Monday, June 21, 2010

Review and Giveaway: Fortunate Harbor by Emilie Richards

Fortunate Harbor is the 2nd book in the Happiness Key series (the first book is Happiness Key). I don't usually like to start a series by skipping books, but I had no problems at all following the characters and events in this book.

There are several storylines going on in this book, and for the most part I enjoyed them.
The four main female characters in this series are: Tracy Deloche - a former "trophy wife" who's ex husband is in prison for real estate scams, she owns the five cottages on Happiness Key; Wanda Gray - a waitress who's married to a cop; Alice Brooks - a grandmother caring for her granddaughter, Olivia; and Janya Kapur - a newlywed who's mother frequently reminds her she wants grandchildren.

Tracy's ex-husband is out of jail and working his way back into her life; he claims he's turned over a new leaf and wants to make sure she's okay. Then, her boyfriend's ex-wife is getting in between Tracy and the boyfriend. Her job is getting stressful and she's having a hard time with her weight.

Wanda is let go from her job because she doesn't fit the "new, young look" the new restaurant owners are going for. She's well-known for her pies, and decides to start a pie shop but the bakery down the street is sabotaging her.

Janya and her husband, Rishi, have decided to start a family but so far haven't succeeded. Rishi starts staying late at work and their sex life is nonexistent, and Janya doesn't know why.

One of Wanda's co-workers, Dana Turner, has been living on the run, going from place to place and job to job with her almost-teenage daughter, Lizzie. Since they have a vacant rental cottage, the ladies invite Dana and Lizzie over for dinner and Tracy ends up offering to rent them the small cottage. Dana is very mistrustful of strangers and the other ladies want to find out why.

My Thoughts:
I have mixed feelings about this book.

I found Rishi's story a bit unbelievable, but at the same time I like how Janya grew from a timid wallflower to a stronger personality.

I also thought Dana's story was a bit far-fetched, but it definitely pulled at the heartstrings and I like how it all worked out.

Here's my real issue with this book: I think this is the part of the review wherein I disclose that I am a plus-sized woman, just so that's all up front. Throughout the book, various people tease Tracy about her weight, and you get the impression that she's carrying around a few extra pounds. One of the side stories involved weight loss, and Tracy's nutritionist told her she should lose 10-15 pounds. Just a few pages later, we learn *poor* Tracy has *ballooned* from a size 3 to a size 5!!! Really? A size 5? And we're supposed to sympathise with her? A size 5 is not even grown-up sizes, that's junior clothes. I was very unhappy with this part of the storyline. She's a size 5 and a 10-15 lb weight loss would be healthy? How tall is she, 4'3"?

Other than the weight thing, it was an enjoyable story. I enjoyed the mystery and getting to know the ladies. Even though they were from different backgrounds they were good friends and supported each other. I wish women in real life had these kinds of supportive friendships. I'd be interested to go back and read Happiness Key to see how they all met and read their previous adventures together.

I give Fortunate Harbor 3.5/5 stars.


Thanks to Alexandra at Planned Television Arts I have an ARC of Fortunate Harbor to give away. Leave a comment telling me you'd like to read this book - ends July 5. Must be a follower, US only.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Sounds good, I'm a follower!

  2. Tsk, that would annoy me too, and I am..normal, under normal, dunno what normal is these days. Anyhow, I saw this photo recently where they talked about how much weight this girl had gained and she was then my size. No one wants a size zero

  3. I would love to win this. Looks like a good beach read.
    I am a follower.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  4. Ballooned from size 3 to size 5? Actually, that sounds like something my mom would say. There's a reason I don't go clothes shopping with her. Last time I got a pair of size 9 jeans and she gave me a look as if I'd committed the ultimate sin.

    Anyway, this does sound like a fun read. Kinda Desperate Housewives with all the different story lines.

  5. Hi, Patti!

    I'd love to read this book, and of course I'm a follower. :)


  6. *waves*
    Not entering. Just visiting. :)

  7. I'm with you on the weight thing. A size 5 is barely there.

    Would love to read this.


    kissinoak at verizon dot net

  8. *pinky wave* just visiting. I just eyerolled at jumping from a size 3 to 5. Now, jumping from a size 8 to 16 that is significant. I too, would have a problem with this.

  9. Would love to read this.

  10. Just wanted to say I am also plus size, and really a size 5 to a size 3? What world is the author living in where that is over weight? I think that is one of the problems I had with Bridget Jones. 130 just isn't fat to me.

  11. --meant to say I'm not entering the giveaway, just had to comment on the weight thing.

  12. I'm a plus size woman also. Just the bit about the ballooning up to a size 5 - makes me roll my eyes. OMG. I wonder if the author is a teeny woman, and if she's not, why is she putting that crap in an otherwise good sounding book? There's enough issues with body image out there already.

  13. i'm a plus-sized woman myself, and very happy with my curves, thankyouverymuch, so when i hear stuff like that, it makes me cringe. could you enter me in the contest, and i'll just skip over those parts?

    k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

  14. I'd like to read this book! I'm a follower.

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

  15. Sounds like something i would like to try thanks


  16. This giveaway is closed, thanks everyone for entering!