Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Perfectly Honest & Perfectly Reasonable by Linda O'Connor
You never know where your words will take you . . .
When Mikaela Finn agreed to be Sam’s ‘fiancée’ for a weekend, she probably should have told him that she’s a doctor.
Sam O’Brien, a.k.a. ‘Dr. Eye Candy’, is trying to shed his playboy reputation and convince a small town hospital that he’s ready to settle down. But when his ‘fiancée’ helps deliver a baby in the middle of the meet and greet, it’s a bit of a shock. If he’d known the whole truth, Sam might have done things a little differently because somehow his ‘fiancée’ ends up stealing his job and his heart. Not exactly the change he wanted.
Lies and deceit— it’s a match made in heaven!
Midnight. She really should get up, clean the paintbrushes, and go home. Then crawl into bed and sleep for, well, she groaned, six hours. If she was lucky.
Just five minutes.
As every muscle in her body relaxed, Mikaela smiled to herself and wondered what the homeowner would think if he knew he had the highest paid painter in the city.
Mikaela woke with a start to the sound of voices. Disoriented, in unfamiliar surroundings, she looked down at her short shorts and loose shirt covered with spatters of paint. Painting, of
course. She must have fallen asleep in the chair, and checking her watch, she saw that it was two o’clock in the morning. Shit. She rubbed her eyes and yawned. Pulling herself out of the chair, she listened to the voices. One voice was female, sounding impatient and unhappy and one male, sounding apologetic and resigned.
“I know it’s not ideal, Sophia, but it’s what I want. I’m tired of the large city, the tertiary care center, and all the politics. I’m tired of all the meetings and all the committees. I want a smaller hospital in a smaller city. I want a life.”
“Nonsense, Sam,” the woman shot back. “You don’t know what you want or what’s good for you. You need to pay your dues now to reap the benefits later.”
“Look, I don’t expect you to understand. I’m grateful you’ve agreed to help me out, but . . . ”
Mikaela wandered into the hallway and stopped when she saw the two of them at the front door. The woman had unbuttoned her coat, and as she put her hands on her hips, there was a flash of the red cocktail dress she wore underneath. The man was a foot taller and wearing a suit. A very nice fitting suit, Mikaela mused, as she came up behind him.
The woman noticed Mikaela first, and her startled gasp had the man looking over his shoulder. Mikaela wasn’t sure who looked more shocked, the man, who moved to shield the woman, or the woman, who raked her gaze over Mikaela from head to toe. As Mikaela fought the urge to straighten her shirt and fix her hair, she decided, definitely, the woman.
The woman’s eyes narrowed, the hands on her hips became clenched at her sides, and her face flushed red. Mikaela held her breath.
The woman pushed at the man’s shoulder and spun him around to face her. “Why you! You! ‘I can’t invite you in, the house is being painted,’” she mimicked. “Is that the new code word for ‘mistress?’ You could have just told me we were through. Well, I’m done. This is the last straw. You pig!” The woman spun on her heel and wrenched the door open.
“No, wait,” Mikaela added. She lurched forward, now wide-awake.
The woman stormed out and slammed the door.
The man turned to Mikaela. “Who the hell are you?”
Love what you do and do what you love. Sounds perfectly reasonable, but chances are, you’ll find your passion in the last place you look . . .
Margo MacMillan finished medical school, but in the process, her self-confidence and self-esteem took a beating. So for the sake of self-preservation, she’s stepped away from medicine to re-group. In the meantime, painting soothes her soul and pays the bills.
Trace Bennett set his sights on a medical degree and has to prepare the
perfect medical school application. His big plan is to paint his condo for a little feng shui divine luck. When Margo shows up to paint, he realizes he’s found exactly what he’s looking for. He just has to convince Margo to share more than the art of medicine.
She’s got it. He wants it. It’s Perfectly Reasonable.
“It has to be done by Tuesday,” he insisted.
Fat chance of that happening, considering it was already Friday afternoon. Too bad. He really was . . . breathtaking. “No can do. I have another client lined up for next week.”
Her eyebrows winged up. “I can’t do that. They’re waiting for me, and I promised to start Monday.”
“Trades do it all the time.”
She frowned at him. “Not me. If I say I’m going to start a job on Monday, I start on Monday. You’ll have to find another painter.” Her curls bounced as she turned to go.
“Wait.” He touched her arm, and Margo felt a zing of electricity shimmer through her. “You could do it this weekend.”
“I don’t work weekends.”
“I’ll pay double.”
Margo looked him in the eyes. Eyes that were icy pale blue, almost silver, and too intense to focus on, except they were set in a chiseled face with a square jaw and the most disarming smile.
Her fees were already pretty high. What could possibly be so urgent that he’d pay twice what it was worth?
She glanced around the room. Big open space and pristine beige walls. Sleek leather furniture. Glass, metal, and a zebra-skin rug. And staged for a cover shoot.
What was the deal? Was he desperate to erase the memory of a girlfriend? It was more than possible with the combination of those low-slung jeans, gray T-shirt showing off broad shoulders and flat abs, and that close-cropped blond hair. He towered over her, and she was taller than average. Yeah, it was definitely possible. Or maybe a new ladylove he had to please? She raked her gaze over him. Nah. He wouldn’t need a new paint color for that.
She sighed and thought of the student loan she had yet to pay off. If she prepped the walls that evening, she could probably get the painting done by Monday. “All right. But I’d have to start tonight and come back early Saturday and Sunday.”
His shoulders relaxed. “Not a problem. I can be here.”
“Have you chosen the paint color?”
“No, but it has to be blue.”
“Yes. Pale blue, gray-blue, dark blue, I don’t care. Just as long as it’s blue.”
She shrugged. “Okay then. I’ll bring over some paint chips later and you can choose. You’ll have to make a decision tonight, so I can stop on my way tomorrow to pick it up.”
“I can do that. And I’ll invite some of my buddies over to move the furniture.”
“That would be great. Just push everything to the center of the room. I can cover it with plastic.”
Trace nodded. “Thank you for this. I really appreciate it. I’ve heard you’re the best.”
She smiled. Charm and good looks. He’ll go far. “You’re welcome. I’ll finish the job next door and come back at about seven.”
“Works for me. See you then.”
Linda has been writing romance novels for three years and sincerely thanks Debby Gilbert at Soul Mate Publishing for the ultimate encouragement to her writing - with the leap to publishing. She has many titles including Doctor, Mom, and proud Canadian, but "Linda O'Connor - hereinafter called the Author" is one of the sweetest.
Contemporary romantic comedies are her favorite novels to read and write. Linda balances writing with her work as a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic and being a mom to three sons (luckily grown and capable of throwing together a decent meal, in a pinch). She also likes to keep active and cycle, cross-country ski, skate, walk with her husband or dance every day.
Laugh every day. Love every minute.