Love in Scrubs Book 1
by AJ Renee Genre: Contemporary Romance
From the author of the St. Fleur series comes a fun tale of finding love in the emergency room.
The single life had been treating Hazel Rivera better than she’d anticipated. With no one to report to, she did as she pleased, which included if and when she’d have a man in her bed. She felt no shame in satisfying her own needs, but when toy-play goes wrong, she earns herself a visit to the emergency room.
Squirming in pain, the last thing she expected was to find a sexy nurse assigned to her room. She could lose herself in a man like him—sinful eyes, full lips, and a kindhearted attitude—but before she can catch Joshua Bradley again, she’s sent home.
When life hands them a second chance, will they risk their hearts?
“What brings you in tonight?”
“I’m experiencing a burning sensation…” I say, still debating how to get the right words out.
“Is it in your chest?”
I shake my head. “No.”
“Well okay. How about you give me your info, and we’ll have you checked in so you can be seen?”
I nod and give her my name. She asks me a series of questions which I answer quickly, doing my best not to squirm. I extend my arm, and she puts a band around my wrist with my information.
The burning is worsening with each passing minute. I imagine little creatures hanging out around a bonfire inside my vaginal cavity before I breathe in deeply through my nose.
“You okay, Hazel?” she asks, seeing my pain.
Shaking my head, I lean my elbows onto the counter.
“I’ll be right back, hon, and we’ll have you sorted,” she says and disappears the way she came.
Looking around the room, hoping to distract myself from the growing pain, I see the furniture looks newer. A TV is on in the corner, its volume nearly muted as infomercials play. My eyes catch sight of the clock, where I see it’s nearly one in the morning.
“Rivera?” a nurse asks from my left.
“Follow me and we’ll get you into triage.”
We walk down a long hallway, and I hear beeping from a few machines. Rustling and murmuring comes from a room we pass, and I get a glimpse of a patient being tended to. The nurse helps me into a bed and does my vitals. Before she finishes, a man rolls in a computer and asks a variety of insurance-related questions.
Throughout this process, they ask me numerous times why I’m here. Their posture calms when I tell them my heart and head feel fine. The burning sensation causes me to suck in air, my nostrils flaring with each pass.
“Hazel Rivera?” a deep voice asks. I haven’t heard this voice yet tonight, and my eyes pop open and meet sin. His are dark pits, promising naughty things—things which wouldn’t leave me burning and wondering if my vagina will ever recover.
It was just my luck to have Mr. Sinfully Gorgeous treat me for my flaming pussy.
Love in Scrubs Book 2
Being stood up for a first date was the last thing on Ava King’s mind. Yet Mr. Wrong opened the door to Mr. Sexy, who’s already sitting next to her at the bar. One drink becomes two, and going against her own code, she goes home with the charming stranger.
Waking in Jason’s foreign bed sends her into a panic, and she escapes before any morning-after awkwardness can ensue.
Can fate bring them together again to see if their chemistry transcends one steamy night of passion?
“I’m new to town,” he says, and I zero in on his lips. They’re lush, kissable, and inviting. Will they be soft?
“Welcome?” I ask stupidly. “I’m sorry, I mean welcome to town.” I need to get my shit in order.
He chuckles, his face softening with his amusement. The sound is seductive and vibrates along my skin. He’s affecting me, and I can tell he’s not trying. Holy shit, if he put work into it, I’d be a puddle on the sticky bar floor. Sucking in a breath, I bring my cosmo to my lips and take a drink, needing a moment to gather my wits.
A woman steps between us with her back to me, cutting him off. “Hi, handsome.” She purrs, and my brow rises toward my hairline. “What’s your name?”
Jason finds me over the woman’s shoulder. He’s both apologetic and surprised. My second drink arrives then, and the bartender shakes her head with disgust and walks off.
“Here you are, Ava—baby,” he says leaning closer to me and attempting to avoid the woman.
She turns in the small space and looks between us. “Oh, is this your sister?”
Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with this woman? If I was on a date with Jason, I’d light into her. Would I really? Okay, I’d be seething, much like I feel right now. This woman has dismissed me entirely. There are plenty of men milling about, and she’s picked Jason for her next snack.
“No, she’s not,” Jason says. “I’m sorry, but I’m not available.”
Her face darkens before she huffs a breath and leaves us.
“Not available?” I press the new drink toward him, but his hand rests on mine. It’s soft, large, and warm. A little zing of awareness makes my heart stutter and I take note of the way he watches me.
He shakes his head. “Not for her, no. Please, enjoy the drink.”
Whatever I see behind his eyes I can’t identify, but it’s enough and I nod. His hand returns to his drink, and once again I’m left watching his throat work as he swallows. It’s a simple physical reaction to drinking, but it has my full attention.
He smirks and turns toward me, aware I’m staring. “So, Ava… do you always come to a bar by yourself?”
My face warms and I shake my head. Glancing around the bar, I note there are a few more customers than when I arrived. “No, I was supposed to meet someone.” I peek at my watch and see Henry’s now almost twenty minutes late. Sighing, I lift my cosmo and finish it.
“Dumbass,” Jason mutters, and my head turns toward him.
He coughs, choking on his drink. “Sorry, I didn’t mean you. The guy. He’s a dumbass if he stood you up.” When he says “you,” he takes his fill of me. It’s a quick one, but my body perks, and I force myself not to preen at the attention.
What the hell is wrong with me? I’m not that woman. I don’t go to bars and meet men. Hell, it’s been forever since I’ve gone to a bar with friends, let alone by myself. Something about this man has me acting out of sorts.
I sip from the new drink before nodding. “Yeah he’s a dumbass all right. He’s not even my type.”
“Then why did you agree?” Jason asks as he twists in his seat. The bar’s stools are bolted to the floor, so his legs brush mine.
I lean back on an elbow and wrap my other hand around my glass as I face him. My knees are now between his, but they don’t really touch. I feel the warmth from him though. He must be like a warm blanket which could keep me comfortable all night long.
With a small shake of my head, I send the dangerous thoughts away. “I agreed because the man wouldn’t stop. I hoped he’d finally see what I’ve seen all along with one date.”
“And that’s what?” Jason’s intrigued and eager for more information. His expression is serious.
“Henry and I have nothing in common past the building we work in. I tolerate the man because he’s a customer, but that’s where it begins and ends.”
“Ouch! You tolerate him?” Jason chuckles.
Covering my mouth, I giggle behind my hand. “Well, it’s the truth. What’s the point in going through all this?” I say, waving my hand around. “I mean, you’re here so what’s the point?”
“Ouch, you’re on fire now, aren’t you?”
“Oh! I didn’t—”
“I’m teasing, Ava. I have thicker skin than that. To be honest, I just moved here and only came in for a drink. The company has been a pleasant surprise.”
I don’t miss the meaning of his words. He’s not wrong. In the few minutes around Jason, I’ve been enjoying myself. There’s no pretense to be someone else. I’m comfortable enough, considering my attraction to him.
Speaking of attraction… Now that we’re facing each other, I can truly admire how handsome he is. It’s no wonder the bar bunny came sniffing around. There’s something about an older man which appeals to my tastes. Maybe it’s because I expect him to be more mature than my peers.
I’d love to label a silver fox as drama-free, but there’s a good chance he comes with baggage.
Wes Love in Scrubs Book Three
Nurse. Mom. Daughter. Natalia Kruze wore many hats, but mom was the role she was most proud of. As a single mom, she couldn’t be everywhere at once, but she had been blessed with a patient son and helpful parents. Dating wasn’t high on the priority list, so it was safe to say it had been years since she’d experienced any kind of electrifying spark from a man.
With her defenses low after missing another soccer game, a patient catches her eye. Sexy and decidedly stubborn, Wes Wilkins succeeds in leaving his ER visit with her number.
Had they finally found the love they deserved, or will they put their dreams second to their kids’ needs?
“Jeremy!” I yell and stare at the pile of clothes next to the hamper.
My eyes narrow on my son’s beautiful face, and I remind myself how much I adore him. “Excuse me?”
I nod. “Were you working on your basketball skills and failed?”
Jeremy looks from me to the pile I’m still pointing at. “Oh.”
I exhale with exasperation. “Look, honey, we need to work like a team. Please clean up. I need to get you to school so I can start my shift. Don’t forget I won’t make it to today’s game. I’ll be home right after, so grab a ride with Mrs. Sanders if Grandma and Pops aren’t there.”
After kissing his temple, seeing as I can no longer reach the top of his head, I rush to plate the breakfast I threw together for us. This is my life. It may not have turned out like I dreamed, but I wouldn’t trade Jeremy in for the world.
I was a young mother at twenty-one—not quite a teen pregnancy but still hard. Jeremy’s father decided rather quickly fatherhood wasn’t for him and left us the moment two lines appeared. Thankfully, my parents stepped in and helped us. I managed to finish my Bachelor of Science in nursing with their assistance. I can’t count the number of times I showed up to class with spit-up on me. I’m sure if they swabbed my clothes in one of my labs, they would have found all sorts of new-mother fun.
After fourteen years of doing the parenting gig on my own, I can safely say it’s still a challenge. Dating is rare, and my parents are still around to help. I don’t ask for a lot of help now that Jeremy is older, but they still have us visit often.
Jeremy runs into the kitchen, backpack in hand, and picks up the fork on his plate. In a matter of moments, the plate is devoid of the eggs and toast I put on it. My kid looks up at me and to the stove, looking for the pan I already put in the dishwasher. “No more?”
“Grab a banana. We gotta go,” I tell him and toss my wallet into a small bag.
He grunts and carries his plate straight to the dishwasher without rinsing it. I sigh but don’t say a word. Over the years I’ve become better at picking my battles, and this isn’t one.
When we get to his school, we exchange “I love yous,” and I pat his thigh good-bye. When he leans over and hugs me, I smile. Squeezing him, I enjoy the rare treat of a teenage hug at school.
My next stop, after watching him walk up the steps, is coffee. Thursday mornings are my designated java pick-up days. I rattle off four different orders and drive the last few blocks to work once I have them.
“Thank God!” Jenna cries and plucks her order from the carrier.
“One of those mornings?” I ask and set the rest on a table.
“One word. Puberty.” Jenna drinks a healthy gulp of joe.
I nod and lock up my things. “Gotcha. I’ll be missing yet another of Jeremy’s games if it makes you feel any better.” Jenna shoots me a meaningful look. She may not be a single mom like I am, but she misses her own share of activities. “Well, here’s hoping today is an easy one.”
Later that evening, I look at the clock and sigh. Jeremy’s game is halfway through by now, which means my guilt is high and I’m almost through with my twelve-hour shift. I hate missing so many of his games. These are moments I know I can’t get back. It hurts the worst when I see understanding in Jeremy’s eyes versus anger or frustration.
He’s a great kid. He does well in school, gives me very little attitude, and is talented in sports. I’m hoping if he keeps it up, he can earn a scholarship for college, but we have a few years left to really worry about that.
“Hey, stop that!” Jenna scolds.
“Stop what?” I ask and set down the marker I was using.
Jenna waves her hand around my face. “That. Honey, I know you hate missing his games, but he understands, so quit beating yourself up about it.”
“That’s the problem, Jenna.” I sigh. “He’s only a boy. He shouldn’t have to be this understanding about all the games I miss.”
“No, he shouldn’t, but life isn’t fair. You’ve got a great kid, girl. No matter what you think, you’re doing really well by him.”
“Natalia?” Kara, another nurse on shift, calls out.
“You’ve got a live one in room one.”
I nod and squeeze past Jenna who pats me on my back. “On my way.”
Pulling up the patient’s admittance tab on the computer, I read the notes and frown. Forty-year-old male with testicular pain. Walking down the hall toward the triage room, I sift through my knowledge of all the possible things responsible for testicular pain.
Once I learned I was having a boy, I put in extra focus into male anatomy and physiology. I was determined to keep my boy safe and healthy to my best ability. This thankfully helped me tackle those not-so-fun talks about puberty.
Any other words centered around good bedside manners blank in my brain the moment our eyes meet. Crap.
His crew-cut hairstyle highlights his strong jaw. A light smattering of hair grows along it, and my hand itches with the need to see if it will feel soft or rough along my palm. His jaw twitches, and I find a sheen of sweat on his brow. The pain reflecting in his hazel eyes pulls me back from my fog.
I clear my throat and hope I’m not blushing. “What brings you in this evening, Mr.—”
“Wilkins. Call me Wes. I don’t suppose there’s a male nurse on staff?”
My brows knit at his tone. “Sorry, there’s not,” I say. “What’s bothering you that a female nurse can’t help you with?”
“No, it’s not—” He attempts to sit up, and he grunts in pain.
I move to his side. “Lie back down,” I tell him gently.
“S-sorry. Don’t mean to be an ass.”
Concern fills me at his words and the way his eyelids lower in pain. “Talk to me. There’s no reason for you to suffer any pain. I assure you I can help even if I don’t have the same parts as you.”
“Definitely don’t have the same parts,” he mumbles. He draws in a deep breath and clears his throat. “My testicles hurt, and they’re swollen.”
“Okay, did you sustain an injury to them?” I ask reassuringly.
He looks away, and his words are too soft to hear.
I place my hand on his shoulder, and a weird sensation travels up my arm at the contact. He turns toward me, and I see he felt whatever just happened. “I can’t help you if you don’t talk to me,” I say, ignoring the strange event and removing my hand.
“I had a vasectomy yesterday.”
“Okay.” I think of common complications that could occur with the procedure. “Swelling and discomfort are common in the first forty-eight hours—”
His lips pull into a hard line. “It looks like I have three testicles.”
My eyebrow raises. “Three?”
“Okay. We’ll look at it in a second. What have you done in the last twelve hours?”
His eyes dart away again, and I realize whatever he’s been doing was not what his doctor ordered. “Come on, fess up. If your testicles are this swollen, you weren’t lying down and resting like I’m sure your doctor ordered,” I say in my mom voice.
“I was at my kids’ baseball game…”
The way he says it leaves me thinking there is more. “Mhmm… sitting on the stands?”
He shakes his head. “No, coaching.”
“I see. Did anything happen, since I expect you weren’t sitting in a chair relaxing while you coached?”
“One of the boys fell. I, um, helped him up, and that’s when I stumbled in pain.”
“I don’t suppose you coach toddlers?” I ask, knowing he’s going to say no.
“Definitely surpasses the ten-pound weight restriction.”
His eyebrows snap together. “Look, I wasn’t going to miss the game!”
I raise my hands in the air. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean any offense. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve been here all day, and I missed my son’s baseball game tonight. One of many.” I whisper the latter and turn away. “I’ll go see if the doctor is available to perform your exam.”
“Wait!” he calls out when I reach the door.
I stop but don’t face him. I can’t. If I do, he’ll see the tears forming. I’m never this short with my patients. I chalk it up to my emotions after missing out on another event in Jeremy’s life.
After a moment, he apologizes and I walk out. This handsome stranger has pressed more conflicting buttons than I care to admit. Ignoring the fact that a man hasn’t managed to fluster both me and my lady bits in… well, ever, he’s a patient and therefore off limits.
AJ Renee is the author behind the St. Fleur series, Beauty Unmasked, Winter's Surprise, Surviving Paris, Finding Love at the Falls..., and Kylie: Crossing Lines. She's a military wife and mother to three young girls. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with her Master of Science in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology while working at the library.
She loves to write steamy romance with suspense and a happily ever after. When she isn't writing or interacting with her readers, you can find her spending time with her family or reading. AJ enjoys traveling, researching family history, and all things New Orleans.
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Hi everyone! Well, first off, I’m a mom of three young girls and wife to a military man. Becoming an author was never something I wanted, I’d been perfectly happy reading all the books. I know it’s weird since most authors have wanted to be an author for as long as they can remember. I suppose I’ve always been a writer, but I never considered myself one. I used to write poetry during those God-awful teenage years. Then one heart wrenching day my best friend died way too young and with no husband or child to call her own. A few months into my grief an idea popped in my mind and I couldn’t shake it. My debut novel, Widower’s Aura, was the outcome of my grief. I gave her the happily ever after she rightly deserved but never got in her lifetime. Writing this novel opened a creative part of me I didn’t realize I had. I found myself needing to know about the secondary characters and now three years later, almost to the day, I’m releasing my fourteenth story.
If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
Wow, this is an easy answer but kind of gut-wrenching. I post a quick message onto my Facebook page thanking everyone for all their support. I’d then draw up the important usernames and passwords for my husband. Once I’d completed both of those tasks, I’d close my laptop and call my parents and siblings. With that out of the way I’d spend each remaining second with my girls and husband. I’d focus on each breath from their tiny body’s and their scents as I smothered them each with my love. I’d want to leave this world knowing that my family knew without a doubt the depths of my love for them.
(And thanks, now I’m crying like a little baby at the mere thought of doing this.)
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I love spending time with my husband and kids. We watch movies and play games. My husband and I enjoy playing cards and games like the Hogwarts Co-op board game. Recently we had friends over, and I got a chance to play Ticket to Ride Europe Edition for the first time and I can’t wait to do it again. Seriously, we love hanging out and playing games. Our indoor storage closet is bursting with various board games.
If we aren’t watching movies and playing board games, you can find us playing video games. I enjoy Gears of War 3, Uncooked, Mario Games, Tetris, etc… The one game they haven’t sucked me into is Minecraft. Although they did pull in Grandmama. HA!
What are some of your pet peeves?
Let’s talk toilet paper…over or under? It makes me crazy to see the paper under. I’ve even fixed it while I’m out, whether I’m at a friends home or in a public bathroom. I’ve heard various arguments for each, but I can’t even argue for it like that. It should just be over, end of story. I’m weird about it, I guess for certain things I like it my way and get a bit stubborn about it.
Another pet peeve I have is shoes inside the house. I didn’t grow up with this rule, but now when I go home to my parents, I take my shoes off at the door and carry them to our room or set them aside. I started this practice before I had my girls mostly because I wanted to keep my house clean longer. No one likes to clean and if it helped keep the dirt at the door woohoo! As time progressed, I realized there were more important reasons to keep the ick out. For example, I was recently asked to help a friend out with the trash cans since they were out of town. When I moved one there was a pile of maggots under it. Gross! Want to gag and run gross. Well I stomped them into oblivion because no one needs that in their life. I scraped my shoes along the grass and cement on the way home. No matter how many times I did that lets face it, my shoe had maggot guts on the bottom. If I didn’t have the shoes off policy in my house I’d be transferring those guts over the carpet and floors. Yeah, no thank you! There are so many nasty things we track into our homes via our shoes and while I’m in no way perfect I know I’ve minimized that for my family.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
My St. Fleur series in general would be great for movie format. The characters are down to earth and funny. The suspense would play out well over the speakers and the sexy scenes would be hot on the big screen.
How to find time to write as a parent?
This can be different each day and/or year for me. I’ve found time to write during naps, or on the couch while they watched TV. I’ve even woken up at 4:30 a.m. to squeeze in time before everyone wakes and needs things. I’ve attempted writing at night when they go to bed but found by then I was done. My brain had hit exhaustive levels, but I know plenty of authors who do it this way. This year my youngest starts kindergarten so I’m hoping I can work out a schedule that works so I’m done before they get home.
What inspired you to write this book?
This series in general came to mind after watching the Discovery Channel show, Sex sent me to the ER. We’ve all heard of plenty of cases involving foreign objects in the rectum but there are some other crazy stories out there. I didn’t want to go too far out from the realm of romance, but I loved the idea of finding love in the ER. This was a fun set of novellas to write.
Who designed your book covers?
I designed these covers. I’ve loved photography since I was in high school so scouring images on stock photo sites while at times painful, can be fun when you find the right image for the characters you’ve created. I have editing software and use it to create an appealing cover. In this case, I wanted attractive males over a blue that made me think of the color of scrubs.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Some of my characters have traits from real people I know or have met. Mostly the characters are a mashing of traits that make them act a certain way. In Widower’s Aura one character is modeled after my friend as it was my way to keep her image alive in literature.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
HA! These characters almost always hijack the story. I start off with a general idea of where the story is going but most of the time, they drive it with what they say or do. I don’t know that I could write if they didn’t take control. They make it more fun this way.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
My story is awesome that’s why… nah I’m kidding.
Not all readers should read all authors and that’s perfectly okay. If you like sweet and sexy reads that make you laugh and feel, then I’m for you. I write the kinds of stories I enjoy picking up to read. I know my limits. While I enjoy historical romances, I know they aren’t my strong suit and that’s okay.
I love to make readers laugh and swoon. My books will also make you blush and tear up. My characters are real, and their struggles are real. Life is filled so many ugly things and I want to create a world for you to take your mind off all of it.
The St. Fleur series will transport you to a small town with real problems and real people that is filled with culture, love, friendship, and the kind of family you find with people you choose. The Love in Scrubs series is perfect for beachside or poolside reads. Do you need something to transport you for a short time while you juggle all those summer activities? These characters can do that for you.
I’m proud of the quality story I provide my readers. I refuse to give you a story I wouldn’t read myself. A beautiful cover, a story that flows, and little to no editorial mistakes thanks to my editor’s keen eye.
Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know?'-type tidbits about the author, the book or the writing process of the book.
There is a small piece of me in each story I write. It’s nearly impossible not to do this and I realized with Unlucky in Love how much of me I inserted in Izzy, the main character. Izzy is young and working on her master’s degree. I graduated with my own master’s degree at twenty-two. Some of the experiences Izzy has working in the library are recollections of my own. The lack of experience and immaturity and yet maturity Izzy shows is how I’d been then. Both with direction in life and completely lost because I had little experience.
Without giving away the story I will say that while I didn’t personally experience Izzy’s horrifying dates, I couldn’t make them up either. They are my own retellings of bad dates people I know have gone on.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I do love to read romance and it’s 99% of what I do read. If it sounds good to me, I’ll give it a shot. I’ve read contemporary, historical, taboo, m/m, bdsm, and a variety of other subgenres.
Outside of romance I’ll read books on celebrities or things revolving around ghosts/psychics/metaphysical nature. On the rare occasion, I’ll pick up a book about true crime.
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