Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book Review: Sunset Bridge by Emilie Richards @EmilieRichards

Sunset Bridge by Emilie Richards
Publisher: Mira
Publish Date: June 21, 2011
Paperback, 512 pages 
Fiction, Women's Fiction
 ISBN: 978-0778312383
Happiness Key #3

My Review:
My thoughts:  A novel of friendship, love and perseverance, Sunset Bridge is a stunning look at how friends work together at life, love and in the face of danger and disaster.

Sunset Bridge is a long book, but it flies by.  It's also the third in the series, but I did not read the first two and although I feel I would have known the characters better in the first few pages if I had read the first two books, I feel that after those first few pages it really didn't matter.  Ms. Richards gives enough background and the characters fill themselves out enough that I never felt lost.  I got the gist of each character quickly.  From the very outspoken Wanda to her much more reserved daughter Maggie.  From the slightly addled older Alice to the not-quite-sure she's grown up Tracy.  And Janya, the Indian woman who is the pillar that seems to hold them all up, I loved her though she was only here and there in this book.  She is young but she is wise.  She is quiet but she notices everything and when she speaks she has something wise to say.  Each woman contributes something special to the group and makes the group whole.  I liked that.  I also liked that Ms. Richards stays true to females and makes it that they don't get along all the time.  They aren't cat-fighting and the book is not unpleasant, it's just real.

At the heart of this book are several things.  First Tracy is pregnant.  Second Maggie is trying to decide what to do since leaving the police force and the only love of her life behind.  Wanda has had the ultimate business proposition.  Janya and her husband have an unusual blessing fall into their laps, and Alice may have a second chance at love.  So as you can see the book is full of goings-on.  So that is why it speeds by.  But even though a lot is going on, the character building is never glossed over.  Maggie and Tracy are probably the characters that undergo the most change in this book and I really enjoyed watching it.  Ms. Richards is a master at character building and relationship building.  At it's heart, Sunset Bridge is really a relationship book.  Relationships between the women, and then romantic relationships as well.

Sunset Bridge really touched a chord in me.  It showed me the good of community.  It's something I have seen in the time after a hurricane and she demonstrates it here in this book.  I loved watching these women with each other and each woman with their private thoughts.  Sunset Bridge is a delightful novel to read on the waning days of summer and as we move into fall.  If you enjoy a good relationship story then this is just the book for you.  If you enjoy a character-driven story then this is the book for you.  As for me, I'm now going back to read the first two book and any of Ms. Richards' earlier books that I can get my hands on. I have a new auto-read author.

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

About the Book:
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, 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. And 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 Tracy has just discovered she's pregnant. Janya longs to be a mother—and suddenly has two young siblings in her care. Maggie helps out at Wanda's Wonderful Pies…but is the kitchen big enough for both Gray women? And Alice may lose her beloved granddaughter to someone no one expected….

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.

About the Author: 
Emilie Richards is a USA Today bestselling author. She is a full-time writer, with over 60 published novels. Some of her novels are currently being filmed in New Zealand and will appear on German television. Though she has expanded her scope of writing to women’s fiction, Richards was awarded the RITA® Award, the Oscar® of the romance publishing world.


FTC Information: I received this book from Eric Glover at Planned Television Arts for an honest review.