By Cait Collins
There’s something about a series of books that can stand alone, but are even better when read in sequence. That’s why I enjoyed reading Jodi Thomas’s Ransom Canyon series. The characters are dealing with personal issues. Yancy Grey has just gotten out of jail and arrives in Crossroads, Texas looking for a quick buck. Lauren, the sheriff’s daughter makes a wrong decision and nearly loses her life. Lucas Reyes wants more than small town life and a job as a ranch hand. He dreams big and has a plan. Stanten Kirkland battles troubling memories in the arms of Quinn O’Grady. Different lives, different backgrounds, but they come together in Ransom Canyon.
Ransom Canyon and Crossroads are set in the wide open spaces of Texas. The author is a fifth-generation Texan and has a deep love of the state. She paints a picture of Texas, particularly the Panhandle and West Texas. She pulls the history and romanticism of the old west into the stories. She allows her characters to be human, make mistakes, and pull themselves through the disasters. And they don’t stand alone as they fight their demons. They come together as a family and a community.
I find her characters believable. They struggle, fall, but get back up and try again. The ending to each story is satisfying, but makes the reader hunger for the next installment. I read Ransom Canyon on my flight to Portland, Maine in the fall of 2015. It reminded me of the reasons I love Texas. I recommend the Ransom Canyon series by Jodi Thomas: Ransom Canyon, Rustler’s Moon, Lone Heart Pass, Sunrise Crossing, Wild Horse Springs, Indigo Lake, and Mistletoe Miracles.