The Doctor's Fake FiancéeBy: Victoria James
Their marriage bargain is just what the doctor ordered…
Former surgeon and self-professed life-long bachelor Evan Manning has one thing on his mind—to reclaim the career that a car accident stole from him. But when he’s forced to return to his hometown of Red River, Evan comes face-to-face with the gorgeous woman who’s haunted his dreams for the last year—the woman he rescued from the burning car that injured his hand. Now Evan needs her help. In a month, he’ll have the job opportunity of a lifetime...he just needs a wife to get it.
Artist Grace Matheson is down on her luck again…until she walks into Evan Manning’s office. When her sexy former hero hears that she needs work, he offers her a job and a home—if she’ll pretend she’s his fiancée. Grace knows she shouldn’t fall for him. Once the month is up, Evan will be back to his old life. But the more time they spend together, the more real their feelings become—and the more likely heartbreak is.
The Doctor’s Fake Fiancée
a Red River novel
Grace Matheson needed to grow up. It was time to face the facts—she couldn’t be a single mom, hold down a job, and pursue her dreams of becoming an artist. Her paintings weren’t bringing in any money, so she couldn’t afford to spend the time on them anymore.
“I promise it will never happen again. My babysitter canceled at the last minute, and I had no one to watch my son,” she whispered into her phone. Her eyes focused on the road ahead and she cringed as the office manager gave a long sigh on the other end of the line.
She cursed herself for staying awake almost the entire night to finish a painting. When she’d finally stumbled to bed at five in the morning, she’d forgotten to set her alarm and had woken up two hours late for work, in a complete panic.
“Grace, this is the last time. I think you’re a very nice person, but I need a reliable receptionist in Dr. Harris’s office. One more chance. We’ll see you tomorrow, okay?”
“Thank you, Cynthia.” She breathed a long sigh of relief, easing her foot off the gas as she approached the turnoff to the highway. Her heart squeezed painfully as she glanced in her rearview mirror at her son, who was sleeping soundly. Being a single mother was harder than she ever could have imagined, and she’d naively thought she could juggle everything, including her son. Christopher had never been planned, but there wasn’t a doubt in her mind that he was her first priority.
She looked away from the mirror to the road ahead, just in time to see the eighteen-wheeler take the highway on-ramp too fast. Her heart slammed up against her ribs with the painful realization that she wouldn’t be able to get out of the way in time. She pounded the brakes and veered the steering wheel to the left.
Her car, the truck, the road, blurred and slowed until they floated in only a silent, throbbing bubble. The ominous, thunderous drone of the truck turning on its side and slamming onto the road, mingling with Christopher’s shrill cry, were the last sounds she heard before everything turned black.
Voices, no, a voice was calling her. Where was she?
“I’m going to get you out of here, sweetheart. Can you hear me?” the person said again. It was a man’s voice. It was familiar. It was gruff, strained, and filled with…worry. She tried to lift her head to nod, but it was as though she were trying to lift a sandbag. Sirens hummed in the distance, slicing through the fog that held her mind captive.
“Mommy,” a little voice whimpered, a voice that she knew instinctively, that kicked her adrenaline into high gear.
“Christopher,” she tried to yell, but she could only manage a soft whisper. She needed to get to her son.
“He’s fine. He’s going to be okay. I’m a doctor,” the man said. The reassurance was all she had to cling to. There was shuffling. Christopher was whimpering, and she struggled to push against whatever it was that was pinning her down.
“Where are we?” She tried to blink, but whenever she opened her eyes, they burned. She squeezed them shut and tried to breathe, but her lungs were heavy. Smoke. There was smoke.
“You were in a car accident. Help is on the way. I’ve got you and your son almost out, okay? I need you to stay calm and just do as I say. I’m not going to let anything happen to you,” the man said. His hands reached across her waist, and she felt him tug. Strong arms moved across her body as he pulled at the seatbelt. There was something about him, a familiarity. She tried to stay awake, to open her eyes, but it was useless.
“The car is filled with smoke, and that truck is going to light up. We’ve got to get out of here. Can you move?” He continued to pull the seat belt. Adrenaline and panic raced through her, and she prayed for strength as she tried to move, to lift her limbs. Nothing moved. Or worked.