Welcome to Excerpt Friday! Each Friday we’ll be featuring excerpts from recent releases by our very own Fillies. So grab a cup of coffee and read on. And if you find you’re hooked by what you read (and we know you will be!) just click on the book cover to purchase the entire book.
From Author Renee Ryan – Claiming The Doctor’s Heart
Below is a blurb from CLAIMING THE DOCTOR’S HEART. If you leave a comment you’ll be entered in a drawing for one of three copies. ENJOY!!!!
“You’re not in Florida anymore.” That, she decided, was another blessing from her job loss. Big city life had lost its appeal years ago. She’d simply been working too hard to notice, too focused on building a family that was never meant to be hers.
Delighted to be outside, her brother’s dog Baloo trotted next to her, head high. A few blocks later he stopped to sniff the base of a blue-and-white rectangle sign. Olivia didn’t have to circle around to the other side to read the words scrolled across the silhouette of a church with a tall steeple. She knew them by heart. Village Green, Colorado. Founded 1899. Population: 15,902. Elevation: 4,984.
After ten years of school and work and clawing her way up the corporate ladder, she was back where she started. A little shattered, a bit heartbroken, but not beaten.
In no particular hurry now, Olivia let the dog take the lead. He sniffed a tree, paid avid attention to several bushes, all the while tugging her in the direction of a bubbling, three-tiered fountain at the center of Hawkins Park, named after the town’s founder, Jonathan Hawkins.
Baloo settled at her feet, then shut his eyes and set in for a short nap.
Olivia was about to sit on the fountain’s ledge nestled in the middle of the park when a puppy shot past her at lightning speed. The furry missile crested a small hill to her right, spun in a hard semi-circle, then sped back toward her.
Two young girls wearing matching white shorts and red t-shirts raced after him. “Samson, stop right now,” one of them yelled, while the other girl shouted, “Come back here.”
Ears flat against his head, stubby legs pumping hard, Samson darted right then left then right again. In their haste to catch him the girls tumbled over one another, landing in a heap. “Samsoooooooon.”
Ignoring the call, the animal whizzed past the pile of tangled arms and legs, his bubblegum pink tongue flapping in the wind.
Before Olivia could grab him, the puppy took a flying leap. With momentum on his side, he cleared the fountain’s ledge and splashed down with a belly-busting splat.
He sank to the bottom like a stone. Whoa.
Weren’t dogs supposed to be able to swim?
With the girls’ panicked shrieks in her ears, Olivia scooped the puppy out of the water. He came up wriggling and twisting, little legs running in the air.
“Calm down,” she ordered.
Samson continued his antics, sufficiently jetting water in every direction, including across the front of Olivia’s shirt.
Laughing despite the impromptu bath, she held on tight and studied the animal through narrowed eyes. Seriously cute, she decided as she took in the plump belly, short tawny fur, and adorable black face.
When he stopped thrashing she put him on the grass. He shook off the excess water, caught sight of a potential new friend, and immediately instigated a wrestling match with Baloo. Olivia shifted her attention to the two young girls skidding to a stop beside her.
“You saved Samson,” one of the two sobbed.
Tears wavered in the other girl’s eyes. “We were so worried we wouldn’t catch him. He got away really fast.”
Even without the identical clothing, Olivia pegged them for twins. They had the same long, pale blonde hair, pretty features and arresting golden brown eyes.
Something about those eyes sparked a memory, one that shimmered just out of reach.
Olivia glanced around. Where were their parents? The girls were too young to be in the park alone. She saw several possibilities, then decided first things first. She plucked the puppy off Baloo and held him out. “Looking for this?”
“Oh, thank you.” Blinking away her tears, the girl on Olivia’s left took the dog, uncaring he was still wet. Now that the puppy was no longer harassing him, Baloo rolled back to his stomach and continued his nap.
“You look familiar.” The girl holding the puppy angled her head. “Do we know you?”
“I don’t believe so. I’ve only just–”
“Megan, Molly.” A deep, masculine voice rang out from the hilltop behind the girls. There was a note of concern riding inside the rich baritone, one Olivia hoped she alleviated with a brief wave of her hand.
His steps quickened, eating up the ground in long, sure strides. A thousand thoughts collided together in her mind. She knew that purposeful walk, that handsome face, that wind-tousled hair the color of sandy, Florida beaches.
A single name swirled above the jumble in Olivia’s mind. Connor Mitchell.