Cover image for Lean on me
Lean on me
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282 pages ; 21 cm.
Tabitha Knicely loves her career as a pharmaceutical rep, but even her health care knowledge isn't much help with the daily challenges she now faces caring for her aunt with Alzheimer's. Her once organized lifestyle is in disarray and her patience is tested. On Sunday mornings, when Aunt Tweet drags her to church, though Tabitha isn't a believer, the peaceful presence of faith is a welcome relief. Marcus Whittington believes in second chances, so he hires former inmates to staff the industrial cleaning service he owns with his brother. When a mystery woman who keeps showing up on his porch turns out to be an elderly neighbor, Marcus is outraged at what he perceives as neglect on the part of her caregiver. Marcus soon learns that being a caregiver is a demanding, compassionate act of kindness that he has never experienced before. After several encounters with Aunt Tweet and Tabitha, his heart is drawn to the family's distress. Marcus is determined to help Tabitha, and a friendship that started out with a grave misunderstanding soon begins to blossom into a relationship filled with love, faith, and partnership. Life is easier, when you have someone to lean on. --


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First in an emotional, poignant romantic women's fiction series from acclaimed inspirational romance author Pat Simmons.

No one should have to go it alone...and God sends the right person for backup. Every caregiver needs a caregiver.

Tabitha Knicely is overwhelmed with caring for her beloved great-aunt, whose dementia is getting worse. Aunt Tweet may be losing her memory, yet she findsher way to Tabitha's neighbor's front porch. When Marcus Whittington accuses Tabitha of elder neglect, he doesn't realize how his threats to have Aunt Tweet taken away add to Tabitha's pain.

Then Marcus gets to know the exuberant elderly lady and sees up close how hard Tabitha is fighting to keep everything together. He can't walk away, knowing she needs someone to care for her. Drawn to Marcus's tender side, Tabitha begins to lean on him more and more. Aunt Tweet not only rediscovers Christ, she unknowingly leads the couple on their own spiritual journey with a surrender of hearts to each other and God.

"An inspirational story of a family in crisis."--Michelle (Goodreads) for Harlequin Junkie
"A heartbreaking, heartwarming Christian story of caring for a loved one. The books makes you think long after the last page."--Gail Herrmann (Goodreads)

Author Notes

Pat Simmons is a multi-published author with more than thirty titles. She is a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth who is passionate about researching her ancestors and then casting them in starring roles in her novels.
She is a three-time recipient of the Romance Slam Jam Emma Rodgers Award for Best Inspirational Romance.
Pat holds a B.S. in mass communications from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. She has worked in various positions in radio, television, and print media for more than twenty years. She oversaw the media publicity for the annual RT Booklovers Conventions for fourteen years.
In addition to researching her roots and sewing, she has been a featured speaker and workshop presenter at various venues across the country.
Pat has converted her sofa-strapped sports fanatical husband into an amateur travel agent, untrained bodyguard, GPS-guided chauffeur, and administrative assistant who is constantly on probation. They have ason and a daughter.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Simmons (Taye's Gift) charts an emotional course from horrible first impressions to budding romance in this poignant love story. Tabitha Knicely and her sisters agree to take turns caring for their elderly great-aunt Tweet, who suffers from Alzheimer's. Tabitha, a Pasadena Hill, Mo., pharmaceutical sales rep, has just started her six-month rotation of housing Aunt Tweet when Tweet wanders off and ends up on neighbor Marcus Whittington's porch. Marcus initially accuses Tabitha of elder neglect and threatens to call 911, but as they continue to run into each other, he comes to understand the depth of Tabitha's love for her aunt and the difficulty of caring for a woman with Alzheimer's. Marcus develops a friendship with the Knicely women, joining them for meals and church outings, and romance simmers between Tabitha and Marcus as he becomes the person she leans on when juggling her career and her role as a caregiver becomes overwhelming. Simmons balances the sadness of Alzheimer's with the heartwarming bonds of family and friendship, and the combination is sure to tug at readers' heartstrings. Agent: Evan Marshall, Evan Marshall Agency. (Jan.)

Library Journal Review

Tabitha Knicely is reeling. Caring for her elderly aunt is more than she anticipated--the symptoms of Aunt Tweet's dementia seem to be ever-changing--and that stress, combined with her new high-pressure job, has turned her life into something she barely recognizes anymore. When her aunt begins making clandestine early morning visits to a neighbor, it just might be the last straw. Marcus Whittington doesn't trust easily, and he suspects that Tabitha and her aunt are up to no good. But the more time he spends with the duo, the more his heart is engaged, and soon he can't imagine his life without them. This is a slow-burn romance; at times Tabitha and Marcus's relationship seems to progress more quickly in their heads than it does on the page, and the emphasis on themes of forgiveness and second chances often overpower the story and the romance. VERDICT Fans of Simmons's books ("Love at the Crossroads" series) will probably want to pick up this first in a new series; others may wish to pass.--Rebecca Moe, Alden Ewell Free Lib., NY