“"Just Down the Road" is my first visit to Jodi Thomas' charming fictional community of Harmony, TX. Where have I been? I was missing something really good--heartwarming romance with a touch of pathos and mystery-suspense. I have read other works by Jodi Thomas, and she always writes heart with humor, and that is a very good thing! Let me just say this about the character of Tinch Turner--the lonesome cowboy with a loving, true heart--where is my very own Tinch? When Tinch married his high school sweetheart and best friend, Lori Anne, he never dreamed that cancer would claim her at a young age. He acts out his grief by boozing, brawling, and brooding about what he'll never have again. A frequent visitor to the ER for after-fight medical care, Tinch sits up and takes notice when he meets the new ER doctor, Addison Spencer. Something about the pale, uptight, lovely woman makes Tinch want to clean up his act. When he discovers that Addison is his closest neighbor, "just down the road" from his place, things really get interesting. Often prickly, and always intriguing, Addison is far from indifferent to Tinch. She only plans to be in Harmony for a few months, and she left her former home to be free from her father and her almost-fiance. Meeting a gorgeous man unlike anyone she's ever known was definitely not on her agenda. Tinch's life takes another dramatic turn when he is suddenly given the care of his orphaned nephew, whose mother was Lori Anne's sister. Jamie is a dear little boy in need of much TLC. His drug-addicted mother's involvement with drug dealers left her dead and Jamie beaten and bruised. Tinch and Addison both feel the need to care for the child, and Addison begins staying at Tinch's house to help with Jamie. The three of them become close, and each has hopes and dreams of what a future together could mean. When the drug dealers return, searching for a fortune in cash, the very real danger they present may bring those dreams to an end. Will two lost hearts, who didn't even know they were looking for love, come together with one small boy and find real happiness as a family? There are wonderful supporting characters in "Just Down the Road"--old friends from the Harmony community who also seek resolution and a happy ending. Part of the pleasure of this book was getting a feel for the town, its people, and a glimpse of down-home Texas living. Even though I have lived in a very small town for most of my life, I never tire of “small town” romances. Small towns sometimes hold big secrets! People are very interconnected. What happens to one person affects someone else, and the ripple effect is started. However, there is an essential sweetness to small towns. Memories of earlier days, some bittersweet, are held dear. People aren’t just faces, they’re family and friends. There’s always a second chance for first loves in small towns.
Review Copy Gratis Berkley Books”