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Missing by Beverley Bateman @Kelownawriter is a Christmas and Holiday Book Festival Pick #romanticsu

Title: Missing

Author: Beverley Bateman

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Book Blurb:

A small Montana town doctor, Luke Hawkins, gets a New York City doctor, Allie Parsons, to assist in his clinic temporarily. She can’t believe how remote the town is and wants to get back to city life, but the townspeople and the sexy doctor are getting to her. When his daughter is kidnapped, he has to save her, and convince the woman he loves that she really is a small-town doctor at heart.


In the kitchen Luke popped the cap off a bottle of beer. Because of his daughter he’d never brought women home, until Allie. But that was because of Dalton. In fact, he’d dated very little. Hell, he might as well be celibate for all the action he’d had lately.

He put the bottle to his lips and let the cold beer slide down his throat. A vision of Allie floated before him: beautiful, intelligent, and concerned about Gran and Molly.

She was overly concerned about the threatening notes and Molly. Maybe, just maybe, she wasn’t wrong about them. He’d have to think about it. He’d checked with his Dad and Jack and they were both concerned. Luke couldn’t wrap his head around anyone wanting to kidnap Molly. Who? Why?

He took another swig of beer and switched his thoughts back to Allie.

Ever since she’d arrived in Duster, she’d wrapped herself around his soul and infiltrated his life. Having her here warmed up the house, made it feel like home.

Once she got back from her visit, the cold and the emptiness would disappear. He knew he loved her. After that first day, he’d known she was special and he wanted her in his life, but he could never leave Duster.

Allie kept saying she was a city girl, born and bred. She didn’t know if she could live in the Montana wilderness. Duster wasn’t exactly the wilderness, but he supposed it might seem like it to someone raised in high rises and twenty-four-hour noise.

What were the chances she’d ever consider staying here?

The only compromise he could figure out was to bring in the part-time doctor. That person could cover the clinic so Luke could take Allie to New York or another big city, once, maybe twice a year.

He’d confessed to Gran that he loved Allie. From what Gran had said after surgery, Allie had told her she loved him. Maybe he and Allie needed to get their act together and talk to each other. When she got back tonight, he’d make a point of telling her he loved her and see where it went from there.

He checked to see there was wine in the fridge, opened it and got a couple of glasses out. He heard Allie’s vehicle pull into the driveway.

When she opened the door, he wrapped her in his arms, kicked the door shut and kissed her.

“Wow, what’s that for?”

“I want to tell you how I feel, but first I thought I’d show you.”

Allie looked startled. She hesitated before she stepped back into his arms, reached up and pulled his head down. Her lips melded with his, moving them around, sending messages with her mouth.

“Oh, Allie, I love you.”

“I love you, too. I already told Gran.”

He her into the kitchen where he poured a chilled Chardonnay. “Here’s to us.”

Allie touched her glass to his and took a sip. “So, what do we do now?”

“Good question. We could leap ahead. Will you marry me?”

She leaned against the counter. “I don’t know. I love you. I’ve never felt this way about anyone before. Gran expects us to get married because she had the surgery. She also expects another great grandchild.”

“And how do you feel about that?”

“A little nervous, maybe a little scared, but not like I used to. With a family like yours for support, I don’t think anyone could be a terrible mother.”

Luke pulled her close. “You’re right about the Hawkins family and I know you’d make a great mom. Look at you and Molly and how well you get along. She loves you.”

“I love you, and Molly, and your whole family. We’ll see about the parent thing, but I have a bigger problem before we plan a family. I know you’ll never leave here, and I wouldn’t ask you to. This is your home. But I’m not sure I can settle down in Duster.”

“I thought you liked it here.”

“I do. It’s growing on me, but sometimes I miss the lack of cultural opportunities and limited shopping.”

“We have cultural stuff here.”

“Sure, like the Lincoln Center and the opera.”

“Okay, maybe no opera. What would help?” Luke kissed her again, slipping his tongue into her mouth, sliding his hands over her bottom.

“That helps, but I think I’d like to go home for a visit.”

“You want to go to New York?” Luke felt a shard of jealousy shoot through his gut. “Why?”

“Don’t panic, at least not yet. I’d like to go back to my apartment, see how I feel there, check out an art gallery and maybe a play and, yes, see my parents. I am growing to love Duster, but I haven’t been here that long. I’ve lived in a big city for twenty-nine years. Can I adjust to the change if I make it permanent?”

“I’m sure you can. Hey, we have a Christmas pageant, and in the spring the community puts on a play. We have local artists. They have art shows, if not here, then in Bozeman, Helena and Missoula. Missoula is a college town. There’s lots of culture there. And Monday is the Columbus Day parade.”

Allie punched him on the shoulder. “You know that’s not the same. Could it be enough? I don’t know. You’re having a parade on Monday?”

“Hey, it’s a big deal. The school band plays. Rangers decorate their saddles and ride their horses. The local groups march, like the soccer team and the Boy Scouts. I’ll be taking Molly. You have to come.”

“Nobody’s mentioned it.”

“I think we all had Gran on our minds and then Gabe and Molly’s wedding. Look, if you’re sure you need to go home, do you want me to go with you?”

“No, it’s something I need to do on my own.”

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Share a holiday family tradition:

Besides always having a family dinner, on Christmas morning children were allowed to sneak downstairs after seven o’clock and get their stockings and open them. They were supposed to open them in their room so the parents could sleep longer but it never worked out that way, and they brought the stockings into the parent’s room and opened them on the parents bed.

Why is your featured book perfect to get readers in the holiday mood:

Well, it is a romantic suspense, so we do have villains and heroes. But it’s also about family, winter, Christmas, and weddings and it shows how love is an important part of being a family and the difference in families. Not all families include love.


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Open internationally.

Runs December 1 – 31.

Drawing will be held on January 3, 2020.

Author Biography:

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 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. And Death Southern Style is coming soon.

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