Trust was dangerous.
He might find himself actually prepared to forgive her and risk further rejection of an interest he should never have revealed in the first place.
It would be a relief to finish this surgery. He should have sent Sarah away to rest. He was too aware of her standing so close. He could even smell a faint scent of her—an occasional waft of something fresh like a fruit-flavoured shampoo that cut through the clinical smell of the operating theatre.
He could sense every tiny movement she made, and when their hands touched, as they did now, with the passing of a fresh suture needle and thread, Ben could feel the astonishing tingle of her skin even through the gloves.
Or was it just his skin that tingled?
Stories only work when the characters become real to both the writer and you, the reader. The characters’ pasts strongly influence the way they behave in the present, and some characters can be powerful enough to refuse to stay in the background for long. A MOTHER FOR HIS FAMILY is Sarah Mitchell’s story.
But Sarah’s foster-sister, Tori, refused to say in the background. She demanded a story of her own.
Emergency nurse Tori is just looking for fun! She hopes to have kids of her own one day, but not yet—and the idea of taking on somebody else’s? No way! So, no matter how gorgeous Dr Matthew Buchanan is, his four orphaned nieces and nephews are a big no-no—aren’t they…?
Sarah Mitchell and Tori Preston are foster-sisters, best friends and fellow nurses. They’re as different in personality as they are in looks. These two women shared so much in the past, but have very different issues now, affecting their lives and their relationships with the men they love.
I hope you enjoy their stories and share the happiness they both eventually find.
A Mother for His Family
Sarah Mitchell was only on page ten of the romantic saga she had found in the airport bookshop but already she was hooked. Her companion’s exclamation was startling, to say the least, and Sarah’s response was wary.
‘The father of my children.’
‘Oh, no!’ Reluctantly, Sarah closed her book. Her eyelids temporarily followed suit as she sighed. ‘Tori, it was your idea to come here for a break, remember?’
‘To have fun,’ Tori agreed happily. ‘Something you don’t get nearly enough of.’
‘A winter escape,’ Sarah continued. ‘Sun, sand and surf. Sex was not on the agenda. We agreed!’
‘That was before it climbed out of that boat.’
‘What climbed out?’ Sarah opened her eyes and pushed herself up on her elbows. It was only 10 a.m. but already hot enough for the turquoise expanse of the sea to look extremely inviting.
‘The most gorgeous man I’ve ever seen in my life. Look!’
The landing jetty for the Fijian island resort was not too far down the beach. The man who had climbed out of the small boat was now standing in ankle-deep water with several small children hanging onto his hands.
‘He likes kids,’ Tori pronounced gleefully.
‘He’s probably got six of his own. Like Robert.’
‘Robert only had two.’
‘And a wife to go with them. One that he wasn’t going to bother telling you about, remember?’
‘Yeah...’ Tori sighed and then shook her head. ‘That was months ago. I’m over it.’ She flashed a grin at Sarah. ‘Life does go on, you know.’
The sparkle was irresistible and Sarah had to smile back. Heavens, they’d had little enough to smile about over the last year, hadn’t they? What harm could there be in enjoying a little eye candy?
They both watched as the man accepted a large hibiscus flower from an older child. He pushed the stalk of the vibrant orange bloom through thick waves of dark hair to anchor it behind his left ear.
‘The left ear,’ Tori breathed. ‘That’s supposed to signify availability, isn’t it?’
‘I think it only applies to women,’ Sarah countered. ‘And anyway he’s not an islander.’
‘He seems to know everyone. I wonder who he is?’
‘Looks like a pilot.’ Sarah had to admit it was hard to look away from the expanse of lean, tanned limbs showing around the uniform-like pale shorts and an open-necked, short-sleeved shirt that had a tropical pattern to rival the hibiscus bloom. ‘Or maybe he drives one of those tourist launches.’
‘I think we should book a day trip.’
‘We only just got here yesterday! I want to lie on the beach and soak up some sun.’ Sarah rolled to lean on one elbow and reached for the satisfyingly thick paperback beside her towel. ‘I’ll go for a swim every time I get too hot reading my book.’
Tori made a sound that could have been a growl. Then it turned into a squeak. ‘He’s coming this way! Help!’
‘Just smile and bat your eyelashes,’ Sarah muttered. ‘Seems to work for you most times.’
She wasn’t jealous. She loved Tori enough to be thankful that she was young and attractive, vivacious and determined to enjoy life. That courage had pulled Sarah away from some of the bleakness of the last few months. ‘Mum hated to see people unhappy,’ she had reminded Sarah gently. ‘I’ll bet she’s watching you right now and making those “tch-tch” noises.’
Sometimes a little of that bounce even rubbed off onto Sarah and let her do something expensively self-indulgent, like taking a week’s holiday on a tropical island in the middle of winter.
She hoped she hadn’t sounded jealous.