Tangled Up in Loveby Hailey North
Should She Cut And Run...Being left at the altar once was enough for high-powered, workaholic exec Stacey St. Cyr. Stacey's supposed to be on vacation at a posh spa. Instead she's stuck in Doolittle, Arkansas-population next-to-nothing watching sexy, small-town pet doctor Michael Halliday work his magic on her colicky collie. And all Stacey can think of is… See more details below
Should She Cut And Run...Being left at the altar once was enough for high-powered, workaholic exec Stacey St. Cyr. Stacey's supposed to be on vacation at a posh spa. Instead she's stuck in Doolittle, Arkansas-population next-to-nothing watching sexy, small-town pet doctor Michael Halliday work his magic on her colicky collie. And all Stacey can think of is how nice it would be to have Michael's gentle, talented hands on her.
...Or Tie The Knot? This is crazy! He's rural, she's Big City; she's all-business, he's laid back. And if his two young daughters don't warm up to the sexy go-getter, there'll be BIG trouble for this single dad. Still, if he can get Stacey to relax and learn to live a little, perhaps he can follow where his heart is leading him and enjoy this tangled, messy, sweet thing called love.
Read an Excerpt
"The man you need is Dr. Mike."
Stacey St. Cyr stared at the attendant of the all-night gas station, hoping this overgrown child of a man with his bulging blue eyes could provide the answer to her prayers.
He chose that moment to aim a shot of his chewing tobacco at the Pennzoil can tilting just to the right of Stacey's Ferragamo pumps.
She refused to blink. "Where can I find this Dr. Mike?"
"Yep." The man leaned back against a display of Red Man and crossed his arms. "Had me a cow once. For milk. Then she went dry and I thought I was gonna have me a whole lotta steaks!" The man went off on a run of laughter that ended with a hacking cough and another shot at the oil can.
Stacey glared at him, but her irritation was really intended for her best friend and business partner Donna Bell. Just wait till she got back to New Orleans! It was Donna who'd insisted Stacey take a vacation in the backwoods of Arkansas when she ought to be home in New Orleans doing what she did best -- running St. Cyr & Bell Advertising and Public Relations.
"Lucky for me, and the cow, too, now that you mention it," the man said, "that was right about the time Dr. Mike came to town."
"How nice," Stacey said. "Do you have his phone number?"
The man's only answer was a rhythmic massaging of his gums.
"I need a vet," Stacey said, "and I need him -- or her -- now." She tapped the toe of one pump on the concrete floor.
"Well, likeI said, Dr. Mike's the man you need. He came out to my place, took one look at Bossy, and greased her teats with Vaseline. Next day, she was giving milk like nothing had happened!" He slapped the knee of his overall-covered legs and beamed.
"How nice," Stacey repeated. All she needed was some hick country vet working on True Blue. True was a purebred bearded collie and even though some dog show purists didn't countenance the breed, Stacey knew therewas no smarter, sharper, loving dog than a bearded collie.
Normally True loved to go for a ride, seeming to delight in hanging her head out the window and tasting the wind. But on the long drive north from New Orleans, leans, Stacey's beloved collie hadn't once lifted her head to look out the window. Then she'd started whimpering, and thirty minutes ago she'd thrown up in the front seat of the otherwise immaculate interior of Stacey's Lexus.
Onlyher concern for True could have possessed her to stop after midnight in Doolittle, Arkansas, population apparently next-to-nothing. The shiny clinic just off the interstate had appeared state-of-the-art, but Stacey hadn't spotted an after-hours emergency number. That had led her into town in search of aid. She'd found two places open; she chose Gas 'N Go over the country-western biker bar.
"The number," she said, reaching for the telephone on the counter.
The man turned toward a mirror decorated with fishing lures, yellowing news clips, and an array of business cards tucked into the edges of the frame. As he chewed and searched, Stacey caught sight of herself in the mirror.
Instinctively, she lowered her shoulders and straightened her spine. She smoothed a stray strand of her long dark brown hair back over her shoulder. Her mother had raised her to look her best no matter the circumstances. She couldn't do much for the slight shadows beginning to show under her eyes, but as the attendant pulled one of the cards from the mirror, Stacey reached into her purse, found her lipstick, and applied it.
"Looking good, there, " the man said.
Stacey snapped her purse shut. She read the number on the card upside down, and closing her mind against the grime coating the old-fashioned telephone, she lifted the receiver and dialed. No point in running up her cell phone bill's roaming charges.
"Don't know how Dr. Mike does it," the man said. "If he didn't have such an understanding family, you'd be out of luck."
Stacey nodded. She was sorry to wrest any man out of a sound sleep, but as the daughter of two doctors, she knew medical professionals had this happen to them all the time.
The phone rang and rang and rang some more. Glancing out the window toward her car, where True lay huddled in the front seat, Stacey asked herself again why she'd taken a week's vacation.
Because you had no choice, she reminded herself.
"Hello," a sleepy and very husky male voice answered.
"I'm sorry to bother you," Stacey said, "but my dog is very ill and Mr. -- uh -- she peered at the name embroidered over the attendant's shirt pocket --"Tim --"
"Tim's my brother," the attendant corrected. "I'm, Billy."
"You're at Gas 'N Go?" The question came over the phone line, the man sounding slightly more awake.
"Yes, but how did --"
"Tell Billy to give you directions to my office. Or do you need me to come over there and get the dog?" Some of the huskiness had disappeared, but the man's voice was still soothingly deep and calming.
"Thanks. The directions will do," Stacey answered, impressed by the considerate question.
"Meet you in twenty minutes." Click.
Twenty minutes. Stacey normally waited longer than that for her hairstylist -- with an appointment. "He said he'd meet me there."
Billy stared at her as if she'd said something pretty stupid. "Course he did. That's Dr. Mike. Just follow the road on into town. You can't miss his office. He's right smack on the square! This last bit was followed by a nod of approval.Tangled Up in Love. Copyright © by Hailey North. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Meet the Author
Hailey North is a USA Today bestselling author who began writing while employed as a “game show lawyer” for NBC Studios. Tired of hearing that lawyers aren’t creative, she quit her job and typed “Chapter One” (not the chapter, just the heading!).
Since that day, Hailey has authored eight romantic comedies set in her adopted hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana, and in her favorite imaginary town, Doolittle, Arkansas.
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