Kissed by the Country Doc
By Melinda Curtis
Publisher: Harlequin Heartwarming
Release Date: February 1, 2019
Reviewed by PJ
She came to sell a town…
But she found a home
Never in her wildest dreams could single mom Ella Monroe imagine co-inheriting the small town of Second Chance, Idaho—or falling for its curmudgeonly doctor, Noah Bishop. Despite his rough edges and protests for isolation, Noah has her believing in love at first sight again. But when she’s pressured to sell her stake, Ella is torn between family loyalty and following her heart.
I so enjoyed this book! Kissed by the Country Doc launches Melinda Curtis's new The Mountain Monroes contemporary romance series with a fast-paced, delightful story featuring young widow, Ella Monroe and grumpy small-town doc with a secret, Noah Bishop. Both are intriguing, complex characters with whom I felt an almost immediate affinity. I love their banter, they way they challenge one another, and the palpable chemistry they're determined to not acknowledge. Ella's daughter, Penny is a real scene stealer and reminds me a lot of a two-year-old in my own life. I adored her. Another aspect of this story I appreciated is the growth of both Ella and Noah and the fact that Curtis gives them the time to evolve, both individually and as a couple.
Curtis populates her small mountain town with numerous characters I'd like to know better. There are the Monroe cousins who arrive with Ella to scope out their unexpected, and unwanted, inheritance from Grandpa Monroe after being cut loose by their fathers: Shane, the former head of Monroe hotels, Sophie, exhausted and overwhelmed single mom of twin boys, and Laurel, former costume designer at Monroe Studios who lives in the shadow of her movie star, identical twin and is keeping a secret from her family. Then there are the residents of Second Chance, Idaho who apparently knew Grandpa Monroe better than his family did. They're none too happy about the Monroe grandchildren descending upon them. They also are keeping secrets and I can't wait to discover more as the series plays out.
If you enjoy fast-paced contemporary romance with plenty of emotion, humor, a bit of mystery, snappy dialogue, and heartwarming romance, you'll want to check out Kissed by the Country Doc by Melinda Curtis. It has my enthusiastic recommendation.
Do you enjoy small-town romance?
Have you read any books by Melinda Curtis?
What's the last family series that had you eagerly anticipating all the stories to come?
Two people who leave a comment before 11:00 PM, January 31, 2019 will each receive a print copy of Kissed by the Country Doc. (U.S. only)
A man in his thirties opened the diner’s door for the carload. He had wavy brown hair in a neatly styled haircut and was inappropriately dressed for the mountains—slacks, leather loafers, a light winter jacket. No cap. No gloves.
A case of frostbite in the making.
Noah hid a smile behind a sip of his coffee.
A woman hurried inside. Bright red hair. Pale complexion. Black leather jacket over a black tunic sweater, black leggings and black boots. Something about her seemed familiar. She spotted the restroom sign and hurried toward it.
Whether they were the Monroes or not, they were providing Noah with some much-needed entertainment.
Another woman scurried in. She had wavy brown hair, pointy features and frazzled brown eyes shaded by dark circles that her glasses did nothing to conceal. She held the hands of two twin toddler boys, who clumped in wearing matching dark green unzipped jackets and white sneakers that flashed bright red beams from the heels as they walked. She followed the first woman to the restrooms.
Single mom in need of a good night’s sleep and proper hydration.
A third woman entered, stepping to the side so the man could close the door behind her. Her hair was blond, her eyes a bright blue. She had a sprinkling of freckles and the kind of glowing skin that never tanned. She was the only sensibly dressed one of the lot in a navy stadium jacket, snow boots and a knit cap. The toddler she carried had the same coloring and wore a pink snowsuit.
She set down the little girl and proceeded to shed layers—hers and the toddler’s— plopping their gear and a diaper bag in a booth. She wiped the toddler’s runny nose with a crumpled tissue, straightened and took a good look around, while Noah took a good look at her. She didn’t seem like a millionaire. She seemed like the kindhearted girl-next-door. The one who blushed when you asked her to help you with your English homework, and was happy for you when you told her you’d asked the cheerleading captain to prom.
Not that I was that guy.
She made him feel guilty all the same.
Something crashed into Noah’s thigh.
The toddler wiped her nose on Noah’s black ski pants and then looked up at him with a mischievous grin and said, “Hi,” before fleeing with a squeal and a giggle across the diner. “Penny.” The girl-next-door snatched a napkin from the holder on the table and wiped at the streak of snot on Noah’s ski pants. And then she froze, her hands inches from Noah’s thigh.
Noah’s ears filled with white noise, not caused by any head cold or sinus infection. This was one of those surreal moments where a beauty had unwittingly touched a beast. Noah’s heart went out of rhythm. He felt light-headed.
Heart attack? Negative.
Low blood sugar? Negative.
High-altitude dehydration? Likely.
Despite his diagnosis, Noah reached for his dehydrating coffee. But his eyes… His eyes couldn’t turn away from her.
“My apologies. That was inappropriate.” The woman’s cheeks bloomed with color. Her bright blue gaze bounced to Noah’s and away before she, too, made a run for it. “Penelope Arlene, you come back here.”
Penny’s laughter drowned out the white noise in Noah’s head, and sent others in the room chuckling, breaking the tension that the arrival of the Monroes had caused. Noah breathed easier.
“We thought we’d come down and stay a few days,” Shane Monroe was saying, still on his high horse. Not that Noah was one to judge. As an orthopedic surgeon, he’d taken many a ride on a high horse.
And look where that’s gotten me.
Noah clenched his gloved fists, his left hand more than his right.
Penny was playing keep-away-from mama, running on chubby legs between tables in the middle of the room. Not that the girl-next-door was trying hard to catch her. More likely, she was trying to keep Penny from wiping her nose on another unsuspecting Second Chance resident.
The toddler boys raced into the dining room and joined Penny. The three of them ran around a table as if they were playing musical chairs or training to be track stars.
“Someone.” Shane waved toward the spectacle. “Please.”
The girl-next-door and the harried mom of twins moved in.
Sensing her freedom was about to end, Penny veered and crashed into Noah, giggling nonstop. She gave a wet snuffle and turned her face to Noah’s knee.
This time, Noah was ready for her and swiped her nose with a napkin. “Gotcha.”
She looked up at him, aghast, lower lip trembling.
“Come here, Penny.” The girl-next-door crouched in front of Noah and held out her hands, just far enough away that she couldn’t touch him again. “No-o-o.” Penny wasn’t just an athlete in the making. She was also a bit of a drama queen. She clutched Noah’s calf and shook her blond curls. “No-o-o.”
Penny’s mom raised those blue eyes to Noah’s once more, causing a heartstuttering, equilibrium-shaking, whitenoise-in-the-ears relapse. “Given the way my daughter clings to you, we should be on a first-name basis. I’m Ella.” Her glance caught on Noah’s black gloves.
And just like that, Noah was reminded why he didn’t want a woman’s interest.
The world self-corrected. Stabilized.
“Mom.” Penny made a raspberry noise against Noah’s knee, negating her mother having any name other than… “Mom. Mom. Mom.”
“I’m Noah.” He ruffled Penny’s blond curls with his left hand. “Your daughter is what? Two?”
“I two,” Penny confirmed, holding up four fingers.
The twins ran by, followed by their mother, who said, “No one told me the terrible twos lasted long after the age of four.” She snatched a boy in each arm and gave them a playful growl as she stood, glasses sliding down her thin nose. “Only boys who behave get French fries.”
The boys stopped struggling and allowed their mother to carry them to the lunch counter, where she deposited each on a stool and ordered French fries from Ivy.
“Fesh fies?” Penny toddled forward into Ella’s arms.
“Apple fries?” Ella countered, then whispered conspiratorially to Noah, “So much healthier, and in my bag.”
His mother would have said, “She’s as adorable as her daughter.”
I’ve never liked adorable.
His sister would have said, “She’s not wearing a wedding ring.”
A fact I noticed completely by accident.