Never one to feel sorry for herself, Jolyn made new plans for their future. She studied to earn her contractor's license, came home to stay with her parents and is going into business for herself. However, she cannot help but notice that things have changed while she has been gone. For example, her mom, Dottie Sutherland is more nervous and her dad, Milt worries more about the matriarch of their family.
Click here to see the rest of this review
In addition, there is the elephant in the room that everyone thinks about, but never says…until now. Nearly a decade ago, Jolyn's brother, Steven, had a brief affair with a married woman, SherryAnne, who gave birth to a healthy baby girl several months later. Sherry Anne was married to the local veterinarian, Chase Roundtree at the time, and he was always assumed to be the father of her daughter, Mandy and he even retained custody of their child when Sherry Anne left them both a few years later.
No DNA tests were ever done, but it has always preyed on Steven and Jolyn's mother's mind and she is more determined than ever to find out for sure one way or another whether or not she is a grandmother. Unfortunately, nobody else in either family has been willing to take a test and Chase does not care whether or not he is his daughter's biological father, he is her daddy and that is all that matters.
Jolyn soon puts in a bid for a big project that Steven needs and some smaller jobs that will get her name to the city, but there is an unspoken attraction between her and Chase that makes things more challenging. They shared one kiss in high school that neither has ever forgotten.
Meanwhile, Dottie's behavior becomes more confused until finally everyone learns the truth. She has cancer and is expected to die. That was why her behavior was so different and why she so desperately hoped to be a grandmother.
When Jolyn stars working on Chase's project, she also gets to know the little girl, Mandy, that could be her niece. At first, Chase thinks she is spending time with Mandy to help her mother, but soon realizes they have formed a bond. Sadly, it is a stronger connection than the one that Mandy has with her biological mother, who has all but disappeared since the divorce.
As the end for Dottie draws near, information comes to light that clears away the confusion. It is finally established that Chase is Mandy's father, but she will be Milt and Dottie's granddaughter as well, because Chase and Jolyn will be married. They work through their difficulties and true love is apparent, plus her new business is doing well and Mandy is thrilled to have new family members who love her.
Best part of story, including ending:
I loved it because it established that family does not have to be the people you are biologically related to. In addition, in a world where so many men are the deadbeat dads, it was nice to be reminded that it can be the mothers just as easily.
Best scene in story:
Early on, it is established that Jolyn has chronic pain from her injury and the reader is reminded of that at various intervals through the novel. However, she enever lets it get to her and continues to work through her pain My favorite scene that clearly illustrated that was when she sees Chase for the first time in many years and jumps out of the truck too fast. She barely indicates that it hurt, but the reader is aware and Chase noticed. He hadn't seen her in years and still knew what she was thinking, which was a good sign of what the book would be like.
Opinion about the main character:
I love that Jolyn is a strong and independent woman. She has never married and has now had two careers that were physically demanding, even with the lasting repercussions from her injury. The character would not have been so easy to relate to if she became a librarian or secretary and I love that she has non-traditional employment.