Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Fiction Review: Home at Last by Deborah Raney

Book Description: 
Why did their differences matter so much?

Link Whitman has settled into the role of bachelor without ever intending to. Now he's stuck in a dead-end job and, as the next Whitman wedding fast approaches, he is the last one standing. The pressure from his sisters' efforts to play matchmaker is getting hard to bear as Link pulls extra shifts at work, and helps his parents at the Chicory Inn.
All her life, Shayla Michaels has felt as if she straddled two worlds. Her mother's white family labeled her African American father with names Shayla didn't repeat in polite-well, in any company. Her father's family disapproved as well, though they eventually embraced Shayla as their own. After the death of her mother, and her brother Jerry's incarceration, life has left Shayla's father bitter, her niece, Portia, an orphan, and Shayla responsible for them all. She knows God loves them all, but why couldn't people accept each other for what was on the inside? For their hearts?

Everything changes one icy morning when a child runs into the street and Link nearly hits her with his pickup. Soon he is falling in love with the little girl's aunt, Shayla, the beautiful woman who runs Coffee's On, the bakery in Langhorne. Can Shayla and Link overcome society's view of their differences and find true love? Is there hope of changing the sometimes-ugly world around them into something better for them all?

About the author:
Deborah Raney's novels have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers' Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, the Carol Award, and have three times been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken Raney have traded small-town life in Kansas-the setting of many of Deb's novels-for life in the city of Wichita.

Find out more about Deborah at http://deborahraney.com.
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My Review:

Home at Last is the fifth and final book in the Chicory Inn series. This series about the Whitman family is fantastic. As much as I loved the final book, I hated to see the series end. I had so much fun binge-reading the series. Yet, I think each book could stand alone. But you'd be missing out on some excellent story telling if you skip any of the books. Of the five, I enjoyed this one the most.  Deb created a beautiful story that hit on a scenario which has touched many of our lives. As Link and Shayla explore a possible relationship that puts both families on guard, Deb creates a story of overcoming differences in the face of love. That's one thing I like about Deb's writing, she's not afraid to write about troubling issues. Also, she creates believable characters who are in the midst of the challenges of life. In addition, I enjoyed the romance and the family interaction. As Grant and Audrey Whitman are striking out on a new adventure of their own, they're trying to balance life with their adult children. Deb Raney  has great insight into being a parent of grown children. The Chicory Inn  books will appeal to readers who relate to the grown kids finding their way in life and romance, and the parents who are learning to live in an empty nest (at least most of the time.) I highly recommend Home at Last as well as the first four books, Home to Hickory Lane, Two Roads Home, Another Way Home, and Close to Home. Five stars! I received this book in exchange for a fair review.

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