Monday, February 16, 2015

The Christmas Baby Bump by Lynne Marshall


Something bad had happened in Stephanie's past. She was in Santa Barbara to fill in for a doctor on maternity leave. She met one of the other doctors, Phil, and was very attracted to him. But he was caring for his little half-brother with Downs Syndrome while the parents were on vacation. Stephanie was extremely nervous around Robbie, even a bit freaked out. But she was starting to get used to him.

Phil invited her over for Thanksgiving. But his parents couldn't make it. There was bad weather in Hawaii and they could not fly out. Phil, Stephanie and Robbie had a good day. She even played outside with them. She and Phil played together later.

Stephanie decided to have a fling with Phil until her temporary job was over. He was hard to resist. But then Stephanie finds out that she is pregnant. What will she do?

This was a cute story. Stephanie needed to get past what happened. Phil was just the man to do it!

From the author:
When dreamy doctor Phil Hansen meets beautiful new colleague Stephanie Bennett, he wants to drag the prickly obstetrician straight underneath the surgery’s mistletoe! Determined to kiss away the heartbreak he sees in her eyes, Phil suggests a Christmas fling—after all, isn’t love supposed to be the best medicine?
Dazzled by Phil’s laid-back charm, and long overdue some happiness of her own, Stephanie finds herself coming alive in his arms. Then the festive fling throws them a surprise—a magical Christmas gift…

Excerpt:
Monday morning, Stephanie opened the door of the cream-colored Victorian mansion and headed toward the reception desk. Though the house had been turned into a medical clinic, they'd kept the turn-of-the-century charm. Hardwood floors, tray ceilings, crown molding, wall sconces, even a chandelier made everything feel special. She could get used to showing up for work here.

A man with longish dark blond hair in a suit chatted with not one but two nurses at the receptionist's desk. Nothing short of adoration gleamed from the women's eyes. He looked typical trendy Santa Barbaran—businessman by day in a tailored suit and carefully chosen shirt/tie combo, outdoorsman on the weekends by the tone of his tan. Not bad, if you liked the type.

"Of course I'll help you out, Dr. Hansen," one of the young and attractive nurses gushed.

"Great." He held a clipboard. "I'll pencil you in right here. Anyone else?"

Was he taking advantage of the staff? Unscrupulous.

"Sign me up for Saturday," the middle-aged, magenta-haired receptionist chimed in.

Hmm.

"Got it." As he scribbled in her name his gaze drifted upward. The warm and inviting smile that followed stopped Stephanie in her tracks.

"May I help you?" he said.

Flustered, and not understanding why—okay, she knew exactly why, the guy was gorgeous—she cleared her throat. "I'm Stephanie Bennett. I have an appointment with Dr. Rogers."
"Yes," the older receptionist said, back to all-business. "He's expecting you, Dr. Bennett. I'll let him know you're here."

Before she could take a seat in the waiting room, the man with the bronze-toned suntan (even though it was November!) offered his hand. "I'm Phil Hansen, the pulmonologist of the group. If you'd like, I'll take you up to Jason's office."

"It's nice to meet you," she said, out of habit.

A long-forgotten feeling twined through her center as she shook his hand. She stiffened. Tingles spiraled up her arm, taking her by surprise. No wonder the ladies were signing up on his clipboard. She stifled the need to fiddle with her hair.

"Oh, that's fine," she muttered. Then, finding her voice, said, "I'll wait for him to…" Before she could finish her sentence and drop Phil's hand, another man, a few years older but equally attractive with dark hair, appeared at the top of the stairs. Working with such handsome men, after being celibate for over three years, might prove challenging on the composure front. She'd imagined typical stodgy, bespectacled, aging doctors when she'd signed on as a locum. Not a couple of Gentleman's Quarterly models.

"That would be Jason," Dr. Hansen said, his smile narrowing his bright blue eyes into crescents. Instead of letting go of her hand, he switched its position and walked her toward the stairs, as if they were old friends. "Here's Stephanie Bennett reporting for duty."

"Great. Come on up, Stephanie. After we talk, I'll show you around."

Phil brought her to the stairway complete with turned spindle rail, dropped her hand on the baluster, and patted it. "Thanks for stepping in," he said in all sincerity. "You'll like it here."

Considering the odd feeling fizzing through her veins, she was inclined to agree.

Stephanie saw the temporary stint in Santa Barbara as the perfect excuse for missing the holidays with her family in Palm Desert. Thanksgiving and Christmas always brought back memories too painful to bear. Not that those thoughts weren't constantly in her mind anyway, but the holidays emphasized everything.

Read more here.

Kindle Edition192 pages
Published December 1st 2010 by Harlequin Medical Romances (first published January 1st 2010)

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