Bride at Bay Hospital [NOOK Book]

Overview


When Sam Agostini left the Bay thirteen years ago he had a reputation as a bad boy—and he left nurse Megan Astley brokenhearted. Now he's back, still devastatingly handsome, still undeniably charming and a highly respected doctor. But as Sam fights to make up for his past, and convince Megan that he's changed, new secrets start to rise to the surface….

Sam knows it's up to him to find out what Megan is hiding...

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Bride at Bay Hospital

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Overview


When Sam Agostini left the Bay thirteen years ago he had a reputation as a bad boy—and he left nurse Megan Astley brokenhearted. Now he's back, still devastatingly handsome, still undeniably charming and a highly respected doctor. But as Sam fights to make up for his past, and convince Megan that he's changed, new secrets start to rise to the surface….

Sam knows it's up to him to find out what Megan is hiding if their new romance is to survive.


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781460358788
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 3/15/2014
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,330,613
  • File size: 672 KB

Meet the Author


Previously a teacher, pig farmer, and builder (among other things), Meredith Webber turned to writing medical romances when she decided she needed a new challenge. Once committed to giving it a “real” go she joined writers’ groups, attended conferences and read every book on writing she could find. Teaching a romance writing course helped her to analyze what she does, and she believes it has made her a better writer. Readers can email Meredith at: mem@onthenet.com.au


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Read an Excerpt


MEG heard the voice as she grabbed an armful of clothes from the built-in wardrobe in the main bedroom.

Her bedroom!

Or it had been until today.

Or officially yesterday. "Vacant possession!'The voice was deep, and powerful enough to carry right through the old wooden house without being raised to shouting level. "I stipulated vacant possession."

Whoever was on the receiving end of the cold statement must have had a quieter voice, for Meg heard nothing of the explanation. But by then she was scurrying through the kitchen, intending to slip out the back way, down the steps and across to the cottage next door without being seen.

"He'd have had his bloody vacant possession if it weren't for the flu," she muttered to herself, as exhaustion from an extra night shift weakened her bones and sapped her confidence so self-pity lurked perilously close.

She didn't do self-pity! "Not that he's arrived with a furniture van all ready to move in," she told her cat, who'd come out of the cottage to see if any of the clothes were trailing a belt or ribbon that would make a good plaything.

Meg dumped her load on her bed and crossed to the window in time to see the realtor's car drive off.

Great! She could nick back over and get the rest of her stuff. One drawer full of undies—that was it!

She'd give him vacant possession!

But as she walked through the kitchen a sense of loss overwhelmed her, and she faltered as she remembered the happy times she'd had in the old house. Up until now, she'd only considered the financial aspect of moving—her father had let her have the house at a nominal rent because he'd understood her dream.

But now...

No, she wouldn't think about her father—or about the dream.

The dream her mother said was foolish...

Anger swamped her maudlin mood. Anger at her mother for deciding to sell their old holiday house—anger at the stranger who had bought her memories. Muttering dire threats she would never carry out, she stomped back into the bedroom.

The stranger, tall and dark, face shadowed by the window behind him, was twirling one of her G-strings round his fingers so the little red hearts on it made a circle of red against the white—red, white, red, white.

"Put that down!'She gave equal emphasis to each word, her own red anger, barely controlled, whirling in her head.

"Megan?"

The stranger looked from the panties to her, back to the panties, and then frowned before he said her name again— this time with even more incredulity.

"Megan?"

She snatched the garment from him and turned away, certain it couldn't be Sam—knowing from the rapid pulsing of her heart it had to be.

"Megan."

Not a question this time but a statement, accompanied by a touch of his hand on her shoulder.A mist of rage and something that could almost have been hatred filled her head, and she didn't need the pressure of that hand to make her turn.

"What is this, Sam? Some variation on the return of the prodigal son? Some revenge thing that you had to buy my house? Turn me out? Well, great! Have the bloody house! Have your vacant possession! And you can have my knickers, too, because I'd be damned if I'd wear them after you've touched them!"

And with that she stormed away, head held high but cheeks aflame with heat, while her heart skittered about in her chest like a terrified rabbit in search of the deepest, darkest burrow it could find.

"Well, that went well."

Sam sighed as he looked at the minute undergarment she'd dropped on the floor in her hurry to get away. Then he shook his head.

What was Megan doing in the Bay? And how could he have known she'd been living in the house? He'd bought it from the trustees of her father's estate and had been told the house was tenanted, but never in his wildest dreams had he considered Megan might have been the tenant.

Megan...

Something in his chest scrunched tight as his head repeated her name, but he had it on good authority from any number of women that he didn't have a heart, so it had to have been some other organ scrunching.

Or perhaps a muscle.

Intercostal muscles tightening his ribcage because of a perfectly natural trepidation about this return to the town of his childhood.

That would explain the scrunch.

He crossed the empty room and looked out at the wide sweep of blue water, wondering why the hell he'd come back, then, feeling the pull of the beauty in front of him, he realised just how dangerous this return might prove. That he, to whom emotional control was so important, should feel that pull was surely a danger signal.

That he should feel something at the sight of Meg was doubly dangerous.

Meg...

She'd stormed out through the kitchen. Where had she been going? He hadn't seen a car outside, and she hadn't brought in a suitcase to collect her last few items of clothing.

He followed the route she'd taken and looked out the back door, across to the cottage where he'd grown up. He'd had a note from the realtor recently. Something about a new tenant, good references, six months' lease, and did he object to a cat...?

A cat!

He hadn't objected to the cat, but now he saw it, a seal-point Siamese, sitting erect and alert at the back door, he knew for sure Meg was the tenant. Right through her childhood there'd been such a cat—a cat which had been both friend and confidant to the shy, gangly, red-headed kid she'd been.

How could fate have been so unkind to Meg that he and she were now transposed in their residences? No wonder she was upset. But why, if she was living in this house, had it been sold?

And why, if she'd wanted to keep it, hadn't she made some arrangement to buy it?

He hardened his heart against the softness caused by thinking of unkind fates and Meg in the same sentence. He reminded himself they were virtual strangers now and, though neighbours once again, need have nothing more to do with each other apart from a neighbourly nod from time to time.

"And this, Dr Agostini, is our director of nursing, Megan Anstey."

It was just after nine the following morning, and Sam was following Bill Roberts, the hospital administrator, through the building, knowing he'd need a week or so to get all the names straight in his head.

Except for this name. "You're a nurse?" 'You're a doctor?"

OK, he'd sounded startled, but he'd done nothing to deserve the huff of derision that had accompanied Meg's question.

"You two know each other?" 'Good guess, Bill, though not, I hasten to add, in the biblical sense!" Meg said, her vivid green eyes challenging and defying Sam as she added, "You'll find most of the local staff—female staff in particular—know Dr Agostini. Just wait till the word gets round that Sam's back in town. Flu recovery rates will pick up immediately."

"Is that what you call a warm friendly Bay greeting?" Sam's voice was silky smooth—dangerously smooth— and poor harmless Bill was obviously wishing the floor would open up and swallow him.

"We've already done the greeting bit,'Meg replied. "And now, if we've finished chatting, I'm down twelve staff and am needed on the wards."

She whisked away without waiting for a reply, her heart thundering in her chest, her hands shaking, her knees so wobbly it was a wonder they were holding her up.

Sam next door was one thing. She was usually too busy to see much of her neighbours. But Sam right here, in her hospital?

"Have you heard? Sam Agostini's back in town—not only back in town but acting super for the hospital. I always assumed he'd be in jail by now."

Coralie Stephens was both ward sister and the main trunk of the hospital grapevine, so this conversation shouldn't have surprised Meg, but hearing Sam's name on Coralie's lips made her feel sick. Even sicker than the news he wasn't passing through.

Coralie West she'd been back then, new in town, and the first conquest Sam had flaunted in front of Meg that terrible Christmas.

But at least Meg now had an explanation for Sam's presence—acting super. Apparently the new medical superintendent they'd been expecting had been delayed. Though why, if he was only acting, would Sam have bought a house here?

She fended off all the unanswerable questions competing for attention in her head and concentrated on the staff roster on Coralie's desk. Coralie was busy filling in her ward secretary on the legend that was Sam Agostini—the bad boy of the Bay.

"Gorgeous, he was just gorgeous—darkly handsome with the most arresting blue-green eyes. But wild! You wouldn't believe the things he'd do. The story is he once swam across the bay for a bet and you know what the sharks are like out there, and he certainly put one of his mates in hospital after a fight. I was there that night. Boy, could he fight." She paused. "I wonder if Wade knows he's back in town."

Meg heard the smugness in Coralie's voice, and felt sorry for Wade Stephens. The man deserved better than his wife trying to rekindle an old affair with Sam Agostini!

"We're still in dire straits with staff—can you do an extra shift?" she asked the sister, hoping to bring the conversation back to work-related matters.

Coralie's reply was swift. "No way! Not today. I've a hair appointment." Coralie? Whose hair looked as if she cut it with a knife and fork?

Hair appointment?

Meg forbore from comment, but inwardly she was cursing Sam's arrival back in town. As if the hospital wasn't in enough trouble, with the epidemic of summer flu, without women who should know better going dippy over a good-looking scoundrel.

Maybe he had a wife.

Surely he'd have a wife!

She hadn't noticed a wedding ring...

But, then, she'd barely noticed anything about the man—except that it had been Sam.

"There are no sharks in the bay—it's too shallow," she told the ward secretary, who was new in town. "The sharks just made for a better a story."

The young woman smiled at her, but the avid way she turned her attention back to Coralie told Meg just how disruptive Sam's return might be.

"And this is the medical ward."

Bill's voice alerted her to the fact that the guided tour of his precious hospital had caught up with her, but as Coralie rushed forward to welcome Sam, enveloping him in a hug, Meg moved away. She couldn't avoid giving him a wry smile as she passed him to remind him of their shared revulsion of all things soppy and sentimental when they had been inseparable holiday playmates as kids.

Sam fended off Coralie West, or whatever she was called now, as best he could, offering what he hoped was a disarming but suitably neutral smile.

"Great to see you," he said, while in his head he wondered about his sanity. Bringing his mother back here had been one thing—but after she'd—

He cut off the thought, concentrating instead on the information Bill was giving him. Complex medical cases were transferred to Brisbane, but good visiting specialists meant they could handle most things.

"And our consultant surgeons are terrific," Bill continued, leading him towards the surgical ward. "Top class."

Were they following some hospital round routine that meant Megan was in front of him at every turn? She was bending over the desk, her hair, a darker, richer red than it had been when she'd been young, falling forward so it cast a shadow on her rather stern profile, her tall, lean figure curved towards the girl behind the computer, her long, slim legs bare of stockings and as white as Meg's skin always was.

As kids they'd stretch out on the beach and she'd rest her leg against his so they could marvel at the contrast of her whiteness against his tanned brown skin.

"Put more sunscreen on!" he'd order, and she'd mimic his order to annoy him, but obey, knowing just how burnt she'd get if she didn't cover up all the time.

"It goes red then blisters, then peels and we're back to white!'she'd complained. "Red, white, red, white!'And for some reason he thought of the tiny panties he'd swung on his finger the previous afternoon.

Meg in a sexy thong?

In his experience women only wore such things for a man. "So we can do it."

He had no idea what Bill had been talking about, and at some stage, while he'd been lost in his memories, Meg had whisked away again.

Bill was called to the phone so Sam continued on his own, wandering into what was obviously the children's ward. Meg again! Sitting on the edge of a bed, talking to a young lad who had his left leg and right arm hooked up in traction.

Sam paused by the desk. "That's Brad Crosby,'a nurse who introduced herself as Sue explained to him. "Broke both legs and one arm trying to fly off the veranda of his house. He's always in trouble, that boy. Single p—"

"Sue!"

Meg's voice made them both turn, whatever Sue was about to say cut off.

"Is the physio due to see Brad today?"

Sue checked on her computer as Meg came across to the desk, while Sam moved across to talk to the boy.

"Flying, huh?" he said as he drew closer. "What did you use for wings?"

"Garbage bags," Brad said with a sigh. "The packet said they were extra-tough but they ripped right through the moment they took my weight. Not at the Velcro where I'd stuck them on my clothes but the plastic itself tore."

"Tough luck, eh?" Sam said. "Guess you have to rethink the whole idea."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2014

    Elli

    Nods

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2014

    Mark

    Walks out "a<_>asholes"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2014

    Dr shade

    Elizabeth

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2014

    Ok i nrroke my leg

    tripping rinnin out of building i need help now

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2014

    DR RINA

    Go to res 17 civil war hospital

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