Ben Grayson: My brother Damon and my sister Blair. Our childhoods were tough, but they seem to have overcome all the odds. After a stint in the military, Damon went back to school to become a psychologist. He treats people who have faced traumas in their lives, the way he did. I believe that by helping others, he also helps himself. Blair has made a life for herself here in Masonville with Garrett Saunders. She’s happy, maybe for the first time in her life.
My new wife Jamie is a hero, too. She works tirelessly as a veterinarian to help animals in need. She even adopts them if she has to! She’s an amazing mother to Bella and Sophie. But mostly I think she’s a hero because she agreed to marry me, even knowing all my flaws. More than anything, I want to be a good husband to her. She deserves nothing less.
PL: What would you like people to know?
BG: That I’m not perfect, not by a long shot, but I love my children and I’m trying hard to be a good father. I want them to know I’m trying to be a good husband, too. Jamie is the kind of woman who makes me want to be a better man.
PL: If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
BG: Spend time with my wife and kids. We’re all so busy with work and school that having a day just to have fun sounds really great.
PL: Are you lucky?
BG: Until I moved in next door to Jamie, I would have said no. But since we became friends, I feel very lucky.
PL: What do you worry about when you wake up at 3 in the morning?
BG: That Olivia’s parents will win custody of Bella and Sophie and take them away from me. Lately a new worry wakes me at three a.m. What if I lose Jamie?
PL: What would you most like to hide?
BG: That I’m a recovering alcoholic. I’ve been sober nearly six years, but if Olivia’s parents found out, they’d have even more ammunition to use against me.
PL:. What are your hopes for the future?
BG: To keep my family intact. To see my children grow to adulthood. And to have Jamie by my side for the rest of my life.
Thanks for stopping by, Ben and Jana. It was a pleasure to visit. If anyone has questions or thoughts for us, please leave them in the comments.
"Say you'll marry me."
The words were out of his mouth before he knew he was going to say them. Jamie stared at him, eyes wide.
"Marry me. You're the only woman I'd trust with my girls."
It suddenly made sense. If Jamie married him he could keep his kids.
She jumped to her feet, waking one of the dogs who'd been sleeping on the couch next to her. "What kind of marriage do you want, Ben? Are you proposing something for show?"
"No! I don't know!" He stood and grasped her arms. "If you're asking me if we'll sleep together as man and wife, I don't know."
Her mouth twisted as if she was holding back tears. "You know I love the girls, but please don't ask me to pretend. The last few months of my marriage, all I did was pretend. I pretended I had a husband who loved me. I swore I'd never do that again."
Ben wanted to take her in his arms and hold her. He hated doing this to her, hated making her relive unhappy memories. He was asking too much of her and he didn't blame her for saying no.
"Please, forget I said anything."
He'd stick to his original plan. He and the girls would disappear. He'd change their names, go someplace where no one knew them. A life on the run wasn't what he wanted for his children, but he'd do whatever he needed to do to keep them.
"I'm sorry, Jamie."
Ben was out the door before he could hear anymore of her objections.
Jamie Garven wants to be a mother. She's intrigued by her handsome new neighbor and falls in love with his little girls. Then Ben is faced with losing his children, and Jamie agrees to marry him for a chance at motherhood. They're determined to show the world, and the girls' grandparents, two loving parents.
Their marriage of convenience turns into unexpected love. But Ben interprets Jamie's efforts to save their family as betrayal—they could lose everything, including each other.
Jana Richards has tried her hand at many writing projects over the years, from magazine articles and short stories to full-length paranormal suspense and romantic comedy. She loves to create characters with a sense of humor, but also a serious side. She believes there’s nothing more interesting then peeling back the layers of a character to see what makes them tick.
When not writing up a storm, working at her part-time day job as bookkeeper, or dealing with dust bunnies, Jana can be found pursuing hobbies such as golf (which she plays very badly) or reading (which she does much better).
Jana lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren. You can reach her through her website at http://www.janarichards.com