The Healing Touch

For some reason, I’ve always loved stories in which a hero or heroine helps the other one heal — either physically or mentally. I think it’s because there is a vulnerability, a tenderness when one person takes the time to help another heal, even though it might not be a quick or easy process. A lot of emotion and eventually love can be born out of those moments. I don’t know how many westerns I’ve read where the heroine has to help the loner/farmhand/gunslinger/you name it heal from some illness or wound. They’re alone in a cabin, quite possibly during a blizzard, and the forced intimacy of the space just lights a fire — whether a slow burn or a raging inferno — under their attraction.

So it was to this story trope that I gravitated for my new release, A Cowboy’s Kiss. There’s no trapped in a snowy cabin story thread, but my hero is a doctor in addition to having a ranching/cowboy background. Here’s the blurb:

When librarian Anna Kenner wakes up in the hospital, she’s stunned to learn that she’s been in a coma for a week, and her life has been turned upside down. Anna has always been quiet and self-reliant, but now she must ask for help. To make matters worse, the man she’s coming to rely on is a casual friend from high school, whom she always wished could be more. As Roman helps her recover, Anna wonders if this time she will be braver and have a different outcome—Roman in her arms. 

Dr. Roman McQueen leads a busy life between his work at the hospital and his time spent at his family’s Montana ranch. And yet, he finds himself sitting night after night at Anna’s bedside reading her a mystery and hoping that somehow she knows that, even though she has no family, she is not alone. When Anna wakes and begins the long process of recovery, Roman finds himself by her side. He tells himself he’s being a friend even as he tries not to notice how her kindness, quiet wit and subtle beauty make him dream that someday they can have more.

Because this is the second in my Once Upon a Western series, it also has that tie to a classic fairy tale — this time Sleeping Beauty. Anna and Roman’s story falls more onto the slow burn end of the spectrum, first because, well, she’s in a coma. But even when she wakes up and even though she isn’t officially his patient, he has to be careful not to give the impression of any impropriety between a doctor and a hospital patient. But they do know each other, so at first their friendship builds even though each is attracted to the other. There are also things in her past that make her hesitant to act on her attraction to Roman, even after she’s back home. Still, no matter how much she might fight it, the pull between them is just too strong. They are just too right for each other. I’m smiling now just thinking about how I gradually brought these two together.

To find out more about this series or for buy links, check out my website

Now I’d like to hear from you — do you like the healer story trope in romance? What are some of your favorite stories that have used this?

Trish Milburn
Trish Milburn is the author of nearly 40 romance, suspense, paranormal, women's fiction and young adult titles. She's a two-time winner of the Golden Heart Award and the recipient of Romance Writers of America's top award for service, the Emma Merritt Award. She's a big sci-fi geek girl, loves seeing new places, and has been known to cosplay on occasion. She's always loved westerns, so considering her other love is sci-fi it's no wonder her all-time favorite TV show is Firefly, which blends the two genres. Check out her books, links to various social media and sign up for her newsletter at http://www.trishmilburn.com/
Updated: September 30, 2018 — 2:53 pm

23 Comments

  1. I do enjoy healer stories. Love in many ways help healing so much. I have read several stories like this but cannot remember a single one right now.

    1. That’s so true about love.

  2. I do enjoy this type of story. I can’t wait to read your book.

      1. You’re welcome!

  3. Thanks for sharing! I love stories just like this. Can’t wait to read the book!

    1. Thanks, Joy. Hope you enjoy it when you do.

  4. Life this type of story! Thank you for sharing!

  5. I really enjoy revealed stories as well. I enjoy watching them get to know each other and relating to one another that may not have happened orherwise. Thank you for the post about your book, which sounds wonderful.

    1. Thanks, Carol. I appreciate it.

  6. I absolutely love the premise of your new book, Trish! Great series. You go, girl!

    1. Thanks, Pam. It was interesting to try to come up with a Sleeping Beauty for a modern story that didn’t include fantasy or paranormal.

  7. Good morning, Trish……Congrats on the new release!! I love this trope and recently used it in To Catch a Texas Star. Then in To Marry a Texas Outlaw the heroine was the one in need of healing (from amnesia.) This trope is very effective because it allows a lot of private touching and talking that they wouldn’t normally have. Lorraine Heath is a master of this trope.

    I can’t wait to read this. Such a great premise plus a hunk on the cover. 🙂

    1. That’s so true, Linda. And I love Lorraine and her books. She’s awesome.

  8. It sounds like just a lovely story, Trish. Looking forward to it.

    For a novel with a disabled hero and a beauty and the beast theme, I thought of Texas Destiny by Lorraine Heath, Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale, To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt, Ravished by Amanda Quick, Simply Love by Mary Balogh, and Beast by Judith Ivory. For the disabled heroine I could only think of Annie’s Song by Catherine Anderson, Silent Melody by Mary Balogh, and Dearest Rogue by Elizabeth Hoyt, all having to do with blindness.

    1. So many good suggestions, Eliza. Thanks so much for those. I remember reading Annie’s Song years ago.

  9. Trish, Your books sounds wonderful! I’m looking forward to reading it.

    1. Thanks, Caryl. Hope you enjoy it.

  10. Love that trope. Usually a really good emotional read.

    1. Yeah, they usually tug on the heartstrings.

  11. The wounded hero or heroine trope is one of my favorite. I never really thought about the other side of the equation – the healer. However, you can’t have the HEA for the wounded individual without the healer. It takes a special person and a special relationship nurtured over time to heal those wounds and bring that person back to a trusting, happy mindset. Since I enjoy this story line, I have read many. However, I will have to think on it to come up with a few specific books.

    1. I agree. This isn’t about westerns, but I’m currently watching a show on Netflix called The Rise of Phoenixes. It’s a Chinese costume drama, and the romance is really slow burn and has that element of emotional healing that is so appealing. I’m totally obsessed with this show and am anxiously awaiting when Netflix puts up more episodes on Friday.

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