As 1947 opens, Eva Cardon is the twenty-four-year-old owner of Washington, D.C.’s, most famous Black-owned restaurant. When her path crosses with Courtland, a handsome white senator from Georgia, both find themselves drawn to one another—but the danger of a relationship between a Black woman and a white man from the South could destroy them and everything they’ve worked for.
Few women own upscale restaurants in civil rights era Washington, D.C. Fewer still are twenty-four, Black, and wildly successful. But Eva Cardon is unwilling to serve only the wealthiest movers and shakers, and she plans to open a diner that offers Southern comfort to the working class.
A war hero and one of Georgia’s native sons, Courtland Hardiman Kingsley IV is a junior senator with great ambitions for his time in D.C. But while his father is determined to see Courtland on a path to the White House, the young senator wants to use his office to make a difference in people’s lives, regardless of political consequences.
When equal-rights activism throws Eva and Courtland into each other’s paths, they can’t fight the attraction they feel, no matter how much it complicates their dreams. For Eva, falling in love with a white Southerner is all but unforgivable—and undesirable. Her mother and grandmother fell in love with white men, and their families paid the price. Courtland is already under pressure for his liberal ideals, and his family has a line of smiling debutantes waiting for him on every visit. If his father found out about Eva, he’s not sure he’d be welcome home again.
Surrounded by the disapproval of their families and the scorn of the public, Eva and Courtland must decide if the values they hold most dear—including love—are worth the loss of their dreams . . . and everything else.
The author of When Stars Rain Down returns with a historical love story about all that has—and has not—changed in the United States