Melting the Ice Queen's Heart [NOOK Book]


It started with a kiss…

Having left his humanitarian posting in Africa to raise his two orphaned nieces in San Francisco, Dr. Gavin Brice has enough on his plate without an inconvenient attraction to his new boss! The frosty Dr. Virginia Potter clearly disapproves of his maverick ways - but with one amazing kiss, the ice begins to thaw….

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Melting the Ice Queen's Heart

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It started with a kiss…

Having left his humanitarian posting in Africa to raise his two orphaned nieces in San Francisco, Dr. Gavin Brice has enough on his plate without an inconvenient attraction to his new boss! The frosty Dr. Virginia Potter clearly disapproves of his maverick ways - but with one amazing kiss, the ice begins to thaw….

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781460326305
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 2/1/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 457,468
  • File size: 233 KB

Meet the Author

Born and raised on the outskirts of Toronto, Ontario Amy fled the big city to settle down with the country boy of her dreams. When she’s not furiously typing away at her computer, she’s a mom to three wonderful children.

Life got in the way, and after the birth of her second child, she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a romance author.

You can find out more about Amy at her website

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Read an Excerpt

"We have a state-of-the art facility here at Bayview Grace and we're staffed with some of the top surgeons in the country." Dr. Virginia Potter gritted her teeth, but then flashed the board of directors and investors the best smile she could muster.

She hated this aspect of her job, but as Chief of Surgery it was par for the course. She'd rather have her hands dirty, working the trauma floor with the rest of the emergency doctors, but she was used to schmoozing. Earning scholarships and being on countless deans' lists had helped her perfect the fine art of rubbing elbows. It's how she'd got through school. Her childhood certainly hadn't prepared her for that.

Still, Virginia missed her time on the floor, saving lives. She still got surgery time, but it wasn't nearly as much as she used to get.

This is what you wanted, she reminded herself. It was career or family. There was no grey area. Her father had proved that to her. He had spent more time with his family instead of rising up in his job and because of that and then an injury he had been the first to be let go when the factory had moved its operations down south. Virginia had learned from that. To be successful, you couldn't have both.

It was the values her father had instilled in her. To always strive for the best, go for the top. Again, that was a sacrifice one had to make. It was a position she wanted.

To not make the same mistakes in life he had. Keep a roof over your head and food on the table. That was what she had been taught was a mark of success.

Others have both. She shook that thought away. No. She didn't want a family. She couldn't lose anyone else. She wouldn't risk feeling that pain again.

"I'd really like to see the hospital's emergency department," Mrs. Greenly said, breaking through Virginia's thoughts.

Anywhere but there, her inner voice screamed, but instead Virginia nodded. "Of course. If you'll follow me?"

Why? Her stomach felt like it was about to bottom out to the soles of her feet. Virginia had planned to steer clear of the emergency room. There were so many more "tame" departments at Bayview Grace.

Departments with Attendings who were more polished and less dangerous to her senses.

Bayview Grace's ER Attending was the quintessential bad boy of the hospital.

She led the investors and the board of directors towards the emergency department and tried to think back to the posted schedule and whether Dr. Gavin Brice was scheduled for the day shift, because even though Dr. Brice was a brilliant surgeon he and the board of directors didn't see eye to eye. Maybe he's not working?

Oh, who was she kidding? He was always working and she admired him for that, except this one time she wished he wasn't so efficient.

Virginia had been the one to push for them to hire Brice. They hadn't been impressed with his extensive CV. The board had wanted a more glamorous, "citified" surgeon. Not one who'd gotten his hands dirty and lived rough.

"It's all on your head, Dr. Potter. If Dr. Brice fails, you fail."

The threat had been clear.

At first Virginia had been nervous, because hiring Dr. Brice had put her job on the line, but then she'd realized she was being silly. His work with Border Free Physicians, practicing surgery in developing countries around the world, was an experience in itself. His survival rates were the highest she'd ever seen.

There was no way Dr. Brice would not succeed at Bayview Grace.

She'd see to it, but the board still wasn't impressed with him.

His survival rates were still high. Topnotch, in fact, but Gavin was unorthodox and a wild mustang on the surgical floor.

He had no patience for surgical interns. No patience for anyone really.

Gavin followed his own rules when it came to practicing medicine. He was the perpetual thorn in Virginia's side.

Please, don't be on duty. Please, don't be on duty.

The board of directors and their investors headed into the emergency department.

"Get out of the way!"

Virginia just had time to grab Mrs. Greenly out of the line of fire as a gurney came rushing by from one of the trauma pods.

Speak of the devil.

Gavin Brice was on top of a man, pumping an Ambu bag and shouting orders to a group of flustered interns.

"There's no time, he has a pneumothorax. We have to insert a chest tube." He climbed down and handed the operation of the manual respirator over to a resident.

Oh. My. God. Did he just say what I thought he said?

"Dr. Brice," Virginia called out in warning.

Gavin glanced over his shoulder and didn't respond, effectively dismissing her presence. "Get me a 20 French chest tube kit." One of the interns ran off.

"Dr. Brice," Virginia said again. "Think about what you're doing."

The intern returned with the chest tube kit, handing it to Dr. Brice as he finished wiping the patient's side with antiseptic. "Ten blade."

Virginia gritted her teeth, angered she was being ignored. She spun around and gauged the expressions of the board members. Most had nasty pallors. Mrs. Greenly looked like she was about to pass out.

"Dr. Brice!"

"I said ten blade! Have you actually studied medicine?" he barked at an intern, ignoring Virginia.

She stepped towards the gurney. "You can't place that chest tube here, Dr. Brice. Take him to a trauma bay or an OR, stat!"

"Dr. Potter, there are no rooms free and I don't have time to mince words. As you can see, this man has sustained crush injuries and has pneumothorax from a motor vehicle accident. He could die unless I do this right here, right now."

"I really think-"

Gavin didn't even look at her as he cut an incision in the man's chest and inserted the chest tube. "Come on, damn you!"

Virginia watched the patient's vitals on the monitor. It didn't take long before the man's blood pressure and systolic regulated and for the fluid to start to drain through the silicone tube.

"Great. Now we need to clear an OR, stat." Gavin shot her a look. One of annoyance. He shook his head in disgust as the trauma team began to wheel the man off towards the operating rooms, his hand still in the patient's chest.

All that was left in his wake was a spattering of blood on the floor from where he'd made the incision to insert the tube.

Virginia rubbed her temples and turned to the board and the investors. "Well, that's our ER. How about we end this tour here and head back to the boardroom?"

It was probably the dumbest thing she'd ever said, but she didn't know how to recover from this situation. In her two years as Chief of Surgery this had never happened to her before. She'd never had an emergency play out in front of the board in the middle of a tour.

Investors had never had to watch a chest tube be inserted in front of them before.

The stunned members nodded and headed out of the department, except for Mr. Edwin Schultz-the tight-lipped head of the board. Another thorn in her side. It was no secret that he thought the hospital was bad from a business perspective. He was the one holding Bayview Grace back, because as far as Virginia was concerned, Edwin Schultz wanted to drop the axe on her hospital.

"Dr. Potter, I'd like to speak with you about Dr. Brice in private."

"Of course," Virginia said, rolling her eyes when his back was turned. She opened a door to a dark exam room, flicked on the lights and ushered Mr. Schultz inside. When she had closed the door, she crossed her arms and braced for a verbal onslaught of tsunami proportions.

"What was that?" Mr. Schultz asked.

"A pneumothorax. The chest tube insertion probably saved the man's life."

"Can you be certain?"

"If Dr. Brice hadn't have performed that procedure, the patient would've certainly died."

Mr. Schultz frowned. "But in the middle of the ER? In front of the investors and other patients?"

"It wasn't planned, if that's what you're implying." Virginia counted to ten in her head. Her whole body clenched as she fought back the urge to knock some common sense into Edwin Schultz's addled brains.

"I didn't say it was, Dr. Potter." He snorted, pulling out a handkerchief to dab at his sweaty bald head. He folded it up again and placed it in his breast pocket. "I'm suggesting that maybe you should have a talk with him about the proper place to perform a medical procedure."

She wanted to tell Schultz that sometimes there was no time to find a proper room or an OR in trauma surgery when a life was at stake, only that wasn't the diplomatic way and she'd worked so hard to become one of the youngest chiefs at Bayview Grace, heck, one of the youngest in San Francisco at the age of thirty. She wasn't about to give that up. Job stability was all that mattered.

Her career was all that mattered.

"I'll have a talk with Dr. Brice when he's out of surgery."

Mr. Schultz nodded. "Please do. Now, let's go take care of the investors because if they don't invest the money we need, the emergency department will have to be cut."

"Cut?" Virginia's world spun around, her body clenching again. "What do you mean, cut?"

"I was going to speak to you later about this, but the hospital is losing money. Many members of the board feel that Bayview Grace could make a lot more money as a private clinic. The emergency department is the biggest detriment to the hospital's budget."

"We're a level-one trauma center." And they had just got that distinction because of two years of her blood, sweat and tears.

Mr. Schultz sighed. "I know, but unless we get the investors we need, we have no choice."

Virginia cursed under her breath. "And how do you feel, Mr. Schultz?"

"I think we should close the emergency department." The head of the board said no more and pushed past her.

Virginia scrubbed her hand over her face.

What am I doing?

As a surgeon, she wanted to tell Mr. Schultz what she thought about shutting down Bayview Grace's ER, but she didn't. She held her tongue, like she always did, and her father's words echoed in her ear.

"Don't tick off the boss man, darling. Job security is financial security."

And financial security meant food, home and all the necessities.

Virginia wanted to hold onto her job, like anyone did. She wouldn't wish a life of poverty like she'd endured as a child on her worst enemy.

So she was going to hold her head up high and make sure those investors didn't walk away. She was going to make sure Bayview's ER didn't close its doors so the people who worked in trauma didn't lose their jobs.

Though she respected Dr. Brice and his abilities, she knew she had to rein him in to keep control of her hospital.

She just didn't know how she was going to do that, or that she really wanted to.

"Where's the family?" Gavin asked the nearest nurse he could wrangle.

"Whose family?" the nurse asked, without looking up from the computer monitor.

Gavin bit back his frustration. He knew he had to be nicer to the nurses. At least here he had them.

"Mr. Jones, the man with the crush injuries who had the pneumothorax."

The nurse's eyes widened. "In the waiting room. Mrs. Jones and her three teenage sons. They're hard to miss."

"Uh, thank you…"

The nurse rolled her eyes. "Sadie."

"Right. Thanks." Gavin cursed inwardly as he ripped off his scrub cap and jammed it into a nearby receptacle. He should really know her name since he'd been working with her for six weeks, but Gavin couldn't keep anyone's name straight.

Except Virginia's.

It wasn't hard to keep her name straight in his head. The moment he'd met her, his breath had been taken away with those dark brown eyes to match the dark hair in a tidy chignon. She was so put together, feminine, like something out of a magazine, and then she spoke about all the rules and regulations, about everything he was doing wrong, and it shattered his illusion.

No wonder the staff called her Ice Queen. She was so cold and aloof. There was no warmth about her. It was all business.

The woman was a brilliant surgeon, he'd noticed the few times they'd worked together, but she was always slapping his wrists for foolish things.

"It's not sanitary. Legal is going to talk to you. The hospital could get sued," Virginia had stated.

In fact, when he had a moment, he planned to discuss the functionality and the layout out of this emergency department with her and the board.

It was horrendous.

When he'd been working in the field, in developing countries, everything he'd needed had been within arm's reach, and if it hadn't been then he'd made do with what he'd had and no one had complained. No one had talked about reprimanding him.

He'd been free to do what he wanted to save lives. It's why he'd become a trauma surgeon, for God's sake.

If he wasn't needed in San Francisco, if he had any other choice, he'd march into Virginia's office and hand in his resignation.

Only Lily and Rose stopped him.

He was working in this job, this suffocating, regimented environment, because of them. He didn't blame them; it wasn't their fault their mother had died. It's just that Gavin wished with all his heart he was anywhere but here.

Although he liked being at home with them. He wanted to do right by them. Give them the love and security he'd never had.

Gavin stopped at the charge desk and set Mr. Jones's chart on the desk to fill out some more information before he approached the family with news.

"You know that was the board of directors you traumatized today," Sadie said from behind the desk.

Gavin grunted in response.

What else was new?

Board of directors. He pinched the bridge of his nose. "I suppose Dr. Potter wants to have a little word with me?"

"Bingo." Sadie got up and left.

Gavin cursed under his breath again. "When?" he called after her.

"Ten minutes ago," she called out over her shoulder. Damn.

Well, Virginia would have to wait.

He had to tell Mrs. Jones her husband, who'd sustained severe crush injuries in a car accident, was going to be okay.

All thanks to his minor indiscretion over the chest tube insertion in front of the board.

Only he wouldn't get any thanks. From Mrs. Jones, yes, but from the people who ran this place, no.

It would be another slap on the wrist. Potter would tell him again how he was skating on thin ice with the board of directors.

It would take all his strength not to quit. Only he couldn't.

No other hospital in San Francisco was hiring or had been interested in him. He didn't have a flashy CV after working as a field surgeon for Border Free Physicians.

He didn't make the covers of medical journals or have some great research to tempt another hospital with.

All he had were his two hands and his surgical abilities.

Those two hands had saved a man today, but that wasn't good enough for the board. The bottom line was the only thing that mattered and it made him furious.

If it wasn't for the girls, he'd quit.

He couldn't uproot them. He wouldn't do that to them, he wouldn't have them suffer the same life he and Casey had endured as army brats, moving from pillar to post, never making friends and having absentee parents who had both been in the service.

Although he understood his parents now. He respected them for serving their country and doing their duty. He lived by the same code, only he wasn't going to raise a family living out of a backpack, and because he loved his life and his work he'd never planned on settling down.

He planned to die doing what he loved. Like his father had done.

Working until he'd dropped.

Of course, that had all changed seven months ago when Casey had called him.

Casey wanted stability for her girls and that's exactly what Gavin was going to give them.


He picked up Mr. Jones's chart and headed towards the waiting room.

Virginia could wait a few moments more and he'd smooth things over with the board. Mrs. Jones, however, wouldn't wait a second more.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2014

    &star Nursery &star

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  • Posted March 7, 2014

    Growing up poor and losing her sister to sub standard medical ca

    Growing up poor and losing her sister to sub standard medical care had made her life's decision for her, but was it the right one? She was no longer sure.

    Chief of Surgery Dr. Virginia Potter was the consummate professional: cool, aloof and all business. For her, job security equaled financial stability. To achieve that goal, a career was what she wanted, even if she had to sacrifice having a family. Only sometimes she wondered if she had made the right choice. Her practical side dealt with rules and regulations, schmoozing with the board to save the hospital's ER and delivering the finest surgical care. Her feminine side dreamed of a husband, family and a bustling home. Had she chosen wisely? Her practical side said you can't have it all. Her feminine side said you want the quintessential “bad boy”, Gavin. Could she? Would she? Did she want to try?

    Unorthodox and intense, Dr Gavin Brice has spent the last years on the front lines in developing countries with Border Free Physicians. He considered it his life's commitment, but a sudden guardianship of his nieces changed his mind. Regardless of the “suffocating regimented environment” he works in, he would provide the love and stability they needed. An instant family, death of a dream and new responsibilities were now his reality, but something was missing. Someone to share it with. At first glance, put together, feminine Virginia appeared to be a candidate, but the illusion was shattered because she only considered rules and regulations important. Could he change her mind? Was there a way to melt the Ice Queen's heart?

    Truly excellent book. A well written plot was woven with the well developed characters to give an intense sensual story of two people trying to find love in their life. The medical field provided an intense background to the story from the first page to the last. I laughed, cried and sympathized with the characters as I followed their journey.

    I would highly recommend to all romance readers. I was given a copy by the author for an honest review.

    5/5 Stars Was it possible to melt the Ice Queen's heart?

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  • Posted March 6, 2014

    4 STARS This is a good short read. Lots of drama, cute kids

    4 STARS

    This is a good short read. Lots of drama, cute kids that steal your heart, characters that I liked. There is one love scene that I skipped over. It also had a character that I wanted to shout out at.

    At first Dr. Gavin Brice character I did not like. The more I got to know him and his background the more I liked him. He is a emergency doctor that does not care what others think of him. He wants to save lives not play politics. He does not want to be working in San Fracisco at a hospital.

    Dr. Virginia Potter is called the ice queen. She is youngest Dr. in charge of hospital. She works hard to save her hospital and keep its doors open. Her job is all she cares about. The more we see her the more I liked her.

    Both Gavin and Virginia are really affected by their childhood to live the life different than they were brought up in.

    Lily is 8 years old. She is sweet. Lily acts so grown up at times.
    Rose is only 4 years old. She has not spoken since her mom died. She does communicate though.

    The hospital board wants to shut down the emergency room of the hospital. Dr. Potter is doing everything to keep it going strong. She can't tell anyone how close they are to closing. She tries to have a fundraiser to help keep it.
    On her day off she is down at pier and runs into Dr. Gavin Brice and his two nieces. No one at hospital knows he is raising them. Lily and Rose really take to her.

    I was rooting for everyone. I really enjoyed Lily and Rose.

    I was given this ebook to read and in return agreed to give honest review from Netgalley and Harlequin

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  • Posted February 5, 2014

    Dr. Virginia Potter has a job to do and she doesn't let anything

    Dr. Virginia Potter has a job to do and she doesn't let anything stand in her way. She has goals she wants to see finished and she knows the others call her the Ice Queen. It doesn't bother her. She takes a chance when she hire Dr. Gavin Brice. He is unconventional and his only goal is to save lives. Some don't like his methods. Gavin isn't used to staying in one place but for the sake of his orphaned nieces he is willing to take the change in his life. He never planned on being attracted to Virginia but their is something between them. They both have secrets they hide and have to work on understanding each other if they are to have a chance.

    Virginia seems like she is cold inside to a lot of people but she is far from it. She has had lost in the past and doesn't talk about it. She keeps it bottled up. She is a hard worker and will do whatever she can to save her ER department. She is a very loving caring person it's just that not many people get to see that side of her. Gavin is a wanderer but he is also a wonderful uncle. He will do whatever it takes to keep his nieces. He is an excellent Dr. but doesn't have a lot of people skills. He is a very private person. I liked both of these characters.

    I enjoyed this story as it has great characters. Both Gavin and Virginia have more in common than they know and keep things hid. I have to say I connected to Virginia right away and felt her pain. I almost had the same thing happen to me that caused her to lose her sister. It is something you don't hear a lot about anywhere and I was glad to see it in this book. Gavin's nieces will just have you wanting to grab them and hold them close and even bring out the pink nail polish. This book is a very good read and both main characters have to learn to open up and trust each other. They have many things to work through if they hope to have a chance. I will say it had a different ending than what I figured. It was better than I thought it would be. If you enjoy a romance book with engaging characters and a great plot try this one.

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