An Apple Away – And The Romance Review’s Sizzling Summer Reads Hint!
Blurb: Aislinn never wants to see another doctor. Their painful and pointless treatments have done nothing to improve her rapidly deteriorating health. She hopes that the staff of Wiccan Haus can at least offer a change of scene, if not a return of a little of her former strength. She’s delighted to meet Punda, a masseuse, on her arrival and charmed by the cottage in the apple orchard where she will stay.
Dr. Hugo Peralta visits the island at the insistence of his boss. The distinguished brain surgeon is in desperate need of a respite before overwork makes him one of his own patients. He is surprised but pleased with the privacy and serenity of his cottage–across the orchard from Aislinn’s. An idyllic location on a magical island where love can blossom–if the Rowans can help the trio save Aislinn from whatever is killing her.
Ebook Price: $2.99
Ebook ISBN13: 978-1-61937-349-5
Excerpt: Most of Hugo’s attention remained on Aislinn. Her expressions flitted across her face, happiness, concern when Harvey talked about how he’d nearly lost his love to the evil—Jenny laughed at that, holding her husband’s hand tight—Sam and his “underhanded tactics.” Before he knew it, dinner, whatever it had been, had come and gone and their waiter was placing dessert before them.
“Warm apple crisp, with vanilla whipped cream.” The waiter stepped back. “From our own orchard.” Hugo frowned, but lifted his spoon. Why was the man hovering?
Aislinn, however, dug right in. “Oh, it’s just delicious! You know, my cottage is right in the middle of the orchard. It’s like a fairy tale…I didn’t know apple trees bloomed and fruited at the same time.”
So, this beautiful and intriguing woman was his neighbor—his sole neighbor—in his hilltop retreat. Interesting.
The waiter was going on about the apples. “Oh, a very special variety, miss. Grows only here on the island.”
“Well, it’s lovely.” She spooned up more of the crisp then sighed and set the implement next to her bowl. “But I don’t think I can eat another bite.”
Hugo ate some of the dessert. Good, but he rarely indulged. His focus was still on Aislinn and his medical side became alarmed as she suddenly paled. “Are you all right?”
She drew a deep breath and stood up from the table. “Oh, I’m fine. A little tired, maybe.” Her thready voice worried him.
“Perhaps we should see if a doctor or nurse….”
“No doctors. Never again.” Her vehemence added strength to her tone and sent an unhappy flip to his stomach. “I-I think I’ll be heading back to my cottage now. It’s been a pleasure having dinner with all of you. I’ll see you tomorrow, I’m sure.”
She took a few steps away and he rose, intending to join her, but a dark, graceful woman arrived at her side and led her over to a table where four people sat. They nodded in welcome and chatted for a few moments before one of them reached into a pocket and pulled out a vial. She tapped it, speaking with a serious expression before handing it to Aislinn. Rising, she gave her a quick hug then returned to her seat.
Aislinn left the room with the dark-haired woman’s arm around her waist. She must be very ill. But what had doctors done to make her reject their care and turn to quackery?
And what the hell was in that vial?
Answer to Sizzling Summer Question: Punda is a Lion shifter!