Meant to Be
Southern Heat #2
By: Jenna Harte
Releasing September 27, 2016
Or is she?
Successful New York doctor, Sydney Preston left the only man she ever loved to follow the path that her parents paved for her. When a tragic incident at the hospital threatens her life, Sydney moves to Virginia to rekindle the spark with her ex-fiancé.
But Mitch isn’t interested in reigniting the flame that fizzled out long ago. Will they both allow resentments and misunderstanding spoil their chance of discovering what was meant to be?
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Mitch McKenna cast a suspicious glance at his partner and best friend, Kevin Taggard. “You get laid too much.”
Kevin grinned. “I’m married. It goes with the territory. Besides, is that even possible?”
Mitch laughed. “God, I hope not.” He pulled the unmarked police car into a parking space outside Charlotte Tavern General Hospital. “But it’s a little sappy that every day we have to stop by and see the missus.”
“I know it and I don’t care. Someday you’ll be in love, and you’ll see.”
God, I hope not. Mitch shuddered.
“Besides, there are plenty of hot nurses who would love to find out if the Mitch McKenna reputation for stamina and prowess is true.”
Mitch stepped out of the car, grinning at his friend. “Oh, it’s true.” His smile faded, as he realized Kevin might be right—maybe he did need to get laid. It had been a while. If he’d cared at all about his playboy reputation, he would have remedied the situation. Except he didn’t care. In fact, it bothered him. It suggested that he engaged in one-night stands with women he didn’t know or was cavalier with their feelings. Granted, he kept his relationships with women short, but he was always upfront with them about his position and most accepted it. A couple cried when they hadn’t been able to change his mind. One had keyed “Bastard” into the side of truck.
Mitch’s gaze swung to the feminine coo of Becky Lancer. She might be willing to help him with his sexual dry-spell. He smiled and waved but kept moving. He’d once gone out with her sister, and he knew better than to date siblings.
He and Kevin walked into the hospital and took the elevator to the maternity department on the fourth floor.
“I guess it won’t be long until Jenny is a client here instead of a nurse.” Mitch patted Kevin on the back. He enjoyed razzing his friend about his wife, but deep down he was happy for him.
“A year maybe. Right now we’re just practicing.” Kevin waggled his brows.
Mitch rolled his eyes as the doors opened, and they stepped out into the hall.
“There’s my gal now.” Kevin snuck up behind a dark-haired woman in pink scrubs with rainbows on the shirt and wrapped his arms around her, lifting her off the floor. She let out a squeal. When he set her on her feet, she laughed.
“Great day, baby cakes. You scared the life out of me.”
He gave her a kiss. All in all, it was sappy. It was the same type of stuff he had to endure when he visited his sister, Lexie. Even after nearly two years of marriage, she and her husband, Drake, were sappier than Kevin and Jenny, which was saying something. It was a wonder they didn’t already have a whole brood of kids.
“I’m nearly ready for my break.” She turned her smile toward Mitch. “If you’re tired of feeling like a third wheel, I can snag you a date. There’s a new doctor I’ve been meaning to introduce you to. You can see if the McKenna charm will work on her.”
“I like being a third wheel.”
“No, you don’t, but you’re nice to put up with Kevin and me. She’s really, really nice. She’s been giving me articles and tips and encouraging me to get my midwife certification.”
“You’d be good at that.” Mitch meant it too. She was one of the sweetest, most generous hearts he’d ever met. There’d been only one other person he’d known who he’d thought was as good. He shook his head to rid his thoughts of another sweet, generous woman, who, in the end, turned out to be neither.
“Thank you. I wonder how much longer before Lexie and Drake will need a midwife.” She raised her eyebrows, hoping for gossip.
“I imagine once they start, they’ll need one fairly often.” His sister wanted a whole passel of kids, and Drake would give her whatever she wanted. Mitch thought he’d be a good father, but since having a family was out, he’d settle for being the coolest uncle ever.
All of a sudden, the air around Mitch changed, causing the hair on his arms to stand. It wasn’t the type of sensation that triggered danger, but it was definitely a warning.
“Oh, look, there’s Doctor Preston. She’s the one I want you to meet, Mitch.”
“I don’t need you to set me up—”
“I know that. The whole county knows how easy it is for Mitch to get a lady.” Jenny laughed. “But I still want you to meet her. Doctor Preston?” Jenny looked behind him and waved.
The warning grew more intense until Mitch couldn’t help but turn around and stare right into the beautiful hazel eyes of Sydney Preston.
His heart stuttered in his chest as a wave of conflicting emotions; anger, love, bitterness, joy crashed through him. His first instinct was to leave, which only pissed him off. He’d stared down insurgents in the Middle East. He could survive seeing Sydney Preston. Another, equally strong, part of him wanted to touch her, to hold her close and see if she felt as soft, smelled just as sweet as he remembered. But he wouldn’t succumb to her charm again. Like a steel gate, everything inside Mitch closed.
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