This is one of those reads that you need to be prepared to invest some time in. Wait until you can give it your full attention – you will be glad you did!
by Jodie Thomas
“Compelling and beautifully written.” —Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author on Ransom Canyon
From the beloved and bestselling author of the Ransom Canyon and Harmony, Texas series comes a powerful, heartwarming story about generations of family and the ironclad bonds they forge.
When Jillian James lands in the small town Texas community of Laurel Springs, she’s definitely not planning to stay—except to find a few clues about the father who abandoned her and destroyed her faith in family.
Connor Larady is a single dad, and the only one caring for his grandmother, Eugenia, who has Alzheimer’s. And now he has to close Eugenia’s quilt shop. When Connor meets down-on-her-luck Jillian, he’s out of options. Can he trust the newcomer to do right by his grandmother’s legacy?
Jillian is done with relationships. But as she grows closer to Connor and Eugenia, she must consider giving up her nomadic life for a future with those who need her.
An inspiring family saga that asks us to consider what love and chosen family really mean.
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A long slice of light shone into the dark shadows of the quilt shop. For a moment, Jillian thought she was in the wrong place. No soft ribbons of florescent bulbs twenty feet above. No laughter from the quilter’s corner. No smell of coffee drifting from the tiny kitchen.
Only a long-legged girl dressed in black, staring at her as if Jillian had just interrupted a demonic ritual.
The backward lettering of A Stitch in Time circled across the front window. Right place. Jillian was in the quilt shop. Squaring her shoulders, she moved forward.
“Hi,” Jillian managed as she widened the opening of the door. She wasn’t sure if she was trying to see the invader better or simply wanted to enlarge her escape route.
The strange girl swung one leg so it bumped against the side of the counter in a heartbeat rhythm. Her hair was so light it appeared white, and hung straight past her shoulders.
A dozen bracelets, all appearing to be made out of rusty bolts, clanked on her arms as she turned toward the back of the store.
“Dad!” the intruder yelled. “Someone’s drifted in.”
Rows of lights began to click on, starting from the back and finally reaching the front. All the beautiful colors of the store returned, but the escapee from the Addams Family remained. Her black peacoat, with batwing shoulder pads, was ripped in several places. Black eyeliner extended almost to her ears and charcoal, lace gloves covered her hands.
Jillian studied the girl carefully. On the bright side, the coat and leggings matched. Both black and ragged. She appeared to be wearing three blouses, the last one a lace nightgown. Silk, holey as if moth-eaten, and spotted with what looked like bloodstains. Her skirt, with several chains hanging off it, reminded Jillian of a midnight plaid kilt.
They both turned as footsteps stormed from the back. “Sorry,” Connor Larady shouted. “I usually have the place all opened up by this time.”
He didn’t seem to notice the girl still perched on the counter. “I’ll have a key made for you so you won’t have to wait for me if I’m running late.”
When Jillian turned her gaze to the girl, Connor finally acknowledged the goth in the room. “Oh, I’m sorry, Jillian, this is my daughter. Sunnie, this is the lady who is helping Gram organize the shop.”
Jillian offered her hand, hoping the strange girl wouldn’t try to suck her blood. She was so thin and pale she probably hadn’t eaten in days.
The girl reluctantly took Jillian’s offered hand, but her handshake was limp.
If there was a prize for someone born with the wrong name, Sunnie Larady would win. Stormy might be better. Or Scary.
She slid off the counter. Six feet of pure adolescent rebellion. “I need to get to school, Connor.” She said her father’s name louder than the rest of the sentence.
“Right.” Connor turned to Jillian. “Will you be all right here? Gram should be dropped off any minute.”
“I’m fine. I’ll watch for her.” Jillian smiled at Sunnie. “Nice to meet you.”
The girl shrugged and walked out.
One of those sweet, small town romances that is just as much women’s fiction as it is romance, Mornings on Main is the kind of story that you have to cherish. It isn’t fast paced and you definitely can’t speed through it. Instead you need to settle back and get ready to enjoy every page, every encounter, every brush of the hand, every secret that slips out, every glimpse into what makes people tick, every chance to get to know them just that tiny bit better. It’s a slow, gentle process and all the better for it.
Neither Jillian nor Connor are looking for someone. They live their lives a certain way and figure that’s what they are built for … until they meet each other. While the connection is immediate, they go through a lot of fits and starts because both of them are wary. Jillian’s upbringing (and continued nomadic lifestyle) and Connor’s romantic history mean that getting close to others isn’t easy for them. But what the heart wants can be hard to resist.
As much as I loved seeing Jillian and Connor slowly fall in love, I think the women in his life are just as awesome. The friendship between Connor’s grandmother, Eugenia, and her lifelong friend, Joe, is oh-so-touching. And her battle with her wandering memories is enough to bring you to tears. But it’s Connor’s daughter, Sunnie, and her romantic woes that grabbed hold of my heart. She’s at a difficult age but she’s got a good amount of spunk to help see her thru it 🙂
Yes, there is a beautiful love story here with two people finding something they didn’t know they were missing, but there is so much more. The search for home and family. The need for a connection to the past and future, as well as to someone else. There are bonds that tie us together, some we are born with and some we make, but they are all important in making us who we are.
New York Times and USA Today’s bestselling author Jodi Thomas has published over 30 books in both the historical romance and contemporary genres, the majority of which are set in her home state of Texas. Publishers Weekly calls her novels “Distinctive…Memorable,” and that in her stories “[tension] rides high, mixed with humor and kisses more passionate than most full-on love scenes.” In 2006, Romance Writers of America (RITA) inducted Thomas into the RWA Hall of Fame for winning her third RITA for THE TEXAN’S REWARD. She also received the National Readers’ Choice Award in 2009 for TWISTED CREEK (2008) and TALL, DARK, AND TEXAN (2008). While continuing to work as a novelist, Thomas also functions as Writer in Residence at the West Texas A&M University campus, where she inspires students and alumni in their own writing pursuits.
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