New Springs gives him a mixed welcome. Many remember him as a troublemaker, and blame him for the death of Mitch, who they saw as the town golden boy. Jesse’s sister, Rachel, wants to start over, but he can’t get over the bitterness he feels toward her for leaving town at seventeen, and leaving him on his own with abusive parents. When he finds out Mitch’s widow Julia is in town, the guilt he feels over Mitch’s death is amplified because of his feelings toward Julia. He becomes even more determined to get out New Springs as soon as he can.
Julia Adams arrives hoping for the unconditional love and support of family from Mitch’s parents for both her and her two-year-old son, Ben. An Army brat and wife, Julia has spent her life always moving and coming in second to the Army, and she’s ready to put down roots for herself and Ben. She’s thrilled to find Jesse in town, the only other person who knew Mitch as he really was, and who made her realize she deserved better. The two felt an instant connection when they met the previous year in Germany, and Julia wants to act on the feelings she wouldn’t acknowledge before now.
Starting a new life isn’t always as easy as it seems, and both Jesse and Julia must come to terms with their pasts in order to have a future together.
HIS BEST FRIEND’S BABY is a wonderful sequel to FAMILY AT STAKE. Ms. O’Keefe kept up the emotional appeal of the first title, and I loved seeing how the relationship between Jesse and Rachel unfolded. This one goes on my keeper shelf alongside the first.