No one would say Keelie Lockhart isn’t determined. Taking on the role of both mom and dad to her two young kids, she’s managing life the best she can. Saddled with a century-old dilapidated farmhouse she can’t afford, a bevy of goats, two dogs, and a geriatric donkey, the last thing she has time for is a man—even if that man is a knight whose shining armor comes in the form of worn-in jeans and work boots.
Controlled, methodical, and focused—Asa Hollingsworth takes charge of everything in life. Working close to home after years away, he finally has the time to focus on his kids. Little does he know, a chance meeting with a petite, strawberry-blonde stranded on the side of the road, would intertwine their lives in a way he’d never want to untangle.
But when school bullies turn into something much worse, Asa starts to dig around. He never dreams the troubles lurking in the hallways of the local high school would shake his family to its core. With drug dealers lurking, bullets flying, and threats coming from every angle, Asa must do everything he can to protect the ones he loves.
Because in the end, there’s nothing more precious than the gift of life.
4 1/2 out of 5 stars
My favorite book of this series by far is Gifts, the story of Asa Hollingsworth and Keelie Lockhart.
Keelie is a single mom to two young children, owns an old house, where she has goats, an old donkey and some dogs, and works as a school counselor. Her sister convinces her to go on a date, and she reluctantly agrees. Her date is awful and on the way home, they get a flat tire. Her date refuses to change the tire – that is why he pays AAA. They are helped by a stranger, who happens to be gorgeous and flirts with Keelie.
Fast forward one week. Asa goes to meet with his daughter Emma’s school counselor, and low and behold, it’s Keelie. Keelie is reluctant to begin a friendship with Asa, but Asa is persistent. He is also an over the top alpha male (my favorite kind). Asa is not taking no for an answer, and starts taking matters into his own hands.
Emma is withdrawn and struggling in school, and Asa can’t get it out of her as to why. When Asa is meeting with Emma’s teachers, Keelie drives Emma home to Asa’s house – and shots ring out. Keelie protects Emma, but Asa’s house (and Keelie’s car) are badly damaged. At that point, Asa decides that he and his kids are moving into Keelie’s house so he can protect her and her kids.
Keelie was betrayed terribly by her husband before he passed away. She has major trust issues, and she resists when Asa starts pushing. Asa agrees to give Keelie space, but doesn’t leave her house; he continues to live with her, and won’t leave. He starts falling in love with her kids, Knox and Saylor. She starts falling for his kids.
The reason Emma was withdrawn was an interesting story line. I honestly didn’t see it coming, but it felt real and it was well researched. This book had a happy ending, which always makes me happy.
I just loved Asa. He was 43 when the book started – I love reading about older, mature men. He knew he wanted Keelie and he took every step to make her his. Keelie was a little harder to relate to – I get the trust issues, but she really pushed Asa to an unnecessary point and it was irritating.
I would highly recommend this series, and this book in particular. All three books are available on Kindle Unlimited.