Saturday, July 2, 2011

Review: Sunset Bridge (Happiness Key #3) by Emilie Richards

In Sunset Bridge, the third and last book of the Happiness Key trilogy, Emilie Richards writes a wonderful story of close friendships between five women, a romance for two of them and still manages to include a suspense story line with action that kept me interested until the end. Of course in this story the characters take center stage. Their lives are full of real life issues, their reactions are relatable and as in real life, there's humor to go along with all the drama.

Tracy has come a long way from the person she used to be, the cold socialite with a con man ex-husband who left her broke and broken. Out of her little community of friends at Happiness Key, she created a close-knit family and also found Marsh Egan, a man who makes her happy. But things change between Tracy and Marsh once she realizes what her bouts of nausea really mean. An unplanned pregnancy is the last thing Tracy needs, especially when her relationship with Marsh is just taking off... now, how will she be able to tell weather he wants her for herself or for the baby?

Janya's seems to be content in her arranged marriage to Rishi and the life they've made for themselves at Happiness Key. They long to have a family and after a few years of marriage their hopes seem to be dimming. However, tragic circumstances bring two small children to Janya and Rishi... but, will they be able to keep them?

After years of being a mother and the wife of a cop, loud and opinionated Wanda finally realizes her dream and opens Wanda's Wonderful Pies. She's happy with her life, her husband and her friends, but things are about to change for her. Her daughter Maggie is moving back home after leaving her job and live-in boyfriend in Miami, and their mother-daughter relationship is not exactly a close one. Plus, her business is about to take off in unexpected directions.

Maggie quit her job as a cop in Miami after an investigation didn't go her way. To her way of thinking, long-time lover and cop Felo didn't back her up either, so she left him too. Now she's coming back to work with her mother at the pie shop and to live at Happiness Key. Her future is as uncertain as her feelings for Felo. When a couple is murdered, Maggie finds herself involved in an investigation after agreeing to help a friend... and her future might not be the only thing hanging in the balance.

Alice loves her granddaughter Olivia, but as she recuperates from her stroke keeping up with the young girl becomes harder each day. How will she manage to maintain the pace and her health?

In Sunset Bridge, Richards weaves a story of friendship, love and suspense that flows and that kept me turning those pages. Although at the beginning it took me a while to orient myself, soon the characters began to take shape and became people who interested me.

There's Tracy who with her hormonal changes, her insecurities and pregnancy issues drives Marsh nuts throughout the story. Marsh is a guy and of course clueless for much of the story, although I admit to feeling sorry for him more than once when well... he didn't read Tracy's mind or gave the right answer at the right time. Theirs is a humorous and frustrating situation that I enjoyed to the end. And then there's Maggie... with her angsty and very serious trust and control issues. I was pulling for Maggie to wake up and smell the roses, as I fell in love with her man Felo myself. These two story lines gave the book that touch of romance that I needed to really enjoy this book.

However, the central story is about the friendship, and I love the way the women support each other throughout all types of situations, both light and dire. Best of all I really enjoyed the way they tell each other the truth, and call each other out when they're wrong without being either pushy or interfering. The older women, Wanda and Alice, don't have a problem telling the younger ones, especially Tracy and Maggie, why they're decisions are questionable. Janya falls in between, she is young but has wonderful insight and wisdom, making her one of my favorite characters in this story.

Although Sunset Bridge is the last book of the series and the relationships have been developed throughout the first two books, Happiness Key and Fortunate Harbour, in my opinion it stands quite well on its own. This is a wonderful story about friendship between different women from different cultures, of different ages and ways of life. I really enjoyed it and recommend it as a great read.

Category: Women's Fiction
Series: Happiness Key
Publisher/Release Date: Mira, June 21, 2011
Source: ARC Planned Television Arts, Ruder Finn
Grade: B+

Visit Emilie Richards here.

Happiness Key, Book 1
Fortunate Harbour, Book 2
Sunset Bridge, Book 3


  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this book, Hils! I think Ms Richards has a great writing style and I always enjoy what I read of her :)

    Good thing it stands on its own... but did you read the previous two books?

  2. This is an author I've been meaning to try but still haven't. :(

    The library has all three books so I have no excuse. LOL Thanks for the wonderful review. :)

  3. Nath, I agree about Ms. Richards' writing style... this IS my first book by her and I really enjoyed it. So no, I didn't read the previous books and was really happy that this book is good as a stand-alone. I think it's probably because it's the last one in the series and there's an ending. I'm going to check out some of her other books. :)

    Leslie, I'm so glad I finally gave this author a try! I've also had her on my list of "authors to read" and she's good! As Nath says, great writing style.

  4. I think my library has these books. I will put them on my 'to borrow' radar. Thanks for the review.

  5. Christine, I'm actually thinking of reading the first two books in this trilogy since I really enjoyed the end. :D


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