Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Review: Unexpected Blessings by Barbara Taylor Bradford

I finished this book before I went on vacation last week, on Saturday the 9th.  I just didn't have time to write the review before I left because I LITERALLY finished the book a few minutes before heading to the airport to catch my flight to Ohio.  And, over my vacation, I was too busy being a camel for my niece to ride on, shopping with my sister and mother at Ikea, and going out to eat with my family to have time to get to it.  So, here I am, reviewing the book a week and a half later, which is really late for me.  I usually try to review my reads right after finishing them, so I don't forget anything.  If this review is somewhat lacking, it's because I've read another book (review to be posted shortly) since finishing this one!

I Mooched this fourth book in the Emma Harte saga.  I love this series.  If you haven't read my reviews of the other books, the series is about the Harte family and their line of department stores (as well as the O'Neill and Kallinski clans, linked by friendship - and marriages - to the Hartes).  Emma Harte, the matriarch of the clan, built her dream from the ground up, and her heirs continue to operate what she worked so hard to build.  This book focuses on the great-grandchildren of Emma Harte, specifically Evan Hughes, India Standish, Tessa Longden, and Linnet O'Neill.  It follows the lives and loves of the four women as they come into their own in the Harte dynasty.  Linnet and Tessa continue to war over which will be the true heir to Emma's vision, while Linnet's wedding approaches and Tessa's soon-to-be ex-husband complicates her life.  Evan struggles with whether or not to tell her father a secret she learned in the last novel, while navigating the turbulent waters of loving a Harte.  India has fallen for an artist, but is not sure she can trust the womanizer to commit to her.

Four out of five Whatevers.  I really enjoy this series, and I'm not sure I can put my finger on why.  I like the strong female protagonists.  And Bradford manages to throw several curveballs at the reader.  There are always crises befalling the characters, which maintain the reader's interest.  There is only one of these left, that I know of.  I'm not sure I'm ready to say goodbye to the Harte clan, but I can always go back and read the first (and best) of the novels again, to start all over with Emma Harte.


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