Saturday, August 20, 2011

HAPPINESS KEY by Emilie Richards

HAPPINESS KEY - Emilie Richards
Mira Books
ISBN: 978-0-778-312383
June 2011 (reprint)
Women’s Fiction

Florida – Present Day

Life is good; well, maybe not today. Tracy Deloche has come a long way in the past few years.

Who knew the former socialite would be roughing it in the Everglades, with her lover Marsh? So what if she has fallen out of the canoe into the swamp, hates the mosquitoes, and is so nauseated she wants to die. Tracy is in love. Oh yes, and add that she may be pregnant. However, feeling frustrated, she pushes Marsh away. What if he doesn’t want to be a father? What if?

Back on dry land Tracy sees Wanda who guesses her condition. Even though she is the landlord of five run-down beach cottages, Tracy has landed herself the best friend ever. Wanda, the smart mouth waitress, is now a trendy pie-shop owner. Janya, once a lonely young wife, finds her arranged marriage is working. Alice, a frail widow, is now raising her granddaughter, Olivia, who is on the verge on becoming a teen. Maggie, Wanda’s daughter, has joined the group. The ex-cop is reeling from betrayal at work and her ex-lover. The welcome that is extended to Maggie means a lot to her. Somehow this eccentric group of women have really made Happiness Key just that.

As the storm season approaches, Tracy is not the only one with a problem. Janya and her husband, Rishi, find themselves in the middle of a mystery. New friend, Harit Dutra, asks to leave his two small children, Vijay and Lily, in their care while he searches for his missing wife. He goes missing, too, and the whole community is horrified when both are found dead in a run-down-seedy motel. Since there are no relatives to claim the children, Janya and Rishi find themselves instant parents. Maggie steps into help and puts her life in danger. She starts asking questions, and the answers are making somebody nervous. With a deadly storm approaching fast, everyone must get to higher ground. Some won’t make it. Is this the end to Happiness Key?

Emilie Richards has penned a winner. The story is well written, and the ladies with all their eccentricities make the story vibrant and endearing. Suspense is woven through the plot as the story plays out. Enjoy this hot summer read; it sizzles.

Deborah C Jackson

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