Five reasons why I shouldn't fall in love with Dr. Ryan McKinley:
1. I've been divorced less than a year
2. I'm ordinary and he is a sex god
3. I have my daughter to think of
4. I have to work with the man
5. He might break my heart...
Nurse Jenna Richards did not come all the way to Glenmore to fall head over heels for the first sexy doctor she saw. But what's a single mom to do when a devastatingly dreamy doc has his eye on her, and the entire island community is mischievously matchmaking...?
'I can't believe you've dragged me to the middle of nowhere. You must really hate me.' The girl slumped against the rail of the ferry, sullen and defiant, every muscle in her slender teenage frame straining with injured martyrdom and simmering rebellion.
Jenna dragged her gaze from the misty beauty of the approaching island and focused on her daughter. 'I don't hate you, Lexi,' she said quietly. 'I love you. Very much.'
'If you loved me, we'd still be in London.'
Guilt mingled with stress and tension until the whole indigestible mix sat like a hard ball behind her ribs. 'I thought this was the best thing.'
'Best for you, maybe. Not me.'
'It's a fresh start. A new life.' As far away from her old life as possible. Far away from everything that reminded her of her marriage. Far away from the pitying glances of people she'd used to think were her friends.
'I liked my old life!'
So had she. Until she'd discovered that her life had been a lie. They always said you didn't know what was going on in someone else's marriage--she hadn't known what was going on in her own.
Jenna blinked rapidly, holding herself together through will-power alone, frightened by how bad she felt. Not for the first time, she wondered whether eventually she was going to crack. People said that time healed, but how much time? Five years? Ten years? Certainly not a year. She didn't feel any better now than she had when it had first happened. She was starting to wonder whether some things just didn't heal-- whether she'd have to put on the 'everything is OK' act for the rest of her life.
She must have been doing a reasonably good job of convincing everyone she was all right because Lexi was glaring at her, apparently oblivious to her mother's own personal struggle. 'You had a perfectly good job in London. We could have stayed there.'
'London is expensive.'
'So? Make Dad pay maintenance or something. He's the one who walked out.'
The comment was like a slap in the face. 'I don't want to live off your father. I'd rather be independent.' Which was just as well, Jenna thought bleakly, given Clive's reluctance to part with any money for his daughter. 'Up here there are no travel costs, you can go to the local school, and they give me a cottage with the job.'
That was the best part. A cottage. Somewhere that was their own. She wasn't going to wake up one morning and find it had been taken away from them.
'How can you be so calm and civilised about all this?' Lexi looked at her in exasperation. 'You should be angry. I tell you now, if a man ever treats me the way Dad treated you I'll punch his teeth down his throat and then I'll take a knife to his--'
'Well, I would!'
Jenna took a slow deep breath. 'Of course I've felt angry. And upset. But what's happened has happened, and we have to get on with it.' Step by step. Day by day.
'So Dad's left living in luxury with his new woman and we're exiled to a remote island that doesn't even have electricity? Great.'
'Glenmore is a wonderful place. Keep an open mind. I loved it when I was your age and I came with my grandparents.'
'People choose to come here?' Lexi glared at the rocky shore, as if hoping to scare the island into vanishing. 'Is this seriously where you came on holiday? That's totally tragic. You should have sued them for cruelty.'
'I loved it. It was a proper holiday. The sort where we spent time together--' Memories swamped her and suddenly Jenna was a child again, excited at the prospect of a holiday with her grandparents. Here--and perhaps only here--she'd felt loved and accepted for who...