Book 3 in the Brava Series
Dr. Axle Dean is shocked and surprised when he spots sexy Libby Preston at a party. Not exchanging names they enjoy a sizzling kiss and a little more in the garden. When he finds out Libby’s secret…he hightails it out of there…only to be haunted by the memory of the time they shared. Imagine his surprise when he walks into his treatment room and finds her sitting there. Life has just gotten a little more complicated. Will these two find a happy ending?
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is Book 3 in the Brava Series
The full series reading order is as follows:
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Trying to be inconspicuous, Libby Preston glanced over her shoulder – and found that sexy, dark brown gaze still following her every move. He had a way of looking that felt like touching. Warm and gentle, but bold. Brazen, but complimentary.
She wanted to fan herself, but that’d be giving too much away, so instead, she pretended not to notice and continued setting out more food on the buffet table.
They’d been at the stupid party for hours now and he’d done little more than watch her, smiling occasionally, giving her that sensual once over that made chills race up her arms. He was a devil all right, and very sexy. She’d be smart to steer clear of him.
But really, what choice did she even have? Doctors and not-quite-nurses didn’t mix very often. Her uncle hadn’t given her the job of playing waitress for his party so that she could flirt. No, it was one more way to pay him back for all she owed him, and she’d do well to remember that. And to remember her place: a lowly nobody among esteemed physicians.
The man eating her with his eyes probably thought her part of the catering crew. And that suited her fine.
Whatever he thought, he kept her keenly aware of him. Anytime she looked up, he was looking back, even while speaking with others, even while asking for a drink or munching on the fancy snacks.
Unlike the other docs attending the benefit, he didn’t wear a tie. Or a jacket. He’d unbuttoned his silky, coffee colored dress shirt at the throat, showing a sprinkling of dark chest hair that intrigued her. He had his sleeves rolled up, and she couldn’t help but notice the thickness of his wrists, the size of his capable hands, and more black hair on his forearms. The shirt tucked into black dress slacks, emphasizing the contrast of his wide shoulders against a flat abdomen and trim hips.
Restless fingers had rumpled his midnight black hair, and beard shadow colored his jaw. He was unlike any other man in the room.
He was unlike any man she’d ever seen.
More than one woman had noticed him. But strangely enough, he paid little attention to the finely dressed female physicians flirting with him, vying for his attention. Instead, he leaned against the wall, at his leisure, sipping his drink and… watching her.
Whoa. Libby pulled herself together and finished emptying her tray of hors d’oeuvres on the linen covered table. Giving the man her back, she retreated to the kitchen.
Her uncle stood in idle conversation with a touted surgeon. As the Chief of Staff at their local hospital, he knew everyone. Uncle Elwood could give her the name of the man – but no, she wouldn’t ask. Not only would it be unforgivable to interrupt, but questions on doctors would only earn her a lecture.
When her mother died, Uncle Elwood had grudgingly taken her in, but he made a point of reminding her that if his sister hadn’t been such a frivolous partier, she’d have been the one to raise Libby instead of foisting her off on him. In his eyes, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. He often claimed Libby was the exact image of his sister, in looks and temperament. Therefore, at least in his mind, she could be no different.
Libby knew she had a lot to prove to her uncle. And she would – then she’d leave his life with a big fat thank you , owing him nothing, not a dime, not gratitude, nada, zip.
With everything currently in order, Libby helped herself to a small glass of punch. She’d just gotten the icy drink to her lips when Uncle Elwood harrumphed behind her.
Wincing, Libby turned, raising one eyebrow in inquiry.
“The sun has long set and you haven’t yet lit the torches along the garden path.”
“Oh.” Libby glanced out the enormous window behind the kitchen sink. “Yeah, I’ll get right on that.” She upended her glass and guzzled down the spiked punch in one long gulp, then covered her mouth with a hand to muffle her delicate burp.
Much aggrieved, her uncle sighed. “Please try to behave yourself, Libby. These are my esteemed colleagues. As Chief of Staff at the hospital, they expect much decorum from me. You mustn’t-”
Well used to the lectures, Libby cut him off by patting the front of his rich suit jacket. “I won’t shame you, Uncle Elwood, have no fear.” She set her glass in the sink and dug in the drawer for matches. “What do I do after I light the torches?”
As if hoping to think of something more, he glanced around, but as Libby already knew, organization ruled. “I suppose you could circulate, make sure everyone has a fresh drink, that the buffet table stays full, things of that nature.”
Sounded to Libby like she’d be twiddling her thumbs a lot. She winked at Elwood. “Sure thing.” Waving the box of matches in the air, she headed out of the kitchen. “I’ll go take care of the gardens right now.”
At mid-April, the evenings remained too cool for most people to venture out, but she wouldn’t mind the breath of fresh air. The stuffy nabobs her uncle deemed friends were enough to curdle her blood. She’d been hustling for hours and had worked up a dewy sweat. With any luck, she could linger outdoors and catch a breather, with no one the wiser.
The second she reentered the room, Mr. Sexy Brown Eyes tracked her, following as she crossed the room to the double sliding doors. Libby did her utmost to stay impervious. Since her mother’s death right before her fifteenth birthday, there’d been no time in her life for guys. Until she became a full fledged nurse and gained financial and emotional independence from her uncle, nothing would change.
She could wish it different, but for tonight at least, Brown Eyes would just have to entertain himself.
* * *
With an indulgent smile, Axel Dean watched the young lady exit the room of suffocating, overbearing people. Damn, she was sweet on the eyes. Tall, nearly as tall as him, with raven black hair and piercing blue eyes and an air of negligence that dared him, calling on his baser instincts, stripping away the façade of civility he tried to don in polite company.
Her straight hair skimmed her shoulders, darker than his own, blue black without a single hint of red. It was so silky it looked fluid, moving when she moved, shimmering with highlights from the glow of candles. The white catering shirt and black slacks didn’t do much for her figure, which he guessed to be slim and toned. She didn’t have the lush curves he usually favored, but what she lacked in body she made up for in attitude.
And attitude, as he well knew, made a huge difference in bed.
As a waiter passed, Axel plunked his empty glass down onto the tray and headed for the sliding doors. He hated uptight, formal affairs, but being a doctor often obligated him to attend. That didn’t mean he had to linger. That didn’t mean he had to mingle.
Especially when more enlivening entertainment waited outside.