by Jean C. Joachim
Genres: Contemporary Romance
*Pug rescue is a recurring theme in The Manhattan Dinner Club series. The author’s experience as a volunteer convinced her of the importance of saving dogs. To promote this cause, she has included website addresses for about 80 pug rescues across the country in the back of each book.*
While walking her pug in Central Park, Rory Sampson is run down by a bike. She presses charges against arrogant biker, Dr. Hack Roberts, veterinarian. Horrified at the surprising sentence from the judge, Hack plans revenge, only to find himself attracted to the sharp-tongued, soft-hearted writer, who rescues pugs. Will he ignore a previous commitment and go with his true feelings or will he guard his heart?
The judge turned the tables on Rory, thrusting the unwanted, smug Dr. Roberts into her life. Wary after a breakup, she protects her wounded heart from the handsome doctor with a barrage sarcastic come-backs, designed to keep him at arm’s length. Does she remain aloof or will loneliness force her to give in to her desires?
Meet the members of the Manhattan Dinner Club, four women, all pug owners, who meet for dinner once a week. This is the first book in the series.
“Baxter! Stop!” Rory screamed. Shoving Bruce aside, she raced full speed after the pug. In her mad dash, she didn’t see the bicycle traffic whipping around a curve and speeding down the hill. She pounced on the dog right before a bike crashed into her, sending her and Baxter flying.
Rory landed hard on her arm. Pain shot through her body, freezing her. A loud yelp told her Baxter was injured as well. She tried to catch her breath, her gaze searching for her pet. She spied him nearby, spread out flat on the pavement. He was still breathing. “Baxter,” she called.
A crowd began to gather. A pair of concerned, dark brown, male eyes stared into hers. “Are you hurt?” he asked.
“No, idiot brain. I’m fine. Does it look like I’m fine?” Attempting to push to her knees from the pavement, she grimaced and let out a moan. A long scrape on her leg was bleeding, her shoulder ached, and gravel was embedded in her thigh. Tears clouded her eyes.
Bruce raced over. “Rory, you okay?”
“Baxter looks like he’s hurt worse than I am.”
A patrolman appeared and asked Rory if she needed an ambulance.
“I already called,” Bruce piped up. The wail of a siren in the distance drew closer.
“This numbskull was doing sixty, I swear,” she said, pointing to the tall, brown-eyed man.
“That’s ridiculous. I wasn’t doing sixty.”
The policeman turned to him. “Sir, can you confirm your speed?”
“There’s no posted speed limit for bikes. I did kind of lose control around that curve.”
“Kinda?” Rory muttered. She lay back down on the ground.
“I.D., please.” The officer put out his hand. The man handed over his driver’s license.
“Dr. Hanson Roberts,” the cop said, writing in his pad. “A member of the real estate Roberts family?” He looked up at the doctor.
“Yeah. A ticket? What for?” Dr. Roberts shifted his weight.
“Reckless biking, speeding, causing bodily injury to this young woman.”
Rory gave a half-smile. “Serves you right. What about my dog?” She turned worried eyes to Baxter, who lay still, whimpering.
“I’ll take him,” the doctor said.
“Over my dead body…which you almost have…”
“I’m a vet…”
“I don’t care if you were in Afghanistan…”
“A veterinarian. Hack Roberts,” he said, extending his hand.
“A vet? Save him.” She ignored his offer to shake.
“Without x-rays, I can’t tell the extent of his injuries, but he’s awake and alert.”
“Dr. Roberts, you’ll have to take some responsibility for this young lady…what’s your name, miss?”
“Aurora? What an odd name,” muttered Hack.
“Oh? Like Hack is normal?” she replied, hostility oozing from every pore. Bruce tried to help her up, but she crumbled under the pain.
“Miss Sampson, I’m giving you his contact information. He’d better make good on these injuries. My card, in case he doesn’t. I’m considering criminal charges, Doc. You can’t speed like that in Central Park. You messed her up.” The patrolman gave Hack a dirty look.
“Officer, would you mind helping with the dog?” Hack asked, looking away.
“Where are you taking him?” Rory asked. When the ambulance drew near, the siren drowned out his words.
He whipped out a business card and handed it to her. “Here’s the address. Call later to find out how he’s doing.”
“She’s going to be in the hospital, you jerk,” Bruce said.
“We’ll keep him until you can get him. Hey, I’m sorry about this.”
“Yeah? Sorry and a Metrocard’ll get me on the subway.” She turned an angry stare toward him. Before she could continue her diatribe, the EMTs approached. She answered their questions, craning her neck around them to watch Hack and the policeman as they picked Baxter up carefully and put him on the patrol car’s backseat. Her eyes, blinking back tears, connected with Hack’s as the car drove away.
“Want me to go with you?” Bruce asked. He combed her hair back from her forehead.
Rory shook her head. I wanted you to love me. But you don’t. Don’t drag this out. One sharp pain, and it’s over.
About the Author:
Jean Joachim is a best-selling romance fiction author, with books hitting the Amazon Top 100 list since 2012. She was chosen Author of the Year in 2012 by the New York City chapter of Romance Writers of America. The Renovated Heart was chosen Best Novel of 2012 by Love Romances Café, Lovers & Liars was a finalist for Best Novel of 2013 by Love Romances Café.
Her series, Hollywood Hearts was a finalist for Best Series of 2013 and Megan Davis and Chaz Duncan (from If I Loved You) finaled as Best Couple, 2013 by Love Romances Café. The Marriage List tied for third place from Gulf Coast RWA Chapter and, most recently, Lovers & Liars was selected as a 2013 Reader’s Crown Finalist in Contemporary Romance by RomCon.
Jean has over 27 works of fiction published. She prefers to write series. Find her books at all retail online sites, read about them on her website: www.jeanjoachimbooks.com.
Married and the mother of two sons, she lives in New York City with her family. Early in the morning, you’ll find her at her computer, writing, with a cup of tea, her rescued pug, Homer, by her side and a secret stash of black licorice.
Connect With The Author:Giveaway:
Win a $5 Amazon GC on the Rescue My Heart Romance Tour & Giveaway! This giveaway will run 1/6/15 – 2/3/15. Open worldwide.