King Triplets

From Conservapedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The King Triplets are a set of siblings, featured in Kimberly Rae Jordan's We Three Kings Christmas-themed novels released during the months of October through December 2021. The three books (each released one month apart) are (in order of release) Child of Joy, Child of Love and Child of Hope.

The triplets (in order of birth, though not in order of book release) are Hunter, Hayden and Heather (Hunter and Hayden are identical twins). The triplets reside in the Minneapolis area, and are the heirs to their father's multi-million dollar business empire (after his tragic and unexpected death four years earlier in a multi-vehicle, multi-fatality accident; the accident forms the backdrop for the entire series); each works in some form for the company. All three are portrayed as Christians, wanting to use their considerable wealth to help others.

Each one of the books features one of the triplets meeting a single parent (in book order, Carissa, Ash, and Paige) and his/her child (Rachel, Isla, and Rylan), who are struggling during the Christmas season. The non-King adult wants to do what is best for his/her child, even though s/he personally struggles with accepting charity (especially given the tremendous wealth and generosity of the Kings due to the disparate economic and social status between them). Also, romantic feelings develop between a triplet and the single parent, but each believe the status gap will make a relationship impossible to sustain; however, the barriers are overcome and ultimately lead to marriage. The cover of each book features a child engaging in an activity which is shown as his/her favorite.

Backstory

The Kings' father, Greg, was raised by a single mother (the reason for his father's absence is not stated). The family was dirt poor (even homeless for a while) and society wasn't willing to give his mother any assistance. But Greg's mother instilled in him the American work ethic; taking advantage of scholarships and other opportunities Greg started what would become the family's business empire, primarily consisting of world wide real estate and tech start-up ventures.

Greg would use the wealth God gave him and his family to bless others (how he became a Christian is also not stated, though it is implied that his mother was a key influence): he would seek to either buyout or partner with struggling businesses instead of engaging in predatory behavior to bankrupt them (Hunter would follow suit with his proposal to help Ash's struggling garage), and would offer his employees numerous benefits (such as an onsite child care facility; Heather would take over this function running its employee care program as part of Human Resources), but had a disdain for those who were lazy (something he was concerned about with Hayden, who never took his responsibilities seriously).

Greg and his wife, Eliza, had the triplets; no other siblings are mentioned in the series. In addition, the couple would hire George (as their handyman and driver) and Esther ("Essie", their housekeeper and chef); they would later marry, and even though they had no children of their own they served as "second parents" to the triplets.

Shortly before Thanksgiving, four years prior to the events of the first book, Greg is killed in a multi-car accident (one of 11 fatalities total; Hayden was a passenger and suffered serious injuries). It leaves the King family grieving, and for the next four years they wouldn't celebrate Christmas (Greg's favorite holiday) with the joy of past years. Though they would continue some traditions (notably, a children's Christmas party for company employees; before his death Greg would play the role of Santa), others would pass by (specifically, inviting non-employee families in need to the party, as well as inviting people in need to have dinner with the family).

Hunter/Carissa/Rachel

Child of Joy, the first book in the series (set four years after the accident), shows how Hunter met Carissa and Rachel, her daughter who is age 8 at the time. Rachel is portrayed on the cover of Child of Joy as a young girl with braided blonde hair, reading a book.

Hunter is CEO of the family business and runs it very much like his father did, mainly how he uses the business as a way to glorify God and help the community. In the book Hunter did something that his father did regularly, but he had not done after his father's death: he purchased a run-down apartment complex with the intent of tearing it down for a safer, more modern one. In order to assist the remaining tenants, he gave them ten months' notice to vacate, and waived rent for the final two months to help them find new housing.

With one month until the end of the year, Hunter discovers that there are still four tenants in the building, which hasn't been maintained due to the planned demolition. Two tenants have given their notice of departure, while one refuses to speak with Hunter or the property manager. The fourth tenant is Carissa, along with Rachel.

Although Rachel's biological father signed away paternity rights and his parents have nothing to do with Rachel, Carissa's parents were very involved in their lives, mortgaging their house to pay for Carissa to attend nursing school. However, after their unexpected deaths (in the same accident which killed Mr. King and seriously injured Hayden as well), Carissa learns of their precarious financial condition; she is forced to sell their belongings to pay for their burials and allow the house to go into foreclosure, and must drop out of school to take regular employment and find affordable housing. The past year has been exceptionally bad: not only must they find new housing, Carissa's car stops operating and she has lost one of her jobs. Nevertheless, the two have a faith in God (Rachel's is fairly strong, while Carissa's has weakened over the years; their lack of transportation has kept them from attending church). Rachel is an excellent student (she is one year ahead of her age-peers in school) and loves reading.

Sensing that Carissa and Rachel are in desperate straits (and learning that the apartment lacks some necessities), Hunter makes temporary repairs, while Heather decides to bring back one of the forgotten family traditions: she invites Carissa and Rachel to the company's children's Christmas party. Rachel discovers a love for decorating cookies (though she is not very talented in doing so, starting a running gag throughout the series that her way of decorating any dessert is to smother it in icing), while Santa (courtesy of Heather) gives Rachel some of the items on her Santa list (though they can't give her what she really wants -- or so they think -- as Rachel wants a husband for her mom). Later they are invited to spend Christmas with the Kings; after Carissa is hospitalized the two end up arriving a few days early (and Heather goes on another shopping spree) but Carissa is well enough to attend Christmas Eve service. Hunter also offers Carissa a new apartment (somewhat larger than their current one, and fully furnished again thanks to Heather) but at the same rental rate of her old one.

Carissa feels a relationship wouldn't work between her and Hunter due to their disparate statuses in life, while Hunter is concerned that the landlord/tenant relationship they currently have could be construed as using his "power" to pressure her into a personal relationship. However, the two are able to work out their concerns, and begin dating (they agree that there will be no rock concerts or any date involving a private jet). In the subsequent books, Hunter proposes, marries Carissa and adopts Rachel, and finally are expecting a child of their own; Carissa has also restarted her nursing program. Rachel, meanwhile, has also developed a singing talent: she is a featured singer in two subsequent children's Christmas pageants at church (she and Carissa now attend church with the Kings).

Heather/Ash/Isla

Child of Love, the second book in the series (set one year after the preceding book, and five years after the accident), shows how Heather met Ash and Isla ("you say it like eye ... and la like you're singing"), his niece of whom he has legal custody (keeping her out of the foster care system), who is age 7 at the time. Isla is portrayed on the cover of Child of Love as a young girl with brown hair, drawing.

Heather works in the family business within its human resources department, operating the company's employee care program. Although Heather has always been generous (she loves shopping for others, though to the point of often overwhelming the recipient), the events involving Carissa and Rachel really opened her awareness of people struggling through no fault of their own, and she has increased her generosity (such as buying chocolates from an employee who was selling them for her child's school fundraiser, or adding her own funds to cover the funeral costs for a family who's teenager died unexpectedly). Heather lives at home with her mother; a running gag in the series is her inability to cook. She is responsible, in many ways, for restoring the family's Christmas traditions (though, to the horror of her siblings, one of them is the much-maligned "matching Christmas pajamas" which ultimately extends to their spouses and children as well).

While heading home to get ready for a fundraiser, on a dark and ice-covered highway, Heather has a tire blowout. Stranded, she is approached by Asher (Ash) Larson, a local mechanic who owns his own garage. He offers to change out her tire and invites her to sit in his truck while he changes it; in doing so she meets Isla.

Up until that point, everything about Isla's life to date has screamed "tragedy": her mother Gwen (Ash's sister) was a drug addict who died a couple of months earlier of a drug overdose, she has no father listed on her birth certificate, and her only other biological family members -- Ash and Gwen's parents -- have declined to help Ash raise her (they had "mourned the loss of Gwen" when she left home years earlier). Isla suffered abuse and neglect while growing up, mainly in the form of insufficient food (thus, she is very small for her age) and infrequent school attendance (which has left her one grade behind her age-peers, and continued struggles with reading, worsened by an unconcerned teacher and frequent bullying by other students, none of whom want to be Isla's friend). However, Isla is very talented artistically, which quickly becomes her go-to activity.

Ash himself has faced struggles over the past year: he has to make a monthly payment to his father to purchase the garage (which finances his parents' Florida retirement) but his garage is under siege by a well-financed competitor engaging in predatory pricing in an attempt to put Ash out of business, and his parents were poor parental role models (Ash wonders if his parents even wanted children) leaving him with no idea how to raise a child; his approach to parenting Isla is generally to do the opposite of what his parents or sister would have done. Notably for the story, Ash grew up in a home where his parents engaged in few Christmas traditions, even less outward affection toward each other and the children (thus leaving him with somewhat of an inability to express his feelings), and virtually no religious background (Ash and Gwen occasionally attended church with their grandmother, and the family sometimes attended Christmas Eve services there as well, but stopped both after the grandmother's death).

Of the three siblings Heather is the most quickly drawn toward both the parent and the child, but Ash's very reserved nature makes him extremely hard to judge as to how he is feeling about things, especially Heather's repeated visits to the garage to help Isla with her homework (and later helping Ash take care of Isla's hair), and Hunter's business proposal to help the garage. But wanting to give Isla what her mother didn't (and having no clue how to raise a child, especially a girl), he is willing to accept the Kings' invitations and generosity, as Isla's interactions with the family help her greatly (notably, Rachel becomes the friend Isla has wanted since moving to the Twin Cities). Isla also gets to make Christmas tree decorations and, later, to decorate cookies, expanding her creative abilities.

But both Heather and Ash notice that Isla has learned what to do when someone is praying (bow her head and fold her hands), the real reason for Christmas and Easter (Jesus), and despite her dislike of reading has managed to memorize John 3:16. Ash learns from Isla that Donna, a neighbor of Gwen, often cared for Isla on weekends (and when Gwen was drunk or high, or "sick" as Isla put it; it was Donna who discovered Gwen's body) and took her to church. After attending Rachel's church pageant, Isla also wants to attend church there, to which Ash agrees (remembering how his parents repeatedly caused Gwen disappointment and discouragement at her interests, wondering if they had encouraged her things might have been different).

When Hunter and Ash go to pick up Hayden after Ash and Isla visit church, Ash tells Hunter that since Isla was never a priority for her mother, she is a priority for him, and he can't take a chance on a woman who will not understand that; Hunter responds that Ash should not be blind to someone who also wants to make Isla a priority (Heather), and that (because of Rachel's and Isla's budding friendship, as well as Heather's interest in them) they are for all intents and purposes "part of the family". At the Christmas Eve service the pastor repeats John 3:16, which has Ash thinking about Christianity; the following day (Christmas Day) he asks Hunter to explain things, and he becomes a Christian.

Like Carissa felt with Hunter, Ash feels a relationship wouldn't work between him and Heather due to their disparate statuses in life, while Heather is unable to get any idea on how Ash feels about her due to his inability to express his feelings. However, the two are able to work out their concerns, and begin dating (they agree that Ash will pay for dates and go to family-style chain restaurants which he can afford). In the subsequent book, Heather and Ash are engaged, they marry (on a tropical island in the Pacific Ocean) and enroll Isla in the same school as Rachel, and in time they adopt Isla as their own daughter. Isla also discovers a singing talent: she and Rachel perform a duet in the following year's children's Christmas pageant at church.

Hayden/Paige/Rylan

Child of Hope, the third book in the series (set one year after the preceding book, two years after the initial book, and six years after the accident), shows how Hayden met Paige and Rylan, her son who is age 6 at the time. Rylan is portrayed on the cover of Child of Hope as a young boy with straight brown hair, playing with a toy car, notably a wheelchair is shown in the background.

Hayden works in the family business within its digital marketing department, working from home on a somewhat intermittent basis. He was in the accident which killed his father, and was left with severe injuries; what was to be his final surgery resulted in complications and ultimately led to a partial amputation of his left leg. He was not only left physically scarred by the accident, but emotionally more so, becoming bitter and reclusive (however, he does very well around children who don't judge his outward appearance). Though he has regular physical therapy sessions at home, Hayden has stopped seeing a therapist for his emotional trauma and has never followed though on getting a prosthesis, and has otherwise let himself go physically (though, long before, he allowed his hair to grow out). He is the only sibling who's middle name (Philip) is given.

Though Hayden has shared part of what happened during the accident with his siblings, he has never shared the entire story: Hayden believes that his own actions led to their father's death, and that his father died disappointed in him. Hayden had never taken his responsibilities in the company seriously and his father was not happy with his poor work performance. The two were going to dinner to discuss the issue, and were arguing when the accident took place. In his dying words, his father told Hayden to tell his mother, and then Hunter and Heather, that he loved them, but they were then hit by another vehicle entering the accident which killed his father and put Hayden in a coma; thus, Hayden never heard his father say that he loved him as well. For the past six years he has relived the final scene repeatedly in his mind.

Hunter has hired a cook/housekeeper to assist Hayden around his apartment. The first person hired, Leta, retired, and recommended Paige Cantor (her daughter) as a replacement. Within the past year, Paige had been through a bitter divorce from her husband, Glenn: after their son Rylan's birth (during which he suffered permanent injuries, requiring life-long use of a wheelchair) Glenn stopped showing an interest in his son, and in the divorce he surrendered his parental rights (the birth also caused Paige to stop her plans for a degree in genetic research). Thereafter, using his skills as an accountant, Glenn absconded with a large amount of settlement money he and Paige had received from the hospital for Rylan's permanent injuries, all attempts to find and legally recover the funds have failed. Paige accepted the job (moving back to the Twin Cities) from her mother so she could have medical insurance for Rylan. Due to the lack of funds for daycare, and concerned about how Rylan may view himself when around other children who aren't disabled, Leta and Paige have chosen to homeschool Rylan. Though Leta attends church regularly, the building isn't accessible for Rylan, not that Paige really has much interest in God after the events of the past year.

One day, Leta is unable to care for Rylan due to a friend undergoing major surgery. Paige takes a risk of losing her job by bringing Rylan with her to Hayden's apartment. But she isn't fired: Hayden actually starts to bond with Rylan (due in part to both of them having permanent physical injuries) and discovers the two have a mutual interest in cars. He invites Paige and Rylan to use the apartment's heated pool (so Rylan can meet his nieces Rachel and Isla, who wouldn't judge Rylan for his disability as they have never judged Hayden), and then (at Heather's urging) to the children's Christmas party (Paige wonders if that wasn't a marriage proposal -- given what happened to Carissa/Rachel and Ash/Isla, while Hayden -- to his horror -- learns that his invitation means he also has to attend, something he hasn't done since the accident).

When Hayden learns about Glenn stealing the settlement money, he uses his contacts to track down the funds, and through "illegal channels" he is able to recover and return them to Paige. He also buys his nieces several gifts, and buys Rylan a power wheelchair. While wrapping the smaller gifts on the day before Christmas Eve, Hayden finally shares (with Heather) the full story of what happened in the accident; she replies that he did not die disappointed with him, but he would be disappointed in what Hayden has done with his life since then. It is the breakthrough that convinces Hayden that he needs to change his life. He also realizes that previously, Hayden would have never considered dating a single mother, but his interactions with Rachel, Isla, and now Rylan have softened his hardened heart and have sparked a romantic interest in Paige.

Paige feels a relationship wouldn't work between her and Hayden due to him being her employer (though, technically, Hunter pays her salary), while Hayden is concerned that a "strong, competent woman" like Paige wouldn't want to associate with a "weak, self-absorbed man" like him (feelings which worsen once Hayden recovers the money; he feels that Paige will no longer need to work, and thus wouldn't need to bring Rylan over again). However, the two are able to work out their concerns, and begin dating (he begins a routine which has him being awake before she arrives, actually works from his home office regularly, and on Fridays he hangs out with Rylan; he has also restarted emotional therapy and begins the process to get a prosthesis). In the epilogue (which starts on the day before Christmas Eve, exactly one year after Hayden's emotional breakthrough), Hayden (now with his prosthesis) has proposed to Paige and they are married on Christmas Eve, one year later. They have built a house which is accessible for both Rylan and Hayden (and which has a detached apartment for Leta), while Rylan has re-enrolled in school and has an aide (he attends the same school as his now cousins Rachel and Isla); upon returning from his honeymoon he will begin the process to legally adopt Rylan. Also, the three couples regularly attend a Bible study together.