Grace Stone grew up in Boca Raton as the daughter of an unknown rich man’s mistress. Two years into her marriage, her husband is killed in an accident with his mistress. Alone in the world with a newborn daughter, she obtains her PhD and secures a tenured university position. Life is good, except for her preschooler’s demands for a daddy. Despite her fear of rejection, Grace cannot deny her daughter, Lily, the love of a father.
With a friend’s support, she reenters the complicated world of relationships with speed dating. Weeks later, when her car is totaled in a freak accident, Grace encounters Beau Charvet, one of her rejected speed dates. His patience and promise that he is one of the good guys, overcomes her reluctance to date again. When a family connection to Beau’s stepmother is discovered, Grace is thrilled to have found living relatives, but not everyone shares her excitement. His sister, Gen, views her as an illegitimate interloper. At one family gathering, Lily is told that her mother is a bastard.
As their personal relationship progresses, Grace falls in love with Beau and shares her feelings with him. But now he is the reluctant one who fears risking his heart, still scarred from a bitter divorce. The stand-off leads to their eventual estrangement. At his parents’ house during a family gathering, Lily is bullied by Gen’s daughter. When Grace is suspected of having an affair with Gen’s husband, she questions the value of an extended family. But a growing attachment to Beau and her warts-and-all relatives, confirms their worth. So, she maps out a campaign to win his love and his sister’s acceptance.
Tapping into her intellect and femininity, Grace appeals to Beau’s masculine desires with flirtations and food. She provides support to Gen who is wounded by her own husband’s infidelity. On Christmas Day, when Lily receives a two-wheeler from Beau, she tells him “only daddies give bikes to little girls.” Buoyed by Beau’s reaction, Grace again professes her love and, this time, he does too. She accepts his proposal of marriage. Six months later, a new family is formed when Lily announces to the wedding guests, “We just got married.”
|Janet Franks Little
About the Author
Janet Franks Little is an Ohio native, but has lived the last twenty-five years in South Florida. While a Speech Language Pathologist and mother, she and her husband rehabbed four houses. Now a full-time writer, she swears she’s finishing her last house restoration project. Drawing upon her own life experiences for the characters and settings of her novels, her books deal with love, laughter and real-life issues faced by contemporary women.