, about people who are abused in one way or another and just keep taking it.  They usually make me mad and I have to stop reading them.  But Jayne was a very strong character.  Yes, she keeps going back for more abuse, but it’s not because she feels like she deserves it, but because she expects better from them and they keep letting her down. 

But then Jayne finally finds a way to break away from them, the hits just keep coming.   I don’t know how many times the phrase “it’s not about you!” is written, but it probably should have been the name of the book.  The love story about David and Jayne was lovely.  Overall, I enjoyed the book.  I did have a small issue with all the different points of view (almost as many as the number of characters), but it wasn’t so bad.  I’ve read a few Susan Mallery books and they’re not generally this depressing (are there really people like this who only think of themselves to such a degree that they think they’re helping you when they tell you you’re not good enough?  I hope that’s not the case), but I cannot wait for the more light-hearted Fool’s Gold series that comes out next month.

 Pecans: 4/5


4 thoughts on “The Best of Friends by Susan Mallery

  1. I really liked this book, it was bit different from Susan’s regular romance novels, I think her woman’s fiction books are fantastic! Did you read Already Home? That one was very good too.

    1. i didn’t read almost home because i had read a review where the person said she was upset that there wasn’t any romance in it…and i like the kisses…but i may change my mind, because i have been reading everything from her lately

      1. Oh! But it does have romance! You actually get two leading ladies and both have romantic interests. The book doesn’t focus on the romance though, but I assure you that there’s love aplenty. I actually liked it more than The Best of Friends, the love stories felt more rewarding and the heroes are more likeable IMO… You should give it a try. If you like Susan then you don’t want to miss this book.

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