Lily Russo is newly pregnant after a brief relationship and she is shocked to discover that her ex wants to marry her, but when she agrees they fall in love all over again. Lily Russo is a passionate advocate for the rights and abilities of emotionally and mentally impaired adults. As the director of a daycare facility devoted to their needs, she is constantly looking for new ways to help them, even if that means asking for the help of a man she was recently dumped by.
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The novel opens with the request of a favor. It relates to the boarding of a mule that was recently given to her center and her ex-boyfriend, Jake Tucker, tentatively agrees to board the animal in exchange for volunteer work by some of her clients. That is only possible if they determine that everyone involved, including the mule, will be covered by insurance while on ranch grounds.
When that is worked out, she arranges for the mule to be left there. However, that is not the only secret she is working with. She soon discovers that their brief and satisfying relationship has left her with a little reminder that she will get to meet in nine months or so.
Although thrilled to be pregnant, she is also terrified. She had previously given birth to a very sick and premature little boy who died before his first birthday. Jake is also a busy dad, raising three daughters by himself and working full time.
When Lilly divulges her pregnancy, she is not sure what to expect from Jake. It was not a planned pregnancy and she intends to keep and raise her child, although she would like for Jake to be involved. She is therefore shocked when soon after her announcement, Jake proposes marriage. It will not be a typical marriage, although they had a great sex life and that is unlikely to change. So while not a marriage of convenience, it will also not be a love match.
At first she declines, but in light of a previous late miscarriage that was more like a stillbirth and the premature birth of her now deceased son, she agrees to make the best out of a bad situation. Jake is focused on getting his daughters used to Lily's presence and to prepare for the baby. It is obvious that he is a devoted father and it is equally obvious that although he claims to not love Lilly, he certainly does.
As everyone around them gets used to them being a couple, she experiences a few scares related to her pregnancy. Finally, she gives birth to a healthy, beautiful and full-term baby who makes everyone in the family. By then, it is obvious they are in love and that the marriage will be a permanent one.
We also discover that Jake was concerned about his daughters and how they would react to a new woman around when he originally ended his relationship with Lilly. It was not that he did not care deeply for her even then; it was because he would always put the needs of his children first and they were dealing with abandonment issues from their mother already at that time. Their biological mother said and did many things that would hurt them.
It should also be pointed out that the adult daycare facility that Lilly worked at continued to flourish and the clients did very well taking care of the mule.
Best part of story, including ending:
I liked it because it had so many accurate details. The reaction of his daughters, the very real interactions that were portrayed by the clients she whelp at the adult day care facility and even her fears about possibly losing another baby, struck home and made her a character I felt that I knew by the end of the book.
Best scene in story:
In Chapter 8, some details about Jake's Ex-wife come to light and when one of his daughters mentions that her mom frequently tells people she only has one child, the little girl's very real pain becomes obvious. All of the sudden, Jake's actions to protect them from being hurt again make more sense.
Opinion about the main character:
I like that although she had experienced so many pregnancy losses and problems, she tried really hard to believe everything would be okay now. There is not enough literature that really puts a face on infertility and pregnancy loss, so I was very impressed with the details and information shared in this novel.