Friday, October 31, 2014

Review and Giveaway: A Place Called Harmony

A Place Called Harmony (Harmony - Book 8) by Jodi Thomas

Publication Date: 10/07/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Books
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 320
ISBN-10: 0425250784
ISBN-13: 978-0425250785

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Books)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Jodi Thomas on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series


1. Welcome to Harmony
2. Somewhere Along the Way
3. The Comforts of Home
4. Just Down the Road
5. Chance of a Lifetime
6. Can't Stop Believing
7. Betting the Rainbow
8. A Place Called Harmony

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from, A Place Called Harmony, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


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.


Fans of the Harmony series by Jodi Thomas will simply love this book. In A Place Called Harmony, Thomas takes readers back to Harmony, Texas before it even existed. This historical novel will captivate readers, taking them back in time to the founding of the town and the ancestors of Thomas' modern day heroes and heroines. Why is the town called Harmony? Who was the first sheriff? What were the challenges and triumphs in building a new community? Readers will find out all this and more in this great new book from a born storyteller.

What I liked:

I love the Harmony series. This is a wonderful small town populated by people who routinely steal the hearts of readers. It's a place you might want to start a family and build a life. The town itself is part of what has made this series so successful. And now readers are getting a real treat with this book. They get to go back to the beginning and see how it all got started. It's a prequel of sorts and would make a wonderful introduction to the series for anyone who hasn't been fortunate enough to read these books yet. A Place Called Harmony is a great opener and fans of the series will fall hard for the pioneering families and their stories and struggles.

Three families given the opportunity to earn 40 acres of land free and clear for constructing and living in a town for two years. In post Civil War Texas, that was probably a dream come true. A realistic endeavor that would provide homes and a legacy. I loved the idea and premise that Thomas gives readers here. The only way to make this work was if the men who came to build the town were married. Not all of these marriages were made in heaven and some of them didn't know each other from Adam. But it worked. In spite of the circumstances and the secrets that surround this group of pioneers or maybe because of them... it works. Thomas gives readers a look at what it took to build the town of Harmony and it was a joy to read about.

The new sheriff has a military background but he's lately been known as a drunk. One young man is running away from a tragic past and a father that won't stop hunting him. One family has four boisterous and obnoxious boys. All of the stories are unique and different. Each set of circumstances and situation added to the western flavor of the book and will keep readers engaged and ready to find out more. Given these are the ancestors of some of their favorite book characters, it had to be good. And Thomas does not disappoint. 

One of my favorite aspects of the book was the way the Trumen's, Matheson's and McAllen's exemplified the characteristics of their modern day counterparts. The founding families were a joy to read about and Thomas does a remarkable job of leading it all back to the current series. I'm not often fond of books that go back and try to set the scene after I've already read about the people, but this one was remarkably enjoyable. 

Bottom Line:

If you are a fan of Jodi Thomas or the Harmony series you have to read this book. If you've never read anything by the author, start with this one. It will make you enjoy the series all the more and get you started with an author who knows how to tell a good story. Thomas has quickly become one of my favorite's. Read this book... it's that good!

A Place Called Harmony is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Jodi Thomas is a certified marriage and family counselor, a fifth generation Texan, a Texas Tech graduate, and writer-in-residence at West Texas A&M University. She's the New York Times bestselling author of the Harmony series, including Welcome to HarmonySomewhere Along the Way, and The Comforts of Home, as well as the McLain series and the Whispering Mountain series. She lives in Amarillo, Texas.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of A Place Called Harmony by Jodi Thomas.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, November 14th.

1. Please leave a comment. Do you like prequels? Or books that go back and tell the history of the series?

2. Please fill out the FORM.


Charlotte said...

A little of the history is fine.

holdenj said...

I do like prequels, especially with a long running series. It can be helpful to learn more of the beginning, later in the series.

rubynreba said...

Yes, I do like them.

Rita Wray said...

Yes I like them. It's fun to learn more about the characters.

Linda Kish said...

I don't mind them but I don't really need them either. I will read them if they are handy.

Anonymous said...

Jodi Thomas books are always great. Look forward to reading..

traveler said...

Yes, I like them. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Yes I like the prequils, but really just prefer them as #1. Sounds very good tho. Interesting to see a town built. I would sure love to win Jodi's book. Please enter my name in the give-away Debbie. Thanks.
Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

lag123 said...

I do like prequels.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

bn100 said...

sometimes, depends how it's written

Texas Book Lover said...

Yep. I think they can be really interesting.


I prefer the history to be part of the series.

Anita Yancey said...

Prequels are alright, but I'm not that fond of them. Thanks for having the giveaway.


Nancy said...

Sometimes I do, it depends on the book. Some don't need them.

Unknown said...

only if a particular relationship needs to be explained for future stories.

Di said...

Yes - it's fun to fill in the blanks of a story or characters.

sallans d at yahoo dot com