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THE LADY WHO LIVED AGAIN
THE LADY WHO LIVED AGAIN
The Sole Survivor Series #1
Releasing Dec 8th, 2015
Doctor Jace Merrick has fled the failures and futility of city life to start anew in rural Misty Lake. A man of science, he rejects the superstitious chatter surrounding Maddie and finds himself drawn to her confidence and beauty. And when she seduces him into a sham engagement, he agrees to be her ticket back into society, if she supports his new practice—and reveals the details of her remarkable recovery. But when his patients begin to heal miraculously, Jace may have to abandon logic, accept the inexplicable—and surrender to a love beyond reason…
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With a shake of his head, Jace stood, preparing to track the deer. He would find out the truth soon enough, though with a wounded deer, one could never be certain as to how soon that might be. Mrs. Tremont was in dire need of protein. Since the old woman had no husband or sons, Jace would do what he must to provide it.
It had taken only one house call to discover that the duties of the country doctor entailed catering to each patient on a more personal level than was possible with the human wreckage he’d treated at Pittsburgh Hospital. Although his office had yet to open officially, he already knew the hell of the emergency ward—and the endless misery that flowed through its wide double doors—was a stark contrast to a small-town practice. He could make a real difference in Misty Lake, and not just to the wealthy summer visitors. Here he’d have the time to focus on each patient case without the patch-them-up-and-ship-them-out approach of the hospital. The change would be just what he needed to replenish his spirit from the toll of the daily tragedy that had sucked him dry.
Inhaling deeply, he forged past the memory of his internship in the city and the suffocating despair that came along with it. The pine-scented breeze coursed through his senses, anchoring him back to the present. The beauty of his current surroundings lifted his mood. There was nothing like a walk in the woods and reconnecting with nature to remind him that he was alive.
Perhaps if he’d found some comparable diversion from his rote existence in the city, he might have fared better there. Not that it mattered now. He’d made a decision to build a practice in the country, and he intended to succeed come hell or high water. Even so, he knew that, as a stranger, he should expect some initial hostility and skepticism from Misty Lake’s residents. Miss Sutter had merely acted upon the resentment that a lot of her neighbors were nursing privately.
Swatting at a horsefly, he took a few steps in the direction in which the deer had bolted, searching the ground for the blood trail that would lead to his prey. Bloody hoof prints led from the scene. Hunching down for a closer look, he followed the tracks to a birch log, scanning the ground as he moved. “What the…?”
Not a single droplet of blood lay anywhere in the vicinity of the tracks. Had the deer’s wound simply stopped bleeding? He scratched his head, glancing around. The blood flow might have ebbed somewhat, but to cut off entirely without leaving a trace? Preposterous. There had to be a logical explanation. There always was. As a man of science, Jace was curious to know what the devil that explanation was.
He inspected the peeling bark on the decaying log, then saw something flutter on the ground behind it. He reached for the discarded leaf of paper trapped in the weeds. Miss Sutter’s? He collected the thing, then read with interest the letter that was, indeed, addressed to Madeline Sutter.
The past is the past, my dear friend, and you must lay it to rest. Eventually, the town will follow suit.
Who was this strange woman he’d encountered in the middle of nowhere? The woman who refused to attend her friend’s wedding, but had no qualms about dislodging an arrow from a wild animal or ordering a man twice her size off her property?
Madeline Sutter intrigued him, and few women accomplished that feat. Jace looked forward to meeting her again. He glanced toward the path through the field. Locating her residence wouldn’t be difficult. And her dropped letter gave him the perfect excuse to pay her a visit. For the moment, though, he had a deer to track in the opposite direction.
He gathered his things, then headed into the woods. When he returned to town, he would ask around about his latest acquaintance. Whoever she was, he couldn’t wait to find out more.
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A three-time RWA Golden Heart nominee, Thomasine Rappold writes historical romance and historical romance with paranormal elements. She lives with her husband in a small town in upstate New York that inspired her current series. When she’s not spinning tales of passion and angst, she enjoys spending time with her family, fishing on one of the nearby lakes, and basking on the beach in Cape Cod. Thomasine is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Capital Region Romance Writers. Readers can find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter: @ThomRappold.