Authors: Leeanna Morgan
Tags: #romance, #police, #small town, #western, #cowboy, #brides, #nora roberts, #inspirational love, #mystery hospital angel
Montana Brides Series, Book 6
Copyright © 2014 Leeanna Morgan
Published by Rogan Press
For more information visit http://
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters,
and incidents are the
product of the author’s
and are used fictitiously. Any resemblance
to actual events, locales or persons, living or
All rights reserved.
as permitted under the US Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this
publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any
form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system,
without prior permission of the author.
About this Book
Kate Jennings hasn’t seen or heard from her father in
fifteen years. When a genetic fluke makes her a perfect match for
her half sister’s bone marrow transplant, she travels to Montana to
help save her sister’s life. With a new family to meet and old
wounds to heal, Bozeman is the last place Kate wants to be.
Dan Carter doesn’t trust easily. The Deputy Chief of
Police has learned the hard way that everything in life has a
price. When Kate arrives in
he does everything he can to keep her there, even
if it means spending time with a woman who’ll end up taking more
than she’s willing to give.
is the sixth book in the
Montana Brides series. Each of my books can be read as a
standalone. If you would like to know when other books will be
published, please go to my website
and sign up to my newsletter. Happy reading!
Other Contemporary Romances by
(All series are linked)
Book 1: Forever
(Gracie and Trent)
Book 2: Forever
(Amy and Nathan)
Book 3: Forever
(Nicky and Sam)
Book 4: Forever
(Erin and Jake)
Book 5: Forever
(Emily and Alex)
(Kate and Dan)
Forever and a Day
(Sarah and Jordan)
The Bridesmaids Club:
Book 1: All of
(Tess and Logan)
Book 2: Loving
(Annie and Dylan)
Book 3: Head
(Sally and Todd)
Book 4: Sweet on
(Molly and Jacob)
Emerald Lake Billionaires:
Sealed with a Kiss
(Rachel and John)
Playing for Keeps
(Sophie and Ryan)
Book 3: Crazy
(Holly and Daniel)
Book 1: Safe
(Hayley and Tank)
Book 2: Just
(Kelly and Tanner)
(Mallory and Grant)
Book 4: The
(Ashley and Matthew)
For Tim, Connor, and Aimee.
do so I can write.
You are amazing and I love you heaps.
Kate glanced at the crumpled piece of paper in her
hands, then up at the red brick building. Bozeman Deaconess
Hospital stretched out in front of her, ready to swallow her whole
if she let it.
“Are you lost, ma’am?”
Kate looked at the unsmiling cowboy standing
beside her. “I’m not lost. I...” She stuffed the paper into her
back pocket and squared her shoulders. She could do this. She could
walk into the hospital and find her father.
She could slap a smile on her face and pretend the last fifteen
years hadn’t mattered, that she didn’t care if Tom Jennings only
wanted her here because a genetic fluke made her the perfect match
for his eight-year-old daughter.
“Sorry...I was...” Kate looked into the man’s
clear blue eyes. They stayed leveled on hers, steady and calm. For
the second time in as many
she forgot what she was about to say. Except this
her forgetfulness had nothing to do with
why she was here and everything to do with the man standing beside
The last time she’d been this tongue-tied was
when Billy Anderson asked her to marry him. Except Billy hadn’t
cocked his head to one side and waited for her brain to catch up
with her mouth.
“I’m going to the pediatric ward to see my
half sister. She’s sick and I’ve just arrived in town. I live in
San Diego.” She
before any more Jennings’ family history spouted forth. “Thanks for
asking if I need help. I guess I’ll go in now and, well...thanks.”
She rushed past his six-foot denim clad body before he thought she
should be looking for the mental health clinic.
She ignored the heat of his gaze on her back,
ignored everything except what she was here to do. The phone
message from her father said to take the elevator to the second
floor and keep walking until she reached the end of the corridor.
The pediatric ward would be on her right. She couldn’t miss it,
even if she wanted to.
She punched the elevator button, hoping
Tall, Dark, and Handsome
didn’t want to share a ride. She wasn’t capable of making small
talk and he didn’t seem like the type to try.
“I hope everything works out for you,
He took his hat off and Kate stared at his
jet black hair. It curled a little wildly over the collar of his
white cotton shirt, not at all like the buzz cut she’d
expected. And why she’d thought that was
beyond her. Except for the way he moved, he could have been anyone.
By the time he’d disappeared up the stairs she knew what set him
apart. He had a don’t-mess-with-me attitude, a way of being that
a soldier, or someone
who was as far removed from Montana as she was.
She took a deep breath and stepped into the
waiting elevator, preparing herself for what would happen next. Her
father would be waiting for her. His wife and her sister, too. A
ready-made family waiting for her bone marrow.
She couldn’t remember what her father looked
like and that worried her. If he was in the
she might walk straight past him, ignoring him
for the stranger he’d become. The only family photos her mom had
kept were of Kate and her sister Lily. So she’d done what she did
best. She’d spent the first few days after her father’s phone call
searching newspaper articles and whatever else she could get her
hands on. Anything to make her father real, to give her some idea
of what she was coming back too.
But as hard as she’d looked, she hadn’t found
anything. She could have called him and asked for a photo, asked
him about his new family. About his life after he’d left. But
talking to him would start building a relationship and she didn’t
want to go there.
She crossed her arms in front of her chest,
regretting not bringing her tote bag with her. She needed something
to hold onto. Something to stop her hands from trembling and her
head from remembering other hospital visits that had ended in
The elevator came to a smooth stop. It opened
onto a wide corridor painted with rainbows, fairies, and
Bear footprints on the white vinyl floor led
her toward a large orange desk. Machines beeped and nurses moved
quickly from room to room. She hated hospitals almost as much as
she hated her father for divorcing her mom. For leaving her with
nothing except his DNA and a lot of broken promises.
A smiling nurse dressed from head to toe in
purple greeted her at the desk. “Hi, honey. Can I help you?”
Kate stuck her hands in her pockets, feeling
about as comfortable as a goldfish swimming in a tank of sharks.
“I’m looking for Kaylee Jennings’ father. I’m supposed to meet him
here.” There was no point telling her that Tom was her father, too.
It would lead to too many questions. Too much of everything she
wasn’t ready to answer.
The nurse’s smiled slipped. “Let me get
Kaylee’s doctor for you.” She stood and waved Kate across to an
alcove beside her desk. “Have a seat in the waiting room. I’ll be
back in a minute.” Instead of pirates and fairies this area had
been painted like a wildlife safari. Elephants, tigers, and
crocodiles smiled at each other beneath a clear blue sky.
Kate sat on the edge of a bright red chair
and tried not to stare at a little boy drawing a picture in front
of her. He leaned across the table, picked up a yellow crayon and
glanced at her before adding more color to his masterpiece. Apart
from the dark circles under his eyes, his face was as white as the
bandages wrapped around his head. Two thin tubes ran from the side
of his neck into bags of fluid strapped onto a pole beside him. She
glanced back to the nurse’s desk, hoping Kaylee’s doctor wasn’t far
“It’s a beach.”
Kate jerked her head toward the little boy.
He twisted the piece of paper around, pushing
it toward her. “It’s a beach. In Hawaii. Mommy and daddy are going
to take me there when I’m better. And they’re going to take Stacey
too, only she’s a baby and mommy says babies don’t fly too good.
She might cry, but that’s okay because daddy says he’s got
the picture and the little boy. She rubbed her
hands down the side of her jeans and felt a trickle of sweat
between her shoulder blades.
“You ever been to the beach?” he asked.
Numbers flashed on the gray box strapped to
his stand. The machine let out a shrill beep. “It does that
sometimes.” The boy shrugged his shoulders and stood up, pushing a
button on the monitor. “Nurse Julie makes a fuss when it happens,
but sometimes I want to be left alone.” He sat on the floor and
pulled his drawing toward him. “You ever been to the beach?”
Kate glanced back at the nurse’s desk. “I
live by the ocean. On a beach in California.”
The little boy’s mouth dropped open and he
crawled toward her, pulling his pole of drugs behind him. “I’ve
never met no one who’s been to a beach. Even daddy’s never seen
waves and seashells and stuff. What’s it like?”
Big bruised eyes gazed up at her, excitement
mixed with awe as the little boy wiggled closer. If the base of his
pole hadn’t got caught between the table and her chair he might
have landed in her lap.
“The ocean’s big and bright. Kind of like the
blue water you’ve drawn. And it’s almost always warm.” He nodded
his head, soaking in what she was saying like a sea sponge dipped
in the salty waves.
“What about sand? What does it feel
Kate thought about the long walks she enjoyed
on the beach. The times when she felt like the only person alive
with her can of pepper spray and the neighbor’s Rottweiler. “It’s
squishy and cold when the waves wash over it. But when the tide’s
like you’re walking
in a big bag of flour.” It didn’t have the poetic description she’d
hoped for, but the boy at her feet didn’t seem to mind.
“Toby, what are you doing out here?”
They both glanced up. A man with eyes as
bruised as the little boys reached out his hand. “I’m Scott
Hamilton. Toby’s dad.”
Kate wiped her palms on her jeans and shook
his hand. “I’m Kate. Toby tells me he’s going to the beach.”
The smile in Scott’s eyes dimmed. He shook
her hand briefly, staring down at his son with such longing that
Kate had to blink back the tears gathering in her eyes.
“That’s the plan. Have you finished your
“Just about.” He added four stick figures and
turned to Kate, handing her the picture. “This is for you. It’s a
picture of me and my family on the beach. Only Stacey’s standing up
because I don’t know how to draw a baby that’s crawling.”
Kate swallowed the lump that jammed itself in
her throat and stared at the picture. “It’s beautiful. Thanks,