Dr. Sarah Benedict had tried--but failed--to forget Matt. Even after marrying another man and moving to Central America, she couldn't shake the memories of her childhood chum. She'd grown to realize she loved Dr. Matthew Cameron deeply.... Yet to him, she was only the best buddy a guy could ever have.
Now, a widow, Sarah's back in Port Hamilton. And Matt's divorced....
Can the two best friends get past their polar opposite approaches to medicine and Matt's interfering teenage daughter to find love--fifteen years late?
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October 09, 2007
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Excerpt from The Baby Doctors by Janice Macdonald
The guy selling medicinal herbs at the Port Hamilton farmer's market had shoulder-length hair, a small stud in his nostril and the palest blue eyes Sarah had ever seen. The lack of color disconcerted her. Something about the way the light hit them made it difficult to tell whether he was looking directly at her or at something over her shoulder.
His T-shirt read Stop The War On Drugs, but when he noticed her trying to read the small print, he stopped in the middle of a discourse on the health-giving properties of the dandelions leaves he was holding to launch into another on the kind of drugs he was trying to stop.
"Big Brother pharmaceutical companies," he said, his English accent becoming more pronounced as he spoke. "If you're popping pills you've bought from the drugstore, you're not really in touch with nature, and my goal, simply put, is to reconnect people's consciousness with the environment." He waved his hand at the row of baskets brimming with plants. "Nature's pharmacy," he said. "Echinacea, Saint-John's-wort, calendula. Atropa belladonna--" "Commonly known as deadly nightshade," Sarah said.
He smiled. "Ah, a gardening enthusiast." "A medical doctor, actually," Sarah's mother, Rose, said, materializing at Sarah's side. "She's been practicing in Central America for the past fifteen years. And, let me tell you, she knows a thing or two about woo-woo medicine."
Sarah shot Rose a glance. "A focus on prevention and well-being rather than disease is not woo-woo medicine." She turned back to the guy, whose spare, almost emaciated frame suggested nature's pharmacy probably did double duty as his pantry. "My mother's a doctor, too." She jerked her head at Rose. "Runs in the family. Except my mother's the conventional kind."
"I'd hardly say that," Rose replied.
"I was referring to your profession. She's a dermatologist," Sarah said, mostly to mollify Rose, who disliked being thought of as conventional in any way, except perhaps in her approach to medicine.
"Right." He stuck out his hand and directed his pale eyes at Sarah. "Curt Hudelson."
"Sarah Benedict." She shook his hand. "And my mother, Rose Benedict. I'm really interested in what you're doing. It ties in with the sort of thing I'm planning, an integrated approach that combines both conventional and alternative medicine."
He nodded approvingly. "Right, well, we definitely need more of your type here on the peninsula before big medicine kills everyone off." As he talked, a young woman who had been waiting on customers came over to stand beside him and he put his arm around her shoulders. "My girlfriend, Debbi. We farm a piece of land on the west end. These two ladies are doctors," he said. "Tell them how we cleared up your asthma with natural stuff."
Debbi smiled. "I used to get these really bad attacks, I was always at the E.R. getting treatments so I could breathe and I never went anywhere without my inhaler. Then I met Curt. I haven't had a bad attack since." She reached into a small tin box on the wooden counter, withdrew a card and handed it to Sarah. "I also make cosmetics. Natural."
"Curly Q House of Hair," Sarah read.
"Well, that's where I work right now," Debbi said.
"But I'm probably going to quit pretty soon. It's too far to drive. Plus, Curt needs help on the farm. His business is really growing."
"Literally." Curt turned to Debbi. "Tell Sarah about Alli."
Debbi's smile faded. "Well, that's kind of different." "No, it isn't." He addressed Sarah, "Our daughter was having intestinal problems, which, naturally, Dr. Big Medicine diagnosed as kidney failure and, left to his own devices, would have had her hooked up to a dialysis machine. And how was she this morning, Debbi?"
Rose cleared her throat. "Ready, Sarah?" "Come out and see my gardens sometime," Curt said. "Debbi and I had intended to organize them according to the various systems of the body, but then it got a wee bit too complicated, so now we have them grouped into historic herbal remedies, folk medicine, homoeopathic medicinals and plants that are currently under investigation by drug companies."
"Crackpot," Rose muttered after Sarah had taken down his address and she and Rose were weaving their way back through the crowd toward the car. "Perfect example of how a little medical knowledge can be a dangerous thing."
Sarah shrugged. "I'd be interested in seeing what they're doing."
"Probably growing marijuana," Rose said.
"Nothing like an open mind."
They walked along in silence for a while. "I thought you might have changed, being away all this time," Rose said finally. "Maturity, and so forth but you're still like just like your father."
"Idealistic and humanistic?"