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?
Conclude Deborah Raney’s Chicory Inn novels with the final book, Home at Last, a story of acceptance, trying to overcome differences, and love. Everything changes for bachelor Link Whitman one icy morning when a child runs into the street and he nearly hits her with his pickup—and then the girl’s aunt Shayla enters Link’s life. 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?
Join Deborah on Thursday, March 23, for a live author chat party in her Facebook group with fun prizes to be won! Click the graphic below for more details and to RSVP. Hope to see you there—bring a friend or two who loves to read!
Home at Last is the fifth and final book in the series Chicory Inn where the first four books you get acquainted with Deborah Raney’s Whitman family. The three sisters along with the widow of Link’s younger brother’s stories have been told through the past four books. This can be read as a stand-alone, but I feel it is better if you read the first books as this is a continuation of the Whitman family’s children. The leading character in this story is Link Whitman.
This story begins with another up-coming Whitman wedding which will leave only one of Audrey and Grant’s children not married. Link’s sisters and Mom who want him to be happy are always trying to fix him up with some of their friends but Link is working double shifts while living in a dingy apartment and has little time for a social life but wants to choose his own women.
While working with the homeless shelter Link meets Shayla Michaels and feels she is someone that he would like to get to know better. Shayla’s life is full, she takes care of her Dad, works in the bakery that her father runs, and is responsible for the care of her brother’s child because he is in prison. Shayla is biracial, her father is an African American and her mother was white. Her mother’s family wanted nothing to do with her and her father’s family wasn’t much better which made Shayla’s life difficult and her future looking dim.
As Shayla and Link becomes friends and their relationship grows into something stronger Shayla is concerned that their love cannot deal with all the issues that they must face as a couple. Someone out there has it in for her. Can their love survive when there is so much against them?
Deborah Raney has covered racial issues in a soft but meaningful way, provided enough suspense that you want to hurry and turn the pages, while showing that we should turn all of our reservations and concerns over to God. I think this is an excellent read that gives you lots to think about yourself and how your community deals with the struggles and barriers such as Link and Shayla experienced in their inter-racial romance. I also enjoyed the discussion guide.
Deborah Raney dreamed of writing a book since the summer she read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books and discovered that a Kansas farm girl could, indeed, grow up to be a writer. Her more than 30 books have garnered multiple industry awards including the RITA Award, HOLT Medallion, National Readers’ Choice Award, Carol Award, Silver Angel from Excellence in Media, and have three times been Christy Award finalists. Her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, shed light on the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease. The novel inspired the highly acclaimed World Wide Pictures film of the same title and continues to be a tool for Alzheimer’s families and caregivers.
Deborah is on faculty for several national writers’ conferences and serves on the executive board of the 2700-member American Christian Fiction Writers organization. She and her husband, Ken Raney, recently traded small-town life in Kansas––the setting of many of Deb’s novels––for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita. They often travel to teach at writers conferences across the country, and to visit their four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away. Visit Deb on the Web at www.deborahraney.com. You can follow Deborah on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.
I received a copy of this book without cost from the publisher through The Fiction Guild, a Thomas Nelson/Zondervan Elite Reader book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions expressed in this post are my own, or in this case, my mom’s.