The national bestselling author of Texas Cooking serves up another treat
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The second book in Wingate's Texas trilogy (after Texas Cooking) serves up a charmingly nostalgic treat. Virginia-based publishing executive Laura Draper goes to Texas to face-lift a newly acquired magazine. Reeling from the project's endless snags, a sudden breakup with her boyfriend and her widowed dad's depression, Laura is in crisis when a detour leads her to a tiny rural spot called the Crossroads, where two elderly sisters run an old-fashioned café. She is powerfully drawn to the timeless values the Crossroads represents—reminders of her own abandoned dreams and her late mother's wisdom—as well as to local Graham Keeton, a former military pilot shadowed by a mysterious grief. Amid barbeque cookoffs, gentle kisses and plentiful buttermilk pie, Laura finds renewal, but then a fast-track promotion opportunity beckons. Ultimately, she discovers that while she cannot have it all, she can still achieve the dreams that matter most. Wingate handles the book's strong spiritual element deftly, creating a novel that is sweetly inspirational but not saccharine. Though never fully credible as a fast-lane publishing whiz, Laura (ably evoked in spirited first-person narration) is winning as an ordinary woman faced with conflicting options. Appealingly eccentric secondary characters and beautifully evoked Texas settings further enrich this warm-hearted read.
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Former Army brat turned journalist Laura Draper, who sent her friend on assignment in Texas in Texas Cooking [BKL S 15 03], is now there herself to oversee a recently acquired magazine. A true workaholic, the 36-year-old is in denial about her life until she receives a breakup call from her boyfriend and then has a minibreakdown outside the Lone Star Cafe, overwhelmed by her mother's death, her father's depression, and her rapidly ticking biological clock. Inside, elderly twins offer her coffee with a secret ingredient and old-fashioned buttermilk pie, but the real attraction is their nephew, Graham. A former soldier, he is facing demons of his own, but the two do discover joy. But Laura believes that she'd be crazy to give up her fast-track lifestyle for a man she only met a few days ago, even though she has discovered more about herself in this interlude than ever before. Wingate reprises a mythical, healing Texas in her latest novel and offers another stellar story about love and connection. Patty Engelmann
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