Stop what you’re doing, something unusual is about to happen! Something unusual? you ask with an eyebrow raised in skepticism. What’s so unusual about Sunday recommendations? And you’re right, of course. That’s not unusual. But what I’m going to recommend is.
Are you ready? 😁
Bet you didn’t see this one coming…at least not if you’ve followed me for a while. If you have, you know I’m an I love short stories and standalone books, please and thank you kind of gal, and The Men of Halfway House is a seven book series, and the books are not short. I also started reading it back in 2014, so it’s only taken me seven years. Which is reasonable. One year per book, right? 😁
All jokes aside, though, I love this series. I’ve written about it a couple times before on the blog; A Worthy Man here and A Sweet Man here. I’ve declared A Worthy Man one of the most romantic books ever and I still stand by that statement. It’s also my favorite book of the series, followed closely by A Mended Man (ironically, since I wrote in the blogpost for A Worthy Man that the blurb didn’t speak to me) or A Hunted Man. My least favorite book is A Chosen Man, and by “least favorite” I mean 4.5 stars and the only reason I’ve deducted half a star is because it’s four hundred and seventy pages long, and could easily have been a hundred pages shorter without losing anything important.
There are many things to love about this series: the writing is really good, the characters are interesting, and they’re great for when you’re in the mood for reading about ex-cons, and there’s tons of hurt/comfort in the stories. Each book follows a new couple, but mostly I love these books because they’re relationship-focused. Yes, there are subplots and other things happening, but the main story of the books is always the relationship. And that’s the way I like my romance stories, with the romance front-and-center.
The books can be read out of order (I read them: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 4, and 6) but I would recommend starting with the first one, A Better Man, since it sets the scene for the rest of the books. They can be read as standalones; yes, the characters from the other books will show up, especially Julian and Matt from A Better Man, because they run the halfway house of the series title, but I didn’t have any trouble following along.
So if you’re in the mood for a long series of relationship-focused, well-written thick books about ex-cons, I wholeheartedly recommend The Men of Halfway House. Jaime Reese is also writing an eighth book according to her webpage, and I look forward to seeing what that will be.