He needs a wife. She wants to belong. Nobody has to fall in love.
For five years, Tommy Russell’s ex-wife has controlled every aspect of his life, using his devotion to their daughter as a hammer. Now, she’s threatening to take him to court to get his partial custody revoked.
Jade Clarke didn’t expect the Hewitts to roll out the red carpet when she showed up at Hope Ranch. But they did. And they invited her to stay. As much as she craves their acceptance and love, she’s suspicious of anything that comes without strings.
When Tommy’s ex tries to use his unmarried status against him, he blurts out that he’s actually in a relationship with Jade. Jade agrees to go along with his fake relationship during his daughter’s next visit, but his daughter wants to be part of their wedding and is pushing for them to make it official while she’s in town. Tommy hesitates, but better alternatives are hard to find, and Jade is actually on board.
Theirs wouldn’t be the first marriage of convenience in history.
Will marrying Jade be the answer to Tommy’s prayers or a catastrophic complication?
I enjoyed reading Hope for Family, Book 5 in Elizabeth Maddrey’s Hope Ranch series. The Hope Ranch books are stand-alone romance stories. That said, since the stories have a sibling connection and they all live on a New Mexico ranch owned by their paternal grandparents, there are benefits from reading the earlier books and seeing how Tommy and Jade’s back story plays out on the page.
Tommy is a cowboy who works at Hope Ranch with the Hewitt family. He has struggled for many years with his lawyer to secure a workable custody arrangement that would enable Tommy to spend time with his daughter. Olivia is now thirteen years old, and her manipulative mother is making it super-difficult for Tommy to see Olivia.
Jade feels like the odd one out in the Hewitt family. She never knew her father, and she has landed at Hope Ranch with her paternal grandparents plus a bunch of half siblings. Jade has come to faith since arriving at Hope Ranch. Her experience of family with her new found grandparents and half siblings is very different to her experiences growing up with her manipulative mother.
Jade becomes friends with Tommy, and Jade’s heart breaks over Tommy’s estrangement from his daughter. Olivia’s mother reminds Jade of her own mother, and she empathises with Tommy and Olivia’s difficult situation.
When circumstances lead to Tommy needing a fake relationship to assist in his custody battle, Jade readily agrees to help him. Their developing feelings and simmering attraction complicate the situation and put them on a rocky path to happily-ever-after. I highly recommend Hope for Family to contemporary Christian romance readers who like single dad and fake relationship romance stories with a strong faith element that deal with real-to-life issues.