‘Home at Chestnut Creek’ is a Story Full of Heart and Hope [REVIEW]


Will the Land of Enchantment cast its spell over two outsiders? (Photo by Mike Lewinski, Flickr)

She has secrets she’d rather keep to herself. But then again, so does he. When two outsiders collide in a dusty New Mexico town, will they be able to reconcile their pasts and seize happiness? Or are some obstacles too difficult to overcome? Find out in Laura Drake’s heartwarming new novel, Home at Chestnut Creek. 



Nevada Sweet just got to town. With new hair and wet shoes, she isn’t really prepared for life in Unforgiven. But then again, does anyone really have much time to prepare for anything when they are on the run? All she needs is a good meal, a warm cup of coffee and a job. Her girlfriend Carly once promised her that if she ever needed work, to come find her. Now she needs to see if her friend will make good on that promise. If she can’t, Nevada will just have to hit the road all over again. After all, she has to keep moving to outrun her past. But the Chestnut Creek Café has more in store for her than just great meatloaf and employment.

When Joseph “Fishing Eagle” King meets Nevada, he soon sees beyond her tough exterior and realizes that they may be more alike than she would care to admit. Like her, he has never really belonged anywhere, despite the fact that he has always lived in New Mexico. No matter how much he tries, he’s an outcast among his own Navajo community. Yet as he and Nevada become coworkers, and even unlikely friends, seeds are planted that eventually blossom into a bond that has Nevada spinning dreams she’s never thought possible. So when trouble comes to town and threatens their newfound happiness, will she head for the hills or fight for what she really wants?

I have to say that I really enjoyed this novel for a couple reasons. First, Drake captures the rich nuances of New Mexico in all their rustic splendor. Her love for the landscape, its dusty towns and big-hearted but colorful residents just saturates every page of this story. As someone who also fell under the spell of New Mexico years ago, I easily understood Drake’s compulsion to write about it, and to share that love with her readers. By the time I finished the story, I knew that this novel will boost New Mexico’s tourism industry as readers call their travel agents to book trips to the Land of Enchantment.

Drake also crafts multi-faceted characters who may be a bit crusty around the edges (and for good reason), but who have hearts of gold just waiting to be discovered. At the beginning of the story, Nevada is the type of woman who keeps everyone at bay. Her walls were erected long ago, and at first glance they may seem impenetrable. Then there’s Fish, who is vulnerable too, even though he tries to protect his heart with equal vigor. Thankfully this is a story of redemption and second chances, which makes it perfect for New Mexico, where stories like this seem to abound.

If you love western novels, or stories about small town life where people work hard to eek out an existence and forge their own destiny, Home at Chestnut Creek is going to capture your heart. Long after the last page is turned, Drake’s characters will have you wishing you could have spent just a little more time in their company. Filled with heart, humor, and wisdom, this is a story best shared with friends, one which is rich and rewarding and full of hope. Enjoy!

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Laura Drake

Laura Drake
(Photo by Jane Carlyle)


Laura Drake grew up in the suburbs of Detroit. A tomboy, she’s always loved the outdoors and adventure. In 1980, she and her sisters packed everything they owned into Pintos and moved to California. There she met and married a motorcycling, bleed-maroon Texas Aggie and her love affair with the West began. Her debut Western romance, The Sweet Spot, won the coveted RITA Award for Best First Book.

In 2014, Laura realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full-time. She’s a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.

Readers may catch up with Laura at LauraDrakeBooks.com, or may like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

By Laura Drake
624 pp. Forever. $7.99

Purchase Home at Chestnut Creek at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, IndieBound, and Powell’s.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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