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North of Heartbreak

North of Heartbreak

4.6 5
by Julie Rowe

Since her divorce, Willa Hayes has thrown herself into her work as a nurse practitioner in the remote town of Stony Creek, Alaska. She's regained her self-confidence and her heart is almost healed. Then her newfound peace is shaken by the arrival of sexy flyboy Liam Reynolds. Willa can't deny she's instantly, intensely attracted to him—even if she's convinced


Since her divorce, Willa Hayes has thrown herself into her work as a nurse practitioner in the remote town of Stony Creek, Alaska. She's regained her self-confidence and her heart is almost healed. Then her newfound peace is shaken by the arrival of sexy flyboy Liam Reynolds. Willa can't deny she's instantly, intensely attracted to him—even if she's convinced he's yet another Mr. Wrong.

Liam has his own reasons for fleeing to the isolation of the north, and a relationship is the last thing he wants. He wasn't counting on being drawn to the pretty nurse who accompanies patients on his flights to southern hospitals.

Fortunately, the temptation—and the desire to avoid anything serious—is mutual. So the pair comes up with an arrangement: sensual, steamy, no-strings fun. But when things heat up on a cold Alaskan night, the rules of the game may change forever...

48,000 words

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Carina Press
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Read an Excerpt

"I can't wait, Jason," Willa Hayes yelled into the radio handset. "I've got a compound fractured femur here. I need a plane. Any plane."

Willa flashed an urgent palm at Tommy Inqulactiuk, who held two splints in place on either side of his uncle Joe's leg. Blood dripped steadily onto the floor and she prayed the splints would keep the broken bone stable enough to travel. The nearest hospital able to handle an emergency like this was a long ninety-minute flight away. She feared he'd bleed out before she got him there.

"The plane isn't the problem," Jason Reynolds replied, his voice distorted by the radio, as if he was yelling at her from the bottom of a deep well. "I've only got one pilot available. He's brand new and has never flown a MedEvac."

"I don't care if he's still got a price tag attached, I need a MedEvac now."

A long painful silence followed, broken only by the heavy breathing of her patient.

"Roger that, Med-One. ETA of your MedEvac is ten minutes."

Willa had to stop herself from sounding too relieved. "Thank you, Tundra Air. Med-One out." She dropped the handset, letting it dangle by its cord. "Tommy, can you shift this way a bit without moving Joe's leg?"

"Yes, ma'am," Tommy answered with a short nod, moving without letting go of the injured limb so she could squeeze around him. The gurney Joe lay on had been jammed between the room's bed and the counter, leaving her with less than a foot in which to maneuver.

She took several large pieces of gauze and layered them around, but not over, the tip of the bone protruding from her patient's thigh. Then, starting from his groin and working her way down, she wrapped a tensor bandage around his leg and the splints, carefully avoiding the jagged bone end.

"How are you doing, Joe?" Willa asked, giving him a sharp glance.

"Okay," the white-lipped Inuit hunter said, his eyes fixed on a spot on the ceiling above him.

She secured the end of the bandage then pressed down on the injured man's toenails, watching as the pale flesh beneath his nails returned to its normal warm pink. "His blood flow is okay and his leg's as stable as we're going to get it. Watch his breathing and keep an eye on his radial pulse for me, Tommy. I need to write everything down."

"Sure, Willa." He moved his fingers over Joe's ankle. "Pulse is good," he reported.

She stopped writing in her notebook for a second to smile reassuringly at both men. "Your uncle is going to be fine thanks to you. You did everything right. I'm looking forward to reporting this to Emergency Services."

His round face turning a dull red color, Tommy stared at the linoleum beneath his feet. "I just did what the first-aid instructor told me to do."

"Exactly. Good job."

Tommy shrugged then asked, "Do breaks like this usually bleed so much?"

"No, but a compound fracture, especially one involving the leg, can be dangerous. That's why I want Joe flown to a fully equipped hospital as soon as possible. They'll be able to set his leg, repair any damage to the muscle and transfuse him with blood if he needs it."

"The pain isn't that bad," Joe said, the pinched look on his face refuting his words. "Don't waste a plane ride on me."

Willa put her hand on his shoulder. "Your leg needs to be set properly, Joe. It'll require surgery."

Joe and Tommy snorted in unison.

She stared at them then rolled her eyes and muttered, "Men. Why do I bother stocking morphine? I haven't had to use it once in the last six months."

Tommy shrugged.

"Pain tells me I'm alive," Joe said. "If I didn't feel pain right now I'd be worried."

Meet the Author

Julie Rowe's first career as a medical lab technologist in Canada took her to the North West Territories and northern Alberta, where she still resides.

She loves to include medical details in her romance novels, but admits she'll never be able to write about all her medical experiences because, "No one would believe them!" A double Golden Heart finalist 2006, Julie's writing has appeared in several magazines such as Today's Parent, Reader's Digest (Canada), and Canadian Living. She currently facilitates communication workshops for her local city college. Julie enjoys hearing from her readers. You can reach her at www.julieroweauthor.com or on Twitter @julieroweauthor .

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North of Heartbreak 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
ABrantley More than 1 year ago
What I love most about Julie Rowe's books is her ability to draw your into the story. Her descriptions easily paint a picture that allows the reader to get lost in the words. Throw in the ability to write steamy, yet tasteful love scenes and you've always got a winner from this author. North of Heartbreak is no different. The storyline is excellent, the characters are well-rounded, and the romance is spot on. I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AMR0406 More than 1 year ago
This was a very sweet book by Julie Rowe. I enjoyed the plot as well as the interactions between the main characters. Willa is a Nurse Practitioner in a small town in Alaska and Liam is the pilot that takes her and her patients to the larger towns with hospitals, or for her to see patients in other towns, or as the emergency pilot. What I liked about Willa and Liam's relationship was that while they claimed to have a "fun time" without the strings that go with a relationship (due to them both having been hurt/betrayed in the past), they didn't realize they had a real relationship. It just started out differently. She tried to fight it and he kept convincing her that he was a nice guy. The medical cases that went along with the plot were interesting and kept things moving along as well. I thought this was a great romantic read (easy to read in a weekend) with great dialogue. I think Julie develops the characters well and her books are set in places that are not typical of other romance books. Highly recommend!
RBtWBC More than 1 year ago
Two years ago Willa Hayes escaped to Alaska from an abusive marriage and a heart-breaking loss. Now a nurse practitioner for several small and underfunded clinics Willa lives a secluded life helping those in need, just the way she likes it. When new medical rescue pilot, Liam Reynolds, arrives for an emergency flight Willa’s neat little world is shaken up. Rich, gorgeous and arrogant, Liam is everything that Willa has avoided since her ex-husband. But despite their similarities, Willa can’t help be drawn to Liam. That doesn’t mean she is going to trust him however. When 'just fun' turns into something more will these two be able to overcome their tortured pasts to reach for the possibility of love? North of Heartbreak was a fantastic and quick read set in the wilds of Alaska. Two wonderful and well written characters, Liam and Willa were easily relateable. Their chemistry felt real and their relationship moved at a believable pace. The secondary character of Jason, Willa’s friend and Liam’s uncle, added a nice touch to the story as well. A few steamy scenes and some mild suspense, the twist towards the end was pretty predictable but still capturing in regards to tying the story together. Great quickie for contemporary romance fans!
SmittenWithReading More than 1 year ago
My Review: I love the setting for this book. Willa is the medical responder for several small Alaska towns. She gets to them through daily flights and Liam is her new pilot. Just the whole aspect of the medical response needed in the Alaskan wilderness was completely fascinating and I loved this insight into it through Willa and Liam's story. I also really enjoyed their story. They've both been incredibly hurt by other relationships and neither one is willing to open themselves up to that again. What they are willing to do, is have a little fun together because their chemistry is good....really good.I liked how these two related to each other and after a fairly rocky start begin to truly work as a team on medical missions and emergencies. Their friendship and partnership is real and for me, that's a great basis for a romantic story line. I liked the addition of Liam's uncle Jason. He added a great dimension to the story line, especially since he's one of Willa's trusted friends. On the other hand, I wish Edward, Liam's dad, had been left out. I felt like his part just added confusion. There was a plot twist at the end of the book which I wish had been done differently. It made the book just a little too cliche. Call me a romantic, but I like my Hero and Heroine to realize their love is real without story line twists like this. But despite that, I felt like this was a good book. I really enjoyed it and definitely became immersed in the story. I am quickly becoming a fan of Julie Rowe's writing!