Dees, Stephanie. The Dad Next Door. New York: Love Inspired Books, 2017.
Claire and her sister Jordan have inherited a farm in Red Hill Springs. It was owned by their biological father who gave them up for adoption when their birth mother died and he didn’t think he could handle twin babies. Joe is a former juvenile delinquent who was adopted by the Chief of Police and his wife when he was a young teen. When Joe returns to Red Hill Springs after he was shot in the line of duty, he discovers a daughter he didn’t know he had. Claire and Jordan renovate the farm house to use as a foster home. Both Joe and Claire face challenges in the community as they see acceptance for who they are now when members of the community see only the problems they “represent.”
Dees, Stephanie. A Baby for the Doctor. New York: Love Inspired Books, 2017.
Jordan’s sister Claire runs a foster home. Jordan does equine therapy on the same farm. Claire gets an emergency call for a 3-year-old suffering the effects of abuse who needs to be picked up from the hospital. Jordan agrees to pick up the toddler and accept temporary responsibility. Claire’s brother-in-law Ash is a pediatrician and he agrees to help out as well. Jordan falls for Levi and decides to become his mom when his birth parents relinquish parental rights. Both Ash and Jordan had health issues as a child so they well know the challenges Levi will face. He is non-verbal (other than screaming and crying) and non-mobile when Jordan brings him home. Through love and therapy Levi makes great strides. They face Levi’s difficulties brought on by the abuse as well as his exposure to measles.
Dees, Stephanie. Their Secret Baby Bond. New York: Love Inspired Books, 2018.
Wynn left Red Hill Spring with the intention of changing the world. She returns pregnant and unsure of herself. When she agrees to take care of the ailing grandfather of a family friend (Latham), she begins to realize that she can still change the world. Latham goes above and beyond to be a friend to Wynn even though she hurt him when she left years ago. They eventually come to realize what every one else can see. They turn to the Lord to help them work through the issues they face.
Dees, Stephanie. The Marriage Bargain. New York: Love Inspired Books, 2019.
The final Sheehan sibling is the main character of The Marriage Bargain. Jules took on guardianship of her best friend’s two young children when the friend and her husband leave the children orphans. Their long lost uncle shows up. The grandmother who is a drug addict petitions for custody. They draw a judge who favors biological connections and married couples when awarding guardianship. In desperation, Jules asks Cam, the uncle, to marry her. Surprisingly, he agrees. Once they are married, Bertie Sheehan decides to elope herself and leave her cafe to Jules. Life gets very complicated for Jules and Cam and their two little ones. With the support of family and faith in God, they work through their difficulties to form a real family.
The novels in the Family Blessing series are great stories about overcoming adversity. Faith in God is evident in the lives of the main characters. Their challenges with faith are not sugar-coated. Stephanie Dees appears to have done her homework in learning about all the aspects of the lives of the characters she has created. I am sure her experiences as a pastor’s wife have also worked their way in to the lives of her characters. By the end of the fourth book you feel like the Sheehan family is one you’d like to get to know better. The books are well-written and enjoyable to read. I’m personally hoping for more books about the Sheehan family.
The series reminds me of the Baxter family books by Karen Kingsbury. If you are a Karen Kingsbury fan, you will probably enjoy the Family Blessing series by Stephanie Dees.
I want to thank Stephanie Dees and JustRead Publicity Tours for the complimentary copies. A positive book review was not required. All opinions expressed are my own.
You can learn more about Stephanie Dees and her books on her web site.