Books reviewed prior on this site prior to March 2019 were provided to me, at no charge, by the publisher, or by the author, in exchange for an honest review. I have received no further compensation for these reviews. Reviews beginning March 2019 come from a variety of sources: advanced copies, library loans, and my own purchases. All reviews are my honest opinions.

June 20, 2016

Close to Home {Deborah Raney}

close to home deborah raney
Bree Cordel Whitman is a Whitman by marriage, but sometimes she forgets she wasn't born into Grant and Audrey's family. Her late husband, Timothy Whitman, gave his life for his country on a windblown hill in Afghanistan. Bree has let the love of Tim's family keep her ties to him strong--in the same way she keeps Tim's memory alive for them. But it's been almost five years, and she can't hang onto the past forever. 

Fighting the guilt she feels for wanting to love again, she can't help her dreams about a tall, dark, and handsome man--a man who is not her Tim. How can she accept the flirtations from Drew Brooks without throwing the Whitman family back into grieving? And how can Drew compete with the ghost of a hero and the hero's very alive family who seem to hold some spell over the woman who shares their name . . . a woman he might just love?

My Thoughts:
The Whitmans are one of those families you cannot help but love, and I have been looking forward to Bree’s story since we were first introduced to the family.

After Bree had lost her husband, she remained a member of the Whitman family. She has spent the last five years honoring her husband’s memory, being a member of the Whitmans, and convinced she is in this place of her life forever. However, a good-looking guy at the office makes her realize it might be time to try the dating thing.

Unfortunately, office hunk turns out to be a dead end, and Bree decides it was too soon to move on with her life. However, then Drew catches her eye. He is the perfect guy and the perfect fit for the Whitman family.

I do not even want to imagine how I would feel if I was in Bree’s shoes with the Whitman family. My heart went out to her as she struggled to balance the memory of her beloved husband with the desire to get back out there. She truly had the Whitman family on the top of her priority list with each decision she made. The pressure she must feel to make everyone, including herself, happy.

I very much enjoyed this book. I was so happy with the decision Bree finally made for her life, and the way the Whitman family accepted that decision. I am so excited to get my hands on the next book in this series to not only read Link’s story but to also catch up with Bree.

DEBORAH RANEY's first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Her books have since won the RITA Award, ACFW Carol Award, HOLT Medallion, National Readers' Choice Award, Silver Angel, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. THE FACE OF THE EARTH released in May 2013 from Howard/Simon & Schuster, and SILVER BELLS released from Guideposts in October. Deb and her husband, Ken Raney, enjoy small-town life in Kansas. They are new empty nesters with four children and a growing quiver of grandchildren, all of whom live much too far away.

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