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.

February 20, 2017

Home at Last {Deborah Raney}

home at last deborah raney
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?

My Thoughts:
The Whitman family is back in this final book in the Chicory Inn series. We finally get Link's love story, and it is not lacking in conflict, suspense, and true love.

Link is the Whitman child who hasn't quite gotten it together yet. He's living in a run down apartment, driving an unreliable truck, and working a dead-end job. His family teases him about his lack of a love life, but he seems fairly content to continue life as it is. Although he wants a better life for himself, we never really see him doing anything about it.

Until he meets Shayla. Shayla also feels very stuck in life. She's living with her dad above the family's bakery, taking full responsibility of a niece who's parents clearly had other priorities. Her family has seen the reality of how black people are treated by some people in the world, and as a result, her father has become jaded and bitter. Shayla just wants to be happy in life but knows she will never go any further than she is right now.

As Link and Shayla begin to spend time together, the story turns very much to the struggles of the inter-racial couple in today's world. Seeing these couples has become so common in our society we often overlook the simple things they must overcome to make their relationships work.

Although Link's story was not my favorite in this series, it was a good read with a lot of insight into a world I really don't know a lot about. If you have been a fan of this series, you will want to add this book to your reading list so you can find some closure with the Whitman family.

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