Someone Like You (Baxter Family Series)

Someone Like You (Baxter Family Series)

by Karen Kingsbury
Someone Like You (Baxter Family Series)

Someone Like You (Baxter Family Series)

by Karen Kingsbury

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Overview

Notes From Your Bookseller

Ripe with warmth, love and comfort, Someone Like You is a heartfelt tale of hope, forgiveness, faith and more. It's a touching romance sure to pull on the heartstrings.

Now a major motion picture starring Sarah Fisher!

Science raises questions only hope and faith can answer in this instant New York Times bestselling “tale of forgiveness and love” (Woman’s World) from Karen Kingsbury.

Andi Allen is shaken to the core when she finds out everything she believed about her life was a lie. Her parents had always planned to tell her the truth about her past: that she was adopted as an embryo. But somehow the right moment never happened.

Then a total stranger confronts Andi with the truth and tells her something else that rocks her world—Andi had a sister she never knew about. Betrayed, angry, and confused, Andi leaves her new job and fiancé, rejects her family’s requests for forgiveness, and moves to Birmingham to find out who she really is.

Dawson Gage’s life was destroyed when London Quinn, the only girl he ever loved, is killed. In the hospital waiting room, London’s mother reveals that London might have had a sibling. When Dawson finds Andi and brings her to Birmingham, the Quinns—her biological parents—welcome her into their lives and hearts. Andi is comforted by the Quinns’ love and intrigued by their memories of London, who was so much like her. Is this the family and the life she was really meant to have?

Now it will take the love of Dawson Gage to help Andi know who she is...and to help her find her way home in this “emotional, thoughtful tale” (Publishers Weekly).

Some of the original characters names and locations in this edition of Someone Like You have been changed to correspond with the film adaptation of the book.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781982104337
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 05/05/2020
Series: Baxter Family Series
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: eBook
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 3,033
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

About The Author
Karen Kingsbury, #1 New York Times bestselling novelist, is America’s favorite inspirational storyteller, with more than twenty-five million copies of her award-winning books in print. Her last dozen titles have topped bestseller lists and many of her novels are under development as major motion pictures. Karen recently opened her own film company called Kingsbury Productions. The company’s first theatrical movie, Someone Like You, is considered one of the most anticipated movies of the year. For more information visit SomeoneLikeYou.movie. Also, the first three seasons of Karen’s Baxter Family books are now an original series called The Baxters on Prime Video. Karen and her husband, Donald, live in Tennessee near their children and grandchildren.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1 1
Like a tumor in her chest, for twenty-four years Jenny Allen had carried the lie.

Every morning she woke to the reality of it. She lived and loved around it and tried not to think about the way it pressed against her heart and soul and how it sometimes took her breath. But the bombshell that was her very life had never felt more ominous, never consumed her the way it did today.

Here in Amon G. Carter Stadium at her daughter Andi’s graduation from Texas Christian University.

Jenny slid a little closer to her husband, Jim. He was on her side, at least that. She put her arm around their younger daughter, Amy. Jenny’s dad and stepmom were here, too—Henry and Evelyn Benson. Also Andi’s longtime boyfriend, Matt Bryan.

All six of them sat in the stands together, thrilled that the day had finally come. Jenny glanced at Matt, at the anticipation in his expression and the way his eyes locked onto the place midfield where Andi sat with her class. The boy had loved Andi for years. He’d already talked to Jim. The engagement was coming. Probably as soon as they returned to Nashville. Maybe even at the party the extended family was throwing for Andi.

A party happening tomorrow night.

She drew a deep breath and leaned into Jim’s shoulder. Graduates were still streaming into the stadium, still filling the seats while a marching band played from the bleachers across the field. The ceremony wouldn’t begin for another ten minutes at least. “Can you believe it?” Jenny turned to her husband. “When did she grow up?” Jenny found their daughter amidst the sea of students on the field. Tan high heels and a white sundress beneath her navy gown.

“One day at a time.” Jim shaded his eyes and looked at the field. “Every morning moved her closer to this day. Diapers and pigtails, homework and prom dates. All of it went way too fast.” Jim took Jenny’s hand and sat a little straighter. His smile barely lifted the corners of his mouth. “I’m proud of her. All she’s accomplished.”

He was right. Better to think about Andi’s success than Jenny’s own weighty lie. Andi had started her college career as a dancer. Back then all she talked about was singing and being on stage. But midway through her sophomore year she found a different passion.

Working with animals.

On breaks from school, Andi had volunteered at the Humane Society and spent twenty hours a week at a local veterinarian’s office. Last summer she interned at the Nashville Zoo in the animal husbandry division and now she was waiting for a call from her supervisor about a more long-term position.

“I like the stripes.” Jenny’s dad grinned at her from two seats down. “She’s easy to spot.”

“That she is.” Jenny smiled down at their daughter, her cap decked in black-and-white zebra stripes. “She should hear about the position by the end of the week.”

Amy nodded. “She’ll get the zoo job. I know she will.”

Jenny patted Amy’s hand. “You’re such a good sister.”

She smiled. “I try.”

For a long moment Jenny studied her other daughter. Amy was much younger than Andi, a pretty blond who was a junior in high school, a cheerleader. Amy adored Andi, but neither of them knew the truth.

Jenny drew a quick breath. She and Jim should’ve said something by now. It was that simple. They had planned to tell Andi before she started kindergarten and again the day after her tenth birthday. But there never seemed to be a right moment. Time passed and the summer before high school became the perfect time to sit her down and tell her the news.

But again the talk never happened.

Now Andi was graduating from college and still she didn’t know the truth. Jenny pressed her free hand to her stomach. She and Jim were doctors. They ran a pediatric clinic near downtown Nashville. She better than most people knew the toll stress could take on a person.

Carrying a lie like this one could cause an actual tumor. Science had proven that.

The stadium was filling up. Jenny met Jim’s eyes again. He wasn’t thinking about the lie. Not today, in the midst of such a highlight. The falsehood wasn’t on his mind at all, at least it didn’t seem like it. Jim’s expression grew softer. “I blink and I can see us again, holding her for the first time that day at the hospital.”

“Mmmm.” Jenny nodded. Labor with Andi had taken twenty hours. But holding her that first time made her forget every minute of it. She angled her face, her eyes still locked on his. “Forever in my heart.”

Jenny stared off. No matter what came out of her mouth, times like this—milestones and major moments—she could barely think about anything but the lie. These moments were totally different for Jim. He seemed to focus on anything but the truth. And Jenny never wanted to ruin the mood. But how could she talk about the truth with Andi if she couldn’t first discuss it with Jim?

Every now and then they would both be on the same page. Brushing their teeth, getting ready for bed, and the topic would come up. When were they going to tell her? How were they going to break the news? Together they would agree on the following weekend or the next Christmas break.

But when those times came, the last thing they wanted was to ruin Andi’s happiness.

Jenny let the years roll back. It was on a day like this that the whole thing had started. Jenny’s brother Derek had been about to graduate from Tennessee University and Jenny was sitting with Jim and her family when Chad Daniels, a fellow doctor and friend, approached them.

“Can we talk?” Chad had been Jim’s friend since medical school. He and his father ran a fertility clinic in town. That day Chad had looked serious. So Jenny and Jim excused themselves from the group and moved with Chad a few rows back to an empty section in the stadium. When it was just the three of them, Chad pressed on. “My father has a colleague who has gained ownership of a frozen embryo. He thought... you might be interested.”

Back then, Jenny and Jim had been trying for years to have a baby. Their families would’ve been shocked to know they couldn’t get pregnant. With their busy careers everyone just assumed Jenny and Jim weren’t ready for babies yet. Their struggle with having a child was something they hadn’t told anyone except Chad and his father.

And so they had met a few times with Chad in the weeks leading up to Derek’s graduation. The plan was to take the least invasive steps at first, and if they still had no baby, to move toward in vitro fertilization. But there was a problem. Jim’s numbers made even that a remote possibility.

Jenny could still remember the way her heart had skipped a beat when Chad began the quiet conversation that day. A frozen embryo? Neither of them had considered such a thing. Jim spoke first. “You mean, taking someone else’s frozen embryo and...”

“And implant it in Jenny.” Chad had never seemed more serious. “It’s only been done a handful of times, but with a relatively high success rate.”

That day, in the most surreal conversation Jenny could remember before or since, Chad explained that a couple in Birmingham, Alabama, had successfully delivered a baby through IVF. But the birth was complicated, the woman’s kidneys were damaged. So the couple decided they were finished having children. But there was a problem.

One frozen embryo remained.

A tiny little soul on ice that the couple wouldn’t dream of having washed down a medical office sink. “As you know, embryos are very small children.” Chad had looked intently at them. “That’s what I believe, anyway.” He paused. “My dad told me to see if you were interested. Before he found another couple.”

“Has the Birmingham couple signed a release form?” Jim leaned over his knees and stared at Chad. “Is there even paperwork for this kind of thing?”

Chad nodded. “It’s new, but yes. The Birmingham couple has officially terminated rights to the embryo and signed it over to a doctor in Alabama. That was more than four years ago. The baby has been in a deep freeze canister since then.”

“And it’s still viable?” Jim had looked doubtful. “An embryo on ice that long?”

“All research suggests it is.” Chad had shrugged. “A few weeks ago that doctor met my dad at a conference. He’d sort of forgotten about the embryo until he and my dad talked. He found out my father and I work with infertility.” Chad took a breath. “He signed over the embryo to our clinic so we could find a willing couple.”

“How would that work with us?” Jim shook his head. “The baby already belongs to your clinic.”

“It’s temporary. We would sign rights to you and Jenny... if you’re interested.” Chad took a breath. “It’s a transfer of property, technically. You would sign paperwork at implantation.” His expression had darkened. “There is one thing. The Birmingham couple wants complete secrecy surrounding this.”

Understandably the pair had known how rare embryo adoption was and that the media might turn the situation into a circus. “You two would have permission to tell your child or children, of course. And any close family members. But otherwise you’d have to keep the details to yourself. Any baby you might have from the embryo would not have permission to find his or her biological parents, and the biological parents have committed to never look for any children that might come from this.”

Secrecy had seemed like a small concession at the time. Jim and Jenny promised to talk about the possibility and get back to Chad. But in the end there was nothing to talk about. If Jenny took the appropriate hormones, and if she allowed Chad’s father—Dr. Daniels—to surgically implant the embryo, she could be pregnant in a matter of months.

Which was exactly what happened.

Dr. Daniels implanted the frozen embryo into Jenny’s uterus and before Jenny and Jim had time to explain the situation to their families, she was expecting. The embryo took. One precious child.

After that, with everyone they knew congratulating Jenny and Jim on the pregnancy, it had seemed awkward to talk about how the baby got there. No one had ever heard of embryo adoption. Why worry their families? And in an attempt to honor the other couple’s wishes, Jenny and Jim made a decision. Better to keep the details to themselves. That way they wouldn’t be in danger of violating the contract.

Besides, it was easy to believe the baby really was Jenny’s. The child had grown inside her, after all. When the tiny infant kicked, Jenny felt her little feet, and week by week she watched her belly grow. What could be more real than that?

When they found out the baby was a girl, they chose the most obvious name.

Her name meant “strong and brave.” Which was the only way to describe how Jenny had gone from infertility to motherhood so quickly.

They were always going to tell Andi, really they were. But most days it was easier to go along with the lie, pretend Andi was their own flesh and blood. Andi looked like them, after all. And Jenny even had the stretch marks to prove it.

Seven years later, Amy was a surprise. A natural pregnancy. Dr. Daniels told them that sometimes after an embryo adoption, a woman’s body is able to get pregnant. For Jenny and Jim their second baby was simply a miracle. Another gift from heaven.

But somehow Jenny and Jim fell away from God. Too busy, too academic. They had the children they wanted so God fell by the wayside. Not until after Amy fell into a swimming pool at a birthday party and nearly drowned did Jenny and Jim run back to the faith they’d started with.

And even then they didn’t tell Andi the truth.

The memories faded as the familiar refrains of “Pomp and Circumstance” filled the stadium. Jenny stared at Andi again. She would tell Matt yes if he asked her tomorrow. So Andi was about to get married. Which meant she would likely have babies of her own one day. And then she would have to know the truth.

Please don’t hate me, baby girl. God, please help her not to hate me.

Now these twenty-four years later, Jenny had no idea how she and Jim would break the news to Andi. How could she tell her daughter, the one she gave birth to, that she had biological parents in Alabama? That she wasn’t a part of the Allen family, like she’d always thought.

And that everything she’d ever believed about her life was not the truth, but a lie.

A terrible, cancerous, all-consuming lie.

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