Unexpected Blessings (Emma Harte Series #5)

( 29 )

Overview

The new blockbuster from one of the world's greatest storytellers delves into the life of Emma Harte—the original Woman of Substance—and the ambitious, passionate, and volatile women of the next generations.

Evan Hughes, Emma's American great-granddaughter, is trying to integrate into the powerful Harte family. She is caught between her estranged parents, her new family, and new love. But a dangerous enemy hovers in the background.

Tessa ...

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Overview

The new blockbuster from one of the world's greatest storytellers delves into the life of Emma Harte—the original Woman of Substance—and the ambitious, passionate, and volatile women of the next generations.

Evan Hughes, Emma's American great-granddaughter, is trying to integrate into the powerful Harte family. She is caught between her estranged parents, her new family, and new love. But a dangerous enemy hovers in the background.

Tessa Longden, Evan's cousin, is battling her husband for custody of their daughter, Adele. When Adele suddenly goes missing, Tessa is forced to seek help from her half-sister Linnet—a woman who has been her rival all their lives.

Linnet, the most brilliant businesswoman of the four great-granddaughters, is desperately trying to show that she is the natural heir to her mother, Paula. But her glittering future at the helm of the vast Harte empire means many sacrifices, perhaps even the loss of her sister’s fragile trust.

India Standish, the traditionalist in the family, falls in love with a famous British artist from a working-class background. Madly in love, India is determined to marry him, no matter what her family thinks.

Evan, Tessa, Linnet, and India: four extraordinary women. Three generations of Hartes. One indomitable family whose loyalty binds them together and whose enemies want to tear them apart.

“Well-written and full of emotion…completely riveting.”

MiamiNew Times

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
What's left after Bradford tells Emma's Secret? We'll see. With an eight-city author tour. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The Hartes again. And their numbers are legion-in fact, no fewer than 53 names are featured in the genealogy upfront, not including Evan Hughes, heroine of Emma's Secret (2003) and an American twig of the Harte family tree. Now dwelling in London, lovely Evan lives and breathes retail, just like long-dead Emma Harte, the plucky shopgirl who started it all. Now that Evan has her dream job as an assistant to Linnet O'Neill, Emma's great-granddaughter, she's planning a future with her true love, Gideon Harte, Linnet's cousin and a newspaperman. Linnet, though, has other things to worry about after she fields a frantic phone call from her half-sister Tessa-Adele, Tessa's precious little girl, has disappeared! Has Mark Longden, Tessa's estranged husband, kidnapped the child? The cad. Is he after (gasp!) the Harte money? Billions are at stake, and, yes, Adele may be in danger as well. When the clan gathers to discuss the matter, one quiet voice of dissent is raised: Evan wonders whether Adele was in fact taken by a pedophile. Jack Figg, ace investigator, wonders ditto. Carefully modulated anguish sets the tone: Tessa presses a hand to her mouth. Mummy will have to be told before American TV broadcasts the news worldwide! Perhaps it's just as well that Mummy, otherwise known as Paula O'Neill, director of Harte's department store in Knightsbridge, is in New York, musing on the cityscape and recapping the legacy of Emma Harte for the umpteenth time, not to mention the family's power, immense wealth, and ineffable sense of privilege. Yet not even all those wonderful things can stop history: it seems terrorists have flown planes into the World Trade Center. Newspaperman Gideon sees it on CNN and issuitably aghast. But back to the plot: Evan's dear ones are about to find out that everything is not what it seems, and the revelation of still more family secrets is looming. And-good heavens!-what about Adele?For the fans, their numbers also legion. Doubleday Book Club/Literary Guild main selection; Book-of-the-Month Club alternate selection; author tour
From the Publisher
“Bradford gives her readers more of what she does best—strong, savvy female protagonists who relentlessly pursue great destinies, characters much like the author herself…well-written and full of emotion…completely riveting…the plot, while always complex, has suspenseful moments to keep the pace sharp…good reading…Unexpected Blessings clearly shows why Bradford is still the premier writer of family sagas.” —Miami New Times

 

“The exploits and adventures of Bradford’s indomitable heroines continue to make for lusty escapist fiction in this robust fifth novel in the series.” —Publishers Weekly

 

“The enduring theme of family loyalty ennobles the Harte family saga and raises it to a heartwarming crescendo that longtime fans will appreciate. New readers will relish it as well.” —Book Page

 

"Bradford enthralls readers.... Once again, readers will get swept up in the lives and loves of the Harte family." —RT Book Reviews

“I grew up in England with the radio. television hadn’t really come to us, So the radio was a great friend. hearing an audiobook is in a sense going back to my childhood and listening. Since I'm writing all the time and using glasses and staring at words on paper, it's nice to close my eyes and just get carried away.... The experience is enhanced by a good voice to listen to.”—Barbara Taylor Bradford on audiobooks

Praise for Barbara Taylor Bradford and Emma’s Secret:

“Kate Burton’s pleasing voice and impeccable diction precisely capture the mood, convincing accents, and personalities of the ultra-rich and famous. She handles sibling rivalries and romantic intrigues with finesse.” —AudioFile on Emma’s Secret (Abridged)

“The grandiose saga of power, passion, friendship, and haute couture continues the story of Emma Harte, first introduced in A Woman of Substance (1994). Narrator kate Reading deftly uses a variety of British and American accents to represent numerous characters from a variety of economic social strata.”—Booklist on Emma’s Secret (Unabridged)

“Readers who loved A Woman of Substance will enjoy Emma’s Secret.”—Denver Post

“Promises to tantalize, mesmerize, and titillate readers of all ages. It has all the Bradford touches: strong and swift plot, hints of secrets about to be revealed...spellbinding...destined to fly off bookseller’s racks and be passed around many book clubs. It is a darn good read.”—Roanoke Times

“It will be...appreciated by those with an irresistible desire to follow the further adventures of the Harte clan.”—Publishers Weekly

“You’re certain these are living, breathing people.”—USA Weekend

“An extravagant, absorbing novel of love, courage, ambition, war, death, and passion.”—The New York Times on A Woman of Substance

“Barbara Taylor Bradford is the storyteller of substance.”—The Times (London)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312985745
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 10/4/2005
  • Series: Emma Harte Series , #5
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 254,112
  • Product dimensions: 4.21 (w) x 6.67 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Taylor Bradford

Barbara Taylor Bradford is the author of 25 bestselling novels, including Playing the Game, Breaking the Rules, and The Ravenscar Dynasty. She was born in Leeds, England, and from an early age, she was a voracious reader: at age 12, she had already read all of Dickens and the Brontë sisters. By the age of twenty, she was an editor and columnist on Fleet Street. She published her first novel, A Woman of Substance, in 1979, and it has become an enduring bestseller.

 

Barbara Taylor Bradford’s books are published in over 90 countries in 40 languages, with sales figures in excess of 82 million. Ten of her novels have been adapted into television mini-series starring actors including Sir Anthony Hopkins, Liam Neeson, Deborah Kerr and Elizabeth Hurley. She has been inducted into the Writers Hall of Fame of America, and in June of 2007, Barbara was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II for her contributions to Literature.

 

She lives in New York City with her husband, television producer Robert Bradford, to whom all her novels are dedicated, and their Bichon Frise dogs, who sit under her desk while she writes.

Biography

Barbara Taylor Bradford was born and raised in Yorkshire, England. A voracious reader since childhood, she took her first job at the age of 15 with the Yorkshire Evening Post and by the age of 18 was the newspaper's women's page editor. Two years later, she headed for London and became a reporter for the London Evening News, Today Magazine, and other publications.

After meeting her husband-to-be, Robert Bradford, in 1961, she relocated to the United States. Continuing in journalism, Barbara created the syndicated column "Designing Woman," which ran nationwide for 12 years. Children's books and 8 works on decorating followed.

In 1979, Bradford published her first novel, A Woman of Substance, introducing the Emma Harte saga and beginning an almost uninterrupted string of bestsellers. Her work has been published in more than 90 countries in 40 languages, and total sales of her books now surpass 75 million.

Barbara now lives and writes in New York City with her husband, Robert. In addition to her work as a writer, she is active in a number of major charitable organizations, including the Police Athletic League, Girls Inc., City-Meals-on-Wheels, and the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation.

Good To Know

Queen Elizabeth bestowed the Order of the British Empire on Barbara in October, 2007. The news was announced on the author's website with the following headline: "BTB Gets Her OBE from QEII."

Some interesting outtakes from our interview with Bradford:

"All 20 of my original manuscripts are stored by the prestigious Brotherton Library at Leeds University in England, next to the works of the Brontë sisters."

"My first job was working as a typist for the Yorkshire Evening Post at the age of 15."

"When I'm not writing, (which isn't often) I love to read. Biographies are my favorite genre, though I do like to read fiction to see what others are putting out on the market. Authors whose books I always make time for are Patricia Cornwell, Mary Higgins Clark, and Bernard Cornwell."

"I love to travel whenever possible. Paris is my favorite city to visit, though some of my favorite holidays are spent back in England."

"My husband, Bob, has a vote for the Academy Awards, so I get to see a lot of movie screenings."

"I'm involved in a number of charity organizations on both sides of the Atlantic. From the Police Athletic League and the Literary Guild in America to PACT (Parents and Children Together Again) in the U.K., I devote a fair amount of time to these causes. And as an advocate for world literacy, I am a member of the Madison Council to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C."

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      Christ Church Elementary School and Northcote Private School for Girls in Yorkshire, England
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

PART ONE

THE STORMY PETRELS

Summer 2001

"The name 'petrel' is said to be a diminutive of Peter: when feeding the bird flits and hovers just above the water, often with feet pattering on the surface, appearing to 'walk on water' as St. Peter did in the Bible story."

- Field Guide to the Birds of Britain

CHAPTER ONE

Evan Hughes stood in the middle of the fashion floor of Harte's department store in London's Knightsbridge. It was seven o'clock in the morning, and nothing stirred. By eight the cleaners would be moving around this vast space, and by nine a few of the dedicated sales staff would be arriving to prepare for the store doors opening at ten. Now, though, she was totally alone.

She loved this store and this floor in particular. It was her domain. And hers alone. Last week she had been made head of fashion, a big promotion which had thrilled her. But in her personal life, Evan had big decisions to make.

As she moved slowly across the floor, making for the new haute couture fashion displays, she couldn't help thinking about the first day she had walked into Harte's. January 2001. Eight months ago now. She had been very lucky that day. Quite by chance she had met the man of her dreams and found the job of her dreams. She had certainly never thought her dreams would come true that day. But in some ways, they did.

Pausing for a moment, Evan glanced around, her intelligent, light gray-blue eyes devouring everything: the fashion displays under bright lights, the elegance of the whole floor, such an important one in this prestigious department store, considered the greatest in the world.

Harte's of Knightsbridge had been founded by one of the most famous merchant princes ever known: Emma Harte. She had been dead now for thirty years, and the store was run by Emma's granddaughter Paula O'Neill. Paula, an elegant woman in her mid-fifties, had inherited her grandmother's skills and brilliance as a retailer, and her daughters Tessa and Linnet were following in her footsteps. Both of them worked at the store; Tessa was in charge of the first three floors, which sold cosmetics, perfumes, leisure wear, lingerie, and active sports clothes. Linnet, Tessa's half sister, was in charge of the fashion floors and worked with Paula on public relations.

It was Linnet O'Neill who had hired Evan to be one of her assistants, and for the first few months Evan had helped Linnet put together a retrospective of fashion, which had been a huge success and pulled many new customers into the store.

Linnet. Tessa. Ambitious and complicated, they were now part of Evan's life.

As a reward for all her hard work and dedication, Linnet had given her this promotion...and Evan was in her element.

Evan stood in front of the couture fashion displays which had been finished late last night. They were great, she decided. The display staff had done a good job with the clothes she had selected.

Turning away, she walked down the floor, making for her office. Tall, slender, and dark haired, she was good looking, elegant. Back at her desk she glanced at the photograph of Gideon Harte. She had fallen in love with him, and he with her, that first day when he had bumped into her in the corridor. She had been looking for the management offices, and he had led her there, all the while firing questions at her. And it was Gideon who had told his cousin Linnet about her; Linnet had subsequently interviewed her and given her a job.

Sitting back in her chair, Evan thought about the past eight months and all that had happened.

She had never expected to find a second family in England. Only a year ago the only family she knew were her mother and father, and her two adopted sisters, who lived in Connecticut. But all that had changed because of her grandmother Glynnis Hughes. On her deathbed her grandmother had told Evan to go to England to find Emma Harte, adding that Emma was the key to her future. And Evan had done exactly that, only to discover Emma was dead. But she had fallen in love with the store and decided to get a job there.

And now here she was, working at Harte's, planning a future with Gideon, and struggling to adapt herself to a whole new family... because she herself was actually a Harte. It was Paula who had discovered through Emma's diaries that Evan was another great-granddaughter of Emma Harte's, because Evan's grandmother Glynnis had given birth to a son fathered by one of Emma's sons. And that child was Evan's father.

They had welcomed her, treated her kindly and with enormous understanding, but at times things had been difficult for Evan. So many things to unravel, so much to accept, so many people to get to know. Sometimes it seemed endless to her.

Most troubling of all was the knowledge she had about her father's biological father...which she had been afraid to relay to him. Would her father, Owen Hughes, welcome the information? Would he really want to know that the man who had brought him up was not his father after all? She didn't know, and she continued to wrestle with these questions.

Evan knew she had to come to a decision. Her mother and father were coming to London in a week or so, to spend time with her and have a vacation. Could she look her father in the eye and not tell him the truth? Could she keep it a secret? And should she? Nobody could advise her really. Gideon had told her to do what she thought best, and everyone else had been noncommittal.

The ball was back in her court.

Then there was Robin Ainsley, her new grandfather, the man who had been her grandmother's lover during the Second World War. He had been a pilot in the Royal Air Force, a Battle of Britain pilot, and her grandmother, Glynnis Jenkins then, had been a young woman from Wales who worked as Emma Harte's secretary, in this very store.

Evan liked Robin; her feelings were even stronger than that. And she knew only too well that he longed to meet his son Owen Hughes. But would her father want to meet this "stranger"...a stranger who was his real father? His mother's lover. 'Oh God.'

Evan turned on her computer and after a few moments started to work on it, but within an hour the troubling thoughts about Robin, Glynnis, and her father's imminent arrival began to intrude. Turning the computer off, she made her decision. She would take Linnet's advice and go to Yorkshire after all for a week's rest. And she would go to see Robin Ainsley, still needing to know about his relationship with her grandmother, and most of all to truly understand why Robin and Glynnis had never married.

Copyright 2005 by Barbara Taylor Bradford

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Table of Contents

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

PART ONE
THE STORMY PETRELS
Summer 2001

"The name 'petrel' is said to be a diminutive of Peter: when feeding the bird flits and hovers just above the water, often with feet pattering on the surface, appearing to 'walk on water' as St. Peter did in the Bible story."
- Field Guide to the Birds of Britain


CHAPTER ONE

Evan Hughes stood in the middle of the fashion floor of Harte's department store in London's Knightsbridge. It was seven o'clock in the morning, and nothing stirred. By eight the cleaners would be moving around this vast space, and by nine a few of the dedicated sales staff would be arriving to prepare for the store doors opening at ten. Now, though, she was totally alone.

She loved this store and this floor in particular. It was her domain. And hers alone. Last week she had been made head of fashion, a big promotion which had thrilled her. But in her personal life, Evan had big decisions to make.

As she moved slowly across the floor, making for the new haute couture fashion displays, she couldn't help thinking about the first day she had walked into Harte's. January 2001. Eight months ago now. She had been very lucky that day. Quite by chance she had met the man of her dreams and found the job of her dreams. She had certainly never thought her dreams would come true that day. But in some ways, they did.

Pausing for a moment, Evan glanced around, her intelligent, light gray-blue eyes devouring everything: the fashion displays under bright lights, the elegance of the whole floor, such an important one in this prestigious department store, considered the greatest in theworld.

Harte's of Knightsbridge had been founded by one of the most famous merchant princes ever known: Emma Harte. She had been dead now for thirty years, and the store was run by Emma's granddaughter Paula O'Neill. Paula, an elegant woman in her mid-fifties, had inherited her grandmother's skills and brilliance as a retailer, and her daughters Tessa and Linnet were following in her footsteps. Both of them worked at the store; Tessa was in charge of the first three floors, which sold cosmetics, perfumes, leisure wear, lingerie, and active sports clothes. Linnet, Tessa's half sister, was in charge of the fashion floors and worked with Paula on public relations.

It was Linnet O'Neill who had hired Evan to be one of her assistants, and for the first few months Evan had helped Linnet put together a retrospective of fashion, which had been a huge success and pulled many new customers into the store.

Linnet. Tessa. Ambitious and complicated, they were now part of Evan's life.

As a reward for all her hard work and dedication, Linnet had given her this promotion...and Evan was in her element.

Evan stood in front of the couture fashion displays which had been finished late last night. They were great, she decided. The display staff had done a good job with the clothes she had selected.

Turning away, she walked down the floor, making for her office. Tall, slender, and dark haired, she was good looking, elegant. Back at her desk she glanced at the photograph of Gideon Harte. She had fallen in love with him, and he with her, that first day when he had bumped into her in the corridor. She had been looking for the management offices, and he had led her there, all the while firing questions at her. And it was Gideon who had told his cousin Linnet about her; Linnet had subsequently interviewed her and given her a job.

Sitting back in her chair, Evan thought about the past eight months and all that had happened.

She had never expected to find a second family in England. Only a year ago the only family she knew were her mother and father, and her two adopted sisters, who lived in Connecticut. But all that had changed because of her grandmother Glynnis Hughes. On her deathbed her grandmother had told Evan to go to England to find Emma Harte, adding that Emma was the key to her future. And Evan had done exactly that, only to discover Emma was dead. But she had fallen in love with the store and decided to get a job there.

And now here she was, working at Harte's, planning a future with Gideon, and struggling to adapt herself to a whole new family... because she herself was actually a Harte. It was Paula who had discovered through Emma's diaries that Evan was another great-granddaughter of Emma Harte's, because Evan's grandmother Glynnis had given birth to a son fathered by one of Emma's sons. And that child was Evan's father.

They had welcomed her, treated her kindly and with enormous understanding, but at times things had been difficult for Evan. So many things to unravel, so much to accept, so many people to get to know. Sometimes it seemed endless to her.

Most troubling of all was the knowledge she had about her father's biological father...which she had been afraid to relay to him. Would her father, Owen Hughes, welcome the information? Would he really want to know that the man who had brought him up was not his father after all? She didn't know, and she continued to wrestle with these questions.

Evan knew she had to come to a decision. Her mother and father were coming to London in a week or so, to spend time with her and have a vacation. Could she look her father in the eye and not tell him the truth? Could she keep it a secret? And should she? Nobody could advise her really. Gideon had told her to do what she thought best, and everyone else had been noncommittal.

The ball was back in her court.

Then there was Robin Ainsley, her new grandfather, the man who had been her grandmother's lover during the Second World War. He had been a pilot in the Royal Air Force, a Battle of Britain pilot, and her grandmother, Glynnis Jenkins then, had been a young woman from Wales who worked as Emma Harte's secretary, in this very store.

Evan liked Robin; her feelings were even stronger than that. And she knew only too well that he longed to meet his son Owen Hughes. But would her father want to meet this "stranger"...a stranger who was his real father? His mother's lover. 'Oh God.'

Evan turned on her computer and after a few moments started to work on it, but within an hour the troubling thoughts about Robin, Glynnis, and her father's imminent arrival began to intrude. Turning the computer off, she made her decision. She would take Linnet's advice and go to Yorkshire after all for a week's rest. And she would go to see Robin Ainsley, still needing to know about his relationship with her grandmother, and most of all to truly understand why Robin and Glynnis had never married.


Copyright 2005 by Barbara Taylor Bradford
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

4 Star

(10)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2005

    Womens Fiction @ It's Best

    Emma Harte founded a dynasty of stores, newspapers, and other business enterprises during her lifetime, and though she is gone now, her family carries on in the Harte tradition to maintain her empire. The story here is a continuation of EMMA'S SECRET. Even though Emma is gone, her presence is felt in everything her family thinks and does. In EMMA'S SECRET, we learn that Evan Hughes is Emma's great-granddaughter from America. Bored with her job in New York, Evan came to London to meet Emma on the advice of her own grandmother, Glynnis Hughes. She didn't find Emma, who had died thirty years previously, but she did fall in love with the Harte department stores, applied for a job, and was hired. Now, beginning in UNEXPECTED BLESSINGS: After meeting her biological grandfather, Evan is worried about the best way to tell her father Owen that his father is a Harte and still lives. Owen Hughes has never had much good to say about the Hartes, and this news on top of Evan's own bombshell about her impending marriage to Gideon Harte might be the one catalyst that severs her relationship with her father. Tessa Fairley Longden is in the middle of a messy divorce from her husband Mark, who has verbally and physically abused her for years. When her daughter Adele vanishes (almost before her eyes), Tessa knows that Mark is behind Adele's kidnapping. Will he return their daughter before harm comes to her? Tessa does the only thing that comes to mind in a crisis, she follows Emma's rule: keep it in the family. She calls her half-sister Linnet for help. When Linnet O'Niell arrives at the Pennistone Royal estate, she immediately calls on Jack Figg, Emma's security expert. Jack will know how to find the child before the news can hit the media. Linnet, the granddaughter who looks and acts most like Emma, takes the reins in this family crisis. She will inherit Emma's empire, even at the risk of losing her sister's trust and damaging their fragile relationship. Linnet is engaged to be married to Julian Kallinski, and their upcoming marriage will finally bond the three Harte clans together. India Standish, Emma's fourth granddaughter, has a guilty secret. She has fallen in love with Dusty Rhodes, a working class artist with a tawdry reputation. India is determined to marry Dusty, no matter if her family approves or not, but first she must go to Tessa and Linnet and offer her support in the search for Adele. India follows Emma's rule without thought. Hartes always stick together, even if it means incurring Dusty's wrath when she leaves their love nest to go to her cousins' side. UNEXPECTED BLESSINGS continues the Harte Saga which began with A WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE, followed by HOLD THE DREAM, TO BE THE BEST, and EMMA'S SECRET. This powerful series still enthralls as Ms. Bradford pens another stunning chapter in the lives of the rich and powerful Harte dynasty. UNEXPECTED BLESSINGS stands alone, and there is no need to read the previous titles, although you will not want to miss out on the entire story of Emma Harte and her descendants. Ms. Bradford is a masterful storyteller, and this book doesn't miss one single beat in the continuing saga. Though I have bought all the books for my collection, I am embarrassed to admit that I have not kept up my reading of the story following HOLD THE DREAM however, I was able to dive right into this book and pick up where I left off. (And to be sure, I am going back to read what I missed!) UNEXPECTED BLESSINGS is a powerful tale of Emma's granddaughters as they manage the business and stay on top of the twists and turns that life hands them. There is danger coming at them from within their own family, and a few secrets that are revealed along the way. Tessa falls in love with an older man, Linnet is planning her upcoming nuptials, India has to face hard decisions about her future, and Evan is privy to family secrets no one else knows. A host of secondary characters ro

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2005

    ANOTHER FANTASTIC BOOK

    For those that gave a lower than a five star rating should start with the first book in the series, there are quite a few to be able to appreciate the complete story. I found the book to be exciting, interesting, captivating and as usual an all night page turner! For the true BTB fans, this is another must read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2005

    Moving Story!

    Once again the author delivers a timeless, moving story. I couldn't put the book down. Everyone should read this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 7, 2012

    Held off buying this and rest of series because I was hoping to

    Held off buying this and rest of series because I was hoping to get Books 1 to 3 on my Nook to reread before going on. But seems the publishers arent interested. Dont read paperbacks so I guess I will just have to remember.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2012

    Check it out

    Was nice book to read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    Good read.

    Be sure to read this if you are following the Emma Harte series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2011

    Must read

    Enjoyed the book. If a fan of BTB it is a must read.

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  • Posted January 1, 2011

    Wow!! What a read!!

    The fifth book in the Emma Harte Series is another page turner. It is great to see the trial and tribulations that the great-granchildren go through using Emma as a guide. The story of Evan finally comes totally out. This book was great to see how the younger generation works together to solve family problems. It is a MUST READ!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2010

    Have enjoyed the whole Harte saga...wonderful characters

    Love this series....hate to see it closed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Unexpected Blessings -Typical Barbara Taylor Bradford Style

    I recommend that readers read her other books, starting with A Woman of Substance because that would make it easier to understand the characters and their role in this book. I enjoyed this book, but my favorite is A Woman of Substance.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2006

    outstanding

    I actually started reading Emma's Secret when my son had his appendicts taken out and I had to stay in the hospital with him. I purchased the book in the gift shop and just fell in love with the characters. Once I was done reading Emma's Secret, I flipped to the last pages and saw that this book was part of a saga. Since then I have gone back to the beginning and started with a Women of Substance and I just finished To Be the Best. And I have just ordered my copy of Just Rewards. I am truly excited to read about Emma Hartes great granddaughters and their journeys. I just hope that this is not the last that we hear of the heart women.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2005

    An Excellent Sequel

    I consider this a worthy sequel to the Woman of Substance franchise. Some families are always fascinating to read about. The Harte family never seems to dissapoint. Those who have read Emma's Secret will find Unexpected Blessings to be a more action-packed and revealing saga. There is one whopper of a secret revealed in the end that blows away the secret in Emma's Secret.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2005

    hum-drum lives of the rich and famous

    Was very disappointed in this book..I felt no sympathy for any of the characters' plights and found the women on a whole to lack substance especially Tessa who depended on mum to clean up a messy divorce and Evan who seemed immature and confused much of the time....

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2005

    enough is enough

    I cannot tell you how many times I was tempted to just put this book down and not finish reading it. I felt as if I was reading the plot to a TV soap. The only reason I finished the novel at all is because I had read all of the previous Emma Harte books and had enjoyed them. Lets get on with something new and different. Enough of Emma already

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2005

    ANOTHER SUPERB READING BY KATE BURTON

    Hearing Kate Burton read an audio book is always unalloyed entertainment pleasure. She has the distinctive 'Burton' voice enhanced by a precise, clear diction. This voice and the inflections she uses surely fit the privileged folks who inhabit Barbara Taylor Bradford's latest Harte family saga. Millions of readers will remember Emma Harte, the staunch lady introduced in Bradford's hugely successful A Woman Of Substance. We now meet her decedents, all born into wealth, all facing life altering situations. India, much to the chagrin of her family, has fallen for an artist from not so privileged parents. Evan, another of Emma's great-granddaughters is an American who crosses the ocean to work for Harte's department store. What a shock to discover that her father was not precisely who she believed him to be. And, there's still more woe to come: Tessa is enmeshed in a custody battle for her daughter who seems to have disappeared, and Linnet, the business woman of the group, must learn that she can't have it all. Someone, somewhere is trying to harm all of these women. The question is who and why?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2005

    Very Dull Reading

    If you like to read about fancy estates and apartments, and the extremely wealthy who fly from one continent to another on a whim, you may enjoy this book. I found it too full of expansive descriptions of the homes and people, with no plot to carry it along. Everyone in this family is very beautiful and very rich - no substance. This author has written some very spellbinding books. This is not one of them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2005

    time to end the saga or go back in time

    everyone loves a rag to riches story. it was easy to fall in love with emma and the wonderful telling of the novel ' a woman of substance' and returning to emma again in 'Emmas secrets' made the novel somewhat interesting. but this new harte family saga works wonderfully for me at bed time. so far i have fallen asleep 3 times during the first 150 pages of this lackluster plot and am looking foward to further naps!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2005

    Boring, Boring, Boring

    There was nothing to keep you reading. It just went on and on about nothing. Very disappointed. The other Emma books were so much better. I guess the Emma saga is over. Hurray!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A fine contemporary tale

    Her dying grandmother directed Evan Hughes to go to London to meet department store matriarch Emma Harte, who holds the key to her future. After her beloved grandma dies, Evan follows her advice and leaves America for England only to learn that Emma died three decades ago. Still Evan obtains a fashion assistant position at the Harte store. Soon she learns that her biological grandfather was a son of the legendary Emma. (All of the above occurs in EMMA¿S SECRET). Evan ponders whether she should tell her dad the truth about her grandfather who is his real father................ While Evan struggles with her difficult moral question, someone abducts the granddaughter of current store matriarch Paula O¿Neill. She, her two daughters, and the Connecticut Yankee Evan forge a band of sisters ready to do whatever is necessary to avoid a tragic ending...................... UNEXPECTED BLESSINGS is a fine contemporary tale that adds to the legend of the Harte matriarchal dynasty. The story line contains the usual strong cast, but to enjoy the tale, readers need to peruse previous novels especially the last one EMMA¿S SECRET to fully gain understanding of motives. However, by doing that new readers will also conclude that the series seems to have lost momentum with five books looking into the rich and famous. Still true Harte fans take heart that the latest tale contains the strong ¿Amazonian¿ brood ready to battle any challenges, in this case thugs, as much as ethical issues................. Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2004

    I loved this book

    I was in London this summer, and the book had just come out. I had to get it as I new that it wouldn't be out in the states for 6 months. I read it on the place back to the states. It is great. It pretty much deals with the same characters as in the previous book. It also gives us insight to some of the characters that we thought we knew. A must read for anyone who has read the previous books of the 'harte saga'.

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