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Feature book: Picnic in Someday Valley

28 July 2021

Picnic in Someday Valley by Jodi Thomas

Subgenre: small town romance
Release date: 27 Apr 2021
Publisher: Random House US
Format: ebook and print
Length: 336 pages
RRP: $13.74 (ebook); $28.75 (print)

This book continues from Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café, the previous book. The story threads are typical of Ms Thomas as she relates the continued story of Peco and Kerrie, Piper and Colby, and the reader is able to discover what happens next in their journey. But we also have the addition of Marcie and Brand, and Alabee and Jesse. Two new couples. One event takes place that brings the town together.

The previously known couple are at different places. Peco and Kerrie are married. Kerrie is due to have the baby, soon. Their story in this book details Peco’s feelings towards Kerrie and what happens after the baby. Peco is settled in his new job—deputy sheriff—and takes charge of the emergency line during a very trying time for the community. He shines. When the baby comes, and after a medical emergency (I won’t say at this stage who it was), Peco finds his life changed.

Piper and Colby are in an interesting place. As a Texas Ranger, Colby only seems to come in on the weekend and then leaves on Monday, or he is late due to crime happening. Piper is not sure if Colby is really into their relationship, and Colby is trying to figure out where it might be going wrong and why Piper has lost interest.

Then Brand turns up to save Marcie. She lives in a trailer park and is accosted by a group of drunken men. Brand beats a couple of them but one of these men vows revenge on Marcie. Marcie is trying to turn her life around after she was shamed by her former flame (Bowie in the previous book). Marcie is the very wary type and can’t believe Brand would be interested in someone like her. But Brand has his own secretive background. Colby discovers who Brand is and he is known as a ghost and fixer in policing and security. And in the end, he gets his man.

The next story thread is Jesse and Alabee. Jesse is a widower. He has three children. He is a farm worker. During the day his children are cared for by his mother and his mother-in-law. Jesse has a secret. He is always in the bakery ordering treats he doesn’t really need but wants to see Alabee. When the community is in trouble, Jesse is a key player as he has the space to look after the horses. This also means some extra income for his family. He also takes on Alabee’s younger sister when she decides to hide in his car when she runs away. She only gets as far as his farm, but he is then able to convince her to stay and learn about caring for horses. This brings Jesse and Alabee together.

I know that I have said this many a time about reading a Jodi Thomas book—I love them. I love the characters. I love the town atmosphere. I love the continuing storyline and I wouldn’t say that about all the books I read. Ms Thomas is just a master at weaving the storylines and developing characters that you fall in love with.

reviewed by Heather

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

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