Love on a Limb by @laurielclewis is a Backlist Bonanza pick #christianromance #free #giveaway
Title: Love on a Limb
Author: Laurie Lewis
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance
NAMED BEST NEW FICTION 2018 by New Apple Literary!
When love alone isn’t enough to save the one you love, you might also need a little miracle.
Matthew Grayken is young, successful, and dying, which is why he’s about to propose to a total stranger. He isn’t interested in love. He needs a caregiver, a companion, and someone to be his legal voice when he can no longer speak for himself.
Lonely, compassionate nurse Mikaela Compton is intrigued by Matt Grayken’s tender request, but when their friendly marriage turns into love, she rejects the inevitability of Matt’s death and prays for a miracle instead. Mikaela succeeds in reigniting Matt’s will to fight, but his body is losing the battle, and her determination to save him causes her to betray the fundamental promise she made him--to help him die.
Their last hope at saving Matt's life will require a sacrifice from each of them and force them to decide how far out on a limb they're willing to go for love.
The sheer audaciousness of the mission Matthew Murray
Grayken was about to embark upon exceeded the thrill of riding
Chile’s white-water roller coaster—The Terminator—and loomed
more soul-satisfying than skydiving over Dubai’s man-made
archipelago, Palm Jumeirah.
Matt Grayken was about to ask a total stranger to marry him.
The cause of the day’s mission amplified the ever-present lump
in his throat. He returned his focus to the woman with the nametag
that read Mikaela Compton. She was the embodiment of
compassion that served those on the other end of the room. Her
peace washed over him again as it always did when he watched her
from afar. He loved the way she leaned in when speaking to
someone, beginning and ending each encounter with a caring smile
and a touch. Compassion beamed from brown eyes that crinkled
when she turned a sober moment to laughter, as she did nearly
every minute as she joked with patients and cheered their progress
at each station.
From the first day that chance allowed him to see her, only
recalling her soft brown eyes, that smile, and those gentle hands
could calm him as he lie awake, shivering from night sweats, staring
at the ceiling. In order to see her, he moved all his future
appointments to the last slot when it was easier to linger, soaking up
more of her optimism and hope. And then he decided to shoot for the
moon and propose to her, a total stranger.
Matt waited for her to check on the patient nearest to him, and
then he cleared his throat and said, “May I ask you a question?”
She moved to him with a dancer’s grace, her brown hair bouncing within a tousled lump atop her head, as if she had gathered it while turning a somersault. Somehow the way the stray pieces fell seemed elegant, perfect, stylish around her delicate, unadorned face. He waited for it, and then it came, the caring lean-in followed by a gentle hand on his shoulder and that smile that warmed his chills away.
“I’m not your oncologist’s nurse, but I’ll try.”
Matt imagined what it would be like to hold her close, to fill his arms with her comfort, and then he realized how long he’d paused, soaking in the humanity she offered in a place of plastic and poison.
He lowered his voice to a whisper. “Actually, I . . . uh . . . I have a proposition for you.”
He cringed. His smooth, well-practiced proposal fled from his mind leaving that crude string of words in its place. He waited for her to slap him or, worse, to turn on her heel and leave.
“A proposition, eh?” A momentary show of skepticism erupted into a sunburst of pleasure that illuminated her face. She placed her hands on her hips, tipped her head askew, and offered him a wondering scowl. “You’re the third one today, and I have to warn you, you’re up against some tough competition.” She pointed down the row of chemo stations to a bald older man and his smiling wife, who were intently listening to the exchange. “Mr. and Mrs. Davenport keep me stocked in fresh vegetables from their garden on the chance I’ll let them adopt me. Isn’t that right?” The Davenports
supported her claim enthusiastically.
“And Mr. Fitzhugh whistles, ‘I Love You Truly’ to me every
appointment, and calls me his best girl.”
A rail-thin arm raised and waved to her.
Nurse Compton shot the man a smile and turned back to Matt
with a playful shrug. “What can I say? They’ve set the bar pretty
high.” She gave Matt’s shoulders a pat, followed by another of her
thousand-watt smiles, dismissing with grace and caring what he
assumed was another of a hundred daily come-ons.
She turned to go, and Matt reached for her hand, brushing his
fingers over her skin. She turned, as if sensing something different in
this exchange which likewise restored feelings long dormant in Matt.
“Dinner then?” he asked.
Their eyes locked as she studied him, weighing the invitation. “It’s
not allowed. Nurses can’t date patients.”
He was prepared for that response. “The administrators agreed
to . . . bend the rules . . . for a substantial donation. We could go
after your six o’clock class—”
She jerked her hand back. “How’d you—”
Guilt flooded Matt at being the cause of the sun’s eclipse. He knew she was not a woman who would enjoy being scoped out and studied. He wanted to kick himself. “I’m sorry . . . I . . . I overheard you telling the other nurses.”
The tension in her face and shoulders eased, but did not disperse. From behind her he heard two of the other nurses whistling a tune he couldn’t immediately identify. It clearly had meaning for Nurse Compton. She shot a scathing glance over her shoulder at them, but the volume only increased, and her scolding slipped into a smile before stiffening again, giving Matt’s hope renewed footing.
“What are they whistling?” He chuckled as her face burned with
“SJR, Baby!” cheered a nurse with a Jamaican accent.
Matt’s hands spread wide in surrender as he pled with the
sheepish nurse. “Oh, come on. You’ve got to tell me now.”
Nurse Compton capitulated after one last glance back at the
encouraging twosome. “Stuffed Just Right.” When nothing registered
on his face, she added. “From that cookie commercial where the guy
in the tight shirt offers the girl a cookie and she sings?” Her head
bobbled back and forth as she sang an off-key rendition of “‘Cause
every girl likes her sweets stuffed just right?”
Matt leaned back and tipped a salute to Nurse Compton’s backup
singers. “Thank you, ladies.” He returned his attention to the only
one whose opinion of him mattered and found her twisting a loose
lock of hair. “It appears I have their vote. What do you say?”
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“Love on a Limb” was awarded “Best New Fiction” in 2018 by New Apple Literary Awards. It’s a tender, gripping story of love in a crucible, and a marriage story about loyalty, faith, and love.
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Laurie (L.C.) Lewis is a weather-whining lover of Tom, her four kids, their spouses, and twelve amazing grandkids. She’s also crazy about crabs, nesting boxes, twinkle lights, sappy movies, and the sea. It’s documented that she’s craft-challenged and particularly lethal with a glue gun, so she set her creative juices on writing, which was less likely to burn her fingers.
Born in Baltimore, Laurie will always be a Marylander at heart, but a recent move to a house overlooking Utah Lake makes Utah her new love. Her Maryland years, spent within the exciting and history-rich corridor between Philadelphia, Baltimore, and D.C., made her a politics and history junkie. During a seven-year stint as a science-education facilitator, Laurie honed her research skills, eventually turning to writing full time.
The Letter Carrier is Laurie’s fourteenth published novel. She writes in multiple genres, penning her women’s fiction and romance novels as Laurie Lewis, and her historical fiction novels as L.C. Lewis.
She’s a RONE Award Winner (The Dragons of Alsace Farm) and was twice named a New Apple Literary Award winner in 2017 (The Dragons of Alsace Farm) and in 2018, winning Best New Fiction (Love on a Limb). She is also a BRAGG Medallion honoree, and she was twice named a Whitney Awards and USA Best Books Awards finalist.
Laurie’s next book, “Revenge Never Rests,” is a romantic suspense novel set to be released in October 2022 by Covenant Communications.
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