The Doctor's Fake Fiancée

By: Victoria James

“Dr. Evan,” Mrs. Jacobs huffed, lunging forward and forcing him to back up a step. Eunice Jacobs was probably the only person in Red River who called him Dr. Evan instead of Dr. Manning—and the only person to wear a raincoat in sunny weather.

“Good morning, Mrs. Jacobs.” He took another cautionary step backward, needing a healthy dose of space between him and the woman who smelled like rancid garlic. He forced himself to look down at her foot, which she had raised from the ground and was dangling in the air. He stifled his need to curse and grabbed her arm to steady her as she seemed precariously close to losing her balance. Her pink, sparkling sandals were looking more stuffed than a turkey on Thanksgiving.

“I jammed some disinfectant around the nail, added fresh garlic, and wrapped it in gauze. But you need to fix it so that I’ll fit into my stilettos for my wedding next Saturday.”

He bit down on his tongue so hard he worried he cut it. He had no idea how this woman thought she’d ever get those wide feet of hers crammed into stilettos.

“And where is dear old Sheila?” she continued. “I had much to discuss with her this morning!”

Evan cleared his throat. “It seems she planned a vacation and decided it was time to retire.” He coughed. “Today.”

Mrs. Jacobs frowned. “That doesn’t sound like Sheila. And she had confirmed she was coming to the wedding. Hmph.” Mrs. Jacobs plunked herself down on a chair with a massive sigh. “Now I do have to apologize in advance that I won’t be able to stay and have a little chat. Lots to do these days; it’s wedding time!”

Jeez. This was small-town family practice. Chats? There were no chats with the doctor. No wonder Chalmers could never keep to the ten-minute appointment slot Evan had tried pressing Sheila to convert to. No, Chalmers had people booked in twenty-minute slots. Twenty minutes with Eunice Jacobs would make him retire early.

He tried to concentrate on the examination of her foot, but his mind was on his current issues. He needed a receptionist. Today.

Tomorrow he could worry about finding a wife.

Grace pulled the key out of her car ignition, and the engine sputtered and coughed until it was completely silent. She said a silent prayer that it would actually start up again and get them home to Toronto. This car was on its last leg, and she knew for certain that she would soon be relying on public transit. Which might be for the best considering the cost of gas these days.

She glanced in her rearview mirror at Christopher, who was still asleep. The three-hour car ride from Toronto to Red River had been filled with nonstop questions, complaints, and one washroom stop. She was partly to blame, because they could have arrived a lot quicker if she’d taken the highway. But she hadn’t been on one since the accident. Instead she’d mapped out a route comprised only of country back roads. It had been picturesque—for the first hour. Then the farms and cows and sprawling countryside had lost their appeal to her four-year-old son.

She leaned to one side and peered through the passenger window at the little white house. It was on a tree-lined side street, downtown Red River. At one time it must have been someone’s home and then converted into an office. There was a white, painted wooden sign perched in an immaculately kept garden bed on the front lawn that read Dr. Chalmers Family Practice.

Grace drew a long, unsteady breath and then glanced at the Spider-Man notepad sitting beside her on the passenger seat. She opened it and flipped through the pages until she reached today’s to-do list. To-Do lists were “her thing.” She made one for every single day, no matter how big or small the day’s events were going to be. Sometimes she added even the tiniest items so she’d feel more accomplished. To-Do lists made her think of her mother—Grace remembered her mother making one every day. A single mom’s necessity, she’d say under her breath.

Grace dug through her crappy bag that was on the brink of self-destruction and felt around for a pen. The only thing she could find was an orange crayon. Good enough.

She studied the remaining items on today’s list:

Drive to Red River

Meet Dr. Manning (don’t act like an idiot)

Give Dr. Manning present (don’t forget Christopher’s gift)

Thank Dr. Manning profusely

Drive home

Job Interview (don’t screw it up)

She crossed out the first item on her list with the crayon. Then she clenched it in her sweaty palm and took a deep breath. This is where she would find Dr. Evan Manning. He was the man who’d saved her and Christopher. It had taken her over a year to track him down, and last week, by some stroke of luck, she’d stumbled across information about him. She’d been at the emergency room in Toronto General, because Chris had sprouted a high fever in the middle of the night and she’d rushed him to the hospital. The doctor who’d treated him for a double ear infection was asking about the scars on his body, and she ended up telling him about the car accident and the mystery man who’d saved them. As luck would have it, the doctor was a colleague of Evan Manning and knew all about Dr. Manning’s heroics that day. The doctor told her Manning was temporarily working in his hometown of Red River.

▶ Also By Victoria James

▶ Last Updated

▶ Hot Read

▶ Recommend

Top Books