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Five very different women find friendship–and unexpected love–on the barrier island known as Happiness Key.
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, the 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. 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 suddenly Tracy needs a big dose of both. Janya longs to be a mother–and inherits two young siblings to care for. Alice may lose her beloved granddaughter to someone no one expected. Maggie helps out at Wanda's Wonderful Pies, but is the kitchen big enough for both Gray women when one of them is looking for a murderer?
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.
"This delightful story is full of humor and romantic moments, and will be a sure hit with Richards's established fans and readers looking for a lighthearted and well-plotted beach book."
"Thank you Emilie for letting me get up close and personal with these incredible women, letting me be a fly on the wall of their lives and taking lessons from them on friendship."
—Debbie Haupt at The Reading Frenzy
"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."
—Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf
"There is a reason why Emilie Richards is a bestselling author and why the Happiness Keys books are so popular. In her latest, these reasons are once again demonstrated with compelling characters put in unexpected situations. A meaty and fun read, SUNSET BRIDGE will please all kinds of readers this summer with its solid storytelling and charming group of friends."
—Sarah Rachel Egelman at Bookreporter.com
"The latest visit to Happiness Key (see Fortunate Harbor) is an engaging contemporary tale filled with jocularity and friendship as the sisterhood has each other’s backs especially in the down times."
—Harriet Klausner at Genre Go Round Reviews
"This is one of those books that I picked up and thought to myself I'll just read a few chapters and before I knew it, I was almost finished with the book. I love all the story lines. . . . This is a great summer read. It's fast paced and delightful"
—Marcie at To Read or Not To Read
"This is one beach novel you won't want to miss this summer! Love, hope, suspense and mystery all interknit into a remarkable story."
—Wendy Hines at Minding Spot
How does an author tie up a series she’s loved writing? How does she know when it’s time?
Happiness Key was originally a stand-alone novel, but after I wrote it, I suggested to my publisher that we do two more and make the books a trilogy. They happily agreed, and I set out to make that happen.
Happiness Key was a sprawling novel, which introduced four very different women whose unlikely friendship develops slowly, along with the stories of their individual lives. By the end I’d left enough untied threads that a second novel, Fortunate Harbor, was easy. There was an empty house, a scheming ex-husband, a new career, two romances blossoming. How fun was this?
By the time I moved on to Sunset Bridge, however, I knew we’d been wise to call this a trilogy. Much had happened, and there were still new developments to explore and old stories to complete, but unless I began untying the knots I’d so carefully pulled tight in past books, this had to be the final novel. I wanted happily-ever-afters to stay that way, and the lessons the characters had learned from each other to carry each of them forward into a future my readers and I could imagine together.
As I often do, I came up with the title before I came up with the plot. This was the end of a trilogy, so “sunset” a highlight of Gulf Coast life, seemed appropriate. So did “bridge” which suggests transitions, and moving from one phase of life to another.
With that in mind, I took the words and wove my story around them. My characters were moving on with their lives, and so was I. This was the time to bid them a fond farewell and wish them the best.
But darn, I’ll miss them, every one.