Jules Summers, a proverbial Jonah, runs from family, career, and neighborhood. Where’s she going? To find a place of healing for wounds so deep, she shuts the door against the very One who restores. But God never abandons and a kindergarten angel arrives, towing her father, Rhett Carsen. Rhett Carsen vows never to marry again. He redoubles his efforts to raise his motherless daughter alone, but runs into trouble when work sends him traveling. His daughter instantly bonds with newcomer Jules Summers, who in turn assists him in caring for his daughter. She seems like the answer to his prayers—an instant live-in nanny. Yet, why does she captivate his every thought? They work together as a team to care for Rhett’s child. But is “practicality” the only thing God has planned for these two? Or could there be a whole lot more?
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“And God bless Grammy and Gramps, Nona and Nono, Daddy, Julie, Lucy, Goldie and Mrs. Steeler, and all my friends at school. And please send a sister for me ’cause I really need one. Amen.” Andi stood up from her prayer position on the floor beside her bed and climbed under the comforter.
Rhett clenched his jaw. For two weeks straight, the child had begged for a sister. When would she forget this silly notion? He brought the fuzzy pink blanket up and tucked it under her chin. “Listen, Peaches. You know God doesn’t give us everything we ask for, don’t you?”
She gave a sleepy sigh and blinked at him. “What do you mean, Daddy? Mrs. Steeler says Jesus give us good gifts. And we can’t quit praying. We have to keep asking until we get an answer.”
That Mrs. Steeler was certainly doing her job. He shrugged off his irrational irritation at this thought. “Yes, that’s true. But we must pray according to God’s will.”
Andi yawned. “What does that mean?”
“It means God knows what’s best for us. And sometimes, it’s not what we’re praying for.” He settled on the bed in the shadowed room and stroked her dark hair from her face. “You see, Andi, to have a little sister, Daddy would need to be married. And I’m not.”
Andi nodded, her lids drooping. “So I need to pray for a mommy first?”
Holy cow. Now what had he gotten himself into? Andi swung the blanket off and slipped once more to the floor on her knees, her little hands clasped in prayer.
“And, dear Jesus. We need a mommy first. Amen.” Andi clambered back in bed and covered up. “It’s okay, Daddy. God will take care of it.”
“Andi…” He paused as her eyes blinked closed and her body stilled. Instead of correcting her, he tiptoed from the room and shut the door. He stood outside, looking down the shadowed hallway, internally finishing the conversation.
It doesn’t happen like that. There will be no mommy. There will be no sister. You need to push it from your mind.
Man, he hated killing her dreams. He jammed his hands in his pockets and headed for his room. If they were handing out the award for the world’s worst dad tonight, he was sure to be close to the front of the line.