Why did their differences matter so much?
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?
This is book 5 of the Chicory Inn serie. I received book 4 and 5 in the series. Which always feels so weird to read a book series out of order! That said, this book sounded like a summation of the story that unfolded in the first four books. It was well written, great characters full of personality and real-life situations that are dealt with with such heart and grace. The author bravely and creatively brought in issues that we still see and deal with today. If this last book is any indication of the rest of the series, it is well done. This story captured my attention and I can't wait to start from the beginning to see how the story started and unfolded to get to this point.
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.