Running from a disastrous engagement, and an over-powering father, Dr. Allie Parsons agrees to help out an old friend and travels to Duster, Montana. She’s agreed to help the local doctor for a brief period of time until he can find a permanent new doctor. Raised her whole life in New York city, Allie is greeted with culture shock when she finds out how small Duster is, but she also finds a warm, friendly community. And the doctor turns out to be young, tall, dark and handsome. He sends her emotions shooting sky high. She’s welcomed into the Hawkins family and develops a relationship with his daughter. A mysterious stranger leaves notes at the clinic and Allie fears they are a warning he’s going to kidnap the doctor’s daughter.
Luke Hawkins, one of the Hawkins’ brothers is looking for a doctor to take over half the practice from the retiring doctor. He’s not expecting his temporary replacement to be a young, sexy, single woman from New York. He knows she’s the woman he’s been searching for all his life, but he also knows she won’t stay in Duster. He doesn’t believe the notes are meant for him until his daughter is kidnapped. Now he has to save his daughter and convince the woman he loves that she really is a small town doctor at heart.
“Good, you finally got here. I thought Jean would send someone a little faster.” His rich, smooth voice rolled over her. “Look, we’re backed up. Patients’ files are over there and the appointment book is on the desk. Check them in, pull their file, and put the file in the slot by the examining room door.”
“Excuse me?” She stared up at the man snapping orders at her. She’d run away from one tyrant and had no intention of putting up with another overbearing one, even if he was knock-down gorgeous. His firm abs, linebacker-type shoulders and muscular body did not compensate for his attitude.
Who did this jerk think he was?
Her back stiffened. She assumed he was the doctor, but his manners confused her. If staff and working partners were expected to put up with this, no wonder they hadn’t been able to find another doctor.
“You’re not going to make me repeat all that are you? I have a room full of patients. When I asked Jean to send a temp over from the hospital, I thought she’d send someone with training and at least a vague idea of what they were doing.” A sigh slipped through his lips and he rolled his eyes. The look he gave her placed her one step above an idiot.
He pointed to a huge pile of folders. “The patients’ files are...”
Allie pulled her shoulders back, raised her chin and tightened her lips together. “Excuse me. I believe you’ve made a mistake. First of all, I’m not stupid. Second, I’m not your damn temp. I’m a doctor, Alexandra Parsons, M.D. I understood you were expecting me.”
“You’re the new doc? Shoot. I didn’t expect you today.” The heart-stopping man stared down at her. His full lips drooped in apparent disappointment.
The disappointment could be her or the fact he still didn’t have a temp. She couldn’t tell.
“I arrived early, so I could acquaint myself with the town and find a place to live. I dropped by to introduce myself.”
He focused on her, drawing his eyebrows into a frown. “You’re the new physician? I should have known by that fancy outfit, it screams big city.”
“Sorry. I’ve just arrived and haven’t had time to get my jeans and plaid shirt yet. I’ll move that to the top of my list, so I’ll fit in.”
A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth, but he controlled it, as he ran his fingers through the tangle of dark curls. “Look, I’m sorry. I mean...my mistake. Donna, my receptionist, quit this morning with no notice. She ran off with some truck driver. I’ve got a room full of patients and a long list of messages to return. The phone keeps ringing, and yes, I desperately need another doctor. However, right this minute, I need a receptionist to sort this mess out.”
“I also desperately need another doctor. My day is not going well, as you can see. I’m Luke Hawkins by the way.” He stuck out his hand.
She wiped her hand on her skirt before extending it. He immediately encased it in strong fingers.
“And I suppose the receptionist is expected to be a female?”
“Wha...?” He dropped her hand.
She shook her head. “Forget it.”