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Join five women connected only by friendship and the road that runs like a lifeline through a run-down development called Happiness Key.
Southern California socialite Tracy Deloche finally gets a chance to swap business for a romantic evening with down home environmentalist Marsh Egan, but dinner goes cold when she spots her ex-husband prowling outside her cottage. Janya Kapur, finally settling into an arranged marriage, envies every pregnant woman she sees, but Rishi, her husband, is suddenly reluctant to talk about children. Waitress Wanda Gray loses her job after new owners turn the Dancing Shrimp into a tapas bar. At the suggestion of wise neighbor, Alice Brooks, Wanda starts her own business, until Wanda starts Pie War I with the local bakery.
When the empty cottage at Happiness Key is rented by single mother Dana Turner, all the neighbors believe this spit of Florida Gulf Coast land will be a fortunate harbor for a mother and daughter who have moved far too often. Until they discover Dana’s shocking secret.
As the women of Happiness key struggle to discover the whole truth in time to help their new neighbor, their only weapon is friendship. But will friendship be enough?
"A juicy, sprawling beach read with a suspenseful twist, Richards's sunny sequel to Happiness Key reveals the next life step for Tracy Deloche and her tenant friends in Florida. . .Secrets, friendships, and the Florida gulf coast all come into play in Richards's engaging latest."
"Women's-fiction favorite Richards uses wit, suspense, and the relatable and extremely touching friendships of her main characters to weave an exciting and mysterious story revolving around a secret Dana is hiding whose revelation may well change their lives forever."
—Claire Orphan, Booklist
"Fortunate Harbor, the second in the Happiness Key series is as enthralling as the first. The camaraderie between characters is touching, showing that age, ethnicity, or social status have no boundaries when it comes to friendship. A heartwarming novel, Ms. Richards again proves she can touch her readers's hearts."
—Nancy Carti Lepri, New York Journal of Books
"This is one of the best novels I've read in a while, it's an excellent summer read, a perfect beach read or just what the doctor ordered when the vacation plans are homebound. Emilie is that rare author who writes with sentiment and it's obvious she loves what she does because the product is always phenomenal. So run do not walk to your nearest bookseller and try Emilie for the first time, or like me re-discover the reason you love her so much."
—Debbie Haupt, The Reading Frenzy Blogspot
"This books is a great beach/summer read."
—The Friendly Book Nook
"Admittedly, the reviewer - yours truly - is a guy. And supposedly, guys and chick-lit cannot co-exist. Wrong! Not only is Fortunate Harbor addictive - kind of like reading Vogue magazine (guys, if you're still reading Playboy, drop it and go get a copy of Vogue. The women are hotter and the writing is better. Oooh La La!) - but it is highly instructive. It's a how-to manual for guys about women. How they think. How they feel. And why they act the way they do.
Fortunate Harbor is a heck of a book. And yes, it is chick-lit. But as no less an authority than Goethe said, it's "world-literature."
On the Read-O-Meter, which ranges from 1 star (not-so-good) to 5 stars (excellent), Fortunate Harbor comes in at 5 stars."
—Randall Radic at Basil and Spice
Happiness Key was meant to be a stand-alone novel. Take four very different women, throw them together at a difficult time in each of their lives, and trouble ensues. As a novelist it was my job to entangle the problems from the personalities and resolve them. End of story.
Only not quite. My publisher liked Happiness Key. So did I, and happily, so did my readers. Stories about unlikely friendships remind us what a large and diverse world we live in and how we can still reach out and learn from each other and offer support. So was there another story-or two-in this place, among these characters?
The answer was simple. Absolutely. There were so many threads still untied. Did Tracy and Marsh find common ground after all? Were Alice and Olivia able to move on after the traumas detailed in Happiness Key? Were Rishi and Janya able to find love, despite a rocky start to their arranged marriage? And Wanda? What was next for Wanda after a new start with husband Ken meant that “extra” job she’d undertaken to get even with him had to end?
Of course there was also the empty house, Herb’s house, that needed a new renter. Who would apply, and what would happen to the community of Happiness Key with a new neighbor or even two in residence?
The possibilities were too delicious to overlook. Fortunate Harbor was the result of that new exploration, and afterwards, not quite ready to let go, I began the third and final book of the trilogy, Sunset Bridge, to be released next summer. Sequels are so much fun. I rarely “plant” plot threads to resolve with another book. They always plant themselves, then I have the joy of figuring out what to do with them. These three novels truly were and are a joy. I hope you find reading them to be one, as well.