Series: Harmony series

Guest Review: One True Heart by Jodi Thomas

Posted April 20, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: One True Heart by Jodi ThomasReviewer: Tracy
One True Heart by Jodi Thomas
Series: Harmony series #8
Also in this series: A Place Called Harmony
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: April 7th 2015
Genres: Contemporary
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Millanie McAllen is always logical. But after returning to her childhood home, she learns that some things are beyond explanation—like her undeniable passion for Drew Cunningham…

After finding success as a singer on the road, Beau Yates returns to Harmony to make peace with his dying father—only to find the woman he’s been dreaming of for years. But the secrets they discover might be too much for him to bear…

When Johnny Wheeler is charged with his wife’s murder, he turns to the only person who believes he’s innocent. Fortune teller Kare Cunningham’s life has always danced around reality—but Johnny is able to ground her like no other…

As their paths cross in new, captivating directions, the townspeople of Harmony need to learn to love and let go in order to live together in their little slice of heaven.

Tracy’s review of One True Heart (Harmony #8) by Jodi Thomas

As their paths cross in new, captivating directions, the townspeople of Harmony need to learn to love and let go in order to live together in their little slice of heaven.

In this book we get three different but all interconnected stories. There’s Millanie and Drew, Beau and Trouble aka Lark as well as Johnny and Kare.

In Millanie’s story she believes herself discharged from the Army and with no family and no place to go she returns to Harmony, the town of her youth. There she meets Drew who is a professor but running from his own demons. Millanie is actually NOT discharged and is then put on a case of finding a criminal the military believes is hiding out in Harmony.

Then we have Beau Yates who is a born and raised Harmony boy who hit it big in country music and is now a star. He returns when he hears that his father, the minister that was never actually nice to him, had a heart attack. He always felt more at home in Harmony and while he believes that he will only stay for a day or so that turns in to a much longer time when he runs into the girl he used to take midnight rides with in his youth.

Then there’s Johnny Wheeler whose wife left him and he’s then accused of murdering her. Kare is Drew’s sister and she’s the only one who believes him to be innocent. It turns out that the odd pair are perfect for each other.

This was a well written book – as I believe that all of Thomas’s books are. The stories of the three couples was very sweet and well done.

My issues with the book were that none of the stories, with the exception of Beau and Lark’s seemed very romantic, and even that seemed a little unusual. They were kind of 6 misfits who managed to find people who fit them which is always wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but to me Millanie and Drew didn’t really fit together. I think this was because we didn’t get to delve too, too deeply into either of their backgrounds. Same goes for Johnny and Kare – but they were in their own little orbit. Lol I guess I just didn’t feel as invested in these couples as I have with the previous couples/characters from Harmony. That being said I still found the book entertaining and of course it was nice being back in Harmony again.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Reading Order:

This title is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Guest Review: A Place Called Harmony by Jodi Thomas (+ a Giveaway!)

Posted October 1, 2014 by Tracy in Giveaways, Reviews | 6 Comments

Guest Review: A Place Called Harmony by Jodi Thomas (+ a Giveaway!)Reviewer: Tracy
A Place Called Harmony by Jodi Thomas
Series: Harmony series #8
Also in this series: One True Heart
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: October 7th 2014
Genres: Romance, Historical, Western
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas has captivated America with her novels set in the small town of Harmony, Texas. Now she tells the story of the three hard-luck men who first settled the town, a place where last chances and long-awaited dreams collide…

Desperate to escape his overbearing father, Patrick McAllen disappears with his bride, heading north to build a new town—discovering strength, honor and true love along the way.

After drinking away the grief from his family’s death, Clint Truman avoids jail by taking a job in North Texas and settling down with a woman he vows to protect but never love—until her quiet compassion slowly breaks his hardened heart wide open…

All Gillian Matheson has ever known is Army life, leaving his true love to be a part-time spouse. But when a wounded Gillian returns home to find her desperately fighting to save their marriage, he’s determined to become the husband she deserves.

Amidst storms, outlaws, and unwelcome relatives, the three couples band together to build a town—and form a bond that breathes life into the place that will forever be called Harmony.


Tracy’s review of A Place Called Harmony (Harmony #8) by Jodi Thomas

Harmon Ely is a man who runs a trading post in northern Texas. There’s not a whole lot of anything around but people stop at his trading post on a regular basis. Harmon gets it into his head that he wants to start a town. He puts out ads looking for married couples. Three very different couples converge on the trading post to try and start the town.

The first to arrive is Daisy Matheson. She is married to an Army man named Gillian and they’ve spent most of their married life apart. Daisy sees Harmon’s ad and starts to write to him regarding the job but she does so under Gillian’s name. Gillian has no clue what Daisy’s doing but gets quite anxious when he gets a letter telling him to meet her at the trading post. Gillian’s mind goes crazy and all he can think is that she’s dying and that’s why he needs to get there by a certain date. He loves Daisy with his whole heart and can think of nothing worse than losing her. He heads off to the trading post but ends up with a traveling companion, Jessie, who’s about 15 years old. She has nowhere to go and when his attempt to drop her at a mission doesn’t work he decides to take her with him to meet Daisy. Once there Gillian has to decide whether he’ll stay with his wife and boys to start the town or go back to the Army.

The next couple is Patrick McAllen and his wife Annie. Patrick is the son of a preacher and has been abused his whole life. His father is a bit nuts and after seeing 2 of his brothers die in the war and 2 others escape his father he knows that his father expects him to follow in his footsteps. Patrick just wants out. He tried to escape once and his father caught him and whipped him almost to the point of death. He knows if he’s caught his father will kill him this time. When he escapes he takes a local girl with him. Annie has been little more than a slave to her stepmother and stepsisters and is anxious to leave. The pair get married and head off to meet Harmon. While there was is only friendship between them when they got married love soon grows and flourishes. Patrick is only 20 years old but he’s an accomplished carpenter and knows that he can bring his skill to help build a town.

Clint Truman is a man who joined the men fighting in the war when he was just a teenager. He saw and did things that still horrified him. He then met his wife and she seemed to calm him but his wife and two daughters died from a fever and he turned to alcohol to numb the pain. Two years later the local sheriff tells him of the opportunity to start a new life and town with Harmon Ely. Clint thinks it might be something to look into but he’s not real sure about it all when the sheriff tells him he must be married. His capacity to love died when his family died and while he agrees to get married he knows he’ll never love the woman. They find Clint’s new wife when she gets released from prison with her newborn baby. Karissa agrees to marry Clint as she has no other options. She’s terribly afraid of Clint but manages to start to trust him after a time. The more time they spend together the more they grow to care for each other.

The three couples each have their trials and tribulations. They’re fighting their own inner battles as well as other issues from their past. Together, however, they know they can make the new town a wonderful place.

If you’ve read the Harmony novels you know that it’s a contemporary series that’s set in the town of Harmony. When I opened this book and realized that it’s a historical that takes us back to the founding of Harmony I wasn’t quite sure what to think. I’m not a fan of western historicals in general but I should have known that Thomas would come through for me. Not only was it a really great story but I loved seeing how Harmony came to be.

I have to say I loved reading about these three very diverse couples. Their lives were so different, as were their personalities, but they all were so determined to make the town work together that they all managed to get along and actually become friends.

The building of the town, along with the romances, interspersed with the more suspenseful parts of the book, were all woven together so well. Thomas truly knows how to build a story and characters that have a depth that I just love. The secondary characters in the book, Patrick’s brother Shelly along with Patrick’s sisters, and the Roma family rounded out the cast so well and added that much more to the story.

Whether you like western historical romance or not if you love the Harmony series I think you’ll love this one as well.

Rating: 4 out of 5

This title is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Guest Review: Can’t Stop Believing by Jodi Thomas

Posted April 10, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Can’t Stop Believing by Jodi ThomasReviewer: Tracy
Can't Stop Believing by Jodi Thomas
Series: Harmony Series #6
Also in this series: A Place Called Harmony, One True Heart
Published by Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: June 4th 2013
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
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Cord McDowell gave up his freedom at eighteen when he went to jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Now, ten years later, he’s about to give it up again for a piece of land. Nevada Britain, his neighbor, has just made him an offer he can’t refuse: If he’ll marry her, she’ll sign over a section of property that their families have been fighting over for a hundred years. Nevada refuses to explain why, but Cord knows the bargain is in his favor. He just has one condition—she has to sleep in his bed every night for as long as their doomed marriage lasts. Nevada only wants to maintain her family’s legacy—and redeem herself for a wrong she did Cord years ago. But as she spends more time with her husband of necessity, she discovers something unexpected—a love so deep it takes her breath away.

Cord is back in Harmony after a stint in prison for a misunderstanding.  He’s keeping his head down and dealing with the looks he gets being the “ex-con.”  He works at a trucking company but really his main goal is working the farm his parents left him and making it profitable.  When Nevada Britain comes crashing down the road and offers him part of her land if he’ll marry her for 8 months he’s stunned.  He figures there’s a catch but when he starts to run the numbers in his head he figures it’ll be worth it in the end.  It doesn’t hurt that he’s always wanted Nevada and dreamed of her most of his life but he’s dedicated to making her ranch flourish once again.  He sets out to do a great job and he does exactly that.  He gets the respect of the men and Nevada but little things keep going wrong on the ranch.  He thinks it might be a sabotage job but he’s not certain.

Nevada tries to keep her distance from Cord but with his part of the bargain being that she sleep in his bed every night it’s hard to stay away from him.  They fall into a routine and soon they’re sleeping together and falling in love as well.  Unfortunately there’s a man hanging around that wants Nevada for himself and if he can’t have her no one will.

Along with Cord and Nevada’s story we have Ronny Logan.  Ronny is a 28 year old woman who just came to life a year ago when she met and fell in love with Marty Winslow.  Unfortunately Marty left a year earlier and now she hears that he’s ill and may not make it.  Ronny has Marty brought back to her house with the thought that once he’s back with her he will improve but wishes don’t always come true.

This was another wonderful yet extremely emotional read by Jodi Thomas.  I really enjoyed the book from beginning to end but wow I was choked up half the time.

Cord and Nevada’s relationship and that part of the book was fun.  I loved seeing Cord becoming the man he should be rather and getting the respect he deserves from his men.  It was great seeing his men, and Nevada, stand behind him when he was doubted in any way.  His relationship with Nevada started off as just sex but it soon morphed into a sweet love story and I felt they were perfect together.

Ronny and Marty’s story was heart-wrenching.  I really can’t tell you about as it would give so much away.  There’s was a love story that I wish would have lived on forever but sadly it was not to be.  I was happy that they were together but it just wasn’t long enough imho.

Overall it was a very good book and I definitely recommend it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Guest Review: Betting the Rainbow by Jodi Thomas

Posted April 9, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Betting the Rainbow by Jodi ThomasReviewer: Tracy
Betting the Rainbow by Jodi Thomas
Series: Harmony Series #7
Also in this series: A Place Called Harmony, One True Heart
Published by Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: April 1st 2014
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Sisters Abby and Dusti Delaney have spent their entire lives on Rainbow Lane, but they dream of something bigger. So when a poker tournament comes to town, Dusti is determined to win enough money to leave. Enlisting expert Kieron O’Brian to teach her the game, sparks begin to fly as they play their hands. But Kieron refuses to stand in the way of her dream, even if it means losing her forever...

After a year of traveling, Ronny Logan is settling into a home on Rainbow Lane, but that’s all the settling she’ll be doing. Ronny refuses to fall for anyone, regardless of the chemistry she has with her neighbor Austin Hawk. Yet something undeniable begins to grow between the two loners—if only they can let their barriers fall and open their hearts...

Dusti and Abby run the Delaney farm and do it well. They don’t make a ton of money but they keep it up. Unfortunately when they took it over both girls had to let their dreams go. Dusti is determined to get Abby that last semester in Nursing School and then maybe she’ll find a way to take some photography classes and be the professional photographer she’s always longed to be. When she hears about a local poker tournament being held at the Truman farm she’s excited. The winner of that tournament will get a $1,000 buy in to a big tournament in Las Vegas. She doesn’t know how to play poker, however, so asks her childhood friend, Kieran, to help her learn. They’d be playing against each other but Dusti is determined.

Kieran has always had it bad for Dusti but she’s always turned him down whenever he’s been in town and asked her out. It was just always a bad time for Dusti. She really does like Kieran a lot and loves being around him while he shows her the poker ropes. Though Kieran acts like he’s not too too interested he really is – even going as far as helping Dusti in a big, big way.

During all of this we have Reagan Truman running the apple farm and taking matters into her own hands with Noah. He’s been on the rodeo circuit for too long and she wants him back. She heads to Vegas to see him but when she does manage a glance at him he doesn’t see her. She ends up calling all over town but can’t find a hotel that he’s registered at. She heads home dejected. She then gets a surprise visitor that not only shocks her but changes her life and may have changed the way that she feels about Noah. When he does resurface he doesn’t like what she has to say but those words are the ones he needed to hear to get his shit together.

Another large portion of the book is also Ronny Logan. She’s back in Harmony from her world travels after a year but isn’t ready to face anyone. She has Mr. Carleon rent her a small cabin out on a lake and there she meets her neighbor – strong and silent Austin Hawk. Austin is recovering from an emotional and physical injury and while he’s crotchety and brooding, Ronny understands him. She doesn’t want to feel for anyone ever again but if she lets herself love him then it might be one of the best things she’s ever done.

Wow – another wonderful Harmony novel! This one had not one but three exciting romances in it and I loved getting back to the town and seeing all of it’s interesting inhabitants.

Dusti and Kieran’s story was sweet and touching and I adored Kieran to death. Their romance was very different but so good and emotional I just loved it. I also really liked Dusti and Abby’s relationship. The sister banter they had going, along with the food fight in their own home was awesome.

Reagan and Noah – I’m so glad we got to read about them in this novel. I honestly missed them in the last book but was so happy to have them back. This portion of their lives was heart wrenching but wonderful all in the same moment. I wanted to punch Noah (but Big did that for me, thank you Big) a time or two but he finally got his head on straight and I was SO happy that he learned from his mistakes.

Ronny and Austin were a strange pair but really perfect for each other, I must say. Ronny was still raw from Marty and not about to open her heart but when she did it was worth it. Austin tried to push Ronny away as he thought it was best for her but she didn’t give in to his brooding disposition and it actually made the relationship stronger as it proved to both of them that they could handle whatever came their way.

The book was really pretty great, I must say. I really love Harmony and all of its amazing citizens. I can’t wait to see what happens in Harmony next.

Rating: 4 out of 5

The Series:
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