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2011 RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award Finalist The threatening midnight calls followed Dr. Elena Gardner from one city to another, prolonging her grief. Even worse, they are echoed by the whispers of her own colleagues. Whispers that started after her comatose husband died in the ICU . . . then another mysterious death during her training. When a third happens at her new hospital, the whispers turn into a shout: "Mercy killer!" Why doesn't she defend herself? What is the dark secret that keeps Elena's lips sealed? Two physicians, widowers themselves, offer support, telling Elena they know what she is going through after the death of her husband. But do they? And is it safe to trust either of them with her secret? Soon Elena will find that even when the world seems to be against her, God is for her, if she'll only trust him.
For Dr. Cathy Sewell, Code Blue means more than just the cardiac emergencies she faces--it's the state of her life when the return to her hometown doesn't bring the peace she so desperately needs. The town doctors resent the fact that she's not only a newcomer but also a woman, and the devastating results from one of her prescriptions may mean the end of her practice. As two men compete for her affection, an enemy wants her out of town--or possibly even dead. Cathy returns to her hometown seeking healing after a broken relationship, but discovers that among her friends and acquaintances is someone who wants her out of town . . . or dead. Lawyer Will Kennedy, her high school sweetheart, offers help, but does it carry a price tag? Is hospital chief of staff, Dr. Marcus Bell, really on her side in her fight to get hospital privileges? Is Will's father, Pastor Matthew Kennedy, interested in advising her or just trying to get her back to the church she left years ago? When one of Cathy's prescriptions almost kills the town banker, it sets the stage for a malpractice suit that could end her time in town, if not her career. It's soon clear that this return home was a prescription for trouble.
Dr. Anna McIntyre's life was going along just fine until someone else started living it. Her patient died because of an identity mix-up, her medical career is in jeopardy because of forged prescriptions, and her credit is in ruins. She thought things couldn't get worse, but that was before she opened the envelope and saw a positive HIV test with her name on it. Her allies are two men who are also competing for her affection. Dr. Nick Valentine is a cynic who carries a load of guilt. Attorney Ross Donovan is a recovering alcoholic. The deeper Anna digs to discover who's behind the identity thefts, the higher the stakes. Finally, when her life is on the line, Anna finds that her determination to clear her name might have been a prescription for trouble.
What happens when the race to stop a lethal bacteria becomes a race to stop a killer? Dr. Sara Miles' teenage patient is on the brink of death from an overwhelming, highly resistant infection with Staph luciferus, known to doctors as "the killer." Only an experimental antibiotic, developed and administered by Sara's ex-husband can save the girl's life. But potentially lethal effects from the drug send Sara and her colleague, Dr. Rip Pearson, on a hunt for hidden critical data that will let them reverse the effects before it's too late. What is the missing puzzle piece? And who is hiding it?
When Dr. Mark Baker and Nurse Kelly Atkinson are held at the mercy of a dangerous gunman, the lives of every emergency room patient are at stake. At the end of the evening three men are dead. One of them is a police officer who couldn't be saved despite Mark's best efforts. The other two are members of the feared Zeta drug cartel. Though the standoff is over, the killing is not, because when the drug cartel loses its members, revenge is not far behind. Facing an adversary whose desires are dark and efforts are ruthless, Mark finds himself under suspicion as a killer, yet still a potential victim. When he turns to his high school sweetheart, attorney Gwen Woodruff, for help, Kelly helplessly looks on, as she hides her own feelings for the good doctor. At the height of the conflict, three questions remain: Who is the shooter? Who will the next victim be? And can Mark prove his innocence before the gun turns on him?
Joanna Trapp found adventure serving in France as a "Hello Girl" for the Army Signal Corps, but she still mourns her doughboy sweetheart killed in battle. Returning to Hot Springs, Arkansas, she takes a job as a switchboard operator at the Arlington Hotel and quickly discovers that after her experiences overseas, civilian life proves dull. Thomas Ballard still regrets he was medically ineligible to serve in the war and feels inferior to those who did, especially his war-hero brother, Gilbert. When Thomas finds himself attracted to Joanna, he strives to match her adventurous spirit, when all he really wants is to settle down, raise a family, and earn respect as a successful businessman. As romance blossoms, can two such different people learn to accept not only their own but each other's God-created individuality . . . or will love change them both?
Crippled both physically and emotionally by his war injuries, First Lt. Gilbert Ballard struggles to find himself again in civilian life. After breaking his engagement to Annemarie Kendall, he has found solace in the arms of Mary McClarney, a spunky Irish immigrant nurse he met at the Army and Navy Hospital in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Yet Mary's love for Gilbert goes unreturned. If it's not Gilbert's insane jealousy over his former fiancée's new marriage, it's his addiction to pain killers and gambling that thwarts Gil's own happiness. Worse, Gilbert's mother, Evelyn, continually reminds him of what he lost when he pushed Annemarie away. Under Evelyn's critical eye, Mary fights to believe in her worth, wondering if she will ever be enough. As Mary longs for the day when Gilbert will finally let go of the past and learn to love her as she loves him, she realizes that the only way to open Gilbert's heart is to whisper her goodbyes . . . and pray God will bring them back together.
Annemarie Kendall is overjoyed when the armistice is signed and the Great War comes to an end. Her fiancé, Lieutenant Gilbert Ballard, is coming home, and though he is wounded, she is excited to start their life together. But when he arrives, her dreams are dashed when she learns Gilbert is suffering from headaches, depression, and an addiction to pain killers. This is not the man she had planned to marry. After serving in the trenches, Army Chaplain Samuel Vickary is barely holding onto his faith. Putting up a brave front as he ministers to the injured soldiers at the hospital in Hot Springs, Arkansas, he befriends Gilbert and eventually falls for Annemarie. While Annemarie tries to sort out her confused feelings about the two men in her life, she witnesses firsthand the bitterness and hurt they both hold within. Who will she choose? Will she have the courage to follow her heart and become the woman God intended her to be? As the world emerges from the shadow of war, Annemarie clings to her faith as she wonders if her future holds the hope, happiness, and love for which she so desperately longs.
Graphic designer Natalie Pearce faces the most difficult Christmas of her life. For almost a year, her mother has lain in a nursing home, the victim of a massive stroke, and Natalie blames herself for not being there when it happened. Worse, she's allowed the monstrous load of guilt to drive a wedge between her and everyone she loves--most of all her husband Daniel. Her marriage is on the verge of dissolving, her prayer life is suffering, and she's one Christmas away from hitting rock bottom Junior-high basketball coach Daniel Pearce is at his wit's end. Nothing he's done has been able to break through the wall Natalie has erected between them. And their daughter Lissa's adolescent rebellion isn't helping matters. As Daniel's hope reaches its lowest ebb, he wonders if this Christmas will spell the end of his marriage and the loss of everything he holds dear.
In the final story of The Inn at Shining Waters, Anna Larson's granddaughter Sarah is beginning to find her independence. But her relationship with her parents suffers as a result and she travels away from all that is familiar. While the solace of the river calls Sarah back, surprises await upon her return. Three generations of family heartbreak and disappointments converge at Shining Waters as Sarah finds God right in the center of it all.
Anna Larson's daughter, Lauren, is confused, brokenhearted, and misguided. It's the turbulent 1960s and, feeling alienated from her mother, Lauren chooses to stay with her paternal grandmother. However, repelled by the woman's manipulative and spiteful ways, Lauren returns to her mother, the river, and the Inn at Shining Waters. There, Lauren begins to appreciate the person her mother is becoming--and she loves the river. However, romantic interests throw a wrench into the works and Lauren, jealous and angry, returns to her grandmother yet again. But as time passes, Lauren, now a mother to her own defiant teenager, faces a new crisis--one that puts the entire family at risk.
Following her mother's funeral, and on the verge of her own midlife crisis, widow Anna Larson returns to the home of her youth to sort out her parents' belongings, as well as her own turbulent life. For the first time since childhood, Anna embraces her native heritage, despite the disdain of her vicious mother-in-law. By transforming her old family home on the banks of the Siuslaw River into The Inn at Shining Waters, Anna hopes to create a place of healing--a place where guests experience peace, grace, and new beginnings. Starting with her own family . . .
The day Sadie Thompson finds her high school student, Lexie, asleep in class and can't wake her is the day she realizes how entrenched a prescription drug ring is in her school. As Sadie is pulled into doing something about the growing problem, she becomes involved with Ethan Stone--a Texas Ranger who suspects the drug ring reaches far beyond the high school. Helping Lexie recover from the overdose, Sadie feels she is making a difference--until the 16-year-old's best friend dies from the apparent mixing of various prescription drugs. Lexie doesn't think her friend took her own life, but her relationship with her Uncle Ethan is precarious and she doesn't know if either he or Sadie will help her discover the truth.
Texas Ranger Brody Calhoun is with his parents in west Texas when an unexpected attack injures the brother of Rebecca Morgan, Brody's high school sweetheart. The local sheriff, a good friend, asks for Brody's help. At first, it seems like an open-and-shut case. As Brody digs deeper, he realizes the attack may be related to an organized crime trial Rebecca will be overseeing. With Rebecca's help, he compiles evidence involving cattle rustling, bribery, and dirty payoffs that shatter the entire community and put Rebecca directly in the line of fire. Brody expects to protect her. What he never expects is to fall for Rebecca all over again, or for a murder to throw the case wide open. Is Brody's faith strong enough to withstand not only deep-rooted corruption and cattle rustling, but also love?
A serial killer is targeting illegal aliens in southern Texas. Texas Ranger Cody Jackson is paired with a local police officer, Liliana Rodriguez, to investigate the murders. While the case brings Cody and Liliana ever closer, the tension between Americans and Mexican Americans heightens. As Cody and Liliana race to discover who is behind the murders and bring peace to the area, what they uncover isn't what they expected. Will Cody and Liliana's faith and love be strong enough to survive the storm of violence?
When a teenager goes missing from the Beacon of Hope School, Texas Ranger Wyatt Sheridan and school director Kate Winslow are forced into a dangerous struggle against a human trafficking organization. But the battle brings dire consequences as Wyatt's daughter is terrorized and Kate is kidnapped. Now it's personal, and Wyatt finds both his faith and investigative skills challenged as he fights to discover the mastermind behind the ring before evil destroys everyone he loves.
Rochelle Keim has lived in Pinecraft for almost twenty years among her Mennonite brethren and the Amish of Sarasota. Unlike the snowbirds who visit Pinecraft from the north, Rochelle is a year-round resident of the unique Plain community. She's quiet, content, and keenly adept at keeping her past firmly tucked away. Feeling unsettled as she nears her fortieth birthday, she decides to return to nursing school, a dream she gave up long ago during a painful time she dares not remember. Her past decides to make itself present when Silas Fry, Rochelle's former love, moves to Pinecraft. Silas spent the past two decades working as a missionary pilot, but that all changed with the sudden loss of his wife, Belinda--Rochelle's childhood best friend. Now both Rochelle and Silas are on a collision course with their past, and the reunited couple must decide if they're trying to resurrect a dead romance, or if the two very different people whose paths have crossed can make a new life together.
Betsy Yoder lives with her great aunt in Sarasota's Pinecraft neighborhood, far from her family in Ohio. Heartbroken by a man who left her--and the Order--to marry someone else, Betsy instead pours her time and energy into her bakery, offering the village of Pinecraft delicious desserts from her Amish heritage, and is content in her hard-working yet peaceful life. Enter the formerly Amish Thaddeus Zook, a pastry chef who has moved to Pinecraft after working in restaurants among the Englisch. While Betsy nurses a hesitant heart, Thaddeus shows a similar hesitancy about rejoining an Amish community. Though neither can deny the attraction between them, Thaddeus is hiding a past that could threaten their future together. Betsy has lost one love already; dare she risk loving another who has adopt Englisch ways? Or will Thad listen to the call of the open road and move on again . . . without the love of his life?
Amish widower Jacob Miller believes it was a mistake to visit the Amish village of Pinecraft for winter vacation, especially after his daughter is struck by a car. Stranded in Sarasota until his daughter recovers, Jacob grows increasingly wary of events that unfold in his unfamiliar surroundings--including the strange curiosity of Englischer Natalie Bennett. Natalie never thought her circus career as an aerial silks artist would end with a blown-out knee at the age of 25. She also never knew her late mother had a secret--that she was once Amish. When Natalie meets the Millers at the Sarasota hospital, she is attracted to their warm hospitality and simple ways--and soon wonders if they can help her find her mother's family. As Jacob and Natalie fall in love, their worlds collide. Will their differences tear them apart? Or will their love be strong enough to blend their clashing cultures?
Kelly Frost, a textiles conservator, is invited to the Massachusetts coastal town of Fairhaven to restore the centuries-old Mariner's Compass quilt. But there is one stipulation: she must live and work in Grey House, a former whaling captain's home, where the quilt is stored. There she meets Tom Silva, the caretaker of Grey House, whose heart seems as hard as the rocky Massachusetts coastline. Over the long-lit months as Kelly works to restore the quilt, she is buoyed by occasional afternoon visits from Tom and other Fairhaven town members, and is drawn into their lives. And each night, as she reads stories in a daily journal penned by Mary Grey, she learns details about her newfound community members that help her see that their lives are as vivid and interwoven as the quilt pieces she is working to restore. But, when Kelly discovers a truth about Tom's heritage hidden in the journal, she must decide if keeping the past to herself is the only way to ensure the hope of a future with Tom.
When unspeakable tragedy leaves young Eli an orphan, two families are devastated. But Taylor, Eli's aunt and legal guardian, vows to help him remember his parents by creating a Memory Quilt. As she begins piecing together the moments of his parents' lives, the story of the young family emerges and Taylor and Eli begin to heal. But Eli's uncle Reece is slow to let go of the past and still blames Taylor's brother for his sister's death. So, although he has long been attracted to Taylor, Reece keeps a safe distance away. Can their shared love for Eli pave the way to forgiveness or will Taylor and Reece be separated by pain?
On a steamy spring morning, Dusty Parker--part-time pastor, part-time search-and-rescue team member, and full-time administrator of a school for troubled boys--joins the search for a missing teenage girl. He partners with volunteer and inner-city school teacher Grace Sinclair, and what they find bonds them in ways neither could have expected. As they begin to build their lives together, a visitor from the past causes Dusty and Grace to further open their hearts and home. But a threat is looming on their seemingly perfect lives and in one terrifying night, everything changes.
Highly skilled Search and Rescue (SAR) team leader, Honor Mackenzie, works almost as hard at guarding the dark secrets of her past as she does when training SAR dogs. As for widowed Sun reporter Matt Phillips, not even his former SAR work is as important as protecting his ten-year-old twin boys. When a jumbo jet crashes outside Baltimore one cold night, their respective jobs put them face-to-face at the grisly scene--and force Matt and Honor to reconsider the difficult decisions that resulted in their long-standing "single forever" status. As Matt tries to come to terms with his feelings for Honor, he gets word that she hasn't reported in since starting the search for a missing child. Reverting to his SAR training, Matt leads the search team as a vicious winter storm bears down on the area. Will he find her in time? And if he does, will they find their way back to each other or go back to living life alone?
Minutes before two jumbo jets changed U.S. history, New York police officer Austin Finley ignored the call from his brother, who'd been bugging him for days. Trying to live with his one regret causes hatred and bitterness to consume Austin, and when counselor Mercy Samara recommends desk duty, Austin resigns. Haunted by her own memories of 9/11, Mercy takes a job as a school counselor in Baltimore. When Austin, now an EMT, responds to an emergency at Mercy's school, both are stunned and wary. Finally their common--and painful--memories turn suspicion into friendship, then romance. But hard questions linger: Can they truly move beyond their past harsh judgments and harsh words? Will their past finally bring them closer or--as the tenth anniversary of 9/11 draws near--drive them farther apart?
When Laney Carrigan sets out to find her birth family, her only clue is the Hawaiian quilt--a red rose snowflake appliquéd on a white background--in which she was found wrapped as an infant. Centering her search on the Big Island and battling fears of rejection, Laney begins a painstaking journey toward her true heritage. Kai Barnes, however, is determined to protect the people he's come to regard as family. He thinks Laney is nothing more than a gold digger and blocks every move she makes toward her Hawaiian family. As their conflict escalates, it puts at risk the one thing that Kai and Laney both want most--a family.
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