TITLE: Cutting To The Chase
AUTHOR: Stephanie Morris
AUTHOR URL: http://www.stephaniemorris.webs.com
GENRE/THEME: Contemporary Interracial Romance
PUBLISHER: Sugar and Spice Press
RELEASE DATE: July 18, 2009
URL TO THE BUYING PAGE: http://www.sugarandspicepress.net/index.php?main_page=product_info&...
EXCERPT RATING: PG-13
Ashley Bennett is a physical therapist burnt out from the job because of all of the rich, spoiled patients she has had to put up with. She moves back to San Angelo, TX to be closer to her family and friends. She has made enough money to live comfortably for a little while until she decides what she wants to do. Unfortunately things don’t go as she planned. Upon stopping by the hospital where she started out in physical therapy, she runs into her old mentor. While there her help is enlisted for a patient who needs her expertise. When she finds out the new patient is Christopher Morgan, her world is sent into a tailspin. She and Chris have a history. They have been friends since the age of five and she had kept a secret from him. It is a secret that could rock the foundation of their friendship. She is in love with him.
Christopher Morgan feels like he is having the worst luck in the world lately. His mother is an awful meddlesome matchmaker distracting him from being able to find the woman of his dreams on his own. It only gets worse when his horse training session goes awry and he ends up in the hospital. To top it all off he is told his new physical therapist is Ashley Bennett, his childhood friend and woman he has secretly been in love with for years. He had no idea she was back in town but now that he does he doesn't plan to let her go.
When she reached the room, she took a few deep breaths before knocking on the door.
“Come in,” a gruff and groggy voice called out. She relaxed a little bit because she didn’t recognize the voice. Stepping into the room she noticed that the heavy drapes were drawn closed, and she could hardly see. She looked back to the bed and realized that she couldn’t see his face at all.
Something in her gut told her it was Chris, but she had to be sure. She had the right to know before she went forward, even though she was not sure how much of a difference it would really make.
His head turned toward her, and it was almost frightening. He seemed to be looking straight at her. She could feel his eyes.
“It is afternoon?”
She nodded. “Almost evening.”
He turned away. Did he recognize her? Had he even really seen her? He must not have since he didn’t give any indication. His next reply confirmed that he had. “I didn’t realize that I had been here this long.”
“How long have you been here?”
He exhaled heavily. “Three, maybe four days. They rushed me straight into surgery once I arrived, and since then I haven’t been able to keep up with the time or days. What I would like to know is when I am going to get out of this hell hole.”
The husky timbre of his voice overshadowed the harsh words he had just spoken. She would know that voice anywhere. A shiver went down her spine. Shaking her head she pulled herself together. A clear head was going to be the only way she would help him. Resolving to find out once and for all if it was Christopher, she walked over to the curtains. With a flick of her wrist she pulled the drapes open, but she remained facing the curtain.
“I had those curtains closed for a reason,” he growled.
“You always did like the dark, didn’t you, Christopher?”
She heard his sharp intake of breath, and when she turned to face him, she noticed his body had stiffened in shock, and his face matched. Hers was probably not as evident because she’d had the chance to get used to the idea. Though the fact that she was standing in front of him, the man that she hadn’t seen in two years, was still a little disconcerting.
“Well, aren’t we Mr. Sunshine?”
She saw him close his eyes and shake his head as if to clear it. Maybe he felt like it was a dream and needed to be certain. When he opened his eyes again, she was still standing there.
“Ashley, what are you doing here?”
“I was just asking myself the same question. All I did was stop by to speak to my old mentor, and he referred you to me.”
“This has to be a mistake,” he whispered, disbelief evident in his tone.
He raised the bed a little, and she took that as a good thing. The shock that had been apparent on his face was starting to subside, but not completely. She was in the same boat as he. It was hard to believe she was standing here in the same room with Chris after she thought she would never see him again. His dark blue eyes still brimmed with the passion and life they always had when he looked at her. He was a distracting and very sexy man to the point it simply amazed her. Being so close to him was the nerve-racking experience it had always been. Better yet, she had just agreed to take him on as a patient. Yes, I have definitely lost my mind.