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Happiness Key (Happiness Key #1)

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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  1,138 ratings  ·  144 reviews
Meet four women who think they have nothing in common except the oyster-shell road that runs between their ramshackle beach cottages on a spit of land called Happiness Key.When her husband is sent to prison, pampered Tracy Deloche is left with twenty-five acres of Florida Gulf Coast sand, five tumbledown beach houses and no idea how to start over. An exile in a strange cou ...more
Paperback, 568 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Mira Books
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The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison AllenDewey by Vicki Myron92 Pacific Boulevard by Debbie MacomberKatie Up and Down the Hall by Glenn PlaskinHappiness Key by Emilie Richards
Gentle Reads Genre Study
5th out of 16 books — 7 voters
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361st out of 488 books — 299 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,552)
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Lauren
Happiness Key begins the story of four women who could not be any more different. First, there is Tracey Deloche, a former socialite still dealing with the consequences and figurative punches that come from her now ex-husband’s con dealings that landed him in one of California’s finest jails. The main consequence: having to live in and deal with Happiness Key, twenty-five acres of Florida Gulf Coast where five cottages and its residents reside. As for the residents, there’s Janya, an India trans ...more
Edith
I have read several of Emilie Richards' books, and liked most of them better than this one, chiefly because the first 100 pages or so were devoted to introducing the main characters, none of whom were very nice. There is the rich girl whose husband had cheated her parents, among others, and wound up in prison, an Indian woman in an arranged marriage and who is pining for the man she loves who is back in India, the sheriff's wife who is planning to divorce her husband, and a recently widowed woma ...more
Karmen
Love Tracy Deloche, Wanda Gray, Janya Kapur, Alice Brooks, Marshall & Bay Egan and Olivia.

Emilie Richards wrote a wonderfully interwoven tale of a new owner/landlord Tracy Deloche. Taking possession of Happiness Key after her husband is jailed for all sorts of real estate related financial dealings.

Wanda Gray is married to Ken. Ken, a former Miami Dale cop, is distant following a justified fatal shooting. She takes comfort in baking pies and her job at the Jumpy Shrimp and as a senior phone
...more
Robin
Dec 15, 2009 Robin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who like happy endings
Recommended to Robin by: ReadingGroupGuides.com
Although a few members of my book group felt the plot was predictable, we liked the characters and were excited to hear that Emilie Richards is writing two more books featuring the women of Happiness Key! How did we learn that? Well, I won copies of the book and a telephone author chat from ReadingGroupGuides.com for our group! It was a challenge to work the book and chat into our schedule because we plan our reading and meeting times in advance but we phoned Emilie last night and asked her a ha ...more
Robin
This was the most beach-worthy book I read on my vacation. Four flawed women with various life issues live in an enclave of dilapidated but charming (a realtor would call them “vintage” or “retro”) cottages on the Florida coast. They all come together while trying to locate family of an elderly man who died alone in the fifth cottage and end up solving all of their life problems. Even it was fairly obvious as to what the mysterious goings-on were, it was still an enjoyable and page-turning read. ...more
Jacqueline Seewald
I just finished reading HAPPINESS KEY by Emilie Richards.
I would not precisely categorize the novel as romance. It is actually women's fiction with romantic elements. I enjoyed the novel very much. It took me all week to read because it is long. However, it is an exceptionally well-written and interesting book. Four women who have personal problems bond and help each other as they go about a mystery involving the death of one of the other residents of Happiness Key.

Jacqueline Seewald
author of TE
...more
Lizz
I'm a sucker for this kind of book. Just a light, easy read. I loved the characters and found how they grew to be friends interesting - you sure never would have thought that they would be! Tracy, Janya, Wanda and Alice (and little Olivia too) are good company. The mystery of their neighbor was maybe not the most riveting plot device ever, but like I said, I enjoyed it.
Liz
Emilie Richards' characters are always appealing. I liked the inter-cultural relationships that were part of this story, and I learned a surprising amount about (Asian) Indian traditions in the unlikely setting of an undeveloped Florida beach.
Roxanne
Found among Friends' donations and took to read on my Germany trip. As a mass market paperback, it was lightweight and perfect for hauling on the plane. Story was engaging but straightforward. Good characters and good ending.
Elizabeth
This book is definitely in the "beach book" genre, but it was a good story with interesting characters, and I found it to be a satisfying "escape book."

Tracy Deloche has ended a short, unhappy marriage to a convicted con-man, with little to show from it except a spit of land in Florida with a few ramshackle rental houses on it. She's sure she'll get rich when she sells it to developers, but persistent environmentalists--one in particular-- are holding up the process, and she's afraid she'll run
...more
Leigh
Emilie Richards has been on my auto read lists for years. I loved Beautiful Lies (1999) because it had one of my favorite themes. . . divorced couples reuniting. So I have read her women's fiction books for at least ten years.

Happiness Key is the first book in the series and it introduces the four characters.

Since I have read her books for ten years, you can tell that I enjoy Ms. Richards writing. She has a wonderful ability to plot out a storyline although I can see how some readers might thi
...more
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
This turned out to be a far better and smoother read for me than the cover art and synopsis gave me to expect. The book is about a divorcee whose ex-husband tricked her into signing a property purchase prior his heading off to prison. So, from the lap of luxury to a worn-down group of beach houses, our Tracy Deloche, begins to learn what a 'landlady' is.

There are five houses. Tracy is residing in one, an old gentleman in another, the rest is a wife who is a waitress with an interesting side job
...more
Kalendra Dee
Rich and pampered, Tracy Deloche was left penniless when her shyster husband was sent to prison. The only thing he left her was twenty-five acres on a Florida Key and five tumbledown cottages. Deciding to temporarily become the landlord of the resident cottage families, Tracy finds more than she bargained for. Janya Kapur is a young woman coming to terms with an arranged marriage to a man who, although kind, is not the man she wanted to marry. Tainted by past scandal, she resigns herself to a lo ...more
Liz Balaam
This is my third Emilie Richards book and I find I am enjoying her books more and more. I always seem to find the books a bit slow in the beginning, but once I get past the first few chapters I really get into them and find them really hard to put down. Happiness Key is truly a story of relationships - between husbands and wives, but more between four friends who start off as strangers and are so very different in every way. By the end of the book they all realise people are just people, and if ...more
Marcia Berg Haskell
4.5 stars. The path of 4 women starting with disdain and dislike of each other to forming a solid wall of support was very well done and earned my empathy for some characters I started out not caring about. This book reminded we need to look within - our friends, our frenemies, our acquaintances (casual or otherwise) and most of all ourselves.

This book isn't as fast reading as some. I found it hard to follow who some of the characters were (near the beginning of the book), but that problem fina
...more
Michael crage
I checked out this book because I thought I was checking out a mystery. It was a sort of a mystery, but that was a very minor part of the story. It told about how four women became friends. By the end of the book, I felt I knew the women. It was extremely well written.
Cindy
I enjoyed the book. There were alot of twists and turns with the characters. The characters pulled me in, but the book skipped around between them alot. I rated it 3 stars, because I felt like the character's dialog among themselves was used to explain things to me, the reader, much in the same way they do on the forensic-type TV shows...like the character will use forensic terminology and then explain what it means to another character, when both characters should already know what it means if ...more
Lynda
This is the start of a new series. It was interesting but not as good as Richards' Shenendoah series. Tracey Deloche is not a likeable main character at first though she improves by the end of the book. Tracey is attempting to rebuild her life after a divorce from a connving ex-husband who is now in jail. All Tracey owns is a rundown group of cottages called Happiness Key. Janya, a new bride from India with an unhappy family situation, Wanda, an unhappy married older women who works as a waitres ...more
Patricia Solla
An interesting tale of divorced woman who husband has gone to prison for a white collar crime. She owns a piece of property in Florida that her former husband and put in her name so it wasn't taken when his assets were frozen. The story is about the people who live on this piece of property the woman has become their landlord and as the story progresses we learn a lot about 4 women living in the cabins with their husbands, son and by herself (the landlord). There's a catalyst that happens which ...more
Debbie Gatacre
I'm a sucker for a good beach book . Story of 4 women that become friends while working through their own flawed lives. A little mystery and voila ! A great read
Kara
I was surprised that I enjoyed this book so much. I can't even remember how I stumbled upon it, but I immediately got the second book in the series to keep it going.
Phoebs58
I really liked this book. A little predictable as far as characters go, but it took nothing away from my enjoyment. I'll be on the lookout now for the other 2 books in the series.
Kara
This book could do with some serious editing. I skimmed a LOT of the middle. I get that the author was trying to do the stories of three very different women, but it was too much at times. Ultimately it was a decent novel, but it was way too long.
Theresa Lummer
This is the first Emilie Richards book I read. I fell in love with the characters. I cared deeply for them. At times I became confused by, what seemed to me, too many plots. I felt I needed to keep a notebook to keep track of everything going on. The book is very long, and sometimes there was a lot of events before you returned to one of the character's stories, and I found that I had forgotten what was going on the last time I read about them. However, with all that said, I am interested in rea ...more
Wanda
This book was recommended to me by a friend, though I have read many other books by this author. It is an excellent story about women and friendship, and the things that draw them together and tie them to each other. It deals with their similarities and their difference, from pies to cultures.
I loved that one of the characters is named Wanda, she is sassy and full of vinegar. THe ties of friendship are very important and this book demonstrates it. It makes you laugh and cry. The story shows how
...more
Ann
Another beach read (and one that takes place around a beach community). And another book my aunt gave me. I liked this more than I thought I would -- there are a few funny one-liners and turns of phrase that different characters use. Some of the character descriptions are a bit stereotypical, but the author does add character development to make them more three dimensional as the story and their relationships with each other progress. I read that there are other books with the same characters, s ...more
Annette
Honestly, I skimmed a lot of it - so long!
FSU Alumni
Sep 26, 2014 FSU Alumni added it
Shelves: fsu-alumni
Emilie Richards (B.A. '70)
Sandy
This was the first full book that I've read by this author. The storyline was good, but I found it hard to stay in the story during the first half of the book. I don't think it was the story as much as what I had read previously that kept me from getting into it as I probably could have. I will definitely finish the series by this author.
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79044
I'm the author of seventy-something novels, both women's fiction and mystery. I'm excited about my newest series, Goddesses Anonymous, which started with One Mountain Away and was followed last year by Somewhere Between Luck and Trust. The third book in the series, A River Too Wide, came out in July. The Color of Light debuts in August 2015.

Last year my husband and I moved from Arlington, Virginia
...more
More about Emilie Richards...

Other Books in the Series

Happiness Key (3 books)
  • Fortunate Harbor (Happiness Key Series, #2)
  • Sunset Bridge (Happiness Key Series, #3)
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