Review: Breakfast At The Honey Creek Café by Jodi Thomas

A new Jodi Thomas book is just what the doctor ordered! I’m joining Lone Star Lit to bring you Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café, a sweet easy read that offers up a bit of mystery, a bit of cozy romance, and a charming town you’ll want to revisit, chock full of quirky characters.

Read on to learn more about the book and enter the giveaway for a chance to win your own copy!

I’ve was provided a copy of the book via NetGalley; all opinions are my own.

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BREAKFAST AT THE HONEY CREEK CAFÉ

A Honey Creek Novel
by
Jodi Thomas
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Zebra
Publication Date: May 26, 2020
Number of Pages: 336 pages

Scroll down for the giveaway!

book cover for Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café

From Jodi Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of Mornings on Main and Indigo Lake, comes this heartwarming new novel set in Honey Creek, Texas—a small town where family bonds and legends run deep, and friendship and love are always close at hand . . .


Piper Jane Mackenzie, mayor of Honey Creek, won’t let a major scandal rip her quirky hometown apart or jeopardize her dream of one day running for higher office. So she’s willing to welcome undercover detective Colby McBride, hired to help solve the mystery behind her wannabe fiancé’s disappearance. Colby’s cover? That he is an old boyfriend now begging Piper for a second chance—always when there are plenty of townsfolk around to witness his shenanigans.

Piper hardly knows whether to laugh or cry, especially when she finds herself drawn to the handsome rascal. He’s not the only newcomer she has to deal with. There’s a new interim preacher in town, Sam Cassidy. Drifting from one assignment to another since his one love died, Sam isn’t sure he’s the right fit for Honey Creek. But as Piper knows, this is a place chock-full of surprises. And if she can keep her town—and her heart—from going completely off the rails, there may be a sweet, unexpected future in store . . .

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It should come as no secret if you are a follower of my reviews that I am a big fan of Jodi Thomas, particularly her contemporary romantic fiction stories. Set in charming small Texas towns that I want to spend time in, filled with interesting, relatable, and sometimes quirky characters, her stories bring a cozy comfort with a dash of intrigue.

Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café reminded me of her Laurel Springs series (The Little Teashop on Main and Mornings on Main) but with more quirkiness and more humor. If the mystery in this story played a more prominent role, I would daresay the style could be compared to a cozy, what with the quaint town, quirky characters, and romantic elements that remain clean.

The book alternates between four characters in three separate storylines. The primary storyline is that of Piper Mackenzie, the dedicated mayor of Honey Creek who has found herself in a pickle. Her not-really-a-fiancé has disappeared, along with the sheriff, and rumors are brewing! Colby McBride is the undercover detective sent by her brother, a Texas Ranger, to help find the missing fiancé. It’s a small town, and so to win the confidence of townfolk Colby pretends to be an old boyfriend in town to try to court Piper so that people will open up to him. The public interactions between Colby (with a put-on over-the-top optimistic and flirtatious persona) and Piper are among my favorites in the book.

“All right, I’ll have coffee with you, but if you touch me in any way, I will file assault charges on you. Do you understand that, Colby?”

He nodded so fast she feared his head might be loose. “At least you remembered my name. Any chance you’ve thought of me over the years?”

“Not once,” she snapped…

A separate storyline belongs to fill-in preacher Sam Cassidy. His arrival in Honey Creek crosses paths with Colby McBride, but it isn’t until later in the story when their stories intersect. His character is quiet, filled with self-questioning, and introspection. He meets his match in Anna, a fiesty, loud, opinionated, and short-spoken whirlwind of a woman. She is completely not his type, and of course, he’s immediately intrigued – and her bold, bossy presence provides a bit of levity to his solemn persona. His story is one of soul-searching and personal growth, and both of them have baggage they need to overcome before they find each other.

Buttoning his clerical collar, Sam gazed into the tin mirror wondering what had happened to the man who used to laugh. The man who took gulps of life. The Sam who camped out with April beneath the stars. The wild man who’d fallen in love with a free spirit and howled at the moon just to make her laugh.

The last storyline belongs to Pecos, a high school graduate who has big goals, and a simple but somewhat lonely life. He’s a fascinating character (and honestly, I almost would have loved for him to get his own book). When his character is first introduced, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how he fits into the bigger story, but by the end, his weaves in with the other two. By that point, I had fallen in love with his optimistic spirit and positive attitude, and I’d set aside the initial disconnect I felt between his story and the greater book.

One of Thomas’ strongest suits is character development, and it shines in this novel. Piper is the most solidly defined of the characters; she’s driven and direct, but little details show her softer side (like how she leaves her shoes in the office when she looks over the town from the parapet or her collection of soda cans in her office that reflect how much time she devotes to her job. Thomas has a lot of fun with Colby’s character, you can tell. Anna was another character that was a contrast in traits – defensive, colorful, chaotic, driven – and I hope we see more of her because she’s such a burst of personality.

The story provides just enough detail on her secondary characters in the story to pique interest, and I look forward to learning more about them in future books in this new series. The three boys who follow a drunk Daily Watts home at night with their wagon, hoping to catch him and take him home to be their daddy were a delight. I particularly loved Mr. Winston, and I want to learn more about this sweet, thoughtful (and slightly odd) man.

“Oh, no, no, I’m not a guest. I just live down the block and when I saw so many people parking up and down the street and heading this way, I figured the Lane’s wouldn’t notice one more guest. I’m the party crasher, you see. All the best parties have at least one.”

I do love my happily ever afters and Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café delivers them in spades. Admittedly, Pecos’ HEA came in an unexpected manner (and this is where I wish we had more time to spend with his story), and Sam’s HEA was MORE than anticipated.

Additionally, the mystery of the missing sheriff and missing not-fiancé feel like MacGuffins, fading from focus in the second half of the book until the ending.

The book shifts gears at the end as the storylines come together and an unexpected bit of excitement occurs.

Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café is an easy book that provides a comforting escape and neatly tied up endings, something I definitely appreciated. I’m delighted by the characters and can’t wait to see what the next book brings to Honey Creek.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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 image of Jodi Thomas, author of Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe
Imag

With millions of books in print, Jodi Thomas is both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over fifty novels and countless short story collections. Her stories travel through the past and present days of Texas and draw readers from around the world.

In July 2006, Jodi was the eleventh writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. With five RITAs to her credit, along with National Readers’ Choice Awards and Booksellers’ Best Awards, Thomas has proven her skill as a master storyteller.

Thomas was honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and served sixteen years as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.

When not working on a novel, or inspiring students to pursue writing careers, Thomas enjoys traveling with her family, renovating an historic home, and “checking up” on two grown sons and four grandchildren.

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GIVEAWAY!

ONE WINNER: One signed copy of Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café|
MAY 12-21, 2020
(US ONLY)

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Comments

  1. Love this review! It makes me want to crawl into the book and get lost in Honey Creek, Texas! Thanks for the post!

  2. Thanks for hosting me and for such a fun review. I had a great time writing these characters and I’m thrilled you enjoyed them as well!

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