Lone Star Cafe
Lisa Wingate
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Lone Star Cafe
Lisa Wingate
306 pages
September 2004
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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Laura Draper has a magazine deadline to meet. But the interstate is closed, she's late for a meeting with the Governor of Texas, and now she's caught in a hailstorm behind a ramshackle building in the middle of nowhere. To make matters worse, her boyfriend calls her on her cell phone and breaks off their three-year relationship, saying that he doesn't want the "home-and-family" thing that she seems to desire. This all comes right on the heels of the recent death of Laura's mother and her father's failing health. So what does Laura do? She closes her eyes and goes to sleep.

A few hours later, Laura wakes up with two elderly ladies knocking on her window, concerned for her well-being. Embarrassed, Laura didn't realize that she was parked behind the Lone Star Café, an establishment known for its cozy atmosphere and fabulous coffee. Laura meets the mysterious Graham Keeton, then returns to her hustle and bustle life without a backward glance - or so she thinks. The café draws Laura back again and again, and she begins to get to know Graham. Is there hope for a relationship when Laura knows she'll be shipped off to her next magazine assignment shortly? And why, now that she's at the pinnacle of her career, does Laura feel like she wants to slow down?

Lisa Wingate has written another beautiful book. Lone Star Cafe exudes warmth, love, family, and friendship. Readers will feel like they get to know Laura as a friend, and will truly care about the choices she makes for her life and how they affect her. Collie, the main character from Ms. Wingate's previous release, Texas Cooking, makes a few appearances which gives continuity to this contemporary romance series. Wingate's cozy writing style shines with tidbits of wisdom scattered throughout.

The heartfelt characterization and swiftly moving plot will make you want to devour Lone Star Cafe in one big gulp. But you should curl up and savor it, like a great cup of coffee. The love story is believable and interesting, without the frustrating roadblocks often thrown into romance novels. With plenty of quirky characters, you will turn the last page and sigh a wistful goodbye to your newfound friends.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Melissa Parcel, 2004

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