When Whitney arrives in town for the funeral, she is overwhelmed by the sheer number of people who loved her Aunt Claudia. But, the woman with nerves of steel in the newsroom has no idea how to handle the warmth and friendship they offer. Whitney has held herself aloof from other people for so long that she is completely lost when it's time to socialize. And when she meets Adam Burkett, a local carpenter who has been renovating Aunt Claudia's house, there is obvious disapproval in his attitude toward her. Whitney has no idea why Adam dislikes her so much.
Adam can't understand why Whitney ignored her aunt for so many years. Claudia was always so proud of her niece but Whitney couldn't be bothered to leave her precious job behind for a few days to visit her only living relative. As far as Adam is concerned, Whitney is a spoiled, stuck-up city girl. He doesn't even bother to hide his disdain. When Whitney is barely civil in response to the friendly overtures of Claudia's friends and neighbors, Adam feels vindicated. Whitney is proving him right!
Whitney decides to let Adam complete the renovations on Claudia's house, and she insists on staying in Washita until the work is done. At first, Adam isn't thrilled with the idea of spending so much time in Whitney's company. She's rude and they don't get along, but Adam begins to realize that Whitney isn't as cold and unemotional as he believed. He realizes that she is actually taking his advice and trying to be nicer to people, more considerate of their feelings. It's not easy for Adam to comprehend, but he realizes that capable, confident Whitney simply doesn't know how to have friends. Can Adam help Whitney realize that she'll never find happiness if she always keeps her heart locked away?
I loved watching Whitney Sheridan develop from a woman with no concept of social niceties, into a person who went out of her way to bring a little happiness where she could. She didn't understand that if she continued to keep people at a distance to avoid becoming vulnerable, she would never be more than a hollow shell. When she began to realize that her actions actually had an effect on other people and their feelings, nobody was more surprised than Whitney, especially when she began to care! Adam Burkett is just the right person to help Whitney discover not only the wonderful bunch of people that inhabit Washita, but also the warm, caring person she can be if she opens her heart. He's sensible enough to revise his opinion of Whitney as he learns more about her, and patient enough to help her blossom. ALL THE ROOMS OF MY HEART is a joy to read.