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Saturday, July 03, 2010

My review of Fortunate Harbor by Emilie Richards

About the book:

Join five women connected only by their growing friendship and the road that runs like a lifeline between their cottages in a rundown Florida development called Happiness Key.

Tracy Deloche finally gets a chance to swap business for a romantic evening with Marsh Egan, but dinner goes cold when she spots her ex-husband prowling outside her cottage. CJ is supposed to be in prison and out of her life for good. Exactly what is this modern day pirate seeking and what will it mean for Tracy's future?

Janya Kapur envies every pregnant woman she sees, but Rishi, her husband, is suddenly reluctant to talk about children. Is he disappointed in her inability to conceive? Their marriage was a contract between strangers. Can they ever hope for anything more?

Waitress Wanda Gray loses her job after new owners turn the Dancing Shrimp into a tapas bar. Wise neighbor Alice Brooks' suggestion that Wanda start her own business seems like a brilliant solution, until Wanda starts Pie War I with the owners of the local bakery.

When the empty cottage at Happiness Key is rented by single mother Dana Turner, everything seems perfect. With Alice volunteering to watch her daughter while she works and Wanda's offer of a job, this spit of Florida Gulf Coast land should be a fortunate harbor for a mother and daughter who have moved far too often-except for Dana's shocking secret.

As the women of Happiness Key struggle to discover the truth in time to help their new neighbor, their only weapon is friendship. But will friendship be enough?

My review:

I enjoyed Fortunate Harbor. Some places were a bit long and had drawn-out further than necessary, but really I cared about the characters. The genre felt the most like Women's Fiction with a touch of romance and mystery to top it off. I loved the subplots involving whether or not ex-spouses should be reinvested in emotionally when the strings were originally cut for a good reason.

The loyalty of the characters was admirable and the message about marriage and intimacy was good as well. None of these characters were impulsive in a negative way, but neither were they perfect. I think my favorite character was Janya because her struggles in her marriage were realistic. I was worried for her. Tracy was the most believable in regards to her personality type. I didn't identify with her as much, but I did understand her, and that was all that mattered. Wanda annoyed me, but she was kind of crazy. Personally I questioned the fact that her husband is suddenly gone all the time and she doesn't seem bothered by that in the least. And there was the love story with Dana. Ah, loved that part best.

There were some tangents that didn't directly connect to the conclusion of this story that could have been placed in another book, thus making this one a bit shorter and more reader-friendly than it was. In regards to sensuality, unlike most secular fiction, this book was pretty clean. No bedroom stuff, no swearing, etc. I'd recommend it to people looking for a good beach read this summer.

Fortunate Harbor was published by Mira books and released in July 2010.

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