Sunday, March 20, 2022

Then Came You (A Bradford Sisters Romance #0.5), by Becky Wade

Becky Wade, March 2017 

Garner Bradford is working for the family company, Bradford Shipping, living quietly, and expecting to live a conventional life, eventually becoming head of Bradford Shipping. When he meets Sylvie, a French woman who is traveling the world, she tells him within the first ten minutes that she will be leaving. She's not in his small town in Washington state to stay.

When they become lovers, he thinks that may change. When she becomes pregnant, he's sure of it. When she has the baby, a girl she names Willow, there's no doubt left.

When Willow is four weeks old, Sophie leaves. Garner is a single father with no idea how to adequately care for a baby, and he's working, and he's also shocked many in the rather conservative community by having a baby out of wedlock. He succeeds in finding a nanny, but it's still hard.

When he meets Robin, and they fall in love, life seems to have taken a dramatic turn for the better. In a surprisingly short time, Garner goes from being the single father of one daughter, to being the married father of two daughters. And then tragedy strikes.

Kathleen Burke is from a nearby small town, and since doing a paper on the life of Estée Lauder has been inspired by her life, and now wants to take her business degree to a job at Estée Lauder in New York. Unfortunately, Estée Lauder isn't hiring new graduates with no experience for the kind of job she wants, and for now, the offer she's gotten is for a job at Bradford Shipping. Frustratingly, Kathleen's family also has a family business, and her grandfather would be happy to hire her, while her mother, widowed when Kathleen and her brother Jacob were young, is certain it's the only sensible thing to do.

Kathleen is determined to make her own way in the world, not coast on the family money.

We get the story through Garner's journal, and notes to and telephone conversations with his mother and father, as well as Kathleen's phone conversations, voicemails, and text messages with her friend Rose, and her own mother. In this novella, told this way, the story is episodic, over several years, as Kathleen and Garner each progress through their careers, at first only slightly aware of each other. They get better acquainted as each works their way up the company, with Garner taking control unexpectedly early. It's a warm story, a gentle one despite the real tragedy within it, and it reflects the deep faith of both  main characters and their families. This may be a plus or minus for any given reader, but I didn't find it judgmental or intrusive.

An enjoyable read.

I bought this book.

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