Home at Last is the last book in Deborah Raney’s Chicory Inn series. Link Whitman is the oldest and only remaining son of bed and breakfast owners Grant and Audrey Whitman. He’s 29 and single. He’d like to have a family like the rest of his siblings, but has been too involved with work and has just never found the right girl. He tries to avoid disastrous set-ups with relatives of his mom’s friends.
Link is not above a little flirtation now and then, however. On his way to the bakery on cold morning for his mom, he anticipates seeing Shayla, the cute girl who works there. But right in front of the bakery, suddenly a young girl runs into the street. Link has trouble stopping on the icy road, but manages to swerve his pickup and miss her. Then Shayla comes running out, terrified and angry with him. At first he thinks the little girl is Shayla’s daughter, but finds she’s the niece – but a niece that Shayla is responsible for.
This incident sets Link and Shayla off on the wrong foot. But overcoming this rough start proves easier than handling their more serious differences. Shayla is of mixed race, with neither set of grandparents approving her parents’ marriage. Her mother has died, her brother is in jail, and her father is bitter and disillusioned. She thinks there are too many obstacles and issues that Link would never understand.
But Link wants to try and convinces her to go out with him – along with her niece, Portia. The path isn’t easy, with misunderstandings and misconceptions on both sides. Will they overcome them or give up trying?
I enjoyed this last visit with the Whitman family and felt Deborah handled the issues involved with sensitivity and understanding.