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March – San Francisco
"Good morning, Doctor Reeves."
"Hey, Jordan. How's it going?"
"Hi, there, good looking. How many hearts are you going to break today?"
Jordan Reeves acknowledged the various greetings he received as he ambled leisurely down the hallway of the maternity ward, calling out a return "Good morning" to an idealistic young female intern, high-fiving one of his fellow doctors, and grinning at the fifty-something head nurse who had a soft spot for him, despite her declarations that his frequent attempts to flirt with her fell on deaf ears.
He'd been affiliated with the University Medical Center here in San Francisco since the early days of his residency, nearly fifteen years ago, and he was here most days of the week delivering babies, performing surgeries, and doing morning rounds as he was right now. Today was a light one, with just two patients to visit - a first-time mother who was being discharged this morning, excited to head home with her husband and brand new daughter; and the patient who'd given birth to her second child - a son this time - early last evening. It was at the doorway to the latter room that Jordan hovered at uncertainly now, knowing that he had to go inside and check on his patient, but half-tempted to plead with one of his associates to do it for him.
It wasn't that the patient was a difficult one. Far from it, he thought wryly. In fact, she was likely the easiest, least demanding, and sweetest tempered patient he'd ever worked with, and she had practically breezed through the delivery last evening. No, his hesitation in visiting Tessa Gregson this morning was because he was finding it increasingly difficult to keep his longtime hidden attraction for the beautiful blonde - well, hidden.
But realistically there was no possible way he'd be able to pass this bedside visit on to another doctor. Not when he'd been Tessa's OB/GYN for more than five years now, had delivered her first child - a daughter who was nearly two years old - and socialized with her and her husband on a regular basis. Both husband and wife would find it baffling were he not to make an appearance this morning, so it seemed that he was just going to have to suck it up.
'Man up, dickwad,' he muttered beneath his breath, his hand hovering on the handle of the door. 'She's just your patient, that's all, no different from the hundreds of other women whose babies you've delivered. So paste a smile on your face, whistle a happy tune, and see how Mommy is doing this fine morning.'
Tessa was staying in one of the deluxe family suites the hospital offered to its maternity patients - a spacious set of rooms that included two bedrooms and bathrooms, a separate living area, and a kitchenette. The cost to stay in one of the suites was far from cheap, but given that Tessa's husband Ian was one of the wealthiest men in San Francisco, money would have been no object for him - especially when it came to his beloved wife and children. Jordan knew that both Ian and the Gregsons' little girl Gilly had stayed over last night with Tessa, and the knowledge that the whole happy family would be gathered around his patient's bedside only made the task at hand more difficult.
Jordan fixed a wide smile on his face, and even managed to conjure up a whistle as he sauntered unhurriedly inside Tessa's suite. But his good intentions were very nearly shot to hell the moment he glimpsed the tender scene in front of him, a scene so perfect and so tender that it almost didn't seem real.
Tessa was seated on the sofa in the suite's living area, dressed in a pretty floral nightgown and robe set, clearly having eschewed a bland cotton hospital gown for her own far more feminine garments. Her abundant blonde hair had been pulled back into a sleek ponytail, her makeup free complexion glowing with health. On her lap she cuddled her nearly two-year-old daughter Gilly, whose blonde curls and blue eyes were mirror images of Tessa's. Ian sat next to his wife on the sofa, his tall, broad-shouldered frame taking up a good amount of space as he held their newborn son Liam with an almost casual expertise.
The four of them looked like a beautifully painted portrait, one so exquisitely detailed that it almost hurt the eyes to gaze at its brilliance. Husband and wife exchanged a look that was so loving, so deeply personal, that Jordan felt like the worst sort of intruder - almost as though he'd stumbled upon them naked in bed. And considering how protective and possessive Ian was of his wife, it was a very, very good thing that everyone in the room was fully clothed.
"Good morning," he greeted cheerily as he paused in the archway that separated the patient's bedroom from the living area. "I was just about to ask how Mommy was doing this morning, but from the looks of things I already have my answer. Tessa, I still swear that this hospital should sign you up to do publicity for them. If every prospective mother could see how glowing you look less than twenty four hours after giving birth, they'd all insist on delivering their babies here. In fact, the whole happy family could be in the picture. Just stay exactly like you are for a few minutes while I get someone from our PR department up here."
Tessa laughed softly in response to his teasing remark, while Ian merely glowered at him in annoyance. Jordan approached the couple, extending his hand to Ian for a friendly shake, then briefly admired the new baby.
"He's got good color," observed Jordan, brushing his knuckles over Liam's cheek. "Looks healthy as a horse. Did he let the two of you get any sleep last night?" "A couple of hours at a time," acknowledged Tessa. "About what we expected. He's already a good eater, though."
Jordan nodded, pushing the alluring mental picture of Tessa nursing her son from his all too vivid imagination. "He's almost two pounds heavier than this little lady was when she was born, if I recall correctly," he teased, ruffling one of Gilly's frothy blonde curls. "I'd be willing to bet your boy will be sleeping through the night sooner than later. Now, aside from a somewhat sleepless night, how is Mommy feeling this morning?"
Tessa beamed, cuddling her daughter close against her breast. "Tired but wonderful," she replied easily. "I was able to nap in between feedings. And of course Ian's the best at lending a hand - bringing Liam to me, changing diapers, rocking him to sleep. He's probably more tired than I am this morning."
Jordan resisted the urge to roll his eyes as he glanced sideways at Ian. The almost intimidatingly masculine Brit looked anything but tired this morning clean-shaven, his thick, dark hair neatly brushed, and looking as suave and sophisticated as always, even in a casual pair of dark gray chinos and a black cashmere pullover. And even if Ian was ready to drop from exhaustion, he was too macho to ever admit it.
"You both look pretty good for two people who just delivered a baby less than eighteen hours ago," pointed out Jordan. "Which is exactly why you'd make a perfect advertisement for this hospital. Hell, forget about the hospital. You can be the poster family for my practice."
"No." Ian's retort was anything but amused, and he sounded more than a little irritated, and perhaps even a bit sleep-deprived. "Neither this hospital nor your practice needs any advertising help. Every time I've been in your office with Tessa there's barely an empty seat in the waiting room."
Jordan shrugged. "I have three partners in the practice with me, as you'll recall, so not every patient is there to see me. But there's no denying business is good, so I'll give up on the idea for now about convincing you all to model for me. Especially since I'm due into said office within an hour, and need to check on my patient here. Tessa? Let's have you get back into bed for a few minutes, shall we?"
"Of course." Tessa lifted her daughter from her lap and settled the little girl on the sofa. "Stay here with Daddy and Liam for a few minutes, all right? Doctor Jordan needs to look Mummy over and make sure she's okay."
Ian had half-risen from the sofa, intent on escorting his wife back to bed, but Jordan beat him to the punch, offering Tessa a hand up.
"You should really be resting in bed as much as possible," he scolded gently as he helped her lay down. "Especially if you're intent on going home tomorrow morning."
Tessa shrugged. "I was getting bored just lying in bed. Besides, it's not as though Ian's going to let me overdo, is it?"
Jordan chuckled as he began to give his patient a brief exam, making sure that everything was as it should be after last evening's delivery. "That's for sure," he agreed, giving Tessa a conspiratorial wink. "Has he given up on the idea of hiring a nanny yet?"
"Shh," warned Tessa, putting a finger to her lips and trying unsuccessfully to stifle a giggle. "Don't remind him."
"He can hear every word the two of you are saying," warned Ian ominously. "And to answer your question, Jordan, my wife is still refusing to even consider the possibility of hiring a nanny or au pair to help out. Would you please tell her that taking care of a toddler and an infant is a great deal of work, and that she should stop being so stubborn about accepting help?"
Jordan shook his raven head as he continued to gently probe Tessa's belly. "No way are the two of you getting me involved in this discussion," he declared. "And no way am I taking sides. That is definitely a decision that only the two of you can make. Now, anything out of the ordinary with you today, Tessa? Aside from the usual soreness and fatigue most women experience after pushing an eight and a half pound human into the world, that is?"
Tessa shook her head. "Everything's fine. It seemed like an even easier delivery than with Gilly. Faster, too."
"That's for sure," agreed Jordan. "Another twenty minutes and I might not have made it to the delivery room in time."
"We noticed your tardiness," replied Ian dryly. "The nurses were speculating what her name was, and whether this one was a blonde, brunette, or redhead."
"I see my delivery room nurses have a little too much time on their hands," groused Jordan as he went on with the examination. "And for your information, I wasn't on a date for once, hard as that might be for you to believe. I was playing in a charity basketball game when the call came in about Tessa. And playing rather well, I might add. My team was a little peeved when I had to bail on them."
"I'm sorry," Tessa told him sweetly, giving his forearm a little squeeze. "You didn't have to interrupt your game because of me. One of the doctors on duty could have taken over."
"Don't be silly," Jordan assured her gently, patting her hand and trying very hard not to lose himself in the depths of her big blue eyes. "You're one of my very favorite patients, after all. And I wouldn't have missed delivering your son for anything. Even if there'd been a blonde, a brunette, and a redhead waiting for me."
Tessa laughed merrily. "Well, now I am flattered. Bailing on a charity sporting event is one thing, but passing up a hot date is something special. Thank you, Doctor Reeves."
It was on the tip of his tongue to add something along the lines of "anything for you, Tessa. Anything at all." But he thought that saying such a thing might make her uncomfortable, to say the least. And with Ian hovering so closely in the background, listening and watching intently, there was no possible way Jordan would have dared to say something so intimate. Especially when the man likely knew very well that Jordan was - well, infatuated for lack of a better word - with his wife.
It occurred to Jordan, and not for the first time, how Ian always seemed to be in the room whenever Tessa had an appointment with him - whether it was for prenatal care or regular gynecological exams - and he resisted the urge to smirk at the thought. Evidently the uber possessive Mr. Gregson didn't trust another male around his wife, even for something as clinical as a pap smear. Not, of course, that Jordan was ever alone in an exam room with any of his patients. If the patient's husband or partner wasn't present, then he always made certain a nurse was on hand to assist. It was a strict policy among all of the physicians in his practice, and one adhered to by just about every other OB/GYN he knew. The risk of being accused of inappropriate behavior was simply too high nowadays, plus the presence of a nurse or significant other seemed to put the patient at ease.
He finished up his exam and helped Tessa to a sitting position in the bed. "Everything's looking great," he told her, giving her shoulder a squeeze. "The nurse will be in shortly to see if you need anything, though it looks like you have your own personal attendant standing by."
Jordan indicated his head towards Ian, who had placed the baby in his portable bassinet and now stood by Tessa's bedside. Gilly was playing happily with several of her toys and dolls in the living area.
Tessa beamed at her husband, placing her hand in his as he dropped a kiss on the top of her head. "He does spoil me something awful, doesn't he?" she teased. "I think more than half of these flowers and things are from Ian."
The suite of rooms was practically overflowing with floral arrangements, balloons, stuffed toys, and other gifts for the new baby and his parents. And Jordan guessed that while family and friends had sent at least some of the gifts, Ian had indeed been responsible for a good many of them.
"You deserve to be spoiled," Ian told his wife tenderly. "You did all the work, after all, in bringing our son into the world. Though I suppose Jordan helped a bit."
"Not much," replied Jordan easily. "Tessa's a pro at this baby stuff, after all. One of the easiest deliveries I've ever witnessed. Now, if there's nothing else you need, I'd better head out so my receptionist doesn't scold me for being late into the office for the third time this week. Congratulations again, Mommy and Daddy, and I'll see you tomorrow morning to sign your discharge papers. Don't overdo, Tessa, okay?"
She nodded, still clutching her husband's hand and gazing at him adoringly. "I won't. Not much chance of that happening anyway, is there?"
Jordan laughed softly, forcing himself to smile despite the little pang in his heart as he observed the look of pure love that passed between the married couple. He kept the smile pasted on his face until he was back out in the hallway and heading towards the elevator that would take him down to the garage.
It was only after the elevator doors closed that he exhaled sharply, and the smile faded rapidly from his features. Witnessing the scene of marital bliss between the woman he'd been oddly infatuated with for some time now and her husband had been far more difficult than Jordan had feared.
'This has to stop, you idiot,' he chastised himself firmly. 'Come on, Jordan, what the hell's the matter with you, anyway? You know damned well that you can get most any woman you want any day of the week, so why do you continue to have this unhealthy obsession with someone else's wife? And as gorgeous as Tessa is, she's far from the only beautiful woman in this world. Christ, she isn't even your type!'
Not, of course, that Jordan had a particular type. Since he'd first discovered the opposite sex at the ripe old age of thirteen, he hadn't been all that fussy about his female companions. Mostly, as long as the woman was attractive, eager, and willing, his brief list of requirements was complete. If she happened to be intelligent, entertaining, and great in the sack that was a bonus. And of course she couldn't be the least bit clingy or demanding or expect any sort of commitment from him. That had never been Jordan's MO and he couldn't foresee that attitude changing anytime in the near or distant future.
For a woman like Tessa Gregson, though - well, he might have been sorely tempted to make an exception to his steadfast bachelor ways. She was the sort of woman a man could get serious about, do something crazy like actually think about getting married and starting a family, things that Jordan had never envisioned happening to him. But Tessa was special, not just drop dead gorgeous but also kindhearted, sweet-tempered, and devoted to her family and friends. She was on the shy side, reserved, and classy, the perfect match for her equally reserved and somewhat stuffy husband. She was so different from the type of women he'd always been attracted to in the past bold, fearless, flirty - that it still puzzled him as to why he was so enthralled by her. She still blushed on occasion when he flirted with her teasingly, though being married to Ian for several years now had helped quite a lot to bring her out of her shell.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Girl of his Dreams"
Copyright © 2018 Janet Nissenson.
Excerpted by permission of Janet Nissenson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 star Review of The Girl Of His Dreams by Janet Nissenson This was a new author to me. Jordan Reeves is a doctor, a player and one who is determined to keep his bachelor status firmly in place. When in Hawaii vacationing, he meets Aubrey Larson a stunning woman with an amazing sense of humour who lives and works there. Throw in the fact that she is the spitting image of a woman he has been attracted to for years and he is immediately intrigued. Aubrey is equally attracted to the hot doctor, even though he is not her normal type. As their relationship develops neither of them are aware of what fate has in store for them. Jordan is drawn to the vivacious Aubrey and the chemistry between them is intense. However all is not as it seems, will secrets tear them apart? Can their burgeoning love stand the distance when Jordan leaves Hawaii and Aubrey to return to San Francisco? This was a sweet, humorous and romantic read with some twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. I could relate to the characters and the writing which was strong and flowed well and I will certainly be looking into Ms. Nissenson other books.
It's a case of mistaken identity that leads to a startling revelation and true love, even though there was the very real possibility that true love wasn't going to happen. Jordan is a playboy. He's more of a love-'em-and-leave-'em kind of guy than an in-it-for-the-long-haul kind of guy. I guess you can't blame him. His parents were poor examples of what marriage is supposed to be, and his friends... Well, they were definitely more interested in shagging and bragging than catching and keeping. So, yeah. Negative influences all around do make him the ideal candidate for happily ever after. Aubrey is...beautiful. Outside, inside. Her personality. Her brain. No innuendo there. She really is beautiful, a woman any man with a brain of his own would be proud to call his. She knows Jordan's type, has seen it one too many times, and her attraction to him is frustrating and intriguing. I wasn't too sure about Jordan's reason for pursuing Aubrey. It made sense but not really? Dating a lookalike instead of the real thing? I suppose there are people out there who do that but it wasn't a great reason to begin a relationship to me. It leaves room for doubt, way too much room, and has the potential to ruin something amazing. It was interesting watching the reason come to light and the relationship falter. It was even more interesting to see it mend and strengthen. Even before the fallout though, Jordan and Aubrey had a relationship that overshadowed Jordan's original reason for dating her. It was real. It became more real afterwards. I can't say I've read anything by Ms. Nissenson before. If I have, it's been a while. This story is surprisingly sweet with a pleasant touch of lightheartedness and humor. It balanced the muddiness that happened later on. I liked this story, enjoyed it despite my earlier misgivings. It's one, I hope, others will enjoy as well. Received from publisher for an honest review
I have read a few books by Janet Nissenson and the common thread I find is that each of the stories are captivating, so much so that once I start reading I find it really hard to put it down. From the first chapter to the last we are gifted with a beautiful story of love and finding the person you are meant to share your life with. In this case Jordan has been infatuated with Tessa since he first met her but not only is she married but she is also a patient of his two lines that he will never cross, and I am thrilled that he is a man of strong conviction. It was never meant to be for Jordan and Tessa and that is because the person he is meant to be with is waiting for him to find her in Hawaii. Aubrey is more than just Tessa's doppelganger she is perfect for Jordan! Yes her resemblance to Tessa is uncanny an what instantly draws him to her but it is her heart and spirit that keeps him enthralled with her. This story invoked a lot of emotions including rage a couple of times, but honestly this is a beautiful love story about finding ones true love and overcoming the obstacles that are your way. I would highly recommend reading this story to anyone that enjoys a well written contemporary romance with a bit of angst. Happy Reading! **I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book**
I loved this story. It was a sweet romance. But it sure did sizzle. This book is for mature audiences. With that said let's get into it! The story was great. Jordan our main man is beginning to 'grow up' and re-thinking his bachelor wild ways. And get over a slightly broken heart. So a trip to Hawaii is on the agenda. But instead of finding the 2 week romance he is expecting he finds the perfect woman The Girl Of His Dreams! Jordan is a great guy. He is honest and hardworking. Just a great guy. He's the kind of guy you want to bring home to mama. Even though his bachelor days have left him quite experienced. Aubrey The Girl Of His Dreams is sweet. She has a fun personality. But she's a little down on herself and feels like she isn't quite 'good enough'. There's a little bit of a twist to the story that I won't share you'll have to read it on your own. If you love a good romance with some sizzle you'll love be very happy with The Girl Of His Dreams. I received a complimentary copy.
What an unexpected romance. Jordan is a successful doctor and lusts after one of his patients, Tessa, who is happily married to Ian. He knows he can never have her but finds that his usual one-night stands don’t carry the release he is used to. His friends convince him to take a vacation and he ends up in Maui. As he is scouting the women on the beach, a vision emerges from the waves and steal’s his breath. Aubrey is trying to figure out what to do with her life as she works in Maui planning tours for guests at a hotel. When Jordan approaches her, well, she isn’t impressed with his cheesy lines but persistence is key. Jordan and Aubrey have a natural chemistry and for Jordan, he decides to take it slow with her after her quick wit keeps him on his toes making him realize he’s founds something special. I love the slow build of their romance and the unknown when he returns to California. There are several surprises along the way which pushes their relationship to the brink. Truly a wonderfully, sexy romance that provided a perfect escape.
The blurb of this book caught my attention from the get-go. A story about a man who finds the doppelganger of the woman he's trying to forget while on vacation miles away from home seemed too good to pass up, and what an interesting story it was! After deciding to get over his infatuation with a woman that could never be his, Jordan Reeves books a vacation to Hawaii to cleanse his unrequited crush from his system. While there, he meets Aubrey Larson, who looks just like his crush. A playboy for many years, he soon realises that Aubrey could very well be the woman of his dreams, but only if he can convince her that she could never be a stand-in for another woman. This is a refreshing read, with minimal drama. The banter and conversations were fun and entertaining. I recommend it, especially to those who love a good, light romance with humour.