Sunday, August 22, 2010

Review -- Fortunate Harbor

Fortunate Harbor
A Happiness Key Novel
By Emilie Richards
Publisher: Mira
Release Date: June 29, 2010

I'm a fan of novels that center around friendship between women and the strength of that bond. Emilie Richards tells the story of five women who are neighbors on Happiness Key and the friendship they have forged in spite of their differences.

Tracy Deloche owns the cottages on Happiness Key---her part of the settlement from her divorce from her ex-husband CJ. He was sent to prison for a myriad of "white collar" crimes, and Tracy is convinced she will never have to deal with him again. Imagine her shock and confusion when she thinks she sees CJ lurking outside her house one night. He ruined her life, and now he has ruined her romantic evening with Marsh Egan, sexy lawyer and environmentalist.

Janya Kapur is a lovely, young Indian newlywed. She and her husband Rishi have been trying to conceive, but after months of disappointment, Janya feels she has failed. Rishi becomes increasingly distant, spending more time at work, and less time at home....and bed. Is he upset with Janya or is there a secret he is reluctant to share?

Wanda Gray is a middle aged wife and mother; her husband is a cop who is busy with his job, her children are grown and gone. Wanda is a long time waitress at the local restaurant, the Dancing Shrimp, but her passion is baking pies. When she is let go by the new owners of the restaurant, her friend, Alice, tells Wanda she should open her own pie shop. What seems an winning situation turns into a war of baked goods with the proprietors of the local bakery.

Alice Brooks, a sweet, but sometimes forgetful lady, cares for her granddaughter, Olivia, whose father is in prison. Alice is incredibly giving and welcoming, even volunteering to watch Olivia's new friend Lizzie, whose mother is the newest resident of Happiness Key.

Dana Turner, single mother and waitress at the Dancing Shrimp, is reluctant to get too close to the other women in her neighborhood. On the run from her past, Dana has always kept to herself, but she finds it impossible not to respond to the warmth and friendship of the others. With Alice watching Lizzie when needed and Wanda offering her job at her shop, Dana finally has friends for the first time in her adult life. But her secret is about to catch up to her. Will she allow her new friends to help her or will she turn her back on them and continue to run?

In her second book in the series---the first is Happiness Key--Ms. Richards shows her readers the real life ups and downs of a group of women who are each struggling to find their place in life. Divorce, infertility, aging, dating, you name it....the women of Happiness Key are knee deep in it. And while they could face their problems alone (and sometimes they try), in the end it's their friendship that helps them navigate the rough waters of life. Or in the words of Wanda:

"There's nothing wrong that pizza won't cure," she said, keeping her voice light. "Men come and men go, but pizza's always there when you need it."

And the same can be said for friends! Pick up a copy of Fortunate Harbor for yourself or maybe your best girlfriend, and say "thank you" to the friends in your life.

One lucky commenter will receive a copy of Fortunate Harbor (U.S. and Canadian addresses only).

~ Gannon


  1. I love books about friends and I also love discovering new to me authors. This book sounds like my cuppa tea.
    Love & Hugs,

  2. This one was a "new to me author" as well, Pam. I hope you enjoy it!

  3. Great review, Gannon! I'm a long-time Emilie Richards fan. I read her women's fiction and her mysteries now. Prospect Street is one of my all-time favorites, and one of her old Silhouette Special Editions, The Trouble with Joe, is on my top 25 categories list for an upcoming blog.

    I enjoyed both Happiness Key and Fortunate Harbor. The latter has one of the great opening lines: "So much time had passed since Tracy Deloche had gotten it on with a man that last night she'd actually made a list of things to do, just so she wouldn't make an embarrassing mistake." :)

  4. Welcome back, Karyn! Hope you had a great summer vacation. I'm glad you enjoyed the review---I think you'll really like this book, too.

  5. Her first book, HAPPINESS KEY, is in my TBR pile. They both sound like the perfect books in addressing the multitude of issues that women face. Sometimes approaching these issues in a fictional setting is more effective that just giving the information and discussing it.

    thanks for hosting this event.

  6. Sometimes approaching these issues in a fictional setting is more effective that just giving the information and discussing it.

    I think you're right, Librarypat. I haven't read HAPPINESS KEY yet, but will definitely add to my list.