Monday, March 20, 2017

Book Review - Home at Last by 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?

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

Home at Last Deborah Raney
I have read every book of this series and loved it! I connected so much with this family - especially the mom of the book and her husband. This family is so much like mine in so many ways so I was excited to get to read this last book of the series. Unfortunately, it wasn't what I was expecting.
Link is the son in the family and at 29, he hasn't met "miss right" yet. Until he meets Shayla while setting up the IT at the shelter where she brought the baked goods from her families bakery. A little flirting and Link is determined to ask her out, once and for all. Their beginning isn't exactly great when Shayla's little niece darts out into the icy road right in front of his truck. Thankfully, she isn't hurt, due to Link's heroics, but it's a shaky start to a shaky relationship.
Shayla's father is black and her mother white. There was a lot turmoil for her parents having a racially mixed marriage and her father is still bitter. Unfortunately, this book had too much bitterness in it for me. I was reading along and then Ferguson pops up in the sentence. I have to say, my heart dropped and I was pretty much done at that point (this is early in the book, by the way). Yes, I know there is still racial issues in our world, however, things have gotten much worse than I have ever, ever seen it and I'm a child of the 60's.
The hateful things that were portrayed in this book was such a disappointment to a wonderful series. I came away from the other books feeling hopeful and happy. This book? Not so much. The ending does lighten up but, by that time, I was so uptight from the negativity from these characters, I just couldn't enjoy it. The one bright character in this book? Link. His loving nature and kindness was a breath of fresh air in an otherwise difficult book.
As always, Deborah Raney's writing is superb and her characters well thought out and developed. I think I'm just tired of the whole color thing. I look at people as people and things would be a lot better if everyone did the same. God made us ALL in His image and that's how I chose to view humanity. What we do as people - good or bad - has nothing to do with the color of our skin. (ok, I'm stepping down off my soap box now).
For wonderful writing I would give this book 5 stars but for the subject matter and the really down feeling I had reading this book, I have to deduct 2 stars (I'm being really generous here) - giving this book 3 stars. I would have loved to have one of my favorite series of all times end with the amazing, good feel and hope I had with the other books but, it just wasn't so.
*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group

Blessings - Julie

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave me a message! I love hearing what you have to say and look forward to your comments.