Friday, July 25, 2014

Together Always Review Tour

A new body, a new life…

Because of a facial disfigurement, Nurse Grace Joye has never felt beautiful, and when she’s told a brain tumor will end her life within a matter of weeks, she’s devastated. 

Grace’s friend, psychiatrist Dr. Tobias Andrews has been experimenting with spirit travel. He suggests that Grace transfers her spirit to the body of his newest patient—Mrs. Vanessa Knight, a gorgeous-looking woman who is soon to be released from life-support. Grace doesn’t take much convincing to take this drastic step: she will live on and realize her two dreams: to be a mother, and be loved by a man….Only to hear her soon-to-be husband’s whispered words just before the life-support is switched off: “Good-bye, darling. I'm glad I’ll never have to see you again.”

Lucas Knight has been contentedly preparing for Vanessa’s death when the plug is pulled and the ventilators turned off. Throughout their marriage, this volatile woman had become increasingly vicious towards him and their young son. Therefore, he’s appalled and traumatized when, miraculously, she comes out of her coma. Strangely, this girl isn’t anything like the witch he’d said goodbye to. He could love this gentle angel. But, could he trust her to stay this way?

“Grace, lovie, what’s happening ‘ere? Doctor, what are you doing to this poor girl?” Mrs. Dorn bustled into the room, dropped her parcels and rushed to the bed to gather the weeping Grace into her arms.

Stuttering, Grace replied. “Lucas wants to make love to me.”

“Is that all? Thank goodness for small mercies. Of course he does, child. I’ve seen the way the man stares at you. The bloke’s bonkers over ya. And I don’t blame him none. If I were a man, I’d want ya for me own, and that’s the right of it.”

Dr. Andrews cleared his throat so loud that both ladies swiveled in his direction. He stood rigid, a furious look not often seen made his face look rather red and Grace believed that even his distinguished grey hair appeared to stand at attention. 

“Mrs. Dorn,” he bellowed. “Mrs. Knight is my patient and we were having a consultation before you barged into the room. May I request that you step outside for a short while so that we may continue?”

Grace’s attention was caught as she watched the brief war between her two champions.

“Oh, pooh! She needs a motherly shoulder for her tears, not a doctor’s prescription.” Mrs. Dorn’s unrelenting stern expression made Dr. Andrews look from one woman to the other, before snorting and backing down. Once again, Grace’s streaked face sought Mrs. Dorn’s ample chest while the chubby old hands soothed and stroked her hair. 

“Fine, you may stay. In fact it’s probably for the best, because we need to resolve something here and we’ll do it now.

“Grace, once and for all you must make up your mind if you are willing to continue as Mrs. Vanessa Knight. If you feel you can’t proceed, Henrietta and I will help you start a new life in every way possible. But, you must realize”—and he emphasized must strongly—“that you have run out of time. It wouldn’t be fair to either Lucas or Samuel for you to go to their home and then leave them after such a step. Both already love you and are willing to accept that you are who they believe you to be.”

The minute he’d started to speak, she’d sat up and listened carefully. Voice tones could make a huge difference to the words spoken. After listening to this speech, Grace knew this to be true. Every word, concise and heartfelt, was engraved onto her brain and she appreciated, without a doubt, the seriousness of his directives. She looked toward Mrs. Dorn who sat nodding her head; the wart on the pale skin of her nose stood out stronger than ever and called attention to her wobbling chin and artificially reddened lips now caught between her teeth.

When she still hadn’t replied, Dr. Andrews spoke again.

“If you like, I can talk to Lucas and tell him that you are fragile, that your mental state is still seeking answers to who you are and what happened in the past. That he must be gentle and patient to help you regain some of what’s been lost. He’s a good man and will give you time.”

Grace felt the doctor watch her closely for signs of compliance or resistance, trying to read her expression. If she still wore Grace’s face, without a doubt, he’d have known what her soft heart needed. But this face was as new to him as it was to her. Thoughts filtered through her head at an alarming rate. What was she to do?

Her love for Samuel screamed for her to be the mother he coveted, the mother she knew she could be. But the fearful, unloved woman who’d lived her life hiding behind her hand, giving up dreams without a fight—that woman held her back.

Suddenly a huge wave of yearning filled every crevice inside of her until taking another breath seemed impossible. Both the doctor and Mrs. Dorn moved forward as if they sensed she needed help. Before they could do anything, the powerful sensation released her and she fell back against the pillows, weak but resolved.

“I will be Vanessa Knight, mother and wife. And I will be a good mother, and the best wife I know how to be. Learning has always come easily to me, so I’ll research everything I need and I’ll succeed.”

“Bless my soul, Gracie. You had me scared for a minute. Why, one of life’s greatest pleasures for a young woman is carrying on with the right man. Back in my day, I had a beau or two who tickled my—”

“Mrs. Dorn!”

“Er…fancy. Yes, well, it’s a jolly good life you’ll have, and we’ll help you every step of the way, won’t we, Doctor?”

“Absolutely, but just one more thing and then we’ll not speak of this ever again. Mrs. Dorn, once again you’ve called her Grace. That must stop. Now! From this minute forward, she is Vanessa Knight, Lucas’s wife and Samuel’s mother. Do you understand?” His demanding gaze moved from Grace to a red-faced Mrs. Dorn. “Do I make myself clear?” he asked again, his tone brooking no nonsense. 

“Yes, Doctor.” Tight curls bobbing around her face as she swiveled toward the bed, Mrs. Dorn said, “I’m ever so sorry, Gr…I mean, Vanessa. It won’t happen again—if I can help it.”

At that moment, something caught at Grace’s attention and halted her movement toward Mrs. Dorn. Stopping her intention to hug the dear woman who showed her such caring, she looked toward the door, which sat open a few inches.

“Doctor, did you close the door when you came into the room?”

“Yes, I remember distinctly wanting some privacy to speak with you. Henrietta, did you close the door?” Both Grace and he turned to the perplexed housekeeper.

“I don’t remember,” she answered. Biting her lip, she raised her hands outwards and flopped back in her chair, making her full-skirted, red, polka-dotted dress billow around her ample girth. “I don’t think so. Why do you ask?”

Pale and shaken, Grace answered. “I’m sure someone was at the door just now. What if they heard us talking?”

“Oh dear,” said Dr. Andrews.

“Sod a dog!” said Mrs. Dorn.

Author of five series: The Vicarage Bench, Angels with Attitudes, Vegas, Elvis and the brand new sizzling romantic suspense series called Undercover FBI. Mimi lives on the East coast of Vancouver Island and writes her romances with tongue in cheek and a mad glint in her eye. “If I can steal a booklover’s attention away from their every-day grind, absorb them into a fantasy love story, and make them care about the ending, then I’ve done my job.”

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