Tuesday, February 19, 2019

TOMBOY (THE HARTIGANS #3)

Tomboy - BT banner.jpg

How exactly has one good deed landed me in the penalty box?


Tomboy, an all-new, sexy romantic comedy from USA Today bestselling author Avery Flynn, is available now!

Tomboy_1600x2400
Ice Knights defenseman Zach Blackburn has come down with the flu, and my BFF—his PR manager—begs me to put my nursing degree to use and get him back to health. Of course she would call in a favor for the most hated man in Harbor City.
But when he’s finally on the mend and I’m sneaking out of his place, everything goes sideways. Paparazzi spot me and pictures, plus accusations that I slept with him, fly faster than a hockey puck.
At first, all of Harbor City wants my blood—or to give me a girlie-girl makeover. But then…the team finally wins a game. And now this fickle town wants me with the big jerk twenty-four seven.
Argh. I never slept with him the first time! But no one will listen. Then the grumpy bastard goes and promises to break his no-fan-appearances rule to help raise money for a free health clinic—but only if I’m rink-side at every game. That’s not a deal I can turn down.
But when the team keeps winning, and I realize there’s more to him than his bad reputation, suddenly remembering to keep my real hands off my fake date gets harder and harder to do.
Tomboy AN.jpg
Download your copy today!
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/Tomboy
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2REylrq
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2M4npOl
Tomboy - Teaser 4 AN.jpg

Excerpt:



The blaring ring echoed off the bare walls of the nearly empty mansion as Fallon Hartigan marched down the hallway with murder on her mind.

As soon as she got to the source of that ringing, she was going to give Harbor City what they wanted most and kill the most-hated man in hockey. Sure, she might get arrested, but the metro area would probably throw her a parade. She turned the corner and stopped dead in her tracks outside the open double doors leading to the overpriced defenseman’s bedroom.

The man—who’d been puking his guts up less than twenty-four hours ago—was in the middle of a king-size bed, wearing nothing but a smirk and a bed sheet that was draped so low across his hips that she could see miles of those V lines south of his hard abs. Like she was a newbie nurse on her first set of rounds, her breath caught, and a blush she most definitely did not want to appear started to burn her cheeks. Damn her pasty Irish skin.

Still, she had to admit, if only to herself, that the view was fucking amazing. The man was a professional athlete and had the muscular, inked-up chest to prove it. Practically against her will, her gaze traveled over the plentiful ink across his pecs and lingered a few breaths too long on his silver nipple rings.

Seemingly indifferent to her perusal, Zach swiped his thumb across his cell phone’s screen, ending the incessant ringing.

“About time,” he said, his voice a mellow, low rumble. “I’ve been ringing for you for almost ten minutes.”

He dropped his phone on the small table next to the bed and then lounged against the headboard, managing somehow to look down his nose at her even with their current height differential.

Forget killing him, she was going to go after her bestie. It was Lucy’s fault Fallon was even here.

She squeezed her eyes shut and counted to ten as she recalled all the reasons why the man was a menace and not the solution to her three-month-long sexual dry spell.

He was a selfish player.

He was surly to the press, to the fans, and probably to his neighbor’s dog.

He’d banged a puck bunny tattooed with the logo of the Ice Knights’ most hated rival.

She counted to another ten while remembering why she couldn’t off him.

He was Lucy’s client.

He was, for some incomprehensible reason, one of her bestie’s friends.

He had the skills to turn around the Ice Knights’ sofar shitty season if he could remove the giant chip from his shoulder and start playing as if he actually liked hockey again.

Exhaling a deep breath, she reopened her eyes and barely noticed his muscular shoulders this time as she moved away from the door.

There. All better.

She’d managed to pack away the Hartigan attitude, and her temper hadn’t even made an appearance. Bully for her. Now to get back to that cool, clinical demeanor she strove for whenever she was on the clock.

“You rang?” she asked, managing to keep a good 73 percent of her annoyance out of her tone as she walked farther into the room.


About Avery


USA Today bestselling romance author Avery Flynn has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip.

She fell in love with romance while reading Johanna Lindsey’s Mallory books. It wasn’t long before Avery had read through all the romance offerings at her local library. Needing a romance fix, she turned to Harlequin’s four books a month home delivery service to ease the withdrawal symptoms. That worked for a short time, but it wasn’t long before the local book stores’ staffs knew her by name.

Avery was a reader before she was a writer and hopes to always be both. She loves to write about smartass alpha heroes who are as good with a quip as they are with their *ahem* other God-given talents. Her heroines are feisty, fierce and fantastic. Brainy and brave, these ladies know how to stand on their own two feet and knock the bad guys off theirs.

AveryFlynn
Connect with Avery
Instagram: @AveryFlynn

LIZA'S REVIEW:

Each of the books in The Hartigan series to date has been amazing. Then came Tomboy and it totally blew me away. Avery Flynn wrote my spirit animal in Fallon Hartigan, and I have to say this is my favorite book ever from Ms. Flynn.

Fallon Hartigan is a hard-working nurse who really loves helping others. She is happy in her own skin and has never cared about fashion or trying to look like everyone else. I totally got and connected with Fallon from the first moment we met her in this series. She only goes to help out Zach because her best friend Lucy begs her to do so. Zach Blackburn is the most hated man in Harbor City since he arrived and has done absolutely nothing to help the Ice Knights win. 

First of all, I loved the banter between Fallon and Zach. They had some serious snark going on much of the time and I loved it about them both. I also love though neither really wanted to be in the other's life, they really could help each other out. I also loved that the more time they spent together the more real they became with each other. Not that Fallon ever acted like more than she was, but it was like she found someone who could finally see and accept her exactly as she is.

The chemistry between Fallon and Zach was off the charts HOT! I loved this couple so much and fell more in love with each passing page. OMG when Zach finally shared all he had been put through by his parents, my heart absolutely broke for him. I loved how protective Fallon was of Zach and cheered as she defended Zach, even when I knew he wouldn't take what she did in the right way. I loved seeing each of them figure out how to fix their relationship and how their friends each made them see the light. Seriously these two people are just perfect for each other!

I've loved each and every book in The Hartigan series to date and with each one I didn't believe Ms. Flynn could top the last, only to be blown away again with each new release. Tomboy is hands down my favorite book ever from Avery Flynn. It is the perfect story for fans of contemporary romance that love smoking hot romance, lots of emotions, and lots of laughter. I highly recommend this book to all fans of romance.

Rating: 5 Stars (A+)
Review copy provided by publisher

Monday, February 18, 2019

RELEASE BLITZ: TOMBOY

Tomboy - RB banner.jpg

How exactly has one good deed landed me in the penalty box?


Tomboy, an all-new, sexy romantic comedy from USA Today bestselling author Avery Flynn, is available now!

Tomboy_1600x2400.jpg
Ice Knights defenseman Zach Blackburn has come down with the flu, and my BFF—his PR manager—begs me to put my nursing degree to use and get him back to health. Of course she would call in a favor for the most hated man in Harbor City.
But when he’s finally on the mend and I’m sneaking out of his place, everything goes sideways. Paparazzi spot me and pictures, plus accusations that I slept with him, fly faster than a hockey puck.
At first, all of Harbor City wants my blood—or to give me a girlie-girl makeover. But then…the team finally wins a game. And now this fickle town wants me with the big jerk twenty-four seven.
Argh. I never slept with him the first time! But no one will listen. Then the grumpy bastard goes and promises to break his no-fan-appearances rule to help raise money for a free health clinic—but only if I’m rink-side at every game. That’s not a deal I can turn down.
But when the team keeps winning, and I realize there’s more to him than his bad reputation, suddenly remembering to keep my real hands off my fake date gets harder and harder to do.
Tomboy AN.jpg


Download your copy today!
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/Tomboy
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2REylrq
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2M4npOl
Tomboy - Teaser 1 AN

About Avery


USA Today bestselling romance author Avery Flynn has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip.

She fell in love with romance while reading Johanna Lindsey’s Mallory books. It wasn’t long before Avery had read through all the romance offerings at her local library. Needing a romance fix, she turned to Harlequin’s four books a month home delivery service to ease the withdrawal symptoms. That worked for a short time, but it wasn’t long before the local book stores’ staffs knew her by name.

Avery was a reader before she was a writer and hopes to always be both. She loves to write about smartass alpha heroes who are as good with a quip as they are with their *ahem* other God-given talents. Her heroines are feisty, fierce and fantastic. Brainy and brave, these ladies know how to stand on their own two feet and knock the bad guys off theirs.
AveryFlynn.jpg
Connect with Avery
Instagram: @AveryFlynn

Friday, February 15, 2019

OLD DOG NEW TRICKS (THE DOGFATHER #9)

Daniel Kilcannon, the veterinarian known as the Dogfather, has been widowed for four years. He's spent the time running the largest canine rescue and training facility in North Carolina and pulling some strings to make sure each of his six grown children find a love like the one he lost when his beloved Annie died. 

But as the years slip by, Daniel's vow to never love again is starting to make him restless. When a woman who was pivotal to his past arrives in Bitter Bark, he wonders if her appearance is coincidence or the guiding hand of his dearly departed wife...but the truth is neither. She's about to change his life again in ways he could never have imagined. And Daniel isn't sure if his heart -- or his family -- will ever recover from the impact. 

Like every other book in this popular series, the cover of Old Dog New Tricks was shot at Alaqua Animal Refuge in the author’s home state of Florida using only rescue dogs (and local guys) on the covers. A portion of book sales is donated to Alaqua to save animals and help them find forever homes. 

About The Dogfather Series 

Daniel Kilcannon is known as “The Dogfather” for a reason. It’s not just his renowned skills as a veterinarian, his tremendous love of dogs, or the fact that he has turned his homestead in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains into a world class dog training and rescue facility. Ask his six grown children who run Waterford Farm for him, and they’ll tell you that their father’s nickname is due to his uncanny ability to pull a few strings to get what he wants. And what he wants is for his four sons and two daughters to find the kind of life-changing love he had with his dearly departed wife, Annie. This old dog has a few new tricks…and he’ll use them all to see his pack all settled into their happily ever afters! 

Release Date: February 15, 2019
South Street Publishing
The Dogfather #9
Contemporary Romance
Review copy provided by publisher

Liza's Review:

Old Dog New Tricks is the latest release in the Dogfather series from Roxanne St. Claire and all I can say is it was totally worth the wait! I've wanted Daniel Kilcannon's book from the moment we met him in the very first book and I adored it from start to finish. While I feel like the woman who is Daniel’s second chance at love after the death of his beloved Annie shouldn’t have surprised me; I found myself completely shocked. 

This story was full of surprises, pulled out every single emotion, and gave me hope for finding love again. I absolutely couldn't put this book down once I started reading it, and loved every single minute of this story. Roxanne St. Claire gives her readers another story filled with laughter and tears, both happy and sad, along with many happy sighs. I highly recommend having a box of tissues handy while reading this beautiful story. 

The Dogfather series of books is one of my favorite series ever from Roxanne St. Claire and I can't recommend the entire series of books enough. I've loved watching each of Daniel's children find their happily ever after. I loved we were introduced to so many new characters in Old Dog New Tricks, and will hopefully get many more books featuring the Kilcannon family and friends. I read Old Dog New Tricks as fast as I could the first time, and now plan to re-read it and savor each and every moment.


Rating: 5 Stars (A+)

Buy Links:

Apple Books:  https://apple.co/2RUjogZ
Google Play:  http://bit.ly/2BwAXhu
Goodreads:  http://bit.ly/2N2R3El

Thursday, February 14, 2019

INTERCEPTED (PLAYBOOK #1)

Marlee thought she scored the man of her dreams only to be scorched by a bad breakup. But there's a new player on the horizon, and he's in a league of his own...

Marlee Harper is the perfect girlfriend. She's definitely had enough practice by dating her NFL-star boyfriend for the last ten years. But when she discovers he has been tackling other women on the sly, she vows to never date an athlete again. There's just one problem: Gavin Pope, the new hotshot quarterback and a fling from the past, has Marlee in his sights.

Gavin fights to show Marlee he's nothing like her ex. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to let her escape her past. The team's wives, who never led the welcome wagon, are not happy with Marlee's return. They have only one thing on their minds: taking her down. But when the gossip makes Marlee public enemy number one, she worries about more than just her reputation.

Between their own fumbles and the wicked wives, it will take a Hail Mary for Marlee and Gavin's relationship to survive the season. 

Release Date: September 11, 2018
Berkley Penguin Group
Playbook #1
Contemporary Sports Romance
Review copy provided by publisher 

Liza's Review: 

Intercepted is the debut release from author Alexa Martin and is the first book in her Playbook series. When Intercepted starts, Marlee Harper is happily in a relationship with her boyfriend of 10 year, Chris Alexander, who she quickly discovers has been cheating on her and she is forced to move home with pretty much only her clothes and a few other items in the house, as Chris the asshole bought everything, including her car, and won't let her take anything with her. Luckily for Marlee, Gavin Pope had come home with Chris and was there to help her out when she needed to leave. Of course the fact that Gavin is also the man Marlee had a one-night stand with 4 years ago when she and Chris were on a break was pretty funny and convenient.

While I did end up liking Marlee in the end, she was pretty immature for most of the book. I get there are mean girls everywhere, but it seemed like anyone Marlee wasn't friends with all ended up being portrayed as totally bitches. I'm not saying some of the women were two-faced and total bitches, but I just find it hard to believe that only one woman in the group could end up being a nice person other than Marlee. 

I did like the romance between Marlee and Gavin, but hated it took her so long to stop comparing Gavin to Chris. Gavin was an honest hard working man who knew what he wanted and did what it took to get what he wanted. I loved he was willing to take things slow with Marlee, especially after she went radio-silent with him, but was there as soon as she needed him again. Gavin and Marlee had really amazing chemistry and I did like them as a couple. I just wish Marlee were more mature. I really do think that was my biggest issue with this book. Marlee was a fun character and had amazing wit and talent, yet almost still seemed like she was still the high school girlfriend through much of the book. Maybe it was because she started dating her ex while they were in high school and their relationship was so much like a couple of high school kids even at the end. I'm not saying Gavin was perfect, but he was more mature than Marlee through most of the book. He did mess up in a major way in my opinion and I absolutely agreed with exactly what Marlee did to make him understand what she needed. 

Intercepted was a tough read for me. It seemed to drag on at times and while I did like many of the characters, there were others that were so horrible, I struggled not to DNF this book a couple of times. Add in not one but two could-be physical attacks on Marlee at various times, and it made it even harder for me to keep reading. However, I needed to see if Marlee would grow up and be the person I knew she could be, and I was glad to see I was right. I do plan on reading the second book in this series when it is released later this year. 

Rating: 3.5 Stars (B-)

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

CROSS MY HEART & SEALED WITH A KISS RELEASE BLITZ

Cross My Heart and Sealed with a Kiss, sexy standalones in the Ty and Hunter Series from New York Times bestselling author Carly Phillips are available now!


Cross My Heart
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Ten years ago, a seventeen year old Lily Dumont faked her own death to escape an uncle who wanted her inheritance, leaving her old life – and love, behind . . . but Lily never forgot Ty Benson.
When Ty discovers Lily's uncle is about to have her declared legally dead in order to finally get his hands on the family money, Ty seeks out Lily and urges her to return home, face her past and reclaim what rightfully belongs to her. Can Ty reclaim Lily as well? Or will she leave him again, this time for good?
CMH SWAK - AN.jpg
Download your copy today!
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2B5Atin
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2MHbyWW
Sealed with a Kiss
Sealed with a Kiss Ebook.jpg
On the outside, Molly Gifford had it all—a hot legal career and a hotter boyfriend. But what she really wanted was a family. So when she discovered her real father, she didn’t hesitate to pack her bags. Even though it meant leaving her old life behind.
Daniel Hunter's still trying to get on with his life after losing Molly. Then she shows up at his door, begging for help. Her newfound father is under arrest for murder, and she's convinced Hunter is the only attorney with the skill and reputation to get him off.
Hunter can't resist helping an innocent man and he’s still drawn to Molly. Although he can’ resist her, he won’t be hurt again. This time he’s determined to be the one who walks away with his heart and emotions intact.
Download your copy today!
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2GbImpM
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2CTU4SH

Meet Carly Phillips
Carly Phillips is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels, including the Indie published, Dare to Love Series. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

Carly Phillips HeadShot.jpg
Connect with Carly
Stay up to date with Carly by joining her mailing list: http://www.carlyphillips.com/newsletter-sign-up/
Sign up for Text Updates of New Releases: http://tinyurl.com/p3upm5s
Join Carly’s Addicts: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CarlysAddicts/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/carlyphillips
Website: www.carlyphillips.com




THE SECRET INGREDIENT

Love is like a perfect recipe… You never want to lose it.

Years ago, Kelly McIntyre and Andrew York were engaged and dreaming of opening a restaurant together. Then he chose an opportunity to study in Paris over the small-town life they’d planned, and their romance came to a bittersweet end.

But Kelly’s doing fine. She’s not only the owner of a potbellied pig named Gray, but also of her own bakery. Business is good—so good that she’s invited to compete in a Valentine’s Day bake-off. As she prepares for the contest, she tries not to get distracted by Andrew’s visit to town.

When Andrew sees Kelly, it stirs up his old feelings. Little does he know that soon, in New York, he’ll compete against her in the bake-off…and they’ll both realize how much their past is a part of them still.

Release Date: February 12, 2019
Hallmark Publishing
Contemporary Romance
Review copy provided by publisher

Liza's Review:

I've been a fan of Nancy Naigle since I read her very first book. She is my go-to author for sweet romances. The Secret Ingredient was a second chance romance, which happens to be one of my favorite troupes. I adored getting Kelly and Andrew's story in The Secret Ingredient.

Kelly McIntyre and Andrew York were engaged 7 years ago when Andrew is given the opportunity of a life time to study in Paris and he decides to stay after graduation. All their dreams of opening a restaurant together and marriage and family come to an end when Andrew stays in Paris. When Andrew comes home for a surprise visit 7 years later, he honestly only wanted to see his family, yet everything changes when his mom and sister give him a surprisewelcome home party and Kelly is in charge of all the desserts.

Kelly has lived her dream back in their hometown by opening her own bakery called The Cake Factory. Kelly has become a huge success in her business and has helped Bailey 's Fork have a booming economy. Her bakery has allowed her to employ 100 full time bakers and helped other businesses in town. When Kelly is approached to participate in Valentine's Cake-bakeoff, she quickly agrees, not knowing that is the real reason Andrew is back in the states. None of the contestants can let anyone know where they are really going for the secret bake-off, or they will be immediately eliminated from the contest. I enjoyed seeing Andrew and Kelly reconnect before they both headed to New York for the bakeoff. There was such a sweet connection between them.

Most of the story does take place in their small hometown, and Ms. Naigle does an amazing job making the small town and the people in the town come to life. I loved seeing how the town had grown and changed while Andrew was gone and yet was completely welcoming to him when he returned. I find that the small town in a Nancy Naigle book becomes another character in the story right along side the people. I did love seeing both Kelly and Andrew in the baking competition. They had such different training, with Andrew's being from professional chefs in Paris, and Kelly's being from her grandmother, yet were both rockstars when it came to coming up with amazing ideas. 

The Secret Ingredient was such a wonderful sweet romance. The small town setting was absolutely perfect for the story and I loved the crazy fun trip to New York every bit as much as I enjoyed the time in the small town. Kelly and Andrew were so much fun to see grow and mature over the course of the story not only as individuals but as a couple. The Secret Ingredient is another winner from Nancy Naigle.

Rating: 4 Stars (B+)

Monday, February 11, 2019

BACK TO YOU (REMINGTON MEDICAL #1)

His second chance is his only chance 

Parker Drake wants exactly one thing—to fulfill his dream of becoming a doctor. Between his reputation as a rule-breaker and the six years that have passed since his first internship ended in disaster, he knows he’s only getting one shot at a second chance. He’ll do anything to put the past behind him and reach his goal…including work with the gorgeous ex-wife he’s never gotten over losing.

All work and no play make surgeon Charleston Becker a very happy woman. But when she’s tasked with mentoring her ex-husband through his second chance as an intern, her signature calm is put to the test. She’s not interested in re-hashing the heartbreaking circumstances that ended their marriage, and the six years that have passed haven’t made Parker less reckless. The last thing she’s willing to do is trust him—even if she does find him sexier than ever.

But familiarity breeds forgiveness, which then becomes a passion that threatens the careers Parker and Charlie have worked for. Can they turn their second chance into a happy ending? Or is history bound to repeat itself?

This steamy contemporary medical romance can be read as a standalone. 

Release date: February 12, 2019
Kimberly Kincaid Romance, LLC
Remington Medical #1
Contemporary Romance
Review copy provided by publisher

Liza's Review:

Back to You is the first book in the Remington Medical series from Kimberly Kincaid. It is a spinoff series from her Station Seventeen series. Back to You is a second chance romance and I absolutely fell in love with this story from the very first page.

Charleston "Charlie" Becker has come back to Remington Memorial Hospital after six years away to help out her best friend Tess Michaelson while she goes on maternity leave.  Charlie left Remington Memorial after her marriage to Parker Drake ended their first year as interns. The only person she hopes not to see while back in North Carolina is of course one of the first people she sees on her first day back on the job. Not only will Charlie have to see Parker while she is in town, he is back in the intern program to finally become a doctor, and she will be his boss when he works with her on her. 

I loved everything about Charlie and Parker in this book! They had amazing chemistry but were also extremely snarky with one another. Everything they had gone through together in their past absolutely broke my heart. Seriously this book had me laughing out loud at time and crying my eyes out at other times. I loved that neither Charlie nor Parker had ever really stopped loving each other. Yes they hurt each other badly 6 years ago, but there was still love underneath it all. When they finally gave into their attraction, my kindle screen totally steamed up and I loved they couldn't stay away from each other. 

This second chance romance had everything I look for in that troupe. Super sexy chemistry, major emotional moments, and the satisfying reunion I wanted from the very first page. I'm a huge fan of Kimberly Kincaid and have to say Charlie and Parker are my new favorite couple from her. I loved every moment of Back to You and can't wait to see where she takes us next with the Remington Medical series. 

Rating: 5 Stars (A)


BUY LINKS






BACK TO YOU is a spinoff series from Kimberly's sexy Station Seventeen books. It stands completely alone, and does share a world with some very hot cops and steamy firefighters (who make cameos!) No cliffhangers, no spoilers, all red-hot HEA. 

Think Grey's Anatomy, only hotter! 

EXCERPT


Of all the ways Parker Drake had envisioned his first day as an intern, witnessing a sedan-versus-bike messenger that resulted in an open tib-fib before he’d even walked through the hospital doors hadn’t been in the top one thousand. 
Being face to drop-jawed stare with the one woman he’d been certain he’d never lay eyes on again, and who probably hated him as passionately as he’d once loved her?
Had to be a one in a million.
The man in his arms groaned in pain, snapping time back into motion and Parker back to reality in less than a heartbeat. 
“I need a little help over here,” Parker called out, and fucking great, Tess was here, too? 
“What happened?” Charlie asked as Tess hollered for a gurney and a C-collar, both of which arrived astonishingly fast.
Parker blinked, his brain momentarily too swamped with adrenaline to form a reply. Focus. On something other than how the hell Charlie is here in front of you instead of far, far away in Nashville. Now would be good, since you’re holding a guy whose tibia is sticking out of his skin.
Well, that did the trick to redirect his thoughts from her, at least temporarily. Then again, work always did. “Mike Yoshida, got clipped by a Camry while riding his bike,” Parker said, placing the man on the gurney and diving right in to the bullet. “Obvious right lower leg deformity, GCS 12. No apparent head or neck trauma, no LOC.” The guy’s helmet was still firmly in place. Not that it had done his leg a lick of good, but at least that would be a hell of a lot easier to repair.
“Hi, Mr. Yoshida, I’m Dr. Michaelson, and this is Dr. Becker,” Tess said, but only after she’d shot a micro-frown in Parker’s direction that promised nothing good once their patient was stable. “We’re going to take care of you, okay?”
            “O-okay.” He tried to nod, but Tess placed her hands firmly over the sides of his helmet to keep him still as Charlie grabbed the C-collar.
“Dr. Becker and I are going to put this around your neck. I know it’s not super comfortable, but we have to err on the side of caution until we can get a closer look at your spine.”
Charlie, who was in street clothes, and Tess, who wasn’t, had both gloved up to examine the man while a nurse guided the gurney past the automatic doors and into a curtain area. 
“You didn’t think to call a paramedic instead of dragging him in here on your own?” Charlie asked, her red-gold brows pulled low in disapproval, as Tess continued her rapid trauma assessment on the patient.
Parker took a deep breath and reminded himself that he deserved every degree of chilliness Charlie wanted to offer. “I am a paramedic. Or I was for five years. Anyway”—he grabbed a pair of nitrile gloves from the dispenser box on the wall and slid them into place—“the accident happened less than a block away. Calling an ambo would’ve been stupid.”
Dropping her voice enough to keep it from the patient while Tess asked him a few more questions and examined his leg, Charlie said, “He was in an MVA, and you moved him without a C-collar. Thatis stupid.”
Shock popped Parker right in the solar plexus. “Seeing as how we were in the middle of a busy city street and the guy had already been hit by a car once, I thought getting him out of traffic might be prudent.”
“Parker—” she started, but he shook his head. As much as he wanted to, arguing with her was a bad idea for several reasons, none of them small. Anyway, he couldn’t change what he’d already done.
            “Yes, I moved him,” Parker said quietly. “But I did an RTA in the field. He was alert and reactive, with no signs of a head or neck injury. He was in a lot of pain and had an open fracture, and I wanted to get him treated as fast as possible. So, I made a judgment call.”
            If her expression was anything to go by, Charlie remained highly unimpressed. “So he didn’t present with any outward signs of a spinal injury,” she argued. “That doesn’t mean he’s fine. There could be any number of things going on that you can’t see.”
            “I know that.” Parker had completed four years of medical school, nearly seven months of his first internship, and three of his five years at Station Seventeen as a lead paramedic. He was hardly a dumbass.
“This tib-fib is pretty straightforward,” Tess said loudly enough to grab both of their attention. She’d—damn—already cut away the patient’s jeans to reveal a nasty break, and splinted the injured leg to keep it stable. “Let’s get head and neck films to see what we’re dealing with otherwise.” She swung her stare to the dark-haired nurse who had appeared with the gurney and stuck around for the ride. “And page Dr. Sheridan, along with whoever’s on call for ortho, stat, please.”
“I’ve got the films, Dr. Michaelson,” Charlie said, her eyes on Tess’s very pregnant belly, and Parker’s throat went tight. But then Tess had stepped out of the curtain area and the nurse had produced two protective aprons, and Charlie was shooting the X-rays as easily as she’d order a fucking latte.
“Head and neck are clear,” she called to Tess a few seconds later, who returned to the curtain area and looked at the images on the portable monitor, nodding her agreement.
“It’s just my…leg that hurts.” The man’s labored grunt punctuated the claim, and Charlie—Christ, how was it possible that she’d gotten even prettier over the last six years—softened her gaze, leaning in toward him. 
“Do you have any drug allergies, Mr. Yoshida?”
Another groan. “No.”
Charlie looked at the nurse. “Start an IV so we can get some pain meds on board while we wait for those consults. We’re also going to need to do a full set of films on that leg for ortho.”
“I can start the IV,” Parker offered, taking a step toward the supply cart beside the gurney. Anything would be better than just standing here, useless.
Charlie’s arm shot out, and even through his shirt and hers, the contact sizzled through him as if they’d touched intimately, skin on skin. “No. You absolutely cannot.”
“I’m qualified to do it,” he said. He’d started hundreds of lines. Maybe even thousands. For God’s sake, Charlie had been there when he’d learned how. 
“You’re a paramedic,” Tess said, clearly on Team Charlie, and also clearly unaware that he’d tendered his resignation at Station Seventeen to return to medical school and had been placed here at Remington Mem for his internship, take two. “We have very capable nurses. You brought Mr. Yoshida in, but we’ve got it from here, Parker. You can go.”
His pulse slapped faster. “Actually, I—”
The curtain moved, the metal loops shushing along the track built in to the ceiling and stopping the rest of Parker’s words in his windpipe.
“Someone called for a—whoa, yeah. Surgical consult,” said Jonah Sheridan, who had appeared behind Tess. Parker recognized him, both from running patients in to the emergency department for the last five years and the semi-rare occasion that the staff at Remington Mem came to hang out at The Crooked Angel, where the first responders from Station Seventeen and the cops from the Thirty-Third precinct tended to gather. 
Sheridan completed a quick but thorough perusal of the patient’s injury. Parker listened carefully as Tess gave the guy a brief rundown and the nurse started the IV, then again as Sheridan looked at the patient.
“What’s your name, sir?”
“Mike,” the guy groaned, leaning back against the gurney. “Mike Yoshida.”
“Well, Mr. Yoshida, I hope you like Jell-O, because you’re going to be here for a day or two. You definitely need surgery to repair that injury to your leg.” He turned toward the dark-haired nurse, who Parker belatedly recognized from his first internship six years ago, and damn. How could he have changed so much while this place had stood stock-still?
“Kelly, let’s get some antibiotics in that IV along with the pain meds Dr. Becker ordered, and call surgery to book an OR.” Dr. Sheridan rattled off a few more directives—specific medications and dosages, plus a rush on the X-rays Charlie had already ordered—then shifted to look at Parker, blond brows lifted in question.  
“You’re the paramedic, right?”
Shit. “Intern. Parker Drake.” Tugging off his still-spotless gloves, he extended his hand, trying as hard as he possibly could to un-hear the twin gasps of shock from Tess and Charlie.  
“Huh,” Jonah said. “A new attending and a paramedic intern. The hits just keep on comin’. Okay, Mr. Yoshida.” He turned back toward the patient while Parker battled some shock of his own. Charlie was workinghere now? As an attending? Surely, he’d misunderstood. “Let’s get you ready for surgery, shall we?” 
“OR three is open, Dr. Sheridan,” Kelly said, hanging up the wall-mounted phone. “They’re expecting you.”
“Perfect. We can do the films upstairs while I scrub in and get Dr. Mallory up to speed. Let’s go.”
Sheridan and Kelly wheeled the gurney from the curtain area. Now would normally be the time for everyone to scatter, with the patient stable and the handoff to a surgeon made. But since everything about the current situation was far from normal, Tess killed the four hundred-pound silence with a long, low exhale.
“I’m sorry. Did you just say you’re…”
“An intern. Starting today.” He looked at Charlie, whose expression was impossible to decipher. “Did Dr. Sheridan say you’re…”
“An attending. Temporarily, at least. I’m covering Tess’s maternity leave for ten weeks.”