OVERFLOWING WITH PASSION and suspense, this mouthwatering romance by a master storyteller starts with a bang -- literally. Rory Sampson, dog walker and aspiring writer, is mowed down in Central Park by an oblivious hunk on his bike -- Hack Roberts. Smug, hostile and holier-than-thou, he tries to pin the blame on Rory. But a Judge delivers an unorthodox sentence, angering both parties.
Seeking revenge, Hack finds himself too vulnerable to Rory’s voluptuous charms – despite having a fiancée. Wary after a break-up, she protects her wounded heart with a barrage of sarcastic come-backs as they each struggle to squelch the sizzling chemistry that threatens to turn their lives upside down.
Will loneliness and frustration force her to settle for the hot and heavy attentions of her ex, Mr. Not Quite Right? Confused, and tormented by desire, Rory seeks the comfort and advice of her four smart, sassy girlfriends, The Monday Night Dinner Club.
With more ups and downs than a Six Flags Coaster, RESCUE MY HEART is the first in the Manhattan Dinner Club Series.
Read an excerpt:
“Baxter! Stop!” Rory screamed. Shoving Bruce aside, she raced full speed after the pug. In her mad dash, she didn’t see the bicycle traffic whipping around a curve and speeding down the hill. She pounced on the dog right before a bike crashed into her, sending her and Baxter flying.
Rory landed hard on her arm. Pain shot through her body, freezing her. A loud yelp told her Baxter was injured as well. She tried to catch her breath, her gaze searching for her pet. She spied him nearby, spread out flat on the pavement. He was still breathing. “Baxter,” she called.
A crowd began to gather. A pair of concerned, dark brown, male eyes stared into hers. “Are you hurt?” he asked.
“No, idiot brain. I’m fine. Does it look like I’m fine?” Attempting to push to her knees from the pavement, she grimaced and let out a moan. A long scrape on her leg was bleeding, her shoulder ached, and gravel was embedded in her thigh. Tears clouded her eyes.
Bruce raced over. “Rory, you okay?”
“Baxter looks like he’s hurt worse than I am.”
A patrolman appeared and asked Rory if she needed an ambulance.
“I already called,” Bruce piped up. The wail of a siren in the distance drew closer.
“This numbskull was doing sixty, I swear,” she said, pointing to the tall, brown-eyed man.
“That’s ridiculous. I wasn’t doing sixty.”
The policeman turned to him. “Sir, can you confirm your speed?”
“There’s no posted speed limit for bikes. I did kind of lose control around that curve.”
“Kinda?” Rory muttered. She lay back down on the ground.
“I.D., please.” The officer put out his hand. The man handed over his driver’s license.
“Dr. Hanson Roberts,” the cop said, writing in his pad. “A member of the real estate Roberts family?” He looked up at the doctor.
“Yeah. A ticket? What for?” Dr. Roberts shifted his weight.
“Reckless biking, speeding, causing bodily injury to this young woman.”
Rory gave a half-smile. “Serves you right. What about my dog?” She turned worried eyes to Baxter, who lay still, whimpering.
“I’ll take him,” the doctor said.
“Over my dead body…which you almost have…”
“I’m a vet…”
“I don’t care if you were in Afghanistan…”
“A veterinarian. Hack Roberts,” he said, extending his hand.
“A vet? Save him.” She ignored his offer to shake.
“Without x-rays, I can’t tell the extent of his injuries, but he’s awake and alert.”
“Dr. Roberts, you’ll have to take some responsibility for this young lady…what’s your name, miss?”
“Aurora? What an odd name,” muttered Hack.
“Oh? Like Hack is normal?” she replied, hostility oozing from every pore. Bruce tried to help her up, but she crumbled under the pain.
“Miss Sampson, I’m giving you his contact information. He’d better make good on these injuries. My card, in case he doesn’t. I’m considering criminal charges, Doc. You can’t speed like that in Central Park. You messed her up.” The patrolman gave Hack a dirty look.
“Officer, would you mind helping with the dog?” Hack asked, looking away.
“Where are you taking him?” Rory asked. When the ambulance drew near, the siren drowned out his words.
He whipped out a business card and handed it to her. “Here’s the address. Call later to find out how he’s doing.”
“She’s going to be in the hospital, you jerk,” Bruce said.
“We’ll keep him until you can get him. Hey, I’m sorry about this.”
“Yeah? Sorry and a Metrocard’ll get me on the subway.” She turned an angry stare toward him. Before she could continue her diatribe, the EMTs approached. She answered their questions, craning her neck around them to watch Hack and the policeman as they picked Baxter up carefully and put him on the patrol car’s backseat. Her eyes, blinking back tears, connected with Hack’s as the car drove away.
“Want me to go with you?” Bruce asked. He combed her hair back from her forehead.
Rory shook her head. I wanted you to love me. But you don’t. Don’t drag this out. One sharp pain, and it’s over.
Jean Joachim is a best-selling romance fiction author, with books hitting the Amazon Top 100 list since 2012. The Renovated Heart won Best Novel of the Year from Love Romances Café. Lovers & Liars was a RomCon finalist in 2013. And The Marriage List tied for third place as Best Contemporary Romance from the Gulf Coast RWA. She was chosen Author of the Year in 2012 by the New York City chapter of Romance Writers of America.
Married and the mother of two sons, Jean lives in New York City. Early in the morning, you’ll find her at her computer, writing, with a cup of tea, her rescued put, Homer, by her side and a secret stash of black licorice.