Jodi Thomas is the NY Times and USA Today best-selling author of 30 novels and 8 short story collections. As of July 2006, she was the 11th woman to be inducted in to RWA Hall of Fame. She is also currently serving as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.
Starred review from Publishers Weekly
Please find the link to the video trailer for Welcome to Harmony here:
Being shuffled from foster home to foster home, Reagan has always wanted to belong. Befriending old Miss Beverly at the Shady Rest Home, Reagan decides after she talks so fondly of Harmony, Texas, she wants to be part of that heritage. When Miss Beverly dies, Reagan slips away, entering the tiny town pretending to be her granddaughter. Will the town accept her ruse, embracing her within its arms?
Be just as pleasantly surprised as Reagan when you enter Jodi Thomas’s Harmony, Texas in Welcome to Harmony. Who hasn’t felt like Reagan once or twice in their life, wishing with all your heart and soul to truly matter to someone? Knowing she can bluff everyone in Harmony excerpt for Jeremiah, Reagan is determined to prove her worth to the blustery man she wants to call her uncle. Proving nothing worth having is easy, it takes a long time with hard labor in his orchard to worm her way into his affections.
Although Jeremiah knows Harmony isn’t his kin, he can’t help but admire her plunk. Not wanting her to slave her life away working on the farm, he demands she attend high school to keep up with her learning. While there, Reagan catches the eye of Noah McAllen a cocky bullrider. Noah finds Reagan’s aloofness refreshing and befriends the young girl to her utter dismay. I loved their interaction together since both represent one third of the original families which comprise Harmony. Somehow these two manage to not let old tensions get in the way, finding a way to form a great bond.
Lest you think Jodi Thomas’ Welcome to Harmony is just Reagan and Noah’s story, think again. I’m so glad this is only the first book in Ms. Thomas’ Harmony series because I desperately want to know more about the town sheriff, Alexandra McAllen who perpetually flagellates herself over her older brother’s death. Clinging to her shame, thinking she was directly responsible, she drinks herself into oblivion every Saturday night, making Hank Matheson rescue her. Hank is another intriguing character because he’s the only male in his clan, bound by a sense of duty not only to Alex but his unconventional family. Tyler Wright is the last of his family’s line and owns the only funeral home in the area. He is an unassuming man by day until he interacts with a mystery woman via email at night. All these characters make me long for Jodi Thomas’ second book because I’m afraid I’m just like Reagan, never wanting to leave Harmony, Texas, and its colorful characters.