All right. So Jack Thatcher has experienced deep, personal tragedy. Dr. Sienna Maxwell gets that. But how can the man drop out of life the way he has, pretending to be happy hosting fabulous dinner parties and puttering in his back shed? That's something she will never be able to understand. Because he is only pretending, right?
Sienna's a shoot-from-the-hip high achiever, who demands no less from everyone around her. Driven and determined to make her new medical practice--and everything she touches--a success, she wants a whole lot more from Jack than charm...and kisses. She wants nothing less than perfect.
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January 01, 2011
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Excerpt from Her Great Expectations by Joan Kilby
Dr. Sienna Maxwell was trying hard to ignore the ridiculously good-looking man on the other side of the greengrocer. Then a burst of rich male laughter mingled with an elderly lady's girlish giggle made her glance up again. Casually elegant in a thin black V-necked sweater and tan pants, he could have been George Clooney's younger brother with his thick rumpled dark hair, warm brown eyes and engaging smile. As she watched, he made a kiwifruit appear from behind the ear of the pink-cheeked, white-haired granny who was, unbelievably, flirting with him.
Tucking back a long corkscrew of red hair, Sienna focused on the fat white bulbs and feathery green fronds of fresh fennel. Even though she had no idea how to cook them, she placed two in her shopping cart while still taking note of the man's every movement.
He placed the kiwifruit in the woman's basket, gently squeezed her shoulder and moved on, only to be stopped by a hearty greeting from a man with a beefy red face. Relaxed and cheerful, the Clooney look-alike cocked a hip and leaned on his cart to settle in for a chat as if he had all the time in the world.
A warning vibration burred in Sienna's jacket pocket--her phone alarm giving her a ten-minute reminder to get back to the clinic for her first patient of the afternoon. She'd rushed out during her lunch break to pick up a few specialty items she needed for a Thai curry because Glyneth and Rex were coming out from the city. Sienna had rashly promised her friends a special dinner, boasting she was going to cook it herself.
Distracted by snatches of the man's smooth deep voice, she found her gaze drifting across the store again. Now a woman in her thirties towing two young children had stopped to say a few words to him. While they chatted a retired couple waved and called out a greeting. He seemed to know everyone in town.
In stark contrast to her own situation. When she'd moved to the village she'd had a romantic notion of hosting casual dinner parties. Two months in, she still didn't know anyone she could invite over for coffee, much less spend Saturday evening with. She was simply too busy working to find the time to make friends. Oh, she had Oliver, but he was spending more and more time with his mates from school.
Sienna remembered she had a grocery list and checked it. Kaffir lime leaves, whatever those were. As she turned her cart toward the Asian food section, she cast a last covert glance at the dark-haired man. She didn't know if she wanted to be him, or do him. Not that she was in the habit of "doing" anyone. At least not in a long time. But there was something about this guy that was stirring her dormant hormones to life. How was it she'd been in Summerside for three months and never run into him before?
Dark eyes set in a tanned masculine face met her gaze across the central display of cut flowers. A small smile played around the corners of a mouth with just the right combination of angles and curves to be ultrasexy.
Heat rose in her cheeks at being caught staring. Sienna blindly pushed her cart forward, noting with clinical detachment her rush of adrenaline and increased heart rate. Get a grip. She was an adult, not a teenager. A doctor, with loftier thoughts than rampant sex among the squashes.
Abandoning her quest for lime leaves, she grabbed a plastic bag and filled it with whatever was in front of her. Just when her pulse was back to normal and she'd regained her composure, that deep low voice sounded not three feet away. He'd crossed the shop and was exchanging pleasantries with the woman standing next to her. Sienna forced herself not to glance over, but her nerve endings prickled with awareness. Then...