I’m both excited and sad to announce the upcoming release of the last of the Cowboy Doms series – SUBMITTING TO THE DOCTOR comes out March 19th and will be the final installment in this series. I doubt I’ll ever be lucky enough to reach the height of success of this series again, but will be forever grateful to all of you for your support and awesome feedback with each book.
Enjoy this teasing excerpt and watch for the release on the 19th!
With a frustrated swing and exasperated huff, Mitchell buried his ax in the wood stump and shook his head in disbelief. What the hell was someone doing driving a sporty Mazda Miata on a Montana backroad during a raging snowstorm? They were lucky their inevitable stranded predicament occurred near his cabin, that he happened to be here and outside getting wood to witness their loss of control through the trees separating his place from the road. Yanking his sheepskin lined coat closed and his Stetson down to shield his eyes from the blowing snow, it was too bad he didn’t get to share in the occupant’s luck.
Mitchell trudged through the piling snow, bemoaning the loss of his solitude for the next few days. Given the weather and the distance between his cabin and the nearest towns of Billings and Willow Springs, it looked like he would have a guest for the next few days. He wasn’t happy about that; the month of February was still difficult for him two years following his wife, Abbie’s lost battle with cancer. This was his first winter in Montana, and he’d been looking forward to these few days away from his new practice as the encroaching memories pushed the heartache he kept tucked away to the surface.
Tabling his irritation, he breathed a sigh of relief for the break in heavy snowfall as he emerged from the woods and sloughed through the already several feet of cold accumulation toward the stranded car still puffing out exhaust from the running engine. The lull wouldn’t last, so it was imperative he get the occupants back to his place as quickly as possible.
The driver’s side door creaked open as he reached the back end, his annoyance with the woman struggling to release her seatbelt dropping away when he eyed her pale, bruised face. The car hadn’t landed buried in the snow wall with enough impact to open the airbag, and the snug fit of the seatbelt would have prevented those injuries from happening just now.
Mitchell got to the open door as she emerged, her gasp of pain as she bent over with an arm wrapped around her upper waist prompting him to reach for her sweater-covered arm. “Sit down. You are not going to get sick or pass out.” He pressed on her shoulder until her butt returned to the seat, her booted feet buried up to her calves in the snow. She was alone in the car, which made it easier on him to have to deal with only one unwelcome guest.
To his surprise, she glared up at him out of dark purple eyes, shaking her cloud of deep auburn hair out of her face as she snapped, “Says who?”
I’m not only stuck with a houseguest, but one with attitude, yet another pesky irritation. “Me.” Squatting in front of her to block the wind, he cupped her chin with a gloved hand and held her still as he examined her black eye, swollen face and cut mouth, his hand tightening at the obvious signs of abuse. “Let me guess. You walked into a door,” he drawled, figuring she would skirt the truth like most abused women.
She jerked her head and he released her to keep from causing her more stress. Her lips curled in derision as she replied, “Yeah, a door with fists.”
Her honesty surprised Mitchell and earned her brownie points despite the sarcasm. He nodded, the hot ball of anger coiling in his gut the same response he’d experienced with every case of abuse admitted into the trauma center in Denver he had headed for five years. Pushing to his feet, he curtailed the desire to question her and searched for a coat among the belongings piled on the back seat. “I can check you over at my cabin, just through the woods. Can you make it that far?”
She frowned, her eyes turning wary as she cast a look around at their desolate surroundings. “I can if I have to, but it would be foolish to follow a stranger to a secluded cabin in the woods.”
“And it wasn’t foolish to drive in this weather in a vehicle ill-equipped to handle it without ending up like this?” he returned dryly. “I’m cold and the heavy shit will start up again any moment. I’ll give you two minutes to talk to the sheriff in Willow Springs and then I’m hauling ass back to my place, with or without you.” Digging his satellite phone out of the heavy coat pocket, he punched in Grayson Monroe’s direct number, praying he caught him in. When he answered, he gave his friend a quick rundown and then thrust the phone toward her, swearing as he noticed the blue tinge to her lips despite the heat blowing inside the still idling car and his position blocking the wind. “Make it fast.”