Loving Care by Gail Gaymer Martin released on Jan 23, 2004 is available now for purchase.
About the Author
Award-winning novelist, Gail Gaymer Martin authored over 55 novels with 4 million books in print, receiving a Carol and 2 RT Reviewer Choice Awards. Her novel THE CHRISTMAS KITE was optioned for a Hallmark movie. Gail authored Writers Digest's WRITING THE CHRISTIAN ROMANCE and is a co-founder of American Christian Fiction Writers. CBS local news named her as the four best novelists in Detroit. Before publication, Gail worked as a counselor and a university instructor. She lives in MI.
Read an Excerpt
By Gail Martin
Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.
Christie Hanuman's heart almost stopped. She turned her head to avoid eye contact and studied the display of plastic strip bandages.
Her hands trembled as she selected a couple of packages with cartoon figures and dropped them into the basket. Near the bottom of the display, another of the children's favorite designs caught her attention, and she reached for it, wanting to finish her shopping and get out of the store before ...
Hearing his voice, Christie jerked, and the boxes tumbled from the shelves with a domino effect, falling in a heap at her feet as she spun around to face him.
Time had improved his good looks. Age had perfected his tall, lean body, broadening his chest and filling out his shoulders. Even the new facial creases added character to his strong features.
She struggled to calm herself while panic set in her lungs. She maneuvered her facial muscles into a pleasant expression.
Voice don't fail me now.
"What are you doing in town, Patrick?" She relaxed, hearing her tone sound steady and natural.
"I ... my dad hasn't been well." He glanced toward the heap of boxes around her feet and dug his hands into his pockets. "He's asked me to ..."
Christie watched his Adam's apple rise and fall as he swallowed.
"... take over the hardware business."
The information rolled over her like an eighteenwheeler. "You mean ... you're moving back to Loving?" Holding her breath, she waited for his response while tension rose up her back.
He gave her a slow nod. "We're staying with Dad for now." He slipped one hand from his pocket and ran it over his hair. "If he's doing okay, I'll look for a place."
His plans sounded way too permanent for Christie.
"Otherwise ..." He shrugged, and his eyes filled with tenderness.
Christie recalled the gentle look he once used with her, and the memory rattled her. She clutched her shoulder bag, fearing her trembling hands might give her away.
"If he needs me," he continued, "we'll have to stay with Dad."
We'll. Patrick and his wife. Christie had heard about his marriage, but hearing about it when he'd been away had been one thing. Seeing him now was another.
Christie hated the emotion that rushed through her. She stumbled backward and felt her heel sink into one of the plastic strip packages. "I hope your dad's doing better soon," she mumbled, wishing to sound sincere. In reality, she didn't know how she felt as her emotions fluttered and thudded through her like captured birds.
"Thanks." Patrick tucked his hands into his jeans pocket again and jingled his coins a moment, then pulled them out. He seemed as edgy as she felt. His gaze dropped again toward the floor and the pile at her feet.
"Dad has his good days," he said. He bent down and retrieved the crushed plastic strip package, pushing it back into shape. "But handling the business full-time is too strenuous for him now." He shoved the box onto the shelf, then crouched again.
Having no clue what to say next, Christie knelt beside him. As they reached for the same package, his hand brushed hers, and she held her breath. Why did he have to come back to Loving? Why now, when she'd gotten her life organized, and she'd managed to get her day-care center off the ground and thriving?
He rose first and jammed the boxes onto the shelves. Christie straightened and waited. When he'd finished, she added hers and rearranged them into two neat rows. Now that Patrick had returned to jumble up her life, she wondered if things could ever be as orderly again.
He stood beside her without speaking until she'd finished.
"How have you been, Christie?" Patrick asked.
The seeds of revenge shot through her heart. His question had unlocked a door that sent her pride marching forward with a flag of victory. "I've opened a day-care center." She managed to hold a direct gaze.
His face paled, it seemed, with a tinge of remembrance. His full lips pressed together until the color faded to white, but he appeared to rally and drew himself upward. "Good for you."
She scrutinized his statement. His voice sounded too loud and overly sincere. She guessed he hated her for reaching her goal without his direction. Hated her success. "A child-care center was always my dream."
"I remember," he said.
This time the noticeable regret in his voice surprised her.
"The business is doing well," she said. "Very well."
"I never thought it wouldn't. When you have a goal, it never fails."
It never fails. The words stabbed her. The one thing most important to her had failed. Their marriage. "Not everything, Patrick." Her verbal knife twisted, and she watched his face wrench through a series of emotions.
"Well, most things," he said, with a faint shrug.
Seeing his reaction, Christie wished she could retract her words. Patrick's chocolate-brown eyes grew dark, and his handsome face appeared as strained as she felt. "I'm sorry. No sense dragging out the past," she said.
Excerpted from Loving Care by Gail Martin Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Its so great when God turns something devestating such as a divorce and uses it to his glory.