From award-winning author Tami Hoag comes a warm, moving story of two cultures in conflict and two hearts in love. Matt Thorne had come to his sister's rural inn to recover from an injury far from the city and his fast-paced life as an emergency room physician. Drifting between sleep and waking, Matt didn't trust his eyes when he saw the young woman who sat at his bedside in her plain cotton dress and apron, her chestnut hair tucked demurely beneath a white bonnet, like a beautiful vision from the past century. Sarah Troyer had been warned about the womanizing Dr. Throne, but nothing prepared her for the shiver of desire that shook her to her core when she gazed at him. Though her life was bound by the simple Amish way, Sarah had always longed for the world outside. Her job at the inn already branded her as a rebel in her community, and falling in love with a stranger would mean the loss of her family and the only life she knew.
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October 31, 1992
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Excerpt from Sarah's Sin by Tami Hoag
He looked dead. Sarah Troyer sat beside the bed, her eyes wide and unblinking as she stared at the man whose care she had been charged with. He lay motionless, only his head visible above the black-and-purple quilt that covered the bed. He was perhaps thirty-two or thirty-three, but he seemed older in his unconscious state. Even in the amber glow of the bedside lamp, his skin was the color of parchment. His left eye was swollen along the brow and discolored like a peach gone bad. A neat line of stitches embroidered his chin at an angle. In spite of his injuries, his face was strong and handsome, with a high, broad forehead and bold black brows, a stubborn-looking chin and a wide, well-defined mouth that kept drawing her gaze like a magnet. "Melanie, Melanie," he mumbled, a hint of a smile turning up the corners of his mouth. "Kiss me where it hurts." A warm sensation wriggled through Sarah from the top of her head down, prickling her scalp beneath the fine white mesh fabric of her Amish kapp and curling her toes in her sensible black shoes. It wasn't just fear and it wasn't just guilt, this feeling. It was excitement. For once in her quiet, sheltered life she was going to have an adventure. Automatically her mind spun out the words like a gossamer thread to weave a story with.... Once upon a time . "Oh, man, I've died and gone to Little House on the Prairie." At the sound of the masculine voice Sarah jerked awake, her body snapping to attention faster than her foggy mind. The jolt of all her muscles coming to life at once sent her shooting off the edge of her chair. She landed with a thud, her bottom connecting solidly with the hard braided oval rug beside the bed. While the idea of helping a lovely lady up appealed to him enormously, Matt Thorne didn't move an inch. He couldn't; he ached in so many places, the electrical impulses his brain sent to his muscles kept shorting out en route. Bleary-eyed, he merely stared at the feminine face now peering up at him over the edge of the bed. Her quick trip to the floor had left visible only the top of her head, two enormous dark blue eyes, and an impudent tip-tilted nose. Though her hair was mostly covered, he could see that it was thick and rich brown. She wore it up but whisper-wisps escaped their bonds to curl around the edges of her face. She had on an old-fashioned kind of nurse's uniform he'd never seen before--a blue dress with a black apron over it and a small white cap that seemed to have been fashioned out of stiff gauze. She looked like a student nurse from some religious college for virtuous young women. Beguiling innocence radiated from those fathomless blue eyes. There was an untouched quality about the ripe curve of her cheek. A virgin nurse. Not a bad fantasy, Matt decided, mustering a ghost of his notorious smile. "Isn't this a little above and beyond the call of duty?" he asked, his voice still rough with sleep. "Or is vigil-keeping a specialty at Our Lady of Guileless Chastity School for Girls?" The blue eyes blinked at him, then went on staring. A shy young thing. Somewhere beneath the layers of bruises and teeth-grinding pain, Matt's sixth sense stirred to life. It was his personal built-in woman-o-meter, a kind of finely tuned radar that alerted him to all the subtle nuances of the women around him. It was in part what had made him a legend in the corridors of County General. It homed in now on the delightful young lady peering over the edge of the bed at him like a cornered mouse waiting for the house tomcat to pounce. "You can relax, Blue Eyes," he murmured, shifting a little on the bed and wincing as an invisible knife of pain slipped between his cracked ribs. "I'm in no condition to endanger your standing with the good sisters of your order." Sarah felt a guilty flush creep into her cheeks. He