HOME AT LAST
When the world just sees mistakes, God sees beautiful opportunities for love and grace.
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 heavy as he 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 rejected her African American father without even knowing him. Her father's family also disapproved, but they eventually embraced Shayla as their own. After her mother's death and her brother Jerry's incarceration, life has left Shayla's father bitter, her niece, Portia, an orphan,; and Shayla responsible for them all.
Everything changes one icy morning when a child runs into the street and Link nearly hits her with his pickup. Soon he is falling hard for 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 ugly perspective of the world around them into something better for them all?
Published in 2016
The last book in the Chicory Inn series and I sure am going to miss the Whitman clan! This has been an exceptional series where the author highlights realistic struggles that families face in this complicated modern world. She deals with tough topics with sensitivity and humour and always leaves me thinking. And while Home at Last can be read as a standalone novel, you'll appreciate it more if you've read at least a few of the other books to get a feel for the family dynamics.
Link's the last man standing among his happily married siblings and he's not averse to finding 'the one' and settling down, In fact he might just have found her but...it's complicated. Shayla can't deny she's attracted to Link but she's overwhelmed with the responsibilities she has at home. Helping to run her father's bakery, raising her incarcerated brother's child, tiptoeing around her embittered father. Starting a relationship with Link would just add to her burdens...wouldn't it?
Link's determined to prove her wrong and he pursues her in an endearing bull-in-a-china-shop kind of way. His upper class white collar upbringing clashes insensitively with Shayla's bi-racial blue collar world at times. It's a fascinating study in perspectives on racism and the difficulties that come from bridging two diverse backgrounds. There are scenes that made my blood boil and my skin crawl. But they are balanced by the sweet tenderness of a burgeoning love story that's definitely complicated but worth the effort.
Triumphant conclusion to the Chicory Inn series. I'm sad to let the Whitmans go. Perhaps we can encourage the author to fast forward through time and bring us the Whitman grandkids edition. :-)
If you would like a chance to win a copy of Home at Last, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email in a comment remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday June 25 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!