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Jennifer Youngblood

Falling for the Doc Ebook Bundle Deal

Falling for the Doc Ebook Bundle Deal

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“Cat’s got a boyfriend! Cat’s got a boyfriend,” Miriam sang out.

“Shh! I don’t have a boyfriend,” she hissed. “Besides, he can’t be my boyfriend if I don’t even know who he is.”

“Let me see another one.” Miriam snatched the next note from Cat’s hand and started reading. “‘Dear Cat, How’s it going? Hero.’ Look at the nice heart he drew. How romantic.” Her voice had a teasing tone.

Cat turned the pile over and picked up what had to be the oldest note from the bottom of the stack. The paper was so brittle and weathered that a corner broke off when she unfolded it. “Wow. Red crayon. How old is this?” The handwriting looked like it belonged to a kindergartener.

“‘Dear Carmalitta.’” She sighed. “How come nobody around here knows how to spell my name?” Now, most people knew her as Cat, but when she was younger everyone called her Carmelita. She continued reading. “‘You’re nice and priddy. Can we be frinds?’” There were two boxes … a yes and no. It was signed Hero. She pursed her lips. “Even back then he was calling himself Hero.”

“I guess Superman was already taken,” Miriam teased.

The bus slowed down and pulled to the side of the street in front of the school. Cat got off the bus, still pondering over the notes. Who was Hero? She looked at the masses of students congregating beneath the breezeway, waiting for school to begin. Was Hero here?

Cat went to place the notes back into her pocket, but the wind caught one and sent it sailing across the yard in front of the school.

“Oh no,” Miriam moaned. “We’ll never catch it.”

The note skimmed the ground to the far side of the schoolyard and would have escaped through the fence had a boy not stomped his boot down, trapping it. They watched as he bent over and picked it up. When they could see his face, they gasped. It was Drew. He was the last person they wanted in on their secret.

“We’ll never get it back from him,” Miriam groaned.

Despair sank over Cat. Which one of the notes did Drew have? One with her name on it? How many Cats were there in the school? She had no idea. Not wanting Drew to see her nearby and connect the note to her, she grasped Miriam’s arm. “Don’t worry about it. Let’s go inside.”

The notes kept coming all that school year and into the next. Sometimes they were flirty, sometimes sad, always anonymous. Cat was dying to know who Hero was, but it seemed that the person was being very careful to never give any clues about his identity. They didn’t come every day, but at least a handful each month, and often, a few times a week there was a surprise waiting for her in the tree.

Winter came and went. Spring arrived in an explosion of color. Chicago’s famous winds ripped blossoms from the trees and sent them cascading in waves down the street. They gave Cat all the more reason to dance as she leapt over and through the tumbling masses of petals rolling in the wind.

As Cat left for school, she stopped by the tree. There hadn’t been anything there for over a week. When she spotted the slip of paper, a smile curved her lips as she hungrily read it.

Dear Cat,
Sorry about all the notes. I promise I’m not a stalker. I just like having someone to talk to. If you hate the notes and want me to stop, just put a rock in the knothole, and I won’t send any more. But I hope you don’t. Hero.

Stop? Why would she want him to stop? The notes were great. They made her feel special. She’d been checking the tree every morning hoping for more. She wouldn’t have minded if Hero sent one every day. This past week, she’d begun to fear that Hero had lost interest in her. Tucking the note in her pocket, Cat went to the bus stop. When she returned home that afternoon, she got out a piece of paper and pen and started writing.

Dear Hero. Who are you? I have to know. I’m in Mrs. Nelson’s class. Are you in her class too? I love your notes.
Wait! She’d used the word love. That wouldn’t do. She crumpled up the paper and got another one.

Dear Hero. Thanks for the notes you’ve sent me. They mean a lot. It’s been really hard for Mami and me without Dad here. Do you have two parents? I mean, do both of them live with you? I hope your life is happy, and I want to meet you. From Cat.

She folded the paper in half, and folded that in half again. With a nimble step, she hurried out to the tree to place it in the knothole. She smiled thinking of Hero’s reaction when he realized that she’d written back. On more than one occasion, she’d looked out the window at the tree, hoping to catch a glimpse of Hero, but he was too stealthy.

She hardly slept a wink that night, wondering how Hero would answer. To her disappointment, there was no note.

When Cat and Miriam got off the bus at school, the breezeway was empty because it was raining. They ran to the school entrance with all the rest of the kids while teachers clutching umbrellas urged them inside. Cat went to her locker to retrieve her books. As she closed the door, she was surprised to see Drew O’Hannon there.

“Hi, Cat.”

It was hard to tell if he was sneering or smiling. She shrank back.

“I see you found my notes.”

Her mouth went dry. Somehow, she managed to find her voice. “What notes?”

“The ones in the tree,” he said smugly.

Her heart began to pound. No, this couldn’t be happening! Hero couldn’t be Drew O’Hannon. Drew was a blockheaded bully. He couldn’t possibly be so sensitive and insightful. Had he been toying with her the entire time, or was Drew different inside than his outer shell?

He leaned closer. “Do you like them?”

Confusion swirled in Cat’s head.

“It was kind of you to write back.” Drew held up a sheet of paper—her note that she’d placed in the knothole this morning.

Her heart clutched as she tried to reconcile Hero with Drew O’Hannon. It was impossible. Her mind simply couldn’t do it.
She clutched her book to her chest. “I—I’ve got to get to class.”

“Be sure and drop me a note anytime,” Drew said glibly with a wink. “You know our secret spot.”

A wave of nausea rolled over Cat as she turned and hurried away, eager to put as much space between her and Drew O’Hannon as possible.

There was no way she would ever leave a note for Drew O’Hannon.

Her heart cracked.

Hero was dead.


This wasn’t the first time P. J. had spent the night on the floor next to a heart transplant patient, and it wouldn’t be the last.

The nursing staff members were wonderful, but sometimes one’s conscience just needed to take care of patients personally.

P. J. thought about the dozens of nights spent curled up in a corner while other young adults were out barhopping or at other social events. The thoughts faded as the rhythmic beeping of the patient’s cardiac monitor induced a much-needed sleep.

It felt like P. J. had just dozed off when an alarm shrilled a wake-up. Dr. Bandy sat up and rubbed at red, bleary eyes before hitting the cancel alarm button on the smart watch.

The door slid open and someone came in. “Oh, sorry,” a male voice said.

P. J. looked up to see who it was. A tall, well-muscled man with a smattering of beard stubble smiled.

“I’m just here to check on Mom. Are you her nurse?”

It was a question she got all the time. She’d long ago gotten past taking it personally. She stood and extended her hand. “Dr. Bandy. I’m Dr. Stone’s assistant.”

He took her hand, a slight color flushing his face. “Oh, I’m so sorry, I just presumed P. J. was—”

“Don’t worry about it,” she interjected, cutting him off with a smile. “Dr. Priscilla June Bandy.” A tingle ran through her. Odd sensation. Maybe it was from lack of sleep. Even so, she couldn’t help but notice that his grip had just the right amount of firmness.

She turned and looked at her patient. “Mrs. Thornton’s doing just fine. At this point we’re keeping her pretty snookered. You can imagine that getting your ribcage cut open hurts pretty badly. We don’t want her in pain yet. We’ll turn down the medicine gradually as the day goes on. By tomorrow morning she’ll be ready to wake up.”

She turned and looked back at him. “I’m sorry. I didn’t catch your name.”

“Kyle. Kyle Thornton,” he said. “I didn’t get to meet you yesterday. Thanks for all you’re doing for Mom. I don’t know how much longer—” His voice caught, and she saw a rim of sparkling moisture appear in his eyes. “I don’t know how much longer she’d have been here if you hadn’t been around for her.”

She looked up at him. He stood a good foot taller than her. His square jaw and broad shoulders looked strong and confident, but his still-moist brown eyes showed tenderness and emotion. Her heart stirred. No, she had to ignore the feeling. He was here about his mother, and that was all.

“May I?” he asked.

“Of course.” She motioned for him to move around to the other side of the bed. 

He walked to his mother’s side and stroked her face. P. J. watched quietly, reverently as he whispered, “I love you, Mom.”

Something about the scene caused her breath to catch.

He looked up at P. J. and smiled. “She looks great,” he said. “She seems comfortable.” He held her hand tenderly.

“She is. We’re doing all we can to keep her that way. What’s your schedule today?”

His jaw worked. “I don’t suppose there’s much I can do here, is there?”

“No. She might want to see you tomorrow though.”

Kyle nodded. “I guess I’ll go on to work then.”

“What do you do?” P. J. asked.

“I’m a computer programmer. I work for an accounting firm downtown, Asher and Dunforth. Have you heard of them?” P. J. shook her head. “That’s okay.” He offered a self-deprecating grin. “Accounting’s not as glamorous as heart transplants.”

She chuckled. “I don’t know about that. You still save people’s lives, in your own way.”

A wry smile crossed his lips. “I guess we do. People make some dumb moves with their money, and we help them out of it.”

“Sounds pretty important to me.” She realized she was twirling her toe on the floor. She stopped it and put her foot flat. She also realized she was admiring his wavy brown hair, his muscular arms, and how his shirt hugged just right on his well-formed torso. He wasn’t what she would have expected a computer geek to be.

“I have to go start rounding on my patients. I imagine the nurses will chase you out of here any second.”

“Then I’d better say goodbye.” He squeezed his mother’s hand.

“Here, one more thing,” P. J. said. She took the stethoscope from around her neck and handed it to him. “Put these in your ears.” He complied. She took the bell and placed it gently on Mrs. Thornton’s chest. “Do you hear it?”

A massive smile crossed his lips. He teared up again, but this time drops fell from his eyes. He took the earpieces down and handed them back to her, nodding. “She sounds great,” he whispered. “Thank you,” he said mopping his eyes.

P. J. nodded back. “You’re welcome. It’s my pleasure.” Moments like this make all the long hours and hard work worth it. 

He turned and left. As he walked past the window, he looked at his mother, then at P. J., and smiled again.

P. J. felt the corners of her heart go soft as she let out a wistful sigh. Yep, moments like this make everything worth it.


Doug had wanted to pick her up at Rachel’s home, but Andi decided to meet him at the restaurant instead. She liked having her own car in case she needed to make a quick escape. Rachel had told her that Doug was tall and handsome with dark hair, but that’s all she knew. Maybe she should’ve asked to see a picture. They were supposed to meet at seven p.m. She pulled out her phone. It was seven minutes past the hour. Maybe punctuality wasn’t high up on Doug’s priority list. 

A male server wearing a white dress shirt and bow tie approached the table and set a goblet of water in front of her. “Hello,” he began with a magnanimous nod. “Welcome to the 360 Grille.” He looked at the empty chair across from her. “Are you expecting one more?”


He removed a second water goblet from his tray and placed it down across from her. Then, he placed a basket of bread in the center of the table. 

“I’ll wait until your guest arrives before taking your order.”

“Thanks,” she said as the server strolled away.

Andi looked longingly at the basket of bread as her stomach growled. Just as she was debating if she dared take a piece before Doug arrived, she spotted him striding in. He was lean and muscular with dark hair. Wow, he was dreamboat handsome. Rachel had been holding back in her description. A dart of adrenaline whooshed through her when their eyes met. A smile tumbled over her lips as she scooted back her chair and rose from her seat. “Hello, Doug,” she said as he approached.

He paused, blinking in surprise. “Hello.” He looked her up and down with what she hoped was admiration, but she couldn’t be sure. 

An awkward beat passed. In a jumble of nervousness, she thrust out her hand. “I’m Andi.”

Amusement circled through his caramel brown eyes as he looked at her outstretched hand. He clasped it as they shook. She was struck by the awareness that rustled through her. His handshake was firm but not overly imposing. Andi was dumbfounded and thrilled by the sparks pinging between them. She enjoyed the delicious prospect of possibilities she felt when looking into his eyes. She’d written a scene in her book where the hero and heroine met and had an instant connection. Now it was happening in real life! Rachel was right. Andi should be thanking her for arranging this date with Doug. 

“Have a seat,” she encouraged as he released her hand. “The server will be back shortly to take our orders.”

A lopsided grin tugged at a corner of his lips. “There must be some mistake.”


“I’m not Doug.”

“You’re not?” she squeaked as heat splashed her cheeks. Her heart fell through her ribcage and splattered onto the floor into a gooey glob.

“No.” He offered an apologetic smile. “But I almost wish I was,” he added softly. “You look beautiful.”

A dart of pleasure ran through her, followed by an acute sense of disappointment. Talk about jumping the gun and making a fool of herself. She’d done it this time. “I’m so sorry,” she stammered. 

“No worries.” He held her eyes. “It was nice meeting you, Andi.” His melodic voice held her name in a caress. Their gazes locked. For a second, everything around them faded, and it was just the two of them. Then, he broke the spell by glancing behind her. Andi turned to see an exquisite blonde woman seated a few tables away. She was watching them with a petulant frown, her eyes shooting daggers at Andi.

“Excuse me,” the guy said as he moved past her to go and sit with the blonde. 

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  • ✅ Cooking With the Doc
  • ✅ Dancing With the Doc
  • ✅ Cruising With the Doc
  • ✅ Winning the Doc's Heart
  • ✅ Saving the Doc

Continued Synopsis

Cooking with the Doc

Sometimes the unexpected might turn out to be the greatest blessing of your life!

★★★★★ "I loved the quaint town of Clementine with its unique Southern charm. This story was heartfelt and exciting. I can't wait to read the next book in the series!"

Restaurateur Harper Boyce is content with her life in the quaint coastal town of Clementine, Alabama where life rolls along at a smooth, predictable pace.

Then in a blaze of fanfare, in strolls the town’s new doctor and things get … interesting.

Sam Wallentine was looking for a quiet place to recoup from emotional and physical battle wounds. He never expected to become smitten by the blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty whose wit is as saucy as her cooking.

Can Harper find healing in the arms of a wounded doc whose heart is as impressive as his chiseled muscles?

Or will the insecurities and heartbreaks of the past forever estrange them?

Cooking with the Doc (Look Inside)


It was controlled chaos in the operating room. Dr. Samuel Wallentine said a silent prayer, thanking God for the air conditioning that protected them from the brutal Afghan summer sun.

He labored in the Army’s most advanced field hospital. It consisted of a fully equipped, four-bed operating room packaged inside a steel shipping container. These units could be put on a trailer or slung under a helicopter. The Army had plopped four of them side by side on top of a plateau at Forward Operating Base Belleview.

His job was to tie off bleeding vessels, place organs back where they belonged, and prepare wounded soldiers for medevac to a much larger Stage C hospital.

Sam was proud of the work they did at Combat Support Hospital. Because they managed to keep so many men and women alive through the golden hour after they were wounded, many more survived than would have otherwise. Many more families still had daddies and mommies, brothers and sisters, daughters and sons at the dinner table instead of beneath heroic tombstones.

First Sergeant Mirabelle Walker the RN running their outfit strolled among the four operating tables. Sam thought she was probably the cutest soldier in the Army, and he enjoyed having her around. She was just the right combination of flirty, professional and lethal. Even though she was five foot three inches tall, Sam was pretty sure she could take down any Taliban terrorist with one hand tied behind her back.

During downtime she was the friendly little sister anyone would want, but when there was work to be done, she was all business.

At Table Alpha the team sat and chatted. “I don’t care what Andreotti says. There’s no way Milan can beat Madrid for the World Cup.”

“I remember the good old days, when soldiers just argued about American football,” Mirabelle interrupted. “Stick a bunch of good men overseas, and all of a sudden, they’re experts on world sports.”

“You know what they say, ‘When in Rome…’”

“Yeah, and when in Kabul, kick around a goat’s head like the locals do?” She made a face. “I don’t think so,” she retorted.

The men laughed and went back to their argument.

At the other end of the OR, surgical teams were finishing up their last two cases of the morning on Table Charlie and Table Delta. Outside, a Blackhawk helicopter beat a steady rhythm while its engines idled, waiting to whisk the patients away and make room for more wounded. Techs were standing by to sanitize the tables as soon as the cases were finished and carried out the back door to the choppers.

Mirabelle stopped at Table Bravo, where Sam sat on a metal folding chair reading a journal article about septic shock on the battlefield. He set it down and smiled at her. “Hey there, Mirabelle.”

“Hiya, doc,” she replied. She didn’t use her military voice but spoke to him in sweet, sing-song tones. “Don’t you already know enough? Whatcha learning?”

He picked up the surgical journal and pointed to the headline of the article. “This guy claims that bullet and IED wounds can get infected. Gee, who’d have guessed?”

“Better make sure and wear your gloves,” she quipped. “You know, I ordered those special just for your ginormous hands.”

A grin tugged at his lips. “I kinda figured that,” he drawled. “Too bad nobody else gets this color.” He picked a glove out of the box attached to the wall. Everyone in the OR wore lilac-colored nitrile gloves for non-sterile work. Everyone, that was, except Sam. His were pink … an obnoxious, bright, hot pink. “Do they glow in the dark too?” he teased.

Her eyes sparkled with an eager glow. “I don’t know. Let’s hang out after our shift, and we can find out.”

He shook his head, tsking his tongue. “Now, Mirabelle, what would your boyfriend think if he heard you say that?”

The corners of her mouth pulled down. “I don’t have a boyfriend. You’d think that here, surrounded by dozens of big, burly soldiers and Marines, I could find one but nope.”

Mirabelle was fun to banter with. “There’s that huge, scary Special Forces guy I saw winking at you.”

Pink tinged her cheeks, her hands going to her hips. “Dave’s not scary. He’s just a big teddy bear.”

“Yeah, well I’m terrified of him,” Sam said dryly.

A klaxon sounded outside. Immediately, Sergeant Mirabelle got serious, putting her hand to her earpiece. She nodded and mumbled something into her microphone. Raising her head, she called out to her crew. “Listen up people. Casualties arriving in five minutes. IED ambush on a humanitarian convoy. We’re expecting at least eight victims.”

Sam put a surgery cap over his brown, military-cut hair and tied on his mask. He scrubbed in, and a medic helped him into his sterile gown. The medic had to stand on a footstool to reach around his broad shoulders. His green eyes were all that showed between his mask and cap. He had his personal supply of sterile gloves, since no one else wore size eight and a half. They weren’t pink though. All of the sterile gloves were bland tan-colored. He grinned a little thinking of the pink.

Sam was ten hours into a twelve-hour shift. He shook the ache out of his shoulders and the fatigue from his back and brain. The team members were allowed to get out of the surgical unit and take in some fresh air between cases, but for the most part, they didn’t bother.

It was sweltering outside, and the sun was so blazing that it was worse than staying inside. Besides, the air outside tended to be contaminated with sniper’s bullets zipping in from the surrounding hills. That absolutely made it more pleasant inside the bulletproof container.

The medic finished putting Sam’s gown on him and slapped him on both shoulders. “Hang in there, doc. Two more hours. You can do this.”

“For God and country,” he replied. “Hoorah.” Alisha was a Marine, so he could get away with saying that to her.

“Hoorah, sir.” Alisha wore a surgical mask to keep his gown sterile, but her eyes smiled at him.

Sam appreciated Alisha’s pleasant nature, especially here amidst the gloom of life and death situations where the future turned on a dime. “I’m going to miss working with you when you rotate home this weekend. It’s been good.”

Her smile widened. “Yeah, but all good deployments end sometime,” she said in a practical tone. “These four months have been something else. I can’t wait to get home to my husband and kids.”

An unexpected pang went through Sam, reminding him that he had no one to go home to. “How many are there? I know you’ve told me before.”

“Three of them. My oldest is eight, a girl. I have two boys—a four-year-old and two-year-old. Oh, and one husband who’s the biggest kid of all,” she added with a chuckle.

“Get home to them, girl. You don’t need to be here anymore.”

“That’s for sure.”

It wasn’t easy to keep a positive attitude in circumstances like these. So many good men and women, all of them volunteers, came here to provide safety and freedom for complete strangers. Then not one of those strangers said, “Thanks” or showed much appreciation. The reward for selflessly giving months or years out of their lives was to be spit on, distrusted, and blown up. Sam had seen so much misery and death inflicted upon his countrymen.

Even worse was what these insurgents did to each other. Sam had treated hundreds of local women and children in his time here. In the best cases they’d been ignored and starved. In the worst cases, well, he couldn’t focus on the worst ones. To survive here, soldiers had to learn to compartmentalize their experiences. His mental shoeboxes where he stored memories were labeled Good Times and All Other. Unfortunately, the latter overflowed while the Good Times box languished.

Military vehicles rumbled to a stop outside the container. The hospital doors opened and field medics carried in two badly burned and mangled men.

“All the way to the end,” Mirabelle directed, pointing to the recently cleaned operating tables where the teams had changed into fresh gowns and were standing by. Sam waited his turn.

Two more medics brought a man through the door on a canvas stretcher. Their uniforms were dark green, Afghan army style, not the desert camo of American soldiers. Afghan allies were welcome in the US hospitals, as were civilians and even enemies. Americans served and saved all comers.

Mirabelle pointed with her pen. “Bed bravo,” she said, indicating Sam’s table.

The wounded man wore a British uniform soaked in blood, a bullet wound above his left eye. Sam knew he didn’t have much to offer the poor boy.

The Afghan soldiers walked out and Sam’s team got to work. They cut away the uniform only to discover his Osprey body armor. It was similar to the US armor they were familiar with but different enough that it took a few extra seconds to figure out where the Brits had placed the hooks, snaps, buttons and belts, so the team could remove his ceramic plates.

Sam glanced up. The Afghan medics were back, this time with one of their own wounded.

“Bed Alpha,” Mirabelle ordered. They placed the man on the table and quickly left.

Sam and his team focused intensely. The anesthetist connected the blood pressure monitor. “No pulse, no BP,” he intoned.

“Can’t get fluids running. His veins are already clotted,” added a medic, his voice hopeless.

Sam studied the man’s abdominal wound. The blood was already dry. Not just clotted but really dry, hard, flaky. He reached into the wound. The body was completely cold. This man hadn’t been a casualty just this morning. He’d been dead a couple of days already. Why had the Afghans bothered bringing him in? He should have gone straight to the morgue. They’d held onto his body and brought him in with their own guy. Why?

The American sentries who guarded the entrance to the base stopped and searched all Afghans who tried to enter. But if they were transporting a coalition casualty, that would have gotten them in on the fast track through the gate and into the base hospital. Besides, these Afghans were friendly. They weren’t enemies.

He glanced over at Table Alpha. The team there worked on a flesh wound in the Afghan soldier’s left triceps. Not a big deal. He’d be patched up and sent back to his unit to recover.

The man smiled at Sam. He raised his head and spoke in English, loud enough for Sam to hear. “Allah is great, my friend. I’m going to Paradise today. I’m taking all of you with me.”

A red fabric strap dangled from his shirt tail. How curious. It wasn’t part of his uniform or his underclothing.

In a gut-wrenching punch that nearly stole Sam’s breath, he realized what was happening.

Sam threw down his scalpel and leapt onto the Afghan, knocking a surgical tech at Table Alpha to the floor.

Mirabelle dropped her clipboard. “Captain Wallentine!” she screamed. “Sam! What are you doing?”

The other surgeon backed up against the wall, still holding a needle in his suture forceps. The Afghan made a grab for the strap but because the man was so small it was easy for Sam to pin his hands above his head.

A heavy weight slammed into Sam’s back. “Get control of yourself, sir!” said a burly Navy corpsman. He grabbed Sam’s left wrist and pinned it behind his back.

Mirabelle grabbed his right hand.

“Sam, have you cracked?” she asked.

“Stop!” Sam protested. “Let go, and help me.” They spun him around and dragged him to the door. An MP opened it for them. Sam felt like everything was moving in slow motion. His mind whirled as he fought to get the words out. “He’s a suicide bomber! You just freed his hands and now he—"

The explosion wasn’t a resounding boom like in the movies. It was an ear-splitting crack. A shock wave of heat and incredible light slammed into his back.

Sam awoke, lying prone on the gray, dusty soil. His head was tilted to the right. With one eye he could see American soldiers running in all directions. They paused, knelt and fired rifles above him. The firefight lasted only half a minute.

Someone put a hand on his shoulder. He tried to move, to roll onto his back, but he couldn’t get his muscles to cooperate.

Two fingers felt around on his neck. A voice called out, “This one’s still alive. Medic, Medic, over here!”

Sam’s eyelid drooped and he slipped back into unconsciousness.

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