CHANCE OF A LIFETIME – Jodi Thomas
A Harmony Novel
Harmony, Texas – 2012
Rick Matheson has just hung out his shingle in his home town. A newly minted lawyer, Rick is scraping by with minor legal jobs, hoping for a break. However that break isn't exactly one he'd thought about. He is seriously injured when the stairs he thought were at the rear of his building had been sawed off. Then, shortly afterwards, his car is torched. Only then does it sink in that someone may be trying to kill him. Harmony's sheriff, Rick's cousin by marriage, wants him to hide out for a while, but Rick scoffs at her recommendation and, instead, opts to stay at the local bed and breakfast when the owner has to make a trip out of town. The “accidents” don't stop even then, though. And when a U.S. Marshal in the shape of a biker chick shows up, Rick begins to get the message that his family and friends are concerned about him.
Harmony librarian Emily Tomlinson lives a lonely life, despite her pleasing looks and sweet demeanor. After surviving a horrific beating as a sixteen year old, Emily lives in fear of the dark, and certain that her life will be spent alone. When her former best friend, Tannon Parker, begins hanging out at the library on Friday nights, Emily wonders what his life is like now. It was Tannon who was late meeting her that fateful night, and since then Emily has considered him a stranger. Why didn't he come and see her in the hospital afterwards? Why did he never try to contact her?
Returning to Harmony is like returning home. The small Texas town has its share of unique individuals, like Martha Q., the B&B owner, or the two boys who formed a band and play at the local beer joint. But when someone is hurting, or in trouble, the community draws together, and everyone is puzzled by the threats to Rick, who is, essentially, a nice guy. Although it can be a difficult place to keep a secret, no one has a clue who would know Rick's every movement enough to complete the increasingly threatening actions against him.
CHANCE OF A LIFETIME is a heartwarming tale of two very lonely people trying to put the past behind them, as well as a deepening mystery surrounding Rick, and his realization that he, too, needs to grow up and face reality. Each character is so realistically portrayed that there will be times when tears will spring to readers' eyes, or a giggle will emerge. That's what is so fun about these novels, the range of emotions, which, in reality is pretty much what life is all about.
CHANCE OF A LIFETIME is a stand-alone book, but I encourage everyone to read Ms. Thomas's Harmony series beginning with WELCOME TO HARMONY. I guarantee you will love these books and Harmony's citizens as much as I do.