Shay Kendall has been abandoned by everyone she has ever loved, including her movie-star mother and her husband, but now she has the opportunity to earn a great deal of money for herself and her son, if she will advise on a tell-all book with a gorgeous writer who could be Mr. Right. Shay Kendall has been abandoned by everyone she has ever loved, including her movie-star mother and her husband, but now she has the opportunity to earn a great deal of money for herself and her son, if she will advise on a tell-all book with a gorgeous writer who could be Mr. Right. Shay Kendall had a mother who loved her, but never really knew her and only one of Shay's six step-fathers ever spent time with her. She grew up and got married, having never met her own biological father or his family. Unfortunately, at her baby shower, she discovered that her husband had robbed the school he worked for and was running off with another woman. She once again moved forward and raised her son alone, while working full time as an office manager and dreaming of the day she could afford to open a catering business.
Six years later, she has an old car, a ramshackle rental house and no love life. Fortunately, she has friends and honorary family members with whom she spends time and her son, Hank, is a happy, healthy little boy. After years of being for sale, her mom's mansion finally has a buyer and sparks fly between Shay and the purchaser, Mitch Prescott, when they sign the paperwork. Shay's famous mother, Rosamond Dallas is in a long-term care facility with early onset Alzheimer's and is in no position to help with anything, but Shay still visits her regularly. Unfortunately, Rosamond rarely speaks, has little comprehension of the outside world and clutches a doll constantly.
Mitch is a journalist and has written many of the more challenging exposes and biographies of famous people, including Nazi's, war criminals and cult members. Now, he feels drawn to write about Shay's mother, and there is no doubt that she could use the money. After some soul-searching, she agrees to answer his questions, share her experiences and allow him access to family pictures. At the same time, Hank is on an extended vacation in an RV with family friends, which allows Shay the extra time she needs for this project. It also gives her some free time to spend with Mitch in bed, where they wind up soon.
Unfortunately, because Shay was abandoned by her mother for so much of her childhood, never knew her father, had only one step-father who cared for her at all and was abandoned by her husband at the most vulnerable time in her adult life, she is terrified of ever committing to anyone again. That is coupled by the fears that cause her to worry that she carries the same likelihood to fail at marriage that her mother did, and would therefore hurt her son as she was hurt by her mother who went through so many men for so long and ultimately, wound up alone. She very much saw her future in that of her mother's current existence and had no idea how to prevent it.
It worsens when her mother contracts pneumonia and passes away, so she truly feels alone and cannot imagine a future where she is not alone. She even contemplates a future where her son is an adult and has little time for her, so her lack of commitment to Mitchell also relates to low self-esteem and a mistrust of mature relationships where feelings are shared and communication makes them work better. She appears to have never seen, trusted or experienced any healthy, adult relationships.
As a result, even though she loves him, thinks he loves her and knows that he is good to her son, they go back-and-forth repeatedly because she cannot seem to believe that she will not make the same romantic and parenting mistakes that her mother did. She does have some good luck in the midst of turmoil, because Mitch's research into the book discovered that she has a paternal grandmother she never knew. Her father passed away, but she immediately forms a relationship with her grandmother, Alice and Alice even moves to be near her. Even with a new grandmother in her life, she cannot seem to accept that Mitch wants to be in her life and won't run away or abandon her.
The payment from her help with the book arrived and Shay purchased an older Victorian home to run her catering business out of and will rent smaller extra space to stores on the bottom floor. Her new business is very successful, she and Mitch are intimate again, and they spend a weekend together. They fight again as the weekend ends and he tells her he will not propose again, because he doesn't think she will accept, so if she changes her mind, it's her turn to propose.
She finally realizes how much she loves him and meets his daughter, who is close in age to Hank. She proposes, although terrified to do so, and he accepts. He also changes the kind of writing he does, because he realizes that part of her fear was not because he would choose to leave her, but because there is always the possibility that his research for his books would cause him to die. Until that moment, she either did not realize that or refused to accept it, because it was easier to assume that he would eventually leave her rather than he would eventually die They marry, she is pregnant and they have a little boy.
Best part of story, including ending:
hated that everything seemed to go so fast. For example, she met her grandmother once and the woman was relocating to her area with no qualms, she spend after work and weekends with Mitch doing research for two weeks and then got a huge check for doing so. Finally, she got the check, bought a huge old home that needed extensive work for her catering company and she wanted to rent out space to shops on the bottom floor and it seemed to take a few weeks. Literally, the book started near Halloween and there was no business, no check, no Victorian home and by Christmas, she owns the Victorian and is buying a Christmas decoration from one of the shops renting space in it.
Best scene in story:
s part of her job as office manager for a car dealership, she is enlisted to do a few commercials. As one, she dresses up as a bee and has sugar poured over her, and Mitch sees her. It was the first time where I felt any connection with her character and her reactions to the entire situation were completely unplanned.
Opinion about the main character:
feel as if she is a carbon copy of everything men do not like about single moms and the author tried to make her unique. Mom issues, no father in the picture for her son, demanding job, financial issues...I am glad he loved her, because she was a likable character but I really think she needed therapy more than she needed to get married or start a business.