Close to Home


As I have read the earlier books in Raney’s Chicory Inn series, Bree has been present but has only played a small part in the stories of members of the Whitman family. In “Close to Home” readers finally get to read her story.

As the young widow of the oldest Whitman son Tim, Bree has spent the five years since his death close to his family. Although she is beginning to feel that she may be ready for another chance at love, she fears how that could affect her relationship with the family she has grown to love as her own. A new relationship offers possibilities and challenges that leave Bree confused about her future. Then she meets another man who changes everything. Could this be love?

I enjoyed spending time with the Whitman family again and it was both fun and frustrating watching Bree’s efforts to navigate the deep waters of romance again. As in the previous books, I was struck by the intense Whitman family loyalty, their faith, and the way they all worked together to take care of their own, not to mention how easily they welcomed new people into their ranks. I also loved Grant’s term for his son-in-laws – “the sillies”. I love reading about this wonderful family and am looking forward to the next book of the series.

A copy of this book was provided for review by The Amazon Vine Program.


Bree Cordel Whitman is a Whitman by marriage, but sometimes she forgets she wasn’t born into Grant and Audrey’s family. Her late husband, Timothy Whitman, gave his life for his country on a windblown hill in Afghanistan. Bree has let the love of Tim’s family keep her ties to him strong–in the same way she keeps Tim’s memory alive for them. But it’s been almost five years, and she can’t hang onto the past forever.

Fighting the guilt she feels for wanting to love again, she can’t help her dreams about a tall, dark, and handsome man–a man who is not her Tim. How can she accept the flirtations from Drew Brooks without throwing the Whitman family back into grieving? And how can Drew compete with the ghost of a hero and the hero’s very alive family who seem to hold some spell over the woman who shares their name . . . a woman he might just love?


Deborah RaneyDeborah Raney’s books have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken, recently traded small-town life in Kansas—the setting of many of Deb’s novels—for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita. Visit Deb on the web at