The Friendship List by Susan Mallery

Publication Date: August 4, 2020
Publisher: Harlequin Books
Rating: ★★★★

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.


Thank you NetGalley, Harlequin Books & Susan Mallery for a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Ellen Fox is a single mom whose son is about to finish high school. When Ellen overhears her son telling a friend that he can’t leave his mother and go away for college, she knows it’s because he feels responsible for her. Unity Leandre is stuck in the past. After becoming a widow 3 years ago, she finds herself sleeping in his childhood home. She hasn’t been able to move on from losing her husband. These two best friends need to make a change and the current issues in their lives are enough to make them start dating again. This is where Unity creates “The Friendship List”.

The Friendship List is an engaging story between friendship and romance. This novel was definitely more steamy than other Susan Mallery novels that I’ve read. There is no way that this a bad thing in my opinion because I thought it was written really well. The steam almost takes the front seat of this novel which was surprising, but the friendship and overcoming tragedy parts were truly uplifting.

The main characters are Ellen and Unity, but we learn a lot about the other characters. Keith, Thaddeus, Cooper, Lisa and Dagmar are all important characters in this story. I’m not usually someone that likes that many characters because I find it hard to keep up with all of the information of each individual, but Susan Mallery did a great job with making sure every character had their own things to make them stand out. Also, if you’re looking for your next book boyfriend, it’s definitely Thaddeus.

Overall, this book was a quick, cozy read despite the summer vibes this book gives off. I really liked the story behind it all and I liked the steam as well. It was definitely unexpected but in a good way. I would recommend this book to romance lovers who like a slow burn with sultry tones.

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