Confirmed bachelor Wade Sullivan falls hard for Starr Parnell and her three small kids. Then a freak tragedy steals Starr from them all. Reeling in shock and questioning the worth of his faith, Wade has little time to grieve. Someone needs to look after the precious children and help them through their loss.

Together Wade and the children give meaning to each other's lives—until Starr's abusive ex-husband shows up on the doorstep demanding the kids. Wade, however, refuses to give them up without a fight.

Social service worker Dee Thackery is sent in to assess the situation, and she learns that what should be a simple custody case is far from it. She begins to see Wade and the children as more than another case, but she fears the outcome, since courts tend to rule in favor of the natural parent. Can prayer change the mind of a suave and violent man determined to have his kids and his ex-wife's insurance money?

Readers will lose their hearts to the characters in this jewel of a story. Polished and excellently plotted, Raney's novel is engrossing from start to finish. (Jun., 352 pp., $12.99)
Reviewed by: 
Jill Elizabeth Nelson