Sealing the Deal  

The Ladies Who Lunch #3

By Sandy James

ISBN# 9781455558940

Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra  


When Bethany Rogers’s sister dies in combat in Afghanistan, Bethany, a teacher and part-time interior decorator, takes in the nine-month-old daughter her sister left behind. As she struggles with the challenges of raising a young child, she gratefully accepts the help of her fellow Ladies Who Lunch as well as Robert Ashford, her longtime friend and boss at Ashford Homes. Robert is great with kids and has always mentioned wanting a family of his own. Beth soon feels more than gratitude toward her handsome helper, and longs to give in to the growing heat and desire brewing between them. But will loving Robert further complicate her already spinning-out-of-control life? And is he drawn to her, or to the idea of a ready-made family?


The beginning of the story is SO heart wrenching….losing a sister in combat and then having to be the mother to her 9 month old daughter!  The story had high’s and low’s…Gut wrenching story line but sometimes the interactions between Robert and Bethany (Beth) were rather lack luster and at other times….VERY hot.  They are adults and at times, they certainly did not act like it, communication wise.  At age 30 (Bethany) and 40 (Robert), you would think they both would know that communication is key to any relationship!!!  So I must say that was a bit frustrating….I was internally shouting at them to get it together.

As a parent (and a single parent at that)….I could certainly empathize with the following – it isn’t like a parent gets an operating manual when they get the child 🙂  The road to and during parenthood is certainly not a smooth highway, but in fact a road filled with potholes which the family unit must traverse together…:

“She hadn’t realized she needed an engineering degree simply to operate a child’s car seat.”

Throughout the journey, Bethany and Robert begin to rely upon each other and develop a relationship but you can see that the relationship is starting in the middle as opposed to the beginning….and that is what makes this story intriguing.  How will they recover and prosper as a family when they finally begin to communicate as adults.  There is never ANY doubt they both love Emma.  And the way both Beth and Robert take to the parenting role is quite amazing and truly reflects how ready each is to be a parent.

I loved the support Bethany received from the Ladies who lunch together.  Dani was the truly intuitive one and helped Beth realize what she needed to do to heal properly and move on from her sister’s death.  And Dani was able to hold back Robert from reacting too soon, so that Beth could properly grieve.   That scene was gut wrenching…very powerful and emotional.

I must say…I really disliked Bethany and Tiffany’s parents.  They seemed so cold and heartless.  I realize they are seniors but really people!  With this said, I must say becoming empathetic with many of the characters in this book was REALLY difficult.  Luckily the story did carry its own weight.  Otherwise, not sure I would have enjoyed the story as much as I did.

Unfortunately this book in the Ladies Who Lunch series was not quite as enjoyable as the first book in the series.  However, I am willing to read book #2 and #4 on the weight of how well I liked book #1 🙂 and the infrequent but important redeeming qualities of this story.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*