A sea change could be just what the doctor ordered.
Doctor Scott Penney used to be a Paediatric Oncologist—until he burned out. Watching children suffer and die took its toll on his mental health. To cope, he used anonymous sex as an emotional crutch, thinking it was better than hitting the bottle. But that inevitably destroyed his relationship with the man he loved.
With his tail between his legs and a year’s worth of celibacy under his belt, Scott accepts a position as an Accident and Emergency consultant, leaving his career in oncology and London behind.
Ben Jenkins is a paediatric nurse who loves his seaside city, his job, and his faithful old Labrador, Happy. When he meets the new doctor, Ben falls for Scott’s kind-yet-reserved personality—not to mention his good looks. Scott is great with the children who come through the hospital, but Ben senses there’s more to Scott than meets the eye.
Scott tries to resist Ben’s sunny charm—Scott’s not boyfriend material, after all—but it’s impossible not to fall in love with the sad looking old dog and his charming owner. As Scott and Ben get closer and the weather heats up, tragedy strikes and Ben is left wondering how much of Scott’s history he actually knows.
For them to move forward, Ben must show Scott that no matter what happened in the past, a beautiful day can always start after the sun sets.
This can be read as a standalone
available only on KU
“HAVE YOU got him?” I asked after we manoeuvred Happy into the right position. When Scott nodded, I said, “Okay. After three.” I took a deep breath. “One. Two. Three. Lift.”
Once Happy was in the bathtub, Scott stood and stretched. “He’s bloody heavy.”
I looked at my dog, who stood in warm water up to his hindquarters, his sad brown eyes imploring me to hurry up and wash him. “He is. Do you mind helping? We can get him clean quick then head out for dinner.”
“Sure. Show me what you want me to do.”
I attached the shower hose to the bath tap, then handed it to Scott. “Let’s get him rinsed off first, then we’ll start the fun stuff.” I turned it on, Scott holding the nozzle away from Happy until the water ran warm, then he ran the spray over Happy’s head and back. Happy just stood there, soaking up the warmth of the water. Once most of the dirt and sand was washed away, I squirted some dog shampoo along Happy’s back.
We worked in silence. I washed the front while Scott washed the back half, and every now and then our fingers would brush when we met in the middle. I pretended not to notice, but I could feel Scott’s gaze on me before he focussed on Happy once more. I tried to ignore the ache in my chest.
When Happy was clean, I pulled the plug, letting the brown, dirty water wash down the drain. “Right. Looks like we’re ready for a rinse off.” I turned on the tap and again handed the nozzle to Scott. “If you could make a start, I’ll get the towels and hairdryer ready.”
While I got Happy’s old bath sheet from the cupboard in the hallway, I could hear Scott talking to him.
“You’re liking that, aren’t you, boy? Like getting all clean, huh? But if you keep licking my face, I’m going to need a bath too.”
By the sounds of it, Happy was swishing his tail in the water, probably making more of a mess.
“Can you just… Aww, come on, Happy. I can’t rinse your butt if you insist on sitting on it.”
I tried not to laugh, but Scott’s tone was adorable, even if he sounded a little frustrated when Happy refused to stand up for him.
“You are seriously the most stubborn dog I’ve ever come across.” More splashes and the sound of the water spraying up the wall. “Damn it. There is no point wagging your tail and licking me while I’m trying to get the soap off. Stop that, would you? Fine. Have it your way. Your bum is going to stay soapy.”
Leaning against the door jamb, I grinned at a wet Scott, Happy licking his face and wetting him with every wag of his tail.
“You’re a happy thing, even if you do look like someone ran over your first born.”
“You’ll give him a complex if you’re not careful.” I laughed. “Here.” I dumped the towels and hairdryer on the toilet lid then held my hand out for the shower head. “This is how you rinse his bum.”
Scott moved to the side of the tub, giving me access to Happy’s rear end. I turned off the hot tap, then shoved the now cold water under his bottom. Happy stood quickly. After turning the hot water on again, I finished the rinse.
“Your dog’s soft in the head.”
I turned and smiled at Scott, a rush of warmth running through me as our eyes met. Scott’s lips quirked a little, and a slight blush coloured his cheeks before he looked away.
Scott is a huge mess. He had a ridiculous childhood and probably should have been taken away from his parents. He overcame that mess and made something of himself as an oncologist. He’s extremely passionate about that field but it eventually wore on him. He didn’t handle the death and destruction of cancer well and basically self-destructed. Closing himself off and switching fields is the only way he knows how to claw his way out of the mess. He’s a wonderful doctor and a really great guy once you get past his barriers and can overlook how he handled his meltdown.
Ben is happy go lucky and full of life. He loves being and emergency nurse and is great at his job. He’s a natural caregiver and is perfect for Scott (if he’ll just let Ben close!). Ben has his work cut out for him if he wants a life with Scott but quickly finds that Scott is worth it.
I love these two together when they figure things out. Ben is so patient and is exactly what Scott needed. All characters get their HEA (even the cheated upon ex). This is a somewhat heavy read but the angst is pretty low. I love that there are no miscommunication even though the potential for it existed. The epilogue was their perfect ending.
Also in the series:
RJ started as a reader and eventually made the progression to reviewing. It wasn’t until two men popped into her thoughts, insisting on telling her their story that she started to write. It started with one scene. A hot and dirty one in the shower.
RJ’s initial thought was if she could write their scene then they’d shut up and allow her to concentrate on other aspects of the day. That shower scene was 3000 words long and three hours of work. But they didn’t shut up. They told her their entire story and she didn’t sleep for days. Sometimes she couldn’t keep up with what they were telling her and she had to keep a notebook by the bed.
Whilst RJ was writing their story a side character decided he needed his story told too. Then other characters followed suit.
You see the problem? If RJ ever wants to sleep again then she needs to write.
RJ is a wife and a mother to two boys. Even her dog is a boy.
She is surrounded by males.
RJ writes emotionally charged, character driven romances. Her guys will always get their HEA, but it will never be easy.
Where to find her:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/robyn.j.jones.1711
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Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
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