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LONE STAR CAF

Lisa Wingate, Author
Lisa Wingate, Author . Onyx $6.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-451-41144-0
Library Binding - 350 pages - 978-1-58547-525-4
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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. Agent, Claudia Cross at Sterling Lord Literistic. (Sept. 7)

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