Child of Mine
Jana Richards

Publication date: February 20th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Lauren didn’t intend to sleep with her brother-in-law Cole on the day of her husband’s funeral. But now that she is pregnant, she’s not sorry. Cole’s given her a baby, a long-wished-for miracle. He’s been her friend forever, though she never told him or anyone else how unhappy her marriage to his cheating brother was. And she’s afraid to tell the small town that considered her husband a hero that the baby isn’t his.
Cole’s been in love with Lauren since he was sixteen. It kills him that everyone believes the baby is his dead brother’s. All he wants is to claim the baby, and Lauren, as his own. Though she marries him, will Lauren’s heart ever be his?
Lauren must tell the truth or risk losing Cole. Is her newly-discovered love for him greater than her fear of scandal in her hometown?

Lauren Walsh from CHILD OF MINE

Where are you from?
I’m from North Dakota, from a small city called Masonville. Masonville has a population of about 6,000 people, which sounds small to people from big cities, but by North Dakota standards, it’s pretty big!

What did you think the first time you saw Cole Walsh?
Hmm. Let me see. That was a long time ago, so I can’t say exactly. I was fourteen and first met Cole when I needed a tutor to help me through chemistry. Cole was – and is – super smart. I sort of already knew him, or at least knew of him. You can’t help but know everyone in a town the size of Masonville, and there’s only one high school. He was also the older brother of Billy, a boy I’d known practically since kindergarten. My first thought about Cole was that he was shy. He could barely look at me!

What was your second thought?
That he was one of the kindest people I’d ever met. He never made me feel stupid about needing a tutor, and he never talked down to me. Once I got to know him, I discovered his sense of humor. He could always make me laugh. And he was patient. Lord knows he had to be! Teaching chemistry concepts to me couldn’t have been easy!

Did you feel it was love at first sight?
Far from it. Cole asked me out on a couple of movie dates back then, but I always thought of him as a friend, not a boyfriend. And then I started dating his brother Billy, and was totally, completely swept away. Cole and I remained friends, but I was crazy in love with Billy.

(Sigh.) More fool me.

What do you like most about Cole?
I like the same things about him now that I liked all those years ago; his kindness and patience. But now that I’m older, I appreciate so many more things about him. He’s hardworking and loyal. He takes care of his mother even though Ella was obvious in her preference of Billy over Cole from the time they were small boys. He’s a good friend. The whole time I was married to Billy, I could call Cole from wherever Billy and I happened to be living, and he’d make me laugh and tell me funny stories about people in Masonville and the animals he treated at his veterinary clinic. No matter how bad things got between Billy and me, I always knew I could talk to Cole and he’d make me feel better. And make me feel like I was doing him a favor by calling him. But I never told him how rocky my marriage was to Billy. I never told him he cheated on me repeatedly. I guess I was too ashamed. And humiliated. Besides, they were brothers.

Did you think Cole would take Billy’s side over yours? Is that why you didn’t tell him that Billy cheated on you?
(pauses) No. I never believed that. I was afraid Cole would be angry with Billy, and I didn’t want to be the cause of a rift between them. (pauses again) Or maybe I was simply too humiliated to tell the truth.

How would you describe Cole?
Loving, honest, loyal, devoted, hard-working, smart. He’s simply the best man I know.
(bites her lip) But more and more when I think of Cole, I think of the way he makes me feel when he kisses me. I think of the gentleness in his touch when we made love and our child was conceived. More and more I would describe him as the most attractive man I’ve ever known.

How would he describe you?
Oh, goodness. I hope Cole would describe me as a decent person, someone worthy of being his wife and the mother of his child.

What is your biggest fear?
That Cole will wake up one day and realize he made a big mistake asking me to marry him just because we were having a baby together. I’m afraid he’ll leave me. And then I’ll have lost my best friend. I want to be more than an obligation to him. But I don’t know how.

I want to be the woman he loves.

When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.
In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada with an elderly Pug/Terrier named cross Lou. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at