The Truth About Hope

The Truth About Hope

by Kate James

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Overview

The Truth About Hope by Kate James

Who is Hope Wilson? 

Is she the girl her former hometown thinks she is? Or the girl Luke Carter once loved—and maybe still does? 

When Hope returns to Canyon Creek, Texas, to honor her father's last wishes, there's only one person on her mind: her high school sweetheart, Luke. The boy she lied to when she had to leave Canyon Creek as a teen, finding it easier to hide what she really felt than deal with the grief of loss. Her father's fortune could make a big difference to Canyon Creek—but Hope finds that the townspeople have a long memory when it comes to his misdeeds. With a plan to make amends on his behalf, Hope learns the truth about herself. And the truth about love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781460381663
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 05/01/2015
Sold by: HARLEQUIN
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 738,765
File size: 338 KB

About the Author

Kate spent much of her childhood abroad before attending university in Canada. She built a successful business career, but her passion has always been literature. As a result Kate turned her energy to her love of the written word. Kate's goal is to entertain her readers with engaging stories featuring strong, likable characters. Kate has been honored with numerous awards for her writing. She and her husband, Ken, enjoy traveling and the outdoors with their beloved Labrador Retrievers.

Read an Excerpt

Canyon Creek, Texas
August 2001


"I am not moving to San Jose!" Hope Wilson surged out of her chair and sent it toppling.

Arthur Burrows raised a hand. "Calm down, please. I know this isn't easy for you."

Hope leaned forward, bracing her hands on the lawyer's desk. "Isn't easy for me?" Her eyes stung and she felt the familiar tightening in her chest, but she refused to let the tears come. The anger somehow made her feel alive again. "My mother's funeral was yesterday, now you tell me this, and you say it's not easy?"

"I know this is all very difficult. No one could've foreseen your mother passing away so suddenly. Why don't you sit down?" he encouraged her. "Let's finish going over your mother's will."

Instead, Hope spun around and moved to the window. Outside, the brilliant sunshine filtered through the high canopy of ash and oak trees. Wicker baskets hung from decorative lampposts, their profusion of flowers spilling over in bold sweeps of color. People strolled along the wide, cobblestoned sidewalks of Center Street, as if they didn't have a care in the world.

How could everything look so normal when her life was over?

"Hope, please sit down," Arthur repeated.

She was on the verge of another tirade but stopped herself. She couldn't blame Mr. Burrows. He hadn't caused her problems. He was her mother's lawyer, and if anybody could help her find a way out of this predicament, it would be him. It certainly wouldn't serve her purposes to antagonize him.

She turned from the window and strode to the chair, righted it and flopped down. Continuing to fight a battle with her temper, she could almost hear her mother's admonition about being polite and respectful. It made her want to cry again. "Sorry about the way I behaved just now," she said in a subdued voice. "But I'm not moving to San Jose."

"Now, Hope." Arthur sat back. "I'm afraid you don't have much choice."

"But my mother wanted Aunt Clarissa to take care of me. You said it's in her will."

"That's true," Arthur agreed patiently. "However, your father's rights override your mother's wishes in this case."

Hope's fury began to simmer once more, but it was overshadowed by a debilitating sense of anguish and fear, of being alone. "You can't make me leave Canyon Creek. I'm not a child anymore," she cried, but suddenly felt very much like one. Even to her own ears she sounded like one. She blinked furiously to stave off the tears.

"Look, Hope. I understand how upsetting this is for you, but you really don't have a say in the matter. According to Texas law, at seventeen you're still a minor. When I notified your father that Rebecca had passed away, his lawyer contacted me immediately. He was unequivocal about the fact that your father wants you to live with him." Arthur's voice turned conciliatory. "He's your father. He's family. Where better for you to be, with your mother gone?"

"He is not my family!" Hope raised her eyes to the ceiling and took three deep breaths. "He stopped being my father when he walked out on Mom and me, when I was two. I don't even remember him. Don't make me go," she pleaded. "Mom had some money saved, and I have our house. I can work part-time while I finish school."

"Hope, you don't have to do that. Your father is a very wealthy man. Financially, he's prepared to give you a lot more than the allowance your mother was receiving from him. He's willing to take you in, pay for your education. You can't imagine how hard that would be for you on your own, even if it was a possibility."

"What about what he did when he left? Closing down his business and hurting all the people who depended on those jobs? He and my mother grew up with the people who worked for him. What kind of man does that to his friends? How guilty do you think that's always made me feel? And you want me to go live with a man like that?"

"It's not a matter of me wanting you to live with him. It's what he wants."

Hope swiped a hand under her nose. "I don't want to leave. I want to stay here. Aunt Clarissa said she'd move to Canyon Creek to be with me. You're a lawyer. Can't you figure something out?" she beseeched. "Other kids my age are allowed to live on their own."

"It's called emancipation and it's rare. There has to be a reason for a court to grant that. I'm afraid there's no compelling argument in your case. Take some time, Hope. Get used to the idea. I'm sure it'll turn out just fine."

Luke Carter pushed away from the bicycle rack he'd been leaning against as soon as Hope came out of the building. With his long strides, he was next to her almost instantly. "How did it go?"

"Okay," she mumbled, walking past him.

"Hey. Hey!" He hurried after her and reached for her hand. "You don't look like it went okay."

She yanked free and stuffed both hands in her pockets to keep Luke from grabbing one again. Her head bent, she moved forward at a brisk pace.

"Hey!" He passed her and stopped directly in her path, grasping her shoulders. She kept her head lowered, her long mahogany hair hiding her face. Luke shook her gently and bent down to study her face. "It's me. You can't lie to me."

When Hope remained silent, he gave her another light shake. "It's me," he said again. "You can tell me anything."

On top of the pain and fear, Hope was now livid with herself. What was she doing, shutting him out? This was Luke. Her best friend since they were in grade school. Her boyfriend since last year. Luke had been there for her all her life. She knew firsthand how hard it was when people you cared about left you—as her father had and now in a different way her mother, too. How could she tell Luke that she was leaving Canyon Creek? That she was leaving him.

Hope let out a ragged breath. Through lowered lashes, she studied Luke's perfect face, the thick mop of chestnut-brown hair and those expressive gold-flecked amber eyes that made her think of a lion. How was she going to do it? How was she going to break the news to Luke, explain to all their friends that she was going to live with the man who'd caused so much harm to their town and to many of their families?

She pulled one hand out of her pocket and placed it gently in the crook of Luke's arm. "I just need a little time." She saw the flicker of frustration on his face before compassion eclipsed it. He took a step back and to the side. "Yeah, okay. But remember I'm here. Whatever you need. We've always been there for each other."

"I know." She rose up on her toes to kiss his cheek. "I appreciate it."

Hope walked home alone to the little brick bungalow she and her mother had shared since they'd been on their own and let herself in.

Once inside, she stood very still. Everything was the same, but everything had changed.

She knew Aunt Clarissa was there because her Camry was parked in the driveway.

Aunt Clarissa, who lived in San Antonio about two-and-a-half hours southwest, had hurried to Canyon Creek to be with Hope when Hope's mother had collapsed from a burst brain aneurysm a week ago, killing her without any symptoms or warning. Fortunately, as a survey associate for a market research company, Clarissa was able to work anywhere there was a telephone and an internet connection. They'd talked about Clarissa's moving to Canyon Creek and becoming Hope's legal guardian, as her mother's will specified. With the lawyer's bombshell, that was no longer an option.

Maybe if Clarissa was truly her aunt it would've been possible. But just like Hope, her mother had been an only child. Rebecca and Clarissa had become best friends as teenagers, and Clarissa was the closest thing to family that Hope had. She'd called her aunt since she was a toddler and loved her as much as she could've loved any family member.

Clarissa had wanted to accompany her to the meeting with the lawyer, but Hope knew Clarissa was in the middle of a project with a tight deadline. When a problem had arisen that morning, Hope had insisted she'd be fine on her own. Besides, Luke had offered to walk over to the lawyer's office with her, to keep her company and then wait for her outside. In the end, Clarissa had agreed to stay home. Now Hope had to tell her what the lawyer had said. Unlike the way she had with Luke, she wouldn't be able to forestall the inevitable with Clarissa.

Hope found Clarissa in the kitchen, bent over her laptop, fingers flying across the keys. Red-framed reading glasses perched on the bridge of her nose, and her hair looked as if she'd dragged her fingers through it more than once. Her foot tapped the tile floor to some silent beat. Clarissa always seemed to have limitless energy, yet just seeing her calmed Hope and eased her feeling of despair.

Clarissa had been there for her, as had Luke, in the long, dark days since her mother died. Now Hope would have to say goodbye to her, too. Canyon Creek and Clarissa's home in San Antonio were a world away from where she'd be living in California. Hope's throat clogged with unshed tears, and she tried to clear it with a little cough.

Clarissa's fingers stilled. Noticing Hope, she jumped up and rushed over, pulling her into a comforting hug. "You're back. How'd it go?"

"Not good" was Hope's muffled response.

With a final squeeze, Clarissa stepped away and searched Hope's face. The concern in her eyes was enough to make Hope lose control, and her body began to shake.

Clarissa slid an arm around Hope's waist and guided her to the kitchen table. "Here. Sit. I'll get you a cup of tea." She passed Hope a box of tissues, fixed two cups of tea and sat next to her. "I knew I should've gone with you. I just knew it. Tell me what happened."

Hope reached for a tissue and blew her nose. "The lawyer—Mr. Burrows—he says I have to live with my father. Move to San Jose," Hope said in a strangled voice.

"Yourfather?" Clarissa appeared shocked.

"How is that possible?"

Hope's face crumpled, and another deluge of tears threatened. She managed to explain what the lawyer had told her. "He…he said I… J don't have a choice." Her voice sounded that of a much younger child rather than the adult she had so vehemently asserted she was to Arthur Burrows. "What am I going to do?"

Although they'd spoken about the possible scenarios, Clarissa had insisted she'd move to Canyon Creek so Hope wouldn't have to leave her school and her friends. Now it seemed she'd be uprooted anyway, forced to live in a place she'd never seen, with a father who was a complete stranger to her. "This is so unfair," she wailed. "Mom was only forty-three. Why did she have to die?"

Hope's hands were busy shredding a damp tissue, and Clarissa enfolded them in her own. "There are no easy answers to your questions, honey. I'm not sure anyone knows what causes a brain aneurysm, and there's no telling when or if it will rupture. It was sudden, which means your mom didn't suffer. There should be some comfort in that."

Hope pulled her hands back and dropped her head into them as she continued to weep.

Clarissa wrapped her arms around Hope and rocked her gently. "Oh, Hope. I'm so sorry." When Hope's tears slowed and her breathing leveled, Clarissa eased back. She got another tissue and mopped the moisture streaming from Hope's eyes. "I should've gone with you."

"No. No, it's okay. It wouldn't have changed anything."

"Well, this isn't right." Clarissa rose. Riffling through the letters and notes in a basket on the kitchen counter, she located the lawyer's business card.

Hope felt a glimmer of optimism. She held her breath as Clarissa had a mostly one-sided conversation with Arthur Burrows, concluding the call with "I see. Yes, tomorrow's fine" and a curt "Thank you."

"What did Mr. Burrows say?" Hope asked as Clarissa sat back down.

She smoothed a few tendrils of Hope's hair from her forehead. "I'm going to see him tomorrow. We'll see what can be done."

Hope was sitting on the front steps of the house, a book on her lap, when Clarissa returned from her meeting with the lawyer. Clarissa lowered herself to the step and slid an arm around Hope's shoulders, drawing her close.

"I'm sorry, honey," Clarissa began. "I think Mr. Burrows is right. If your father wants you to live with him, there's not much we can do."

"But you said I could stay with you!"

"I did. But I never expected that we'd hear from your father—or that he'd insist on having you live with him."

"Can't we stop him? Can't we get him to change his mind?"

Clarissa ran a hand down the length of Hope's hair.

"I don't think so. Your father has the law on his side. Jock's lawyer made it clear to Mr.

Burrows that he's adamant. Mr. Burrows didn't get the feeling that it was negotiable."

"Can't we take some sort of legal action?"

"Your father has money, lots of it. Even if we wanted to fight him in court, we'd run out of money long before Jock felt the slightest ripple in his net worth. I'm sorry, but I can't see any way around it. It'll be okay, honey," Clarissa tried to reassure Hope.

"How can it be? I don't know my father. I've never been to California. You and Luke and all my friends are here. It's going to be awful"

"I'm sure it's not going to be that bad. We'll only be a phone call, Skype or email away. I'm certain your father will let you visit, too."

"That…that's not…the same." Hope could barely get the words out, she was sobbing so hard.

"Come here… Shh." Clarissa held Hope tighter. "You're going to be eighteen in less than a year. At eighteen, you'll legally be an adult. If things don't work out for you with your father, you can live with me then. But give it a chance first, okay?"

"It's almost a whole year. My friends will forget about me. And Luke…Luke will have a new girlfriend."

Hope thought about her father leaving her. Now her mother was gone, and it seemed that Aunt Clarissa was abandoning her, too, despite her promise. If she moved, Hope faced losing everyone close to her. She'd be all alone.

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The Truth About Hope 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
LolitaV More than 1 year ago
To summarize: I am glad I read this book as overall I did really enjoy it, it's written in a very original way and the way the story is told and spans so much time really worked. It's great to follow Hope her life and story over so much time and see her change and develop. The main character Hope was a great character and I really liked her determination and caring nature. There were some great side characters, but it was hard to get attached to them as they often only played a small part. I didn't really care for Luke or the romance. I just never felt it. There was a lot of telling instead of showing and hardly we see any scenes of these two together. Then there is a lot of drama, miscommunication, lack or communication and it really bothered me. If they had just talked about things it would've been solved way earlier. I also felt a bit distant from the story, seeing it all play out like that, but overall I did enjoy the book.
quibecca More than 1 year ago
4.5 STARS ACTUALLY! I saw this book going around in the book blogger world, and I had to go buy it.  It sounded so cute and was getting some great reviews.  I am so glad I bought it.  It was just so cute.   When hope leaves Canyon Creek she doesn't leave on good terms.  She makes everyone think she wants nothing to do with them.  That includes her long time boyfriend Luke Carter.  She breaks up with him, and cuts all ties to him.   When she finds out she has to return to Canyon Creek she is very apprehensive.  She doesn't want to face all the pain that places brings back to her.  She didn't want to do what was required of her to get an inheritance.  She just wants to continue running her dog shelter, and not worry about her "past" life.  When she decides that going back is the only way she is going to get the money to save her shelter, she does so, with a very heavy heart. I really enjoyed this story.  I enjoyed the growth that the little town of Canyon Creek goes though, and I love how much Hope grew.  She was faced with a lot of obstacles.  I love the story between Luke and Hope.  It was so frustrating at times, but so very sweet also.   This is a sweet book about love, loss, forgiveness, and acceptance.  It's a fun, fast read and it just gave me that "awww sweet" feeling when it was over.  Just an all around good book. Source:  I bought this book for myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.
Melissa0003 More than 1 year ago
I love reading Ms. James books they are so heartwarming. The Truth About Hope is a sweet book of people coming together for a greater good. Before leaving town to go live with her father Hope says something pretty awful things that results in people being hurt. Her behavior has never implied she was unhappy and Luke her boyfriend can’t understand why she’s become so haughty.   Fast forward and Hope comes back unsure of her reception. Some remember yet Hope shows them she isn’t the same girl who handled leaving badly.  This is such a sweet and endearing read. Ms. James draws you with her storytelling and you come to care about the characters. We’ve all been hurt by someone’s words a time or two. But actions always speaking louder than any words said in anger or frustration.
HumorMyWay More than 1 year ago
Kate James always puts the warm back into heartwarming as she writes a story of heartbreak, lost, compassion, hurt and anger bring a town which lost so much over the years back together as a whole. Putting love back into a world that had so much hate through a father that took so much from so many. The story starts off with a young teen boy and girl who goes through some trying times and moves on to adulthood with so much lost due to one man who could not forgive or forget. Tearing apart not only two young lives but a whole town. Each must learn to forgive and forget before they can move on to a much better life. There are secrets that must come out in the light of day which are held close to their hearts. When they come out it is a time for healing and growing but it might be to late not only for Hope and Luke but for a whole town. Hope had me a little confused I am unsure why she felt the need to lie and cut so many out of her life. She made her choices and she had to learn to live with it, in the end she wishes she would have done things different. There is no changing time but they say time heals all wounds but in this case it might be to late. I really liked Hope she was a sweet women who had to deal with so much, with her mother dying and her father being so cold to her she doesn’t know why or what she has done for him not to love her. Now she must live with a man who is almost unkind, give up her true love and friends. Move so far away and start live again. She burnt so many bridges now that she needs to mend them it doesn’t look like she will be able to. Hope is such a compassionated women, caring loving and giving and misunderstood by so many. It breaks your heart how she deals with her young life and you are so proud of her as an adult. Luke you are just going to love he has some very hard times dealing with the fallout of what adults do. He is such a hurt young man who carries his pain to adulthood he can’t forgive when he needed her most she wasn’t there but he can’t get her out of his head. Only time will tell….. This was a book I didn’t want to put down the author gives you a compelling story of actions speaks louder than words. So many people hurt through one action that reaches out over years, reminding us that people’s memories last a life time. There are so many wonderful characters before the end you will adore them. You will fall in love with a small town who learns to give back as much as they are giving. I love Kate’s stories they always have meaning, reminding us of important issues that we sometimes forget. I love reading a book that teaches me a lesson I might have forgotten. Kate gives us a heartwarming read that really grips your heart putting family values back into our minds and hearts. A community was torn apart but a town was brought together learning important lessons as they come together to build and grow and become one as they unite the town into a place you are proud to call home. If you are an animal lover you will love this heartwarming read, I highly recommend this wonderful sweet read to anyone who just wants to feel warm and comfy inside.