The Doctor’s Christmas Dilemma: An Uplifting Inspirational Romance
by Danielle Thorne
About The Doctor’s Christmas Dilemma
The Doctor’s Christmas Dilemma
Setting – Georgia
Love Inspired; Original Edition (October 24, 2023)
Mass Market Paperback : 224 pages
ISBN-10 : 1335597018
ISBN-13 : 978-1335597014
Digital ASIN : B0BV3479CT
Home for the holidays…
Or home for good?
Once upon a time, Ben Cooper left his hometown to follow his dreams of becoming a big-city doctor. Now he’s back to run his father’s clinic and spend Christmas with his daughter, not to fall for McKenzie Price, the woman who broke his heart. But when McKenzie steps in to help Ben reconnect with his little girl, and old sparks begin to ignite, will Ben give up city life for a second chance at love?
From Love Inspired: Uplifting stories of faith, forgiveness and hope.
Any lingering hope that Ben would change his mind about leaving was dashed—and worse, her heart was crushed because he hadn’t asked her to go with him this time. But why would he? He wasn’t in love with her anymore. That was a lifetime ago. A memory. Instead, he was taking his little girl, whom she happened to love, too. So actually, she was losing both Megan and her father. A piece of her heart and a chunk of her soul. It was all messed up. All wrong.
McKenzie shivered and realized she’d left her jacket at the diner. Rather than dial up the heat, she let her sadness warm her until she pulled into the back of the old auditorium. She slammed the car door after she climbed out and wiped her face with her arm. She needed to be strong. Resolute.
The back entrance was locked, so she walked around the building while trembling in the cold. As she reached for the door to the lobby, she glanced up at the night sky. It was muddled and dark. Clouds were gathering, and there wasn’t a star in sight. The hope of a joyous Christmas had dimmed. Perfectly dismal, she thought. She gave a small hiccup and let herself in. A few stragglers were still wandering the halls or talking in groups. McKenzie made a beeline for the auditorium. One of the school janitors was polishing the floors in the foyer, but he didn’t complain when she pulled open the door to let herself in. He was probably ready to go home to his family.
The giant auditorium was empty. She walked down the aisle to the row where they’d sat but didn’t see a duffel bag. Turning to the heavy curtains, she spotted the bag sitting on the stage, as if someone had found it and knew its owner would come looking for it. She grabbed the bag and walked back to the front row, collapsed in the first seat and then dropped her head back. There weren’t any stars offering hope on the ceiling, either. McKenzie closed her eyes, and another tear streamed down her cheek in a soggy rivulet. She’d lost the job she’d wanted to turn into a career, and the man she’d fallen in love with was no longer in love with her. She swallowed painfully, her mind as thick as mud. She would miss the diner, but it was Ben—who was not only leaving but also taking Megan with him—she would mourn the rest of her life.
It felt like desertion. Like her mother leaving, a person who loved her deep down but needed to go. Like her father’s cold indifference, fueled by a need for more and more and more. Jill had found Tim. McKenzie had found nothing and no one.
For the first time in her life, McKenzie knew she was not okay. She’d forced herself to be independent. Strong. Willing to sacrifice everything to make everyone else happy. But she wanted someone who would give, too, and no one would do but Ben.
About Danielle Thorne
Danielle Thorne writes happily-ever-afters set in the South for Harlequin Love Inspired. A graduate of BYU-Idaho, she also writes stories about Regency ladies, pirates, and not-so-distressed damsels from her home south of Atlanta. Free time is filled with documentaries, too much yard work, and not enough travel. When not writing wholesome romances, Danielle hangs out with friends or chases cats. She enjoys the outdoors and serving in her church and community. Danielle’s been married to the same fellow for thirty years, and has four sons, four bonus daughters, and twin grandbabies.
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