Somewhere Along the Way
This is the second in the author’s trilogy set in Harmony, Texas. I had trouble with the beginning and felt the ending wrapped up too quickly, but the middle captured me so much that I initially thought I might give the book a qualified recommendation. But I honestly never would have gotten past about the first 20 pages if I hadn’t been reading the book for review, so I just can’t recommend it.
I found the beginning very slow and hard to follow. Perhaps if I’d read the first in the series it might have made more sense, but I found the constant perspective shifts difficult to follow and never had a chance to warm to anyone for about the first hundred pages.
The perspective shifted back and forth between various residents of Harmony including high school student Reagan Truman; Liz Matheson, a new lawyer living in her office; Gabe Leary, a war veteran with multiple injuries and many secrets; Hank Matheson, a rancher and firefighter who’s been in love with Alex, the town sheriff, forever; Tyler Wright who runs the funeral home; and Martha Q, who’s been married too many times to count and now runs the local B&B; and well, you get the drift. Every time I would start to get interested in a character, the perspective would shift to someone else. Initially, I felt that no one seemed happy, and everyone was hiding things from other people.
I had no idea what was going on initially, and honestly, except for Reagan, didn’t much care. Bounced from foster home to foster home, she’s now living in Harmony with an 80-year old man, her “uncle” and works in the town diner. Basically everyone in town seems to have befriended her, and she interacts and mixes with all of the different stories in the book.
The major romance involves Gabe and Liz. Gabe is living as a vagrant, but is actually a wealthy graphic book author/artist. Liz is back in Harmony to make it on her own as a lawyer. Her family is wealthy and could easily help her out, but she’s trying to do things on her own. To save money, she’s secretly living in her office, which is how she initially runs into Gabe. I thought that their romance had promise, but it has only a very minor focus in the book.
Essentially, the book meanders along, switching out stories from chapter to chapter. Eventually you get back to someone you’ve encountered before, but you just get a snippet, a teaser, and then it’s on to someone else.
I came to care about Reagan a great deal, and found Gabe interesting as well. Liz was on page so little, and often with other characters rather than Gabe, so I wasn’t really invested in their relationship. I’ve classified this as fiction rather than a romance, because truly, it didn’t feel like a romance, although Liz and Gabe do develop a relationship.
For me, this was mostly a story about the various residents of Harmony, with a particular focus on Reagan. I suspect that the only reason I would venture back into Harmony for another book, would be if Reagan got her own story.