Series Review – Family Blessings

The Dad Next Door

Lawman Joe Sheehan is desperate to bond with the daughter he’s just discovered he has. But as a virtual stranger to twelve-year-old Amelia, the task seems impossible. Until Claire Conley moves to town. A social worker renovating a mansion into a foster home, Claire is the first person to get through to Amelia. Falling for the single dad was not on Claire’s to-do list. But with Joe and Amelia around, the house finally starts to feel like home. Claire’s ready to fight to convince Joe that together they’ve done more than fix a house…they’ve built a family.

A Baby for the Doctor

After becoming a foster parent to a young boy, equine therapist Jordan Conley’s life gets turned upside down. Little Levi is in need of an exceptional pediatrician, which means seeking help from Dr. Ash Sheehan—a man that, despite her heart-pounding crush, isn’t her type. Her life is horses and hay, and she can’t imagine the suit-clad doctor in a pair of cowboy boots. As a confirmed bachelor, Ash has never been nervous around women, but there’s something about Jordan that flusters him, and working closely together doesn’t help. The last thing he’s looking for is long-term romance. But the more involved he gets, the more he wishes they could stay together…always.

Their Secret Baby Bond

He wanted roots. She chose career. Can a baby bring them back together? Wynn Sheehan planned to change the world—not return to Alabama alone and pregnant. Her life is in shambles, but at least she can help take care of Latham Grant’s ailing grandpa. Latham isn’t ready to trust the woman who eagerly left him and their small town behind. But can they ignore the spark rekindled by unexpected Family Blessings?

The Marriage Bargain

Family Blessings lead to new beginnings. Jules Sheehan will do anything to keep custody of the two orphaned girls in her care—including a marriage of convenience with their uncle. Cam Quinn crosses the globe as a travel writer, but he’s ready to settle down. Now tough, tender Jules is offering the home he’s secretly longed for. Can this marriage in name only become a family of the heart?

My Review

This series by Stephanie Dees focuses a family that has a big heart and passion for loving foster kids who need a home and a Savior.

The Dad Next Door: I read this book after reading book 2 in the series, so I had already connect with Joe, Claire, and Amelia, but I enjoyed reading about their start as a family. I admire Joe for the way he stepped right into fatherhood, even with some bumbling and learning, he was immediately steadfast and gave it his whole heart. At the end he paints a picture for their future that melted my heart. I promptly sighed and read it to hubs. A foster brood sounds about perfect to us too.

As a former foster mom, I admired the passion that Claire poured into renovating the house with the intention to foster a bunch of kids who needed love and God’s care, despite the hurdles that pop up. Having read the rest of the series, I know we get to see Claire more, and this aspect come out more and more.

A Baby for the Doctor: I LOVED THIS BOOK – by page 2. I connected with Jordan right away. As a former foster mom, I knew just what she was feeling throughout the book: the joy, the heartbreak, the face on the floor prayers. Ms. Dee did a fantastic job bringing the realities of foster parenting while also giving it the positive perspective that often lacks in fiction.

Ash was swoony and steadfast. His heart for kids will make you melt and smile. While I don’t live with diabetes, I do have a chronic illness, so I also connected with Ash, who was in a good place dealing with day in and out of life with a chronic disease while not letting it get the best of him. I appreciated that Ms. Dees also showed the side of him that got fed up, because we all have those days as well, but he didn’t let drag him down.

Their Secret Baby Bond: I already like Latham having read the first two books in the series and was hoping he’d get an HEA! I also knew something was up with Wynn when I met her in the 2nd book. I enjoyed this story about lost and returned loves, broken hearts and dreams, and God’s restoration. Ms. Dees approached a topic that isn’t often told from a faith perspective – that of an out of marriage pregnancy, but she uses the Sheehans and their community to show Wynn that God has not turned his back on her for her choices and that he can bring beautiful things out of them.

Latham shows us how we may have dreams, but when life happens it’s not an abandonment of those dreams, but a changing. He really made me think as I have dreams that haven’t gone as I imagined, but this story reminded me that God can still use those, just in an unexpected way.

The Marriage Bargain: Marriages of convenience are one of my favorite premises, but pulling them off in a contemporary setting can be difficult. I think Ms. Dees did a good job of a plausible story line giving the reasoning and feelings of both the hero and heroine and why they decided to dive in. While I may think it a bit far fetched having experience with the custody courts, if I was in the same position as Jules, I can’t say that I wouldn’t come up with a similar hare brained idea. I’ve also seen the courts make decisions opposite of what you think is best for the kids, but that’s where trusting God’s plan critical. Jules, like all of us do at some point, leaps forward to take the situation into her own hands.

What helped make this marriage of convenience more realistic for me is that there was an instant attraction. While relationships shouldn’t be based all on the physical, you can’t deny that love at first sight exists – it’s just a different type of love. A deeper long lasting love based on friendship has to grow with time and for Jules and Cam this love is show through a slow tantalizing burn.

We also get to visit with all the other characters from the series, which I loved, without feeling like you missed backstory. A satisfying ending to a series.

I received the series from the author but was not required to write a postive review.

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