Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Book Review for Litfuse Publicity Group, featuring Deborah Raney

Book: Home At Last: A Chicory Inn Novel ― Book 5
Deborah Raney
Review written by: Alexis A. Goring

The incidents of race-related drama, which are portrayed in this book, is heartbreaking. But the author, Deborah Raney, weaves a story that’s rich in beauty, strong in scenarios that are true to real life, and sweet on the romance between the hero and heroine.

Home At Last: A Chicory Inn Novel
is a book about differences. Differences in background, class status and race. It focuses on the differences between the hero (Link Whitman) and heroine (Shayla Michaels).

Link is the most eligible bachelor in town. He’s the type of guy who you never see without a date. But beneath his good looks is a good heart and his heart loves Shayla.

Shayla is a beautiful, independent woman who is raising her niece while her brother is serving his prison sentence. She helps her dad run their family-owned bakery Coffee's On which is a hotspot in town.

As the only sibling in his family who is not yet married, Link is feeling the pressure from his family to settle down and marry a wonderful woman. At first, he stays above the pressure but when Shayla enters the picture, he wants to move forward to the altar.

The scenes in this book are well described. The author paints a very vivid and beautiful picture of Coffee’s On—so much so that it makes you want to go to your nearest bakery in real-life and treat yourself to their food. Chicory Inn, Link’s family business, is a lovely place that often smells good because of the bread and sweet treats that Link’s parents order from Shayla’s bakery.

But despite the lovely settings and romantic overtures, the differences between Shayla and Link provide a strong core conflict for most of the story.

Shayla’s Mom is White and her Dad is Black. It’s a mix that’s caused her heart much pain because of the negative ways she and her brother were treated in a world that does not always accept nor is nice to mixed race families. So when Link enters the story of her life and expresses interest in pursuing her heart, Shayla’s guards go up. She builds walls so high that Link has to practically perform acrobatics just to get near her heart and win her over. Discouraged by the incidents of racism that her family has faced for most of their life and knowing what a cultural conflict being in a mixed race relationship would bring, Shayla shies away from Link and continues to fiercely guard her heart. She focuses on raising her niece Portia and bringing good business to the family bakery.

Faith in God plays a role in this story. The author uses faith elements along with interesting situations to challenge stereotypes and push the hero and heroine together. Since Shayla and Link are believers and forward-thinking people, there is hope for this couple. But their road to a happy, healthy romance is filled with roadblocks and at the core of those roadblocks are race-related attacks.

The author handles the race-related situations with tact and believability. She doesn’t allow the cruel behavior of those antagonists to go unchecked. Unlike some situations in the real world, the people who did wrong do pay for it. But she doesn’t do this with vengeance. She proves to, as the author, be a fair judge in those situations.

Aside from addressing heavy topics like racism and interracial romance, the author puts her best foot forward in telling Shayla and Link’s story. It’s a story that’s very deserving of a five-star review!

*I (Alexis A. Goring) received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book, Home At Last: A Chicory Inn Novel ― Book 5, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: .
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

About the book: 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?

Learn more and purchase a copy. 

A Message from Litfuse Publicity Group:

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!


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