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A forced sentence leads to a reckless passion…….
When my husband walked out on me over a year ago, it devastated me. When the divorce papers came, it killed me. When we had to sell our house, it broke me.
But then he moved in with his new flavor of the month and told our daughter his new woman wasn’t into children. That pissed me off.
Now Riley feels abandoned, and I can’t make it better; no matter how hard I try. I’m desperate to help her adjust to the loss of a male figure in her life. The companion program that matches adults up with children who have loneliness and abandonment issues is my last hope.
The counselors tell me he’s doing community service hours, and I ask to sit in on his meetings with Riley. The minute I see him astride the matte black Harley, I know neither my nor Riley’s life will ever be the same again.
Community Service. Two words I should be thankful for, but I’m not. I resent the hours it’s away from building my business. The two previous kids I’d been paired up with didn’t work out because their mothers were more interested in getting in my bed. This next match with a little girl is my last hope. Unless this kid works out, I’m destined to serve time.
When they push her into the room wearing pink converse with a black dress, her crazy curls barely held back by the barrette in her hair, and studious glasses on her face, I can tell she’s scared – of new people, of change, of being pushed aside. Something inside of me breaks, and I want this girl to feel wanted again.
What I’m unprepared for is meeting her mom. The second our hands touch, there are fireworks, bright lights, and a picture of the future I could one day have. The future I’ve never allowed myself to wish for.
Community service becomes more than a chore, more than time I resent for being taken away from me. In the months that follow, I realize they’re just like me: they’ve been abandoned, left behind by the world, forgotten by those who should love them.
Thanks to the one last hope in both our lives – we found the light in the darkness we’d been searching for.
Hadley is a divorced single mum, raising her daughter with no help from her father. When her husband left her for a young secretary, she was forced to give up the life of abundance and have two jobs to make the ends meet. But she’s ready to do anything for her daughter.
Since Riley’s father wants nothing to do with her, Hadley wants her to have a male figure in her life, a reliable man that can prove Riley that not all men are assholes. That’s were Patrick, or Trick as he likes to be called, steps into the picture. He’s on parole and has 900 hours of community service to do. The community service is the reason he is involved with the Companion Program. He just wants to serve the time he is due and begin his life as a free man.
Trick is paired with Riley and they connect instantly. Hadley is doubtful and scared, that Trick will cause her daughter yet another disappointment. But time goes on and this tattooed, Harley-driving bike shop owner proves to be trustworthy. Then comes the complication – feelings. Spending so much time together on regular basis draws Trick and Hadley towards each other. Do they have the courage let somebody behind the brick walls that both of them have built to protect themselves?
I liked how Laramie Briscoe has written the hardships of a single mother. The book has the taste of real life, although some events are more plausible than others, but nothing’s over the top. And I loved that.
I loved Trick. Not only because he’s a hot but because he accepts full responsibility for all the mistakes he’s made. And how he treats Riley, this little girl that is far too old for her age, he doesn’t belittle her but gives her the recognition she deserves. Riley isn’t a means to an end for Trick, but he truly bonds with her and wants to be a part of her life no matter what the outcome is for him and her mother. Laramie has written that part of the story outstandingly!
There were just two things that bothered me; why was G introduced in such a way when he had no significant role whatsoever in the story? And what happened with Hadley’s ex-husband, that was too easy and definitely not plausible.
This story is easy to read in sense that the writing is simply that good. I loved how the growth of the characters was shown, gaining confidence to be what they aspire. There is passion, make or break decisions, struggle between doubts and trust, ordinary life… just everything in well-balanced composition that leaves you smiling after turning the last page.