A Texas Soldier’s Family: Cathy Gillen Thacker
When forced to return home from his last tour of active military duty Captain Garrett Lockhart will reenter the world that his family created and a foundation that is about to dissolve due to a scandal that will play heavily on the future of everyone involved. Broken promises to area non- profit organizations is at the heart of this novel as 25 million dollars in donations and funding to many different foundations in need of help disappears. When the books are opened and the checks that are cleared are noted in their ledger what really happened to the money will set an entire family on a deadly collision course hoping to rebuild their reputation, save their foundation and keep their family together.
When Garrett arrives home he meets his mother Lucille the CEO of their foundation but first on the plane ride to his ranch Winslow Strategies, Crisis Manager, Hope Winslow is his seating partner. Sparks and electricity are really hot from the beginning but not everyone is happy to see her. Explaining that his mother hired her to represent the Lockhart Foundation and the family in a scandal that required that she created a simple document titled: Talking Points for Lockhart Foundation Crisis. But, Garrett wants nothing to do with the foundation or charity and yet is hired to troubleshoot with the press and the media. Each member of the family having their own conception of how this should be handled as Garrett and Hope seem to bond, her young son Max needing her full time since the nanny had to leave to care for her mother and now Hope had to decide how to juggle it all. Gathering the records of the company or foundation office was one step and then talking with the director of the non-profit the foundation is funding. Bess Monroe and the wounded warriors are trying to help but how would the funds be made up? When Adelaide booted up her laptop, and learned who was behind the scandal she related to the family that her father was the one who embezzled the money along with his girlfriend Mirabelle who managed to help since she worked for the bank where the checks were deposited. Adelaide was Paul Smythe’s daughter who was a public accountant and forensic auditor who checked the records, realized what happened and the fact that many foundations never got the money they needed for temporary housing, rehab centers, jobs, placement and counseling and much more. West Texas Warrior Assistance with the help of Tracy and Darcy Dunlop hope to address these issues and more. As Adelaide relates to the family just how her father embezzled the money and with the help of the VP of the bank as Hope had to field the media, the cameras and the anger it evoked in Garrett thinking she was going to blindside his mother. But, in reality she tried composing questions and answers for her to memorize and rehearse, created the right atmosphere and décor for the interviews yet the media was out to destroy them.
As Garrett and Hope’s relationship got steamy and Max, her son adores him they worked together to care for him yet something was missing between them and when push came to shove and the family wanted him to become the CEO of the company he wanted to decline. Sparks flew, angry words were said, the cleverness of the lies, embezzlement and the way it was done will definitely as how it was done and not noticed with surprise readers. When Lucille makes her statement but not before giving the money to the organizations that she promised them to and yet short 500 thousand dollars to one. The original amount of 5000 was paid and then Garrett does something that surprises them all.
All of the checks were slated for non-profit organizations and the pay to the order information was changed but you won’t believe how and why such a slight change was not seen. Over sights, canceled checks that Lucille obtained and passed around at an impromptu board meeting allowing everyone to understand what really happened and why as one little word on the to pay to information was changed yet the signature remained the same. The signature on the back of every check is the same and the money that was supposed to have been deposited was not. Using his position as CFO and the Lockhart Foundation’s names he had no problem moving the money to a bank that has no agreement with the United States. But, when all of the information comes out and Lucille decides to make a life changing decision and the fate of the foundation is at stake will Garrett remain in Laramie or will he leave? When Lucille winds up in the hospital things change and the family has to decide to step up and how? When she finally decides her plans she wants Hope included in a unique way but will she remain or return to Dallas? As Garrett presents the truth and the history of the foundation to one reporter hoping to bring his family back into a brighter light, Hope makes a decision that will change both her and Max’s lives. Lies, deceits, betrayals, embezzlement, family loyalties, friendships, love and the hope for a new start and future are all issues brought to light by author Cathy Gillen Thacker in A Texas Soldier’s Family. Heartwarming, filled with some twists and turns and a bit of mystery at the end: Will they get the money back? Will they find Paul? What is the fate of the foundations and will Hope and Garrett realize that they belong together?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/|MJ magazine