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Welcome to Harmony Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Thomas (The Lone Texan) sets her latest trilogy in a town founded by three families who are also bitter rivals: McAllen, Matheson, and Truman. Nothing much happens in Harmony, Tex., except on Saturday nights, when the town sheriff is brawling at the local bar. Unhappy teen Reagan worked in a nursing home and loved listening to old Beverly Truman's stories about Harmony. After Beverly's death, Reagan steals her last name and runs away to Beverly's hometown. Jeremiah Truman, Beverly's brother, quickly figures out that Reagan isn't actually a long-lost relative but lets her stay with him anyway. Meanwhile, sheriff Alexandra McAllen tangles with fire chief Hank Matheson, who keeps rescuing her from her Saturday night sprees. The characters are delightful, and a subplot about mysterious fires balances the sweet stories about being and becoming family. (June)
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When young Reagan rides into Harmony, Texas, in the back of a pickup truck, she's in search of that elusive quality called “home,” and prepared with enough background on the small town's inhabitants and history to pass as one of the founding family's descendants. Grateful for irascible old Jeremiah Truman's unquestioning acceptance, she settles quickly into the rhythm of school and chores, but remains standoffish even when junior rodeo champion Noah McAllen tries to befriend her. Noah's older sister Alex is the town sheriff, and more than sexual sparks are flying between Alex and longtime family friend and volunteer fire chief Hank Matheson. Someone is setting fires around town, and with the long drought, vast expanses of natural grasslands, and summer heat, the danger quotient rapidly escalates. Thomas' newest character-driven romantic contemporary novel is set within the Texas ranching culture, a richly articulated, historically significant area complete with three feuding families and the junior rodeo circuit for added local color. This tale also introduces a trilogy fraught with interpersonal conflict and a suspenseful arson subplot. --Lynne Welch
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Top Customer Reviews
I'll start with the plot - it was a great set up for the series in this first book, but the book had a plot of it's own too. Sometimes there is too much of one or the other in a first book in the series, but Ms. Thomas has found a wonderful blend. There was enough background to absorb you as well as a plot line to keep this story moving (and you anxious for the next book in the series). I won't give anything away, but it can be a nail-biter at times. Lots of things go on in the book, but it's not too much to keep up with - it's just right to keep you enthralled and wanting to read more.
As for the characters - there are a lot you get to know in this book, but most of them stand out well on their own. Reagan is the catalyst for the story. She shows up in town and claims to be Jeremiah's niece. Jeremiah is that perfect grumpy old man and I loved him as a character. There is also Noah who befriends Reagan when others seem unsure of her. And the main characters of this story, sheriff Alex and fire chief Hank Matheson. Through these main characters and a few others who I hope will have stories of their own, you learn about the town and the characters. The characters are well-written and varied and really make the story.
I highly recommend you pick up this story if you enjoy relationship and character-driven novels with some romance. It all blends together so well to make a perfect story. It 's a perfect summer read.
Others have discussed the plot, so I won't waste your time. If you like stories about modern day Texas and small towns with believable characters, you'll enjoy this book.
One of the best characters in recent memory is Reagan Truman. She's 16 and a runaway who comes to Harmony pretending to be Jeremiah Truman's niece. He's known to be a very difficult man of few words but from their first meeting, they form a very strong (unspoken) bond.
Her friendship with Noah (Preacher) McAllen is fun to watch develop also.
As if these three characters weren't enough, there's Sheriff Alex McAllen - Noah's sister. Her guilt from something that happened years ago is keeping her from finding happiness. And then there's Fire Chief Hank Matheson who loves Alex even tho she keeps him at a distance for reasons he doesn't understand.
The addition of Hank's 4 year old niece Saralynn is an added bonus. She is adorable.
There's also a mystery as someone is setting fires around Harmony which threaten to destroy the town. This forces Alex and Hank to join forces to find the arsonist.
The 2nd book in this trilogy will be out this fall. If you read this first one, you will want to read them all. Jodi Thomas is REALLY good!
Welcome to Harmony has romance, action, and suspense all woven into a heart-warming plot