Overview


Brent Connors isn’t looking for just any girl.


A devoted Christian, Brent wants a wife who shares his faith as well as captures his heart. But the only women in his life are all wrong. Timid Carrie is everything he says he wants, but there’s no attraction. Then there’s Sabrina Moore. . .stunningly beautiful and always on his mind. But Sabrina pulls back from faith in God, so she can’t be the one.


Sabrina ...

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Baby Blessings

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Overview


Brent Connors isn’t looking for just any girl.


A devoted Christian, Brent wants a wife who shares his faith as well as captures his heart. But the only women in his life are all wrong. Timid Carrie is everything he says he wants, but there’s no attraction. Then there’s Sabrina Moore. . .stunningly beautiful and always on his mind. But Sabrina pulls back from faith in God, so she can’t be the one.


Sabrina Moore has her hands and heart full. After learning of her younger sister’s pregnancy, she vows to stand by her side, even if their parents won’t. Except her sister’s newfound faith and her pregnancy counselor, Brent, make Sabrina’s commitment more difficult than she imagined. How can they rely on God, unseen and unheard, to control their lives?


But as the Spirit begins to lead, Sabrina begins to seek understanding for a painful past. . .and a peaceful future.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781624169618
  • Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2013
  • Series: Truly Yours Digital Editions , #1029
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 219,700
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


Jennifer Johnson and the world's most supportive redheaded husband have been happily married for over two decades. They have three of the most beautiful daughters on the planet and one amazing son-in-law. Jennifer is a sixth grade writing teacher in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. She is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she isn't teaching or writing, she enjoys shopping with her daughters, hanging out with her husband, Al, or her best friend, Robin, and playing on Facebook. Blessed beyond measure by her heavenly Father, Jennifer hopes to always think like a child--bigger than she can imagine and with complete faith. She'd love to hear from you.
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Read an Excerpt

Sabrina burst through her sister's apartment door. She bit back the urge to reprimand the college freshman for leaving the entrance unlocked. Again. She needed to find her sister. The text said it was urgent. Scanning the small living area, she spied only empty paper plates and cups on end tables. Mismatched shoes and various textbooks on the floor. "Mallory, where are you? What did you need to tell me that couldn't wait till morning?"

Pulling off the light brown jacket that did little to ward off Greenfield, Tennessee's cool, mid-October temperature, she tossed it on the couch. She wanted to slip out of her heels. It had been almost eight o'clock before she'd been able to leave the coffee shop then she'd headed to the gym for a quick workout then the store, where she'd received the disconcerting text message from Mallory.

She looked at her watch. Where were her sister's roommates? It seemed odd they wouldn't be home at well past eleven on a Thursday night. She sighed when she remembered the nickname for the evening when she'd been in college. Thirsty Thursday—club night. Most likely the girls wouldn't be home for several hours.

The faint sound of sniffles drifted from the hallway. Sabrina furrowed her brow. Her sister was known for embellishing stories, making things bigger than they really were. But she rarely cried.

Sabrina's heartbeat sped up. Surely nothing bad had happened. She squeezed her eyes shut as she thought of the many close calls she'd had in college. Times she'd drunk too much and found herself in situations that could have landed her in harm's way or jail. One particular time raced through her mind, and she sucked in a breath and swallowed. Don't go there. No need to think about that.

She pushed forward toward the soft cries. "Mallory?"

"I'm in here."

Her sister's voice trembled, and Sabrina bit her bottom lip. Stop freaking out. It's probably nothing. Most likely, it's something silly. Maybe the girls didn't invite her to go with them.

A smile spread her lips, and she bit back a chuckle. That was probably it. Nothing as bad as Sabrina feared. But then, Mallory had complained on several occasions that her roommates' lifestyle didn't mesh with hers and that she'd decided to find new ones for the next semester. Sabrina huffed. She liked the other girls. They'd all gotten along just fine until Mallory decided to go all churchy on them.

Shoving the thoughts away, Sabrina lifted her shoulders and pushed open the bathroom door. Her sister, eleven years her junior, sat on the top of the toilet seat. Her long dark tresses flowed past both slumped shoulders. Red splotches surrounded deep brown eyes. Most of their family and friends felt she and Mallory favored one another, which suited Sabrina just fine since Mallory had won more beauty pageants than she had fingers to count them. But then Sabrina had won a few herself more than a decade ago.

She moved to the tub and sat down on the edge. Wrapping her arm around Mallory's shoulder, she cooed, "Honey, what is it?" With her free hand, she pulled some toilet paper off the roll and dabbed at her sister's cheeks. "It can't be as bad as all this."

Mallory sucked in a trembling breath. She didn't say anything, simply pointed to the sink. Sabrina's heart skipped when she saw the white stick. Oh no. Please no!

Closing her eyes, she released her sister and forced herself to stand. She swallowed the knot in her throat. This couldn't be happening. Not to Mallory. She was too young. She had too much potential.

Sabrina opened her eyes. Two bright pink lines stared up at her. She shook her head and looked back at Mallory. "Maybe it's wrong. It happens all the time."

Mallory crossed her arms in front of her chest. "I'm late."

"How late?"

"Four weeks."

Sabrina stared down at her sister. "How can that be? Surely, you'd notice if you missed a whole period."

Mallory's chest heaved and tears streamed down her cheeks. "I did notice. I just couldn't believe it was possible. It was just one night."

Just one night. The three words wrapped around Sabrina until she felt she would choke. Reminding herself to continue to breathe, she pressed her hand against the doorjamb and leaned against the sink. "What are you going to do?"

Mallory hopped off the commode seat and jerked her hand through the air. "Looks like I'm going to have a baby."

Sabrina swallowed again as she wrapped her fingers around the edge of the sink. More than a decade ago she would have suggested her sister consider abortion. Her stomach churned, and bile rose in the back of her throat. But now she wouldn't. Couldn't.

Sabrina's mind raced with what needed to happen now. How they would handle this. She cringed when she thought of their parents. She knew how they would react. "Well, you'll need to tell Randy—"

"Randy isn't the father." Mallory covered her face with her hands. "I can't believe this is happening. It was so stupid. I was so stupid."

Surprise filled Sabrina. She knew her sister and her high school boyfriend broke up at the beginning of the semester, but Sabrina just assumed…her sister hadn't acted interested in anyone else. During the last month every discussion she'd had with Mallory involved her begging Sabrina to go to some big church with her.

Mallory lowered herself onto the bathtub's edge. Sabrina watched as her sister rubbed her hands together; her expression filled with angst. "It was the first week of September. When I moved in here. We had a party." She shook her head and peered up at the ceiling. "I got totally wasted and ended up with a guy and—"

"Who?"

Mallory looked at her, tears brimming her eyes. Sa-brina's heart broke, and she wished she could wipe away her sister's pain. "I don't even know his name. How awful is that?"

Sabrina couldn't take it any longer. She pushed away from the sink and wrapped her arms around Mallory. Her sister cried while Sabrina ran her fingers through long locks of hair. "It's going to be okay. I'm here for you."

As the words slipped from Sabrina's lips, dread filled her heart. It would be torture. Every day. Somehow she would get past the memories. She wouldn't turn her back on Mallory.

"This is why God tells us to stay pure till marriage. If only I'd known Him before."

Sabrina blocked out her sister's words. She heard enough preaching at work from one of her workers. Since Mallory "found Jesus" a little over a month ago, that's all her little sister had wanted to talk about as well. But Sabrina didn't need a crutch, some wimpy faith to get her through life. She'd made a few bad choices in life. Dealt with the knocks that came with it. Dusted herself off and worked hard to achieve her goals. And she was happy with life. She lived it as she wanted.

A niggling of discontent poked at her heart when she thought of the last date she'd had. The one on her thirtieth birthday when the guy just assumed she'd want a nightcap. What she really wanted was to punch him square in the nose. Beyond that, she wanted to feel cherished and respected. But guys didn't seem to come that way these days.

Mallory discovered that the hard way. Maybe now she'd forget all this Jesus stuff and stop depending on something she couldn't see or touch. It wasn't as if God talked to Mallory. He obviously wasn't involved in her life since He allowed her to get pregnant after one silly mistake.

She said the one-night stand happened only a week after moving in, and wasn't it only a week or two after that that Mallory went all Holy Roller on her? That was proof enough that God didn't care about what was best for Mallory. She had the potential to be a terrific lawyer. Exceptional grades. Spunky personality. Natural bent toward fighting injustice. Where was God now? Obviously not here.

But Sabrina was. She was tangible. Mallory could depend on her, and Sabrina would help her sister. Whatever it took. She'd get her through school. Her sister was destined to be a lawyer, and Sabrina would see that it happened. God would have nothing to do with it.

"God's got a plan. He cares about every detail of our lives. Including your love life."

Brent Connors caught the basketball and tucked it under his arm as he and his childhood friend, Will White, walked to the bench. He grabbed his water bottle off the seat and took a quick swig. He really didn't want to listen to Will's counsel regarding his love life. Or lack thereof.

Several ladies had already arrived at the church's gymnasium for the zumba class that would start in the next few minutes. The quicker he could gather his things and get out of there, the better.

"Tell me you are not still whining over that teacher."

Brent glanced at Will's coworker from the factory. He had trouble liking the guy. Often negative and a bit pushy, but Brent knew Will tried to be a witness to Jason. Brent shook his head. "Nope. Haven't said a word about Ivy."

Saying her name aloud was like adding alcohol to an unhealed wound. At one time, he'd believed God had placed her in his life for a reason. To become his wife. Even her mother thought they'd make a perfect couple. But Ivy fell for a contractor. A guy with three kids, to boot.

"Take my advice, man. Stay single." Jason scratched his unshaven jaw. "My old lady harps on me all the time. Can't even walk through the door without her nagging about something."

Will nudged Jason with his elbow. "Maybe if you picked up your socks every once in a while."

Jason growled. "That's one complaint."

"Sounds like an easy fix," said Brent.

"Dude, you aren't married. You don't even know what it's like. You live alone."

Brent reached beneath the bench and grabbed his ball cap and car keys. He glanced at the door. Carrie Rice walked in and their gazes locked. He tried not to cringe as he watched her cheeks deepen in color. A few of her friends made it clear she had her sights set on Brent. And she seemed like a nice girl. A bit young, a full eight years his junior. Pretty, in a conservative, almost plain sort of way. Which he preferred. And she was a committed Christian and had been for years. Born and raised in the church. Which he required in a possible mate. But there was something there, or rather not there, that bugged him.

He focused his attention back on Jason and Will. Noting the gleam in Will's eye as he looked from Brent to Carrie, Brent shook his head to dissuade his friend from saying or doing anything to embarrass him. He looked back at Jason. "I don't know about married life, but I do live alone. And I do know about picking my socks up off the floor. Actually, a rather easy thing to do."

Jason huffed and turned toward Will. "I'll see you tomorrow at work, man. Brent, I'll see you next week."

"Later," said Will. Brent nodded to Jason.

Will grabbed his arm. "So, what do you think about Carrie?"

Brent scrunched his nose. "Seems like a nice girl. A little young."

"Tab says she likes you."

Brent chuckled when Will mentioned his wife. "What are we, in high school again?"

"No. But if you want me to, I'll ask her out for you."

Brent furrowed his brows and scowled at his friend. Realizing Will was teasing, Brent grinned. "Don't you think she's a bit short for me?"

Will shrugged. "Are we discriminating based on height? Just because she's around four foot ten, and you're about…"

"Six five."

"Only almost two feet. That's not too much."

"I'd have to pick her up to kiss her."

"So, you're already thinking of lip action?" Brent rolled his eyes, and Will punched his arm. "I'm just kidding. But don't decide against her based on that."

"I wouldn't."

"Hey, man. I've gotta go. Tab will have supper ready in ten minutes."

Brent glanced at the clock behind the gymnasium's sign-in desk. It was getting late, and he wanted to get home as well. He wouldn't tell Will, but he'd signed up for a Christian online dating service. His compatible matches should be posted.

He followed Will toward the door. His heartbeat sped up as he realized Carrie hadn't moved since she'd entered the building. He'd have no choice but to talk to her. He swallowed back the knot in his throat. Nodding toward her, he hoped she'd simply nod back and allow him to leave the gym. He started to push through the door.

"Hey, Brent."

He stopped at the sound of her voice. Will looked back, lifted his eyebrows, and grinned before heading outside. Brent pinched his lips as he turned back toward Carrie. He forced a smile. "Hi."

"I was wondering if you're going to Nat's next Friday."

Brent nodded. He'd been going to the church's singles' group outings since before Carrie was old enough to attend. Maybe not as much anymore since it seemed he'd become the senior citizen of the group. But Nat's fall party was always a lot of fun. "Yep."

She didn't say anything, and Brent knew she wanted him to offer to take her, but he didn't want to lead her on. Maybe he could like her, but standing next to her now felt uncomfortable. The girl's head barely reached his chest. Which was only part of the problem. The other part was that he thought of her as a girl, not as a woman.

Unsure what to do, he lifted his hand. "Well, I'd better be going. See you there on Friday."

Her expression brightened. "See you then."

Brent bit back his frustration that he'd managed to accidentally lead her on. He made his way to his car and cranked up the radio, allowing Casting Crowns's music to fill his heart and mind. Pulling into his driveway, his heart once again swelled with pride at the recent purchase of his first home. He'd saved for five years for the down payment. The modest log home on three acres had been a country dream come true. If God allowed, he would marry, raise a few kids, and die in this very house.

I'll just need to find me a simple, good Christian woman to share it with.

He walked inside and dropped his keys on the counter. Taking the leftover vegetable soup he'd made the day before from the refrigerator, he set the pan on the stove to warm. Having set up his home computer on the built-in desk across from the refrigerator, he plopped in the chair and turned on the computer.

God, I can hardly wait to see my matches. I just know You're about to show me the right woman for me. Maybe I'll even be able to see her for the first time tonight.

He logged onto the website, entered his user name and password, and waited for the information to load. One of the frustrating things about his home in the country was dial-up Internet.

Standing up, he walked to the stove and stirred the vegetable soup. He glanced back at the computer screen. Still loading. Trying not to feel anxious, he took a bowl out of the cabinet and a spoon from the drawer. He peeked again. Not finished yet. Taking the milk from the fridge, he poured a big glass and took a long swig. He placed the glass on the counter and looked at the computer screen.

Only one percent left. The green bar filled up to one hundred percent, and the screen changed. Brent blinked. That can't be right.

He sat in the chair and pushed the Refresh button on the website. The same screen popped up. Brent shook his head. It's not possible. There were supposed to be thousands of men and women on this website. And I don't have a single match?

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