Heart Surgeon, Hero...Husband?

Heart Surgeon, Hero...Husband?

by Susan Carlisle

NOOK BookOriginal (eBook - Original)

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
Want a NOOK ? Explore Now


Heart Surgeon, Hero...Husband? by Susan Carlisle

Discovering her tiny son desperately needs a new heart terrifies Hannah Quinn – especially when she realises ex–flame Scott McIntyre is the skilled surgeon in charge of the transplant. Entrusting her baby to Scott's miracle–working hands is one thing, but whether Hannah's own heart will survive Scott's devastating charm intact is quite another…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781459223912
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 03/01/2012
Series: Harlequin Medical Romance Series
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
File size: 207 KB

About the Author

Susan's love affair with books began when she made a bad grade in math in the sixth grade. Not allowed to watch TV until she brought the grade up, Susan filled her extra time with books. She turned her love of reading into a love of writing romance. If the hero is a smart, sexy and sinfully rich alpha male, he can be found in her books along with a strong heroine that captures the hero's heart.

When Susan isn't writing she leads workshops on time management, promoting your books, learning to live with rejection, collaging your story and presenting a memorable workshop. For seventeen years, she has been a high school substitute teacher and that...is another bio. Susan lives near Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband of twenty-nine years and has four grown children. Her youngest son received a heart transplant. As a member of the successful group blog Petit Fours and Hot Tamales, she makes monthly posts.

Susan is crazy about castles, traveling and cross-stitching, and she reads voraciously.

Read an Excerpt

"A heart transplant? My baby's only two years old." Hannah Quinn stared at Dr. Scott McIntyre, the cardiothoracic surgeon who sat across the conference room table from her. His familiar Mediterranean-Sea eyes were sympathetic, but his face remained somber.

The shock of seeing Scott again was only surpassed by the pain of his words. Her son was dying.

When had she slipped down the rabbit hole to this horror at Children's General Hospital? As if that weren't torment enough, she now faced a mother's worst nightmare, and the news was being delivered by Atlanta, Georgia's supposedly best cardiothoracic surgeon, a man who had hurt her badly years before.

In the movies this would have been called a twist of fate, horrible irony. But this wasn't some screenplay, this was her life. Her child, who always had a smile, her little boy, who giggled when she kissed him behind his ear, was in serious danger.

"He was doing fine. I was taking him for a scheduled check-up. Next thing I know his pediatrician has ordered an ambulance to bring us here." Hannah covered her mouth, damming the primal screams that threatened to escape. Moisture pooled in her eyes, blurring her vision of Scott…now Jake's doctor. "You have to be wrong."

He glanced at Andrea, the heart-transplant coordinator, sitting beside him, before he reached across the table as if to take Hannah's hand.

"Don't." She straightened. He withdrew.

That night eight years ago had started with a simple brush of his hand. She couldn't go there, wouldn't go there again, or she'd fall apart. She had to hold it together until her world righted itself. And it would, it had to. "I knew that a valve replacement might be in his future sooner than I had hoped, but a heart transplant? Your diagnosis can't be correct."

Scott ran a hand through his wavy hair. The soft, silky locks had gone from light to golden blond with age. His fingers threaded through his hair again, a mannerism Hannah remembered from when they'd been friends, good friends. They'd shared warm banter when he'd come to work on the step-down floor. The banter between them had developed into a friendship she'd valued, and had thought he had too.

Leaning forward, he brought her attention back to why they were sitting in this tiny, barren room, acting as if they'd never known each other intimately.

"I'm sorry, Hannah," he murmured with compassion. His voice strengthened with the words, "But the diagnosis is correct. The condition is called cardiomyopathy."

"Isn't that when the heart has become enlarged?" Hannah asked.

"Yes, it is. In Jake's case, he must have contracted a virus that went undetected. It settled on the valve he has had from birth—the one that wasn't working correctly. His heart is inflamed and is no longer pumping efficiently."

"He's had nothing more than a little runny nose. I assure you that if it had been more, I would've taken him to see a doctor."

"I'm not questioning your care for your son. The virus may have looked like something as simple as a cold, but it attacked his heart, damaging it. Sometimes it takes weeks to manifest itself and sometimes, like in Jake's case, only days or hours. There is no way to know how or when it will happen. But you would know that, being a nurse."

"Most of my work experience has been on an adult orthopedic floor and, anyway, I'm not nursing at present."

His head canted questioningly, but he said, "Still, you should understand the only thing we can do for your son—"

"His name is Jake." The words came out frosted. She wouldn't allow Jake to become a hospital number, just another patient in a bed.

Scott's gaze met hers. "Jake needs a new heart." His voice softened. "He needs to be listed right away."

Could she melt into the floor? Disappear? Maybe run so fast reality couldn't catch her?

"There has to be another way. Isn't there medication you can give him? I want a second opinion."

The skin around Scott lips tightened. He shook his head slightly, forestalling any further argument. "Hannah, you're welcome to get a second opinion. But we can't waste any time. Jake will die without the transplant. He might only have a few more weeks. The first thing we'll do is see that he is put on the United Network for Organ Sharing list."

She wiped away the dampness on her cheek. The framed pictures of the smiling children lining the walls of the tiny room mocked her. Her child should be one of them. Instead, he lay in a bed in the cardiac ICU, fighting for his life.

"I've examined Jake. He's stable for now. We're giving him anti-clotting drugs to prevent blood clots, which are common with cardiomyopathy, and watching for any arrhythmia."

Her eyes widened. "Blood clots! Arrhythmia!" She leaned toward him, hands gripping the edge of the table. "I want Jake listed now."

"Before we can do that, you'll need to have a psychological exam."

Her dazed look met his. "You have to be kidding. Jake is dying and you want me to have a psychological test? There's nothing wrong with me. It's your job to get Jake a heart, not see if my head's on straight."

Scott shifted in his chair, one of his long green scrubs-covered legs bumping against the table support. Despite being terrified by what he was telling her, Hannah couldn't help but compare the man in front of her with the one she had once known. A tall man years ago, his shoulders had broadened since she'd last seen him. Cute, in an all-American way then, now he was handsome as a man with power. Maturity and responsibility had added fine lines to his face, which she bet only made him more appealing to the nurses.

Scott still possessed the air of confidence that had made him the shining star of his medical class and the desire of the female personnel in the hospital. She, fortunately, had managed to remain immune to his playboy-to-the-core charm for a while, but not long enough.

"You need to calm down. Take a couple of deep breaths."

"Don't patronize me, Scott."

"Look, the visit to the psychologist is protocol. You'll be asked questions to make sure you understand what's involved with a transplant. The care afterwards is as important as the transplant itself. We need to know you can handle it."

She pushed back in her chair and crossed her arms over her chest. "I assure you I can take care of my son, both as a mother and as a nurse."

Propping his elbows on the table, Scott clasped his hands and used his index fingers to punctuate his words. "Hannah, I don't doubt it and I understand your frustration, but there are procedures."

At least he sounded as if he cared how she felt, unlike how he had acted years ago. Known for his excellent bedside manner then, in more ways than one, she'd never dreamed she'd ever be on the receiving end of his professional conduct.

"I have no interest in your procedures. I'm only interested in Jake getting well."

"If you really want that, you're going to have to work with me to see that it happens." His words had a razor-sharp edge, leaving her no room to argue.

"Okay then, I'm ready to do the interview."

Hannah looked him directly in the eyes. "How much is all of this going to cost?"

He returned the same unwavering look. "Let's not worry about that. Keeping Jake healthy enough for the surgery is my primary concern."

Scott addressed Andrea. "Can you see that everything is set up for Han—uh… Mrs. Quinn's psychological?"

"I'll take care of it," Andrea responded.

Pushing the metal chair back, Scott stood. "I'll speak to you again soon. I'm sorry this is happening to your son." He hesitated as if he wanted to say something further but thought better of it.

Wishing this situation would just go away, she gave Scott a tight smile.

"Andrea also has some forms that need to be filled out, so I'll leave you with her."

With that, Scott made a swift exit. She shouldn't be surprised he'd showed no more emotion. He'd done much the same thing the next morning after she'd made the mistake of succumbing to his charms. Their friendship had died, and so had her faith in him. Hannah let her brain shut down, and answered Andrea's questions by rote. When Andrea had finished, Hannah asked, "How good a surgeon is Scott, I mean Dr. McIntyre?"

"He's the best," Andrea stated, her voice full of assurance.

Was she just another woman who had fallen under Scott's spell and could sing nothing but his praises? "I can't let Jake die."

"Mrs. Quinn." Andrea placed her hand on Hannah's arm. "Dr. McIntyre is a brilliant surgeon. He'll take excellent care of your son. You can trust him."

Andrea guided Hannah to the waiting room and to an area away from the other parents. Hannah sank onto a blue vinyl sofa and put her head in her hands, letting pent-up tears flow. She understood what she'd been told, but she wasn't entirely convinced. Hannah couldn't afford to be blindly accepting where her son's care was concerned. He was all she had.

Hannah studied the blue square pattern of the carpet. She had no idea that Andrea had sat down beside her until she laid a comforting hand on Hannah's shoulder.

Andrea said, "You'll get through this. Why don't you go back and see Jake? Visiting hours will be over soon."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Heart Surgeon, Hero...Husband? 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ive read this book several times would recommend to anyone
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a sweet story! Must buy! Hunky hero
Book_Monster_Reviews More than 1 year ago
My Review by Joanne, BMR Reviewer: Dr. Scott McIntyre is a surgeon specializing in heart transplants; a man so totally dedicated to his profession and to his patients that he has pushed a personal life out of existence except for an occasional hookup. He realized his complete dedication made it impossible for him to share his life with someone as he wouldn’t be able to give enough of himself to make a relationship or a marriage work. He watched his father, also a physician; destroy his marriage because he could not devote one minute to his family if it meant taking time away from his patients and his career. Scott’s mother cried when she heard he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps – not from happiness but out of fear that he would end up like his father. After his parents divorced, Scott’s mother became more and more obsessive towards her children and wanted constant attention from them. When she couldn’t have every minute she wanted, she tried to kill herself and Scott blamed himself for not doting on her. Although he saved her life, she blamed him especially for her unhappiness. So he has decided to go it alone and not cause another woman pain and unhappiness. Hannah Quinn is a nurse who knew Scott McIntyre when he was just an intern and knew of his reputation as a player. But working together created a deep friendship and one that Hannah wanted to continue into a relationship. When they finally took that step, and made love, Scott realized that he couldn’t give Hannah what she wanted. He made a commitment to himself that he would never marry and Hannah wanted the whole package. So he walked away and she never heard from him again. Until…….Hannah is now a single mom with a two year old son, Jake, born with a defective heart. Her husband left them when he couldn’t handle the pressures of a sick child and left Hannah totally on her own. She had to give up nursing to take care of Jake. Now he was getting worse and needs to have a transplant. Hannah’s consultation at the hospital with the best in the field brings her face to face with Scott! The connection is still there…..and the chemistry is still there…..but Hannah hasn’t forgotten what Scott did to her and anyway, she has to worry about only Jake now. And Scott is totally flabbergasted; not sure what to do or say but his only concern at the moment is Jake. He has to save Jake’s life. But they can’t stay away from each other, no matter how hard they try so now they have another problem to deal with – each other!! Author Susan Carlisle lived the experience of having a child with a defective heart and uses this experience to write a heart-wrenching story of love and loyalty. She describes fully all the procedures a child and his family must go through to obtain a new heart and to successfully live through the transplant. We suffer with Hannah as she sits hour after hour in the waiting room, praying that her child will live and that she will be able to care for him. And Scott watches her too, wishing he had someone to feel for him the way Hannah does for her son. And he wants to give Hannah all the love that has been bottled up inside of him all these years but doesn’t know if he can separate his career from his private life. Can two independent, self-sufficient, proud people, filled with passion, love and loyalty find their way to each other? Thank you Ms. Carlisle for sharing your story with us through Scott and Hannah and showing us the many ways that true love can win. I give HEART SURGEON, HERO...HUSBAND 5 out of 5 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago