What is your motivation behind The Certain Hope? Why did you want to write it?
The Certain Hope is the third book in the standalone hope-themed series. Book three highlights thirty-something love, which can be as precarious as younger love. By that age, we’ve weathered numerous life storms. Living life can, and often does, alter our opinions, circumstances and outlook.
The doorbell chimed what she termed his signature ring: one long peal, followed by two shorter ones. Saying goodbye might ruin her. Hair patted into place, she opened the door with an unsteady hand.
Andy leaned on the rail, watching the door fling open. The six men who worked with him stood at his side. Silence reigned. They stood there, grinning at her.
Tara couldn’t resist returning the smiles. Their noisy camaraderie while they worked would be missed.
The house needed only a minor overhaul. He was the man for the task if he was able to buy the place. Luke enjoyed restoring old houses. Especially one he hoped to make his own. As he’d climbed the steps, he was assessing the fair market value.
Then Tara had opened the door.
Luke had fallen in love on sight.
“So you prefer dating a man who works at McDonald’s?” Marcie asked.
Mindy laughed until she coughed.
Giggles erupted around the table.
“Tara would if his name was Andy,” Mindy finally said.
Tara batted dream-filled eyes. “I love a man I’ll never see again.” She paused, eyeing Mindy. “Honest enough for you?”
Tara’s hopeful nonchalance intrigued Luke more than it ever had. He’d finally found his sassy, laidback lady that would love him. She was a snappy work of art he couldn’t resist. Her projected innocence snagged him the first time they met.
Things are moving in the right direction. How do I bring my lovely lady along for the journey?
Before long, Olivia took a much-needed breath. The lull in the conversation reminded him about the other people in the room. He leaned his mouth close to Tara’s ear while speaking in a stage voice.
“The Certain Hope is a story of love at first sight and I really enjoyed it. . . . This was a unique story that showed the positives and negatives of falling in love so quickly and throws in a few surprise twists as well. This was my first book by author Jackson and I look forward to more of her stories.”
“Your sad eyes don’t sway me.” Her hip butted him out the way. “It’s too late to show remorse. You set me up.”
Luke raised three fingers. “Scout’s honor. I had no expectations either way. The choice was always yours.” His voice softened as his gaze caressed her face. “Beautiful as always.”
Tara steeled herself against the compliment. Real facts deserved more than a passing remark that missed the point.
“Overall, I did enjoy the story. For me, Luke’s personality caused me to want to keep reading, because I wanted to find out what happens with the two. . . . And I feel Ms. Jackson does an excellent job of weaving the issues together so the plot runs so smooth. This is the second book I’ve read from Ms. Jackson, and I enjoy her writing. So I encourage you to check out The Certain Hope as well as other books by this author.”
“…there are stories of love-at-first-sight marriages that are going strong, so even if it’s not your reality, it is entertaining. And may also serve as a cautionary tale to not jump into anything too quickly, especially if the people you trust are conflicted about your decision. And through it all, I was cheering for Tara’s happily-ever-after.”
“Should you read it? YES! I still recommend it, especially if you love a good romance. I am actually really interested in reading some of the authors other works as I did enjoy it overall.”
The vase received a place of honor above the fireplace while the open chocolate box tempted them on the cocktail table. A faint disinfectant scent lingered in the air. Luke always found a faultless house when he visited. It was the perfect backdrop for his prim and proper miss. “Are you a true neat freak, or will stuff drop on my head if I open a closet door? I vote neat freak.”
“We’re simpatico. Guests can eat off your floors.” Tara nestled into the arm Luke draped around her shoulder. “Mmm. I like sitting close to you. How was your day?”
“It’s over. I’d rather discuss us.”
This family has a fixation with that woman. “I’m a free man. I can date whomever I choose.”
“The grapevine says she’ll arrive in St. Louis on Friday. A month earlier than planned. Guess she didn’t accept your answer.”
Luke chuckled. “Now she knows that proposing to a disinterested man has consequences. Besides, holding false expectations is a character flaw I hate.”
“. . . an entertaining read if you enjoy romance. . . . better suited to those who like Insta-love, since that’s basically the premise of the relationship. It’s a Lifetime movie in print.”
Tara joined the line of cars headed from the park. Her haggard brain was ready for a nap. Approximately fifty buses stood between her car and the road home. She drummed her fingers on the steering wheel, instead of succumbing to what she really desired to do. Her mind hankered to blow the horn until reaching Kingshighway. Sort of a celebration cheer and “get out of the way” rant combined in one.
The relaxing evening she imagined with Luke fueled her determination to hurry home. Next on the agenda was a marvelous dinner. The legwork was prepared that morning. She only had to pop the casserole into the oven and prepare a salad.
“The Certain Hope is a story of hope, love and faith. . . . I am giving The Certain Hope five plus stars. I recommend it for readers who love a beautifully, well written and clean stories. I believe it is a must read and I highly recommend it. I would love to read more like this one by EC Jackson in the future.”
While drying dishes, Tara jumped as soap suds hit her face. She spun around when Luke laughed, right before lobbing another soap ball at her. She ducked. Only trickles of water dusted her hair.
Her reflexes immediately kicked in. The water pitcher was in her hand before thinking better of her next move. The shock on Luke’s face stilled her hand. He was soaked. Water slid from his hair, and over his body, until it streamed across the floor.
“Oops! Blame yourself and not me,” she yelled, charging past him.
Love at first sight. It’s every girl’s dream. But Tara Simpkins is finding out it’s not as easy as it seems. Is this truly the man God sent to be her husband, or is she just desperate to escape her loneliness? The recent loss of both parents has left her reeling, and close friends don’t think she’s in any position to make major life decisions. She and her new-found love are convinced they can live happily ever after in the home of their dreams. His family thinks he’s moving way too fast and might disappoint the kind-hearted woman he’s fallen head over heels for. And then there’s Leah. Leah is supposed to be part of his past, but what if she decides she’s his future? Tara’s match made in Heaven may be over before it truly begins.
Other Books in the Series
About the Author