Read an Excerpt
Promise Of Grace
By Bonnie Winn
Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
Copyright © 2003
Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.
Wonder wasn't always a good thing.
Not when it was all you could do.
Grace Stanton tentatively tried to reach out, but she wasn't able to feel anything because of the thick layer of
bandages wrapped around her hands. Even that small movement hurt. Yet she couldn't stop herself.
Just as she couldn't stop the wondering. How had she come to be in the hospital? What was beneath the bandages? And why
had this happened now with the wedding only a week away?
Aunt Ruth hovered, her eyes dark with concern. "Grace, can you hear me?"
"Yes." The word formed in her mind, but emerged as little more than a croak.
Ruth looked as though she was about to cry. And again Grace wondered. Only this time it was mixed with dread.
"The other driver and his family are going to be fine," Ruth finally managed, her voice a bit shaky, "because of your
sacrifice. If you hadn't driven into that concrete barrier when they drifted into your lane, none of them would be
Grace wanted to ask questions - about the crash, her injuries ... but she couldn't summon her voice. Instead she
blinked her eyes.
In turn, Ruth swiped hers.
Exhausted and confused, Grace wanted to comfort her aunt, but mind and body refused to cooperate. And the beeping and
whooshing of all the machines frightened her.
Ruth, who had taken Grace's parents' place after they died, leaned forward. "I know you're scared, Gracie. But
remember, the Lord is with you. He'll take care of you."
Tears collected in Grace's throat. Unable to shed them, she began to wonder yet again. Was He really with her? She'd
been uncertain about that since her mother and father had died.
A procession of nurses and technicians rotated through the room. Grace was relieved that they didn't expect a response
from her, instead speaking to her aunt, some poking and prodding, others simply making notations.
Her aunt leaned close. "Gracie, the doctor's here."
Although her eyes were swollen, she opened them, studying the man.
"I'm Dr. Jamison, Miss Stanton. And you've had quite a bang-up." He studied the chart. "Which means you're going to be
with us for a while. Your internal injuries are manageable, but you're in for a number of restorative surgeries."
She held up one of her heavily wrapped hands in question.
"You've severed a tendon in your right hand. But don't dwell on that. Many people find they can
compensate very well by using their left."
She gasped. She knew that her injuries were significant, since Ruth had driven from where she lived in the small town
of Rosewood to be with her in Houston. But Grace hadn't guessed how bad the injuries were. To think she wouldn't be
able to use her hand -
The doctor's words interrupted the thought and jarred her at the same time. "I understand your hand isn't your major
worry. But we'll have to wait for the results of the first plastic surgery to determine how much of your face can be
Terrified, she turned slitted eyes, searching for her aunt.
Ruth stepped forward, her look censoring the doctor. "Grace hasn't been awake long enough to be told how much recovery
time to expect."
The doctor scratched his balding head. "Sorry to be blunt, but this is an extremely busy hospital, Miss Stanton. Our
touch may not be very personal but trust me, it's extremely skilled. It may take you some time to adjust to the gravity
of your injuries, but that's also normal. Don't be discouraged. You're in for a lengthy process, but you'll have to
take it a day at a time. I'll be back to check on you this evening." Dr. Jamison carried the chart with him as he
Ruth laid a very gentle hand on Grace's shoulder. "It'll be all right, dear. There's a lot to take in at once. Don't
worry. We'll sort everything out."
A nurse entered before she could reply, injected something into one of the many tubes, and Grace felt herself fade.
When she awoke hours later Grace struggled to speak, and one word emerged, raw but audible. "Patrick?"
Ruth appeared swiftly at her side. "He's not here yet, Grace. He called the nurses' station a short while ago and he
should be here any minute. It took a while for his office to reach him, but he headed here as soon as he heard."
Grace had to know. "What will he think?"
Ruth's chin firmed. "He'll be worried about you, I'm sure. But he loves you, not your face."
Grace closed her eyes. Unknowingly Ruth had confirmed Grace's worst suspicions. Holding on to consciousness, she heard
more footsteps nearing the bed.
As she opened her eyes, her fianc�, Patrick Holden, paused at the end of the bed.
Relief started to warm her. But then it faded. And in that sickening moment she realized she no longer had to wonder.
She knew. It was written on Patrick's stricken face.
Excerpted from Promise Of Grace
by Bonnie Winn
Copyright © 2003 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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