Playing doctor has never been so sexy…
Confirmed bachelor Gunnar Hansen, has successfully resisted the matchmaking efforts of Dottie Grace and her posse of granny wannabe’s. There’s no room in his life for love, or for starting a family of his own. Not when his hands are full running Hansen Stables and heading up the board of Prairie’s new medical clinic. But everything turns upside down when the socialite who ditched him at the altar years ago turns out to be Prairie’s new doctor.
Four years ago, fresh out of medical school, Suzannah Winslow took a gamble on a sweet-talking cowboy who left her high and dry… and pregnant. With her residency behind her, and an offer to become Prairie’s first and only physician, she can finally provide her daughter with stability she’s longed for. She has no interest in taking a second chance on a silver-tongued cowboy full of empty promises. Even if his smile still melts her panties.
But Gunnar has other ideas, and when he mounts a full-scale campaign to win back the woman he lost, will little Lula Beth become his unlikely ally or the wedge that drives them apart for good?
One of the things I absolutely love about this series is the continuity. I love seeing the characters from previous books as we meet new ones.
Gunnar is the oldest Hansen brother, he seems to have given up on women and in this book we find out why.
Suzannah Winslow is a family doctor, she has passed the requisites the board of the new Clinic in Prairie has set forth and has come to town to start work.
Neither of them realized who the other was until a rather volatile confrontation at the welcoming at Dottie’s diner. Yes Gunner and Suzannah have a history that could undermine the community efforts in one encounter.
A favorite scene is when Gunner goes to apologize after that first encounter.
Even if the woman who’d stolen his heart was back in his life. He wouldn’t make the same mistake again. But he would make things right, and convince her to stay. For Prairie.
He paused at the walk. A swing hung at one end of the porch, and just in front of the screen door, a red tricycle stood, abandoned. What drew him forward though, was the light spilling out from inside, providing a welcome glow in the fading light. Gunnar steeled himself. He could do this, even if the Missouri plates belonged to the dad. He was just here to ensure Dr. Winslow didn’t quit and leave the residents of Prairie high and dry. Nothing more. No need to bring up the past. Ask any one of the hundreds of questions that burned in his brain.
Before he could knock, a tiny thing, white blonde hair spilling out in waves from behind a pair of Batman glasses and wearing a homemade cape ran up to the screen and stopped, staring. “Are you a good guy or a bad guy?” she asked, voice high and pipy.
Everything inside Gunnar melted at the sight of her. Was this Suzannah’s child? He pushed back the wave of longing at what might have been, and smiled down at her. “That depends.” On so, so much. He was pretty certain Suzannah thought he was a bad guy, although for the life of him he couldn’t figure out why. She’d stood him up.
“Lulah.” A voice, not Suzannah’s, called sharply from within the house. “Is someone at the door?”
Lulah? His stomach hollowed. Had she named her daughter Talulah after all? His chest pinched in envy. Tiny ran off, bare feet slapping against the hardwood, and seconds later a woman bustled to the door, smile fading when she recognized him.
Gunnar cleared his throat and offered a conciliatory smile. “Iris? It’s Iris isn’t it?” He remembered her from Vegas, one of Suzannah’s best friends.
Her brown eyes snapped fire. “Don’t you think you’ve done enough damage already?”
His head snapped back as if he’d been slapped. “I’ve done enough damage? I’m not the guilty party here. I just want to make sure–” This was an exercise in futility. Arguing with Suzannah’s self-appointed gatekeeper would get him nowhere. “Look, can I please talk to her?”
Shooting him another glare, Iris turned and disappeared. Given the look on Iris’s face, he wouldn’t put it past her to make him wait as long as possible. But he could play this game, too. He’d wait all night if necessary. He wasn’t leaving without talking to Suzannah. One minute, two minutes. He retreated to the porch railing, taking a seat. After five minutes, he heard footsteps approaching. Suzannah eyed him warily from inside.
He held out his hands in supplication. “I swear, I won’t take long.”
“You have sixty seconds,” she said with a quiver in her voice.
Shit. Had he made her cry? Nothing made any sense, but if he only had sixty seconds, he had to act fast. “Please, don’t quit. Prairie needs you. If you quit, it’ll be months before we find another suitable candidate, and we need a doctor yesterday.” She didn’t move to shut the door, so he pressed on. “I’ll stay away. It’ll be like we never met.”
His chest wrenched at her grimace, but this was for the best. He’d drive to Manhattan for medical care if it kept her here for the community. After a long moment, she nodded brusquely. “I’ll stay,” she said in a low voice.
Gunnar let out the breath he’d been holding in a whoosh, but he didn’t feel relief. Only emptiness. And deep sorrow for a life that could have been. “Thank you.” He turned to go, but stopped at the steps, turning back around. “Your daughter,” he said in a strangled voice he didn’t recognize as his. “She’s adorable.” And more than anything, he wished she was his.
He spun on his boot heel and hurried down the walk before he made a fool of himself.
Layne, Tessa. Prairie Fever: Cowboys of the Flint Hills (Kindle Locations 349-379). Shady Lane Media. Kindle Edition.
From here things get way more complicated. Gunner does his best to stay away but when he’s injured he has no choice but to see her.
Major misunderstandings, a secret confessed, and a whole lot of making up and other events will keep you turning the pages.
Laughter, love, and some tears all combine to have me almost begging for the next book.
5 Contented Purrs for Tessa!
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Tessa Layne writes smokin’ hot contemporary cowboy and military romances filled with tenderhearted tough guys and sassy strong women who capture their hearts.She grew up in Colorado in the mountains at the edge of the Great Plains. There, she met her own smokin’ hot Cowboy and they had a whirlwind romance to rival any novel. She believes in Happily Ever Afters, loves fireflies, horses, and breathing clean country air. Her favorite thing to do is to sit on the porch swing with a glass of Rose, listening to her Cowboy pluck his guitar!
Feel free to drop her a line (links below) – She loves to hear from her readers!