The Husband, the four book in my A Keeper Series, is now available! This book features Kate Malone, the founder and CEO of a growing PR firm in Portland, Oregon, and Jared Reed, a consultant. The couple has filed for divorced, but then they gain custody of their best friends' four-month-old daughter. Will a marriage of convenience for the baby's sake turn into a second chance at making things work between them?
Cover and Blurb
No matter how hard Kate Malone strives to be perfect, everyone she's ever loved leaves. She foolishly believed “I do” meant “forever.” Now, her wedding ring is in a jewelry box, and she's alone once again. But when Kate and her soon-to-be ex-husband become the sole guardians of an infant, divorce is not an option with a new baby counting on them.
Jared Reed loves Kate more than anything—even if he did push her too far. Now he's determined to keep his promises to his best friends and especially to his wife. A marriage of convenience sounds rather inconvenient, but Jared will do whatever it takes to get Kate back and provide their new little girl with parents who not only love her, but love each other, too.
Parenting brings them closer, but their undeniable attraction makes Kate want to keep her distance. Jared, however, won't give up on having the family and marriage he wants. Can Jared prove to his wife that he's the husband she's always wanted before it's too late?
Jared reached toward the baby before placing his arm at his side. “I’ve been thinking about the guardianship issue.”
“Me, too.” Kate stared at ten tiny fingers. “It won’t be easy. We know nothing about babies.”
“You’re right, and this will be difficult on Cassidy. She doesn’t know what’s happening or where her parents went, so we need to make sure she’s the priority.”
“I agree.” Kate looked at him. “We need to consider Cassidy and the effect on her with every decision we make.”
Suddenly, the situation didn’t seem so overwhelming to Kate. She wasn’t alone. She and Jared were discussing matters logically, rationally, without disagreeing. A positive sign. She only hoped they continued to get along.
Jared’s natural smile sent her heart beating faster. “Sounds like a good plan.”
His agreeing bolstered her spirits and gave her the courage to ask what had been on her mind. “Once Cassidy is released from the hospital, can I please take her to Portland with me? At least until the divorce is final.”
“Another good idea.” His gaze traveled from the baby to Kate. “My family can watch Cassidy when you’re at work. Unless you have a better idea?”
Child care. Kate hadn’t considered that, but a nanny or daycare made little sense when the Reed clan lived in the same city. And Susan wanted Cassidy to be part of a large family.
“I hadn’t,” Kate admitted. “Will your family mind?”
He laughed. “They’ll be fighting over the baby to see who watches her first.”
She should have known it wouldn’t be an issue. The Reeds had circling the family wagons down to a science.
Kate clutched the edge of the crib, careful not to move it. “That’ll be good for both Cassidy and me.”
And Susan. That was what she wanted for her daughter. She must be smiling up in Heaven.
Except, would Kate see the recrimination in Jared’s family’s eyes? Sure, they invited her to dinner and gatherings, but they weren’t happy about the divorce. Some had been vocal about it, which was why she’d stopped seeing them.
“This will be a good arrangement while we figure things out for the long term.” His eyes zeroed in on a display with numbers. “I’ll come down and help on weekends.”
Her pulse kicked up a notch. “That would be great.”
His gaze locked with hers. The temperature in the room increased by ten degrees. Kate needed another soda or a glass of water or a…kiss.
She stared at the baby, who hadn’t stirred.
A kiss was the last thing she needed—wanted. Her reaction had to be because of the situation. The grief following the deaths of Susan and Brady. The emotion of being named Cassidy’s guardians.
Kate wouldn’t allow herself to think otherwise. He’d mentioned the long term, which raised a question. “What about after the divorce?”
“The best thing for Cassidy is parents who are married.”
Kate stiffened. She forced herself to look away from Cassidy and at Jared. “That’s what Susan and Brady would have preferred. But in our case, a traditional family is not possible.”
A beat passed. “It is if we didn’t get a divorce.”
His words hung in the air.
That was the craziest idea Kate had ever heard. She almost laughed, except he wasn’t smiling. The serious gleam in his eyes told her he wasn’t kidding. Okay, she appreciated him suggesting a noble gesture for the baby’s sake, but one of them had to be realistic.
“What difference would not divorcing make?” Kate loosened and then tightened her hands on the crib. “We hardly saw each other when we lived in the same house. Now we live in different states. Marriage would never work.”
“Don’t you want Cassidy?”
That wasn’t fair.
“You know I do.” Kate wanted the baby so much the fierceness surprised her. Once again, she fought the urge to touch Cassidy. “But staying married under our current circumstances—”
“Let’s change the circumstances.”