She prayed for a fairy godmother and got a… karate instructor? Hard-working single mom Caroline Jameson wonders why her son is so unruly. Weren’t children with Down syndrome supposed to be cuddly and compliant? Her ex says the boy belongs in an institution. Caroline will do anything to prove him wrong, even sign her son up for karate classes with a know-it-all instructor. Lee Marivaux is an expert at reading people. He knows his feisty new student will thrive with firm guidance - and he’s right. He pegs the boy’s mother as a clueless socialite who loafs at the country club - and he’s never been so wrong. It’s a battle of wills and misperceptions - until Caroline’s abusive ex shows up, demanding custody. Can Lee and Caroline join forces to keep the boy safe? And in a town called Liberty, will love give them the freedom to braid themselves into a strong new family?
Diane on Goodreads wrote:
What a terrific story, and I really enjoy the characterizations that were so fresh and went against stereotypes. Caroline is a complicated character, and through most of the story we suspect that there was something that happened in her past that made her like a skittish colt shying away from any type of relationship. Can she get over that and trust Lee, this calm wonderful man who teaches Karate to kids with special needs? From the first time Lee stepped on stage, I was saying, "Yes, Caroline! You must let this man into your heart and your home."
Caroline's son, Trent, has Down's Syndrome, and Caroline is doing the best she can to raise him as a single-mother. The job would be easier if he didn't have special needs, and if Caroline could clone herself so one mother could be at work to earn a living while the other mother was with Trent 24/7.
I enjoyed meeting Carolyn's mother, and loved what she says when she sees the pictures of Lee that were taken shortly before Caroline came to visit. The older woman smiled and said, "I'll visit you this summer. I must see this guy in shorts."
There is plenty of humor dropped into the story and places where I chuckled out loud. There was the moment when Caroline’s mother talks to her about satisfying “certain needs” and Caroline almost drills a hole in the wrong place while hanging new curtain rods. This is made even more humorous since Caroline is an engineer, can repair cars, and has a garage full of tools that would make Tim the Tool Guy jealous. She would not drill a hole in the wrong place. Another nice bit of humor comes at a time when things are particularly tense. Caroline and Lee have just exchanged a few lines of banter, then suddenly he changes the subject and turns away. “If that man shifted gears any faster, Caroline thought, her transmission would fall out.”
This is a wonderful, feel-good story that I highly recommend.
I absolutely devoured this book because of the wonderful storytelling of this new-to-me author whose characters grabbed me by the heart insuring this is a story I won’t soon forget. Caroline’s life is exhaustingly chaotic because she’s a single working parent dealing with they unpredictability of her son’s behavior because he was born with Down Syndrome. That is until the day she meets Trent’s new karate teacher whose brilliant tutelage of her son slowly transforms both of their lives because of his excellent insight into kids with disabilities. Lee is an unusual man who lives life in the moment, never worrying about where he’ll sleep or if he’ll eat because God provides, and his Christian beliefs are just as strong as his Cajun accent. This book has a wonderful Christian message that is universal and the painfully awkward slow- building romance between Caroline and Lee is precious and heartwarming. I read an early copy of this book provided by BooksGoSocial through NetGalley and all opinions expressed in my voluntary review are completely my own. (less)