Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sunset Bridge by Emilie Richards

*Be aware that the summary/ review may contain slight spoilers for the first two novels in the series. However, I've reviewed both of them, so click here if you haven't Happiness Key and/or Fortunate Harbor and would like to learn more about them as well.* 

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
Former socialite Tracy Deloche has nothing to her name but five ramshackle beach cottages and the unlikely friendships she's formed with her tenants. Wanda, wise waitress turned popular pie-shop owner. Janya, the young Indian wife whose arranged marriage surprises her every day. Alice, a widow raising her complex tween-age granddaughter. And Maggie, Wanda's daughter, a former Miami cop with a love life as complicated as Tracy's own.

The new man in Tracy's life hasn't mentioned love or commitment—and Tracy has just discovered she's pregnant. Janya longs to be a mother—and suddenly has two young siblings in her care. Maggie helps out at Wanda's Wonderful Pies…but is the kitchen big enough for both Gray women? And Alice may lose her beloved granddaughter to someone no one expected….

As a tropical storm brews, the wind carries surprises and secrets over the bridge to Happiness Key. Now, more than ever, five friends will discover just how much they need one another.

The Happiness Key novels are some of the best I have ever read, and this addition, the last one, was the icing on the cake. It brought some tears as well as squeals of happiness for all the characters that I have come to love over the past three books.

Sunset Bridge opens up just as Tracy Deloche learns that she is pregnant. While this time should be causing happiness and joy, it is only causing a lot of anxiety of Tracy's part, because the man she is with- the father of the baby- hasn’t even expressed his love out loud yet, let alone any sort of plans for the future. Wanda, on the other hand, is delighted with the success and opportunities Wanda’s Wonderful Pies has brought her. However, with the arrival of her daughter Maggie, Wanda knows trouble is in the air. Not only because of the complicated relationship she has always had with her daughter, but because of all the events Maggie has recently escaped from, ones that have yet to been cleared up and be explained. Janya is also facing children problems of her own with her husband, namely the two kids that were dropped in their care recently, and Alice is finally breaking out of her shell and returning to the normal old person lifestyle, but in doing so will she loose her granddaughter?

These books are truly well worth read. Not only because of positive way in which they show friendship, but because of the way they show that you should embrace the unknown, allowing life's setbacks and surprises to lead you to the place you deserve the most- happiness.

My favorite aspect of the Happiness Key novels has always been the rich and complex characters Emilie has also introduced, and Sunset Bridge was no exception. Wanda, Alice, Janya, Tracy, and the rest of the gang are back and better than ever. Best of all a new character is introduced in this addition- Maggie, Wanda's daughter. Maggie was yet another creative and unique character, one's who background I enjoyed learning more about.

The plot in this was another high point. It included the infamous mystery aspect that forever had me on the tip of my toes, dying to know what would happen next, and it also had plenty of heartbreak, twists, and turns to have nearly any reader happy. I especially adored how everything came together in the end. Most importantly, I love how this novel displays women of all backgrounds coming together and being friends and getting past common prejudices.

In all, what a fantastic end to a series I loved! I can't lie and say I didn't cry a lot in the last chapter of this because I did. Not because it was sad exactly, but because I was sad to let go of this four women who I've come to root for and adore over the past three books.

So... Read the Happiness Key books. Love them. Spread the word. Even if they do not sound like your cup of tea, give them a try. You might be surprised- just like I was.

Grade: A+

Sunset Bridge is now out!

Source: Publicist at Planned Television Arts- thanks Sarah!


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