Former U.S. Army Sergeant Wade Carter returned from Afghanistan a broken man. Permanently injured and weighed down with PTSD, his scars run deeper than flesh and bone. When his regular physical therapist is taken ill, the sexy replacement doctor has Wade wishing he’d touch much more of his body than his busted leg.
Dr. Jesse Okenah isn’t a beginner when it comes to working with veterans, but his new patient stirs up feelings that go beyond professional. It’s Wade’s wounded soul, more than his mangled leg, that needs TLC in order for him to live a healthy, fulfilling life again. Jesse just needs to figure out how to deliver that care to the stubborn vet without crossing a line – and losing his heart.
Such an amazing story. There is so much emotion pulled out in this story. I could feel what Wade was feeling when he was in some of his dark moods, and his timid hope that things would get better. I loved how Wade was very real and showed some of the darker sides of being wounded. He also tells some sad truth about BA hospitals and how disabled veterans are treated when they get home. Jesse is exactly what Wade didn’t know he needed, right when he was at his lowest. I loved that Wade found his will to keep going on his own. He had to decide for himself life was worth living. Jesse and Wade have a ways to go but they have a solid start and the support in place to make it work.
Four and a half
He slid two long fingers over the inside of Wade’s wrist.
Hmm, soft as velvet.
Damn him again. The man may not have been handsome by traditional standards, but Wade found him striking. The sienna complexion and angular features that hinted at his Native American heritage also gave him an earthy sensuality — rugged and strong without the grit. He wanted to see all that long black hair free and flowing. He reminded Wade of some stoic warrior turned heavy metal god.
Since he couldn’t pick out any gray strands in the sleek ponytail, and the only wrinkles were those near the corners of his eyes, Wade guessed he was in his early thirties, a few years younger than himself. The doc looked comfortable in his own skin and Wade liked that. He leaned toward him, the scent of aloe and autumn leaves a refreshing contrast to the vile odor of the hospital.
“Your pulse is slightly high,” the doctor said, removing his fingers. “But that’s understandable when you’re agitated.”
Oh, he was agitated all right. But this kind of agitation fluttered in his stomach and tingled in his groin. “Will you let me know when you hear about Dr. Allen?” Wade asked, hoping to distract his body from going down that road.
Dr. Okenah smiled crookedly, and Wade held back a sigh. Oh brother, he had a problem. “Of course.”
“I’ll let her know you asked about her.”
“Sure, but she won’t believe it. I’ve never been the most considerate patient.”
The doc’s brow rose as if to say, “No, really?” but he remained silent as he tore open the Velcro of the blood pressure cuff.
“I’m not that bad,” Wade insisted.
“You get angry often?”
“Not too often,” Wade lied. He gazed down at the floor, shame creeping over him like the evening fog.
The doc moved on. “How about depression?”
Wade didn’t know why he bothered to ask. It was all laid out in his chart. Didn’t he know how embarrassing it was to talk about this shit? Naming those feelings only made him feel worse, as if somehow speaking them aloud gave them more power. Everyone already knew he was broken. Why beat a dead horse? Wade finally nodded, but the doc didn’t press the issue.
Instead, Dr, Okenah slid his hand under the sleeve of Wade’s t-shirt, pushing the material out of the way for the blood pressure cuff. Wade instinctively flexed his arm, his skin prickling with goosebumps at the touch. Knowing the doc couldn’t have missed that as he wrapped the cuff around his arm, Wade flushed again. Why had he stopped doing his push-ups? His arms weren’t as solid as they used to be. Hell, neither was the rest of him. But glancing up at the doc had Wade suddenly wishing for a lot of things — that he had trimmed his shaggy beard, put on a cleaner t-shirt, or even combed his unruly hair. The ache in his cock signaled his overriding wish.
The sound of the Velcro ripping open jolted him back to grim reality.
Hunter’s early addiction to the smell of printed books led her to spend most of her childhood in libraries and bookstores. There she fell in love with stories featuring medieval castles, ghosts, and handsome heroes. She developed her writing skills in high school, when in English class she penned a weekly saga about two love struck teenagers, Tami and Rick, using her assigned vocabulary words. As adults, Tami and Rick would be featured in her very first novel, Trail of Love, which is locked away in a dusty corner of her filing cabinet to be laughed at in her old age.
Hunter continued to write in college, but went on to explore careers in graphic design, the culinary arts, and dog grooming before returning to graduate school to get her MA in British history. To pay the bills she spends her days working for the State of Nevada. In order to appease her muse and combat the day job blues, she writes the kind of fiction that keeps her sane. She adores romance in all forms, but prefers her stories with two heroes that find their happily-ever-afters with each other.
Though born in same year as Star Wars, she’d rather watch Spaceballs (or any Mel Brooks movies really), or Monty Python, MST3K. and cheesy romantic comedies from the ’80s and ’90s. Her wacky sense of humor is only paralleled by her hopeless romanticism. She’s a goth at heart and a sucker for men with long hair. She loves everything British, but insists tea be drunk without milk. She’s a pescetarian with vegan tendencies and has two fat little cats named after her favorite beverage – Latte and Java. She does her best to stay cool under the hot sun of Las Vegas, residing there with her long-haired boyfriend until they can move closer to the ocean or at least someplace with more green.