Daddy’s Precious Patient

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A woman on the run. A doctor in distress. Can they save each other?

Four innocent lives, devastated by violence and loss, randomly cross after an unimaginably cruel act leaves her teetering on the brink of madness.

Dr. Gavin Minchin is on two weeks compassionate leave from the Metro Dora Hospital Emergency Room, after a tragedy leaves him reeling. His plan to recuperate at his friend’s beach-side shack for a few days is disrupted when he finds a woman on the side of the road. Taking her with him, and unable to rouse her, he has to administer the most intimate of first aid. When she finally wakes, she has no memory of the preceding hours.

Unable to resist the attraction of this mysterious, brash, yet fragile and vulnerable woman with whom he has an immediate, deeply emotional and sexual connection, Gavin is convinced that he can find his own healing through helping her solve her mystery. As the shocking truth is revealed, Gavin claims her as his precious patient and vows to protect her, but the evil working against them might yet prove too strong even for Doctor Daddy.

This is book two in the Claimed by Daddy series and can be enjoyed independently.

Publisher’s Note: This contemporary, insta-love romance is intended for adults only. It contains elements of mystery, suspense, action, adventure, sensual scenes, medical play, potential triggers for some readers and mild power exchange. If any of these offend you, please do not purchase.

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Sample Chapter

Leaning forward over the steering wheel, she squinted out into the tunnel of light created by the headlights. She hated driving in the country at night. Nocturnal wildlife emerging from the bushes was hard to see until the car was upon it, and animals confused by the unexpected brightness behaved dangerously and unpredictably. Her unruly mind played movies of all the potential disasters: hitting an animal and killing it, not killing it but badly injuring it, crashing her car as she tried to avoid it and killing herself, not killing herself but being trapped, maimed, alone for hours or days or forever.

Her foot eased off the accelerator; she couldn’t risk an accident by driving fast in the dark. But being late could be worse. According to the dashboard clock it was 7:20 p.m. She had forty minutes, which should be enough, and arriving early wouldn’t get this ordeal over with any quicker anyway.

Anxiety and dread constricted her chest and bloated her stomach. She was terrified. But that was the point of this malicious charade. The fingers of her left hand stopped tapping on the steering wheel and reached across to her handbag on the passenger seat. They would find no cigarettes there. She’d stopped smoking eight years ago, but a remnant muscle memory itched in her fingers and they clawed at her bag before admitting it was futile.

She looked at the clock. 7:25 p.m. Switching on the radio, she scanned the channels for any in range. On the first of the only two accessible, a falsetto with a speech impediment over a thrumming drum machine told her life was for ‘dancing and trancing’. Trancing? Ugh. Happy music felt too much like another slap across the face or punch to the gut anyway. She tried the other one. A melancholy lady with a tearful twang declared the misery of living with a man was bliss compared to the misery of living without one.

“No,” she yelled aloud, banging the off button. Her palms were clammy and her shaking hand slipped as she replaced it on the steering wheel. Pressing a button on the door next to her and lowering the passenger window, she let in a blast of night air, but it was colder than she’d expected. It chilled her lungs and took her breath away. Clamping her mouth tight to quell the chattering of her teeth, she closed the window, turned up the heater and checked the time.

7:30 p.m. In just over half an hour, she would be on her way home. She wouldn’t be there longer than ten minutes, and less if possible. Maybe two minutes. She’d obeyed the order to come; she wasn’t doing anything else—no matter what. Then it would be over. Until next time. Please, dear God, don’t let there be a next time. I’m not sure I can take any more.

Outside, the tall trees had given way to low bushes and scrubby country as the road reached the coast. She slowed as she approached a T-junction and, seeing no lights in either direction, turned right and headed north toward the isolated beach to which she’d been summoned. As the road veered even closer to the ocean, the outlines of sand dunes were visible in the light of the rising moon. At least the sky was clear and the moon almost full. She would not be in total darkness, and she’d brought a torch as well as her phone.

She glanced in her rear-view mirror at the bundle in the middle of the seat behind her: a change of clothes, a thick jacket, a warm blanket, and a lunch box with peanut butter sandwiches, an apple, a chocolate bar and a flask of hot chocolate. Her heart ached with anguished longing. He must be frightened, confused and cold. What kind of a monster could be so cruel? And how could that evil have been any part of creating such innocence, sweetness and goodness?

Calculating she was nearing the designated turn-off, she scoured the roadside for a track down to the beach. One disappeared between the dunes, then another, but the one she sought had a marker: a small wooden sign, nailed to a post beside the road, bearing the word ‘Covington’ in red paint. According to the directions, it was twenty-five kilometres beyond the T-junction, and her odometer told her she had come twenty-three. She slowed the car down to fifty kilometres per hour, then to forty, then thirty as she neared the twenty-five-kilometre mark.

As the car slowed, her heart rate quickened, exacerbating the growing tightness in her chest and belly. What if she couldn’t find the meeting place? What if this was another act of cruelty and no sign existed but she was going to spend hours searching for it in the dark? No. No. No. She repeated the word over and over, as though it were a magic mantra capable of protecting her from the manifestation of her worst fears. It couldn’t be a lie, a trick. Hadn’t the last week of loneliness and worry been enough? She must find the sign. She must be waiting when they got there. She had to rescue him. He needed her and she needed him. Desperately. Her battered, broken, crushed heart couldn’t take any more. He kept her alive and gave her life meaning. She would take him home and this time keep him safe forever, no matter what.

Covington. The sign appeared out of the darkness, its blood-red paint glimmering in the headlights. Her relieved Thank God filled the car as she expelled a stale breath and allowed her grateful lungs to draw in a fresh one. She braked until the car was barely moving and turned off the road onto the track. The wheels slipped on loose sand. Please don’t get bogged. Inching the car forward and picking out the firmest parts of the track, she followed it as it cut its way between two dunes before curving behind the one on its right. It stopped just above the beach and widened into an open, flat area where visitors, mostly fishers and surfers, could park or turn around.

Facing her car toward the beach, she switched off the engine, closed her eyes and gave herself a second to enjoy a rare sense of achievement – she’d made it this far, and on her own – before bracing herself for the next challenge. Not expecting to be long, she decided to leave everything but the torch in the car rather than risk losing any of her possessions in the sand. Her phone had no reception anyway, so she dropped it with her car keys into her bag, took the torch out and shoved it into her pocket, and stowed her bag under the passenger seat.

The icy wind blasting off the ocean was so strong she struggled to open the door, and the air so cold once she was out she shivered despite her thick jacket, jumper, long warm tights, woolly socks and boots. She switched on her torch and flashed it in each direction. She was alone on an isolated moonlit beach.

Cold joined the fear, anger, and hatred churning through her. Her stomach heaved and, for a moment, she thought she was going to vomit, but she swallowed hard and kept it down. She couldn’t fall apart. Not for her sake, she didn’t matter, but she had to stay strong until she got him to safety.

Steeling herself against the icy, salty wind stinging her eyes and matting her hair, she trudged across the sand towards the sound of wild waves hitting the shore. This was madness. A new thought revived her panic. Was it a lie, a trick, after all? Had she been lured here to be murdered on this deserted beach? There was no one to come to her rescue, and it might be days, weeks even, before anyone found her body, or her car, hidden as it was from the road.

She paused, wondering if she should leave as fast as she could? Or had the monster been telling the truth? And, if this suffering and misery were punishment, would it be deemed sufficient? Would they be allowed to leave unharmed?

She tucked her hair down into her jacket and pulled the hood over her head, her ears already throbbing from the cold wind drumming into them. She knew she should keep moving to stay warm, but her body was shaking and her legs threatening to collapse as she plonked herself on the sand facing the sea. She pulled her knees up and hugged them to conserve warmth. She should have brought the rug with her, but hadn’t and couldn’t summon the will to fight her way up the slope to the car to fetch it.

Staring out across the dark ocean split by the silver light of the moon, her eyes searched for anything that wasn’t water, her ears strained to hear anything that wasn’t the crashing of waves. The sea whipped into a frenzy by the wind was as cold, as violent, and as cruel as her tormentor. Bile rose up and burned her throat and mouth as she shivered on the sand. She closed her eyes tight. Please, let him be safe. Don’t let any harm come to him.

When she reopened her eyes, a dim shape had appeared behind the waves further down the beach. Her heart leapt. He was here. In a few moments, he would be ashore and she would bundle him into her car and get him home and they would be safe. For tonight.

She rose to her feet as fast as her frozen muscles and joints could manage, and lumbered towards the object. It seemed to be a small launch moving parallel to the land. She forced her legs into a stilted jog. It was too big to come ashore. It would have to stop and anchor so its passenger could be ferried ashore in a dinghy. Her eyes squinted into the moonlight in case he was already coming, but she couldn’t see a second craft. She shone her torch but the beam died a few metres across the waves.

Oblivious to the agony, she pushed her aching legs onward, stumbling on the uneven sand, her lungs burning from exertion and cold air, but she couldn’t make up any ground. The boat was as far ahead as ever. She waved her torch to signal her position, but no answering flash reassured her she’d been seen. She laboured on, leaving the car further behind. She wondered if she’d come in on the wrong track. Perhaps she was supposed to take the track after the sign, or two or three or four tracks after. Doubt and panic snarled her insides as she tried to keep going, to keep the boat in sight, to catch up to it.

At last, with no idea how far she’d come or how she could go any further, she saw the boat swing to face the beach and edge closer to shore. Glancing towards the dunes, she spotted what might be a track. So, she had come in at the wrong place. Her tired, frozen face managed to break into a shaky relieved grin and she slowed to a walk. It would take them a few moments to lower a boat and row to shore. She still had to endure the terror of him coming through the waves and then it would be over.

Her gaze returned to the boat the instant it was lit up by a flash so bright it stung her eyes. The accompanying explosion unbalanced her, momentarily knocking the breath from her body and toppling her onto the sand. Scrambling into a kneeling position, she stared in disbelieving horror at the red, yellow and orange flames dancing on the water. The acrid smell of smoke wafted into her nostrils as her mouth opened wide in an anguished scream which rose from her toes, forging itself right up through her body and splitting her face as it burst forth.

She crawled towards the burning boat, ready to fight her way through the freezing, turbulent water to save its precious cargo. Another small explosion stopped her. The boat lilted, its stern dipped, its bow rose, and it disappeared into the black water accompanied by the hissing of doused flames.

It was gone, and she was left staring at an unsympathetic ocean that had already forgotten the boat was ever there. Mesmerised, she watched the waves rushing to the beach, tumbling over each other, spraying her and rushing away. Her jacket afforded some protection from the salt water spraying over her, but her tights were damp and her face burning. She closed her eyes and shut her mind.

Awareness of how cold she was brought her back. It was ridiculous kneeling here, freezing in the dark, and she had no idea why she was. She searched for an explanation. Unable to find one, she stood up and forced her frozen legs towards the dunes. Reaching the edge of the beach, she turned and made her way parallel to the sea until she found a track leading to the road.

Her hands were frozen into fists, her head ached, and her legs were so numb she could only be sure they were still attached to her body because she was moving. She needed help before she got any colder. She would get to the road, flag down a passing motorist and ask for a lift home. Her heart lightened at the thought of home. A niggle told her she was forgetting something, but she was too cold, too tired and her head hurt too much to try and remember. Later would do. First she needed a hot bath and dry clothes to get warm, and she would eat, too, and have a hot drink.

With thoughts of a warm, snug home and a bed to crawl into keeping her occupied and giving her hope, she dragged herself along the last bit of sand and out onto the road. Across from her was another road joining it to form a T-junction. Excellent. There were three directions from which a car could come. That help was bound to arrive any moment was her last thought before her legs crumpled and she pitched forward into a senseless heap.

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1 review for Daddy’s Precious Patient

  1. Stats23

    Right from the first few chapters you knew this was going to be a very complicated story-line with lots of angst and even more excitement. Exploding boats are not nearly as explosive as the relationships in this Doctor Daddy story with heavy domestic abuse overtones. Gavin is the Doctor Daddy and Les is the abusive husband, and never have two men been such polar opposites. Please be advised that there are heavy triggers here, especially for anyone who has been involved in a real life domestic abuse situation. This fast paced story will keep you engaged throughout the good and the bad. The good, however, is very good and the HEA is extremely heartwarming. A must read. 5 Stars
    I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

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