Author: Beverley Bateman
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Running from a disastrous engagement, and an over-powering father, Dr. Allie Parsons agrees to help out an old friend and travels to Duster, Montana. She’s agreed to assist the local doctor until he can find a permanent new doctor. A city girl, Allie is greeted with culture shock in small town Duster, but she also finds a warm, friendly community. And the doctor turns out to be young, tall, dark and handsome. He sends her emotions shooting sky high. She’s welcomed into the Hawkins family and develops a relationship with the doctor’s daughter. A mysterious stranger leaves notes at the clinic and Allie fears they are a warning he’s going to kidnap the doctor’s daughter.
Luke Hawkins, one of the Hawkins’ brothers, is looking for a doctor to take over half the practice from the retiring doctor. He’s not expecting his temporary replacement to be a young, sexy, single woman from New York. He knows she’s the woman he’s been searching for all his life, but he also knows she won’t stay in Duster. Now he has to convince the woman he loves that she really is a small town doctor at heart.
“Why did I agree to this, even temporarily?” Before getting to Duster, Montana Dr. Alexandra Parsons had driven for miles without seeing anything but cows.
Following the directions on her GPS she pulled her vehicle up to the curb and switched off the ignition. There it was. The gray brick building across the street, situated between a pharmacy and a small, Montana State bank.
The square wooden sign across the front of the building read “Doctors Office” in neat, black letters. Blinds, tilted half open across the windows on each side of the door, allowed a partial view of several patients sitting in the waiting room.
Allie pushed open the door to the clinic and then stepped into the small, crowded waiting room. The slight scent of antiseptic tickled her nose. She stopped.
Silence crept across the room.
One by one, heads turned toward the door.
It might be the novelty of a stranger, but more likely it was the novelty of a stranger in fancy city clothes with a run in her stocking. She threaded her way through the patients to the reception counter. Patients watched her. A few of them put down the magazines they were thumbing through. She’d bet a month’s salary those magazines were three or four years old. The furniture in the waiting room had seen better days, but it was serviceable.
The men and women stared at her, probably wondering who the heck she was. Several patients smiled at her. She managed to return the smiles. At least no one laughed.
The man standing behind the counter, tall, broad-shouldered, maybe thirtyish, with curly dark hair and a strong, square chin caught her attention right away. His cobalt blue eyes, under long dark lashes, latched on to her as she walked toward him. Even partially covered by his lab coat, his muscled chest strained against the white t-shirt.
If he was the doctor he was definitely not the old geezer she’d expected.
A few feet from the counter, she stopped. His electric blue eyes locked on her. She couldn’t look away. Sensuality oozed across the space between them. Her breath hitched into an irregular rhythm, kicking her pulse up a notch.
“Good, you finally got here. I thought Jean would send someone a little faster.” His rich, smooth voice rolled over her. “Look, we’re backed up. Patients’ files are over there and the appointment book is on the desk. Check them in, pull their file, and put the file in the slot by the examining room door.”
“Excuse me?” She stared up at the man snapping orders at her. She’d run away from one tyrant and had no intention of putting up with another overbearing one, even if he was knock-down gorgeous. His firm abs, linebacker-type shoulders and muscular body did not compensate for his attitude.
Who did this jerk think he was?
Her back stiffened. She assumed he was the doctor, but his manners confused her. If staff and working partners were expected to put up with this, no wonder they hadn’t been able to find another doctor.
“You’re not going to make me repeat all that are you? I have a room full of patients. When I asked Jean to send a temp over from the hospital, I thought she’d send someone with training and at least a vague idea of what they were doing.” A sigh slipped through his lips and he rolled his eyes. The look he gave her placed her one step above an idiot.
He pointed to a huge pile of folders. “The patients’ files are…”
Allie pulled her shoulders back, raised her chin and tightened her lips together. “Excuse me. I believe you’ve made a mistake. First of all, I’m not stupid. Second, I’m not your damn temp. I’m a doctor, Alexandra Parsons, M.D. I understood you were expecting me.”
“You’re the new doc? Shoot. I didn’t expect you today.” The heart-stopping man stared down at her. His full lips drooped in apparent disappointment.
The disappointment could be her or the fact he still didn’t have a temp. She couldn’t tell.
“I arrived early, so I could acquaint myself with the town and find a place to live. I just dropped by to introduce myself.”
He focused on her, drawing his eyebrows into a frown. “You’re the new physician? I should have known by that fancy outfit, it screams big city.”
“Sorry. I’ve just arrived and haven’t had time to get my jeans and plaid shirt yet. I’ll move that to the top of my list, so I’ll fit in.”
A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth, but he controlled it, as he ran his fingers through the tangle of dark curls. “Look, I’m sorry. I mean…my mistake. Donna, my receptionist, quit this morning with no notice. She ran off with some truck driver. I’ve got a room full of patients and a long list of messages to return. The phone keeps ringing, and yes, I desperately need another doctor. However, right this minute, I need a receptionist to sort this mess out.”
“I also desperately need another doctor. My day is not going well, as you can see. I’m Luke Hawkins by the way.” He stuck out his hand.
She wiped her hand on her skirt before extending it. He immediately encased it in strong fingers.
“And I suppose the receptionist is expected to be a female?”
“Wha…?” He dropped her hand.
She shook her head. “Forget it.”
What I love most about the holiday season:
The very thought of Christmas makes me smile. The first thing I love is the Christmas spirit. People are usually happier, more generous, kinder and more considerate of t others .I always wish the spirit could continue through the rest of the year. I love the music, the decorations and family gatherings. I love the story of the first Christmas, before Santa came along. I love baking and the food. There’s nothing I don’t love about the season, except the commercialism.
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Runs July 1 – 31
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Beverley Bateman now lives in Medicine Hat, Alberta, exchanging the Okanagan vineyards and orchards for ranches and farms. She lives there with her husband and Shiba Inu dogs. Winters she heads south. She writes k her latest romantic suspense in both places. Hunted, Missing and the newest – Targeted are part of her Montana, Hawkins Ranch series. She also has her Holly Devine series; A Cruise to Remember, and a Murder to Forget. Don’t Go is her darker romantic suspense.
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Amazon author page http://www.amazon.com/Beverley-Bateman/e/B008M01F5E