Silver Morgenstern had a thriving, meaningful career as a surgeon working for charity organizations in war-torn countries. Then her life changed with one flick of the wrist. Now she’s back in Wyoming, serving as an administrator at the local hospital. But shuffling paperwork is nothing compared to saving lives.
Five years ago, Fisher Tibbs founded the successful social program Combat Children’s Hunger. Giving back to kids brings a sparkle to his eye, especially after the loss of his own young daughter, but it can’t mend the very real fissure in his heart. Ready to see his child again, he’s preparing and planning a future for CCH that he won’t get to witness.
But when Fisher’s application to be removed from the heart transplant list comes across Silver’s desk, her next mission is clear: convince him life is worth the fight. But she never expects that the struggle to rescue his heart might just save her own.
by Dana Volney
Sensuality Level: Behind Closed Doors
Dana Volney lets her imagination roam free in Wyoming where she writes romances and helps local businesses succeed with her marketing consulting company. Find Dana Volney at www.DanaVolney.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter @VolneyVentures.
An excerpt from A Heart for the Holidays:
A rush of heat blew Silver’s scarf into her face when she opened the glass front door. She’d expected to see a warehouse full of food being packed and sent out for delivery or a bunch of offices where people were scurrying to drum up donations. There was none of that. The room before her was basically a large lunchroom like what would be found in an elementary school. It reminded her of some of the smaller, underprivileged towns in Tanzania with one-room schools where the kids did everything, including eating.
Brightly colored artwork hung on the walls—palm prints in paint on construction paper, drawings with colored pencils, and pictures of smiling faces, some young, some not.
Combat Children’s Hunger was stenciled onto the wall in black lettering beside a picture of a handsome man in a baby-blue button-up, smiling but showing no teeth. She stepped closer to read the tiny gold nameplate affixed to the wooden frame.
Her gaze bounced back to the cheerful, golden-brown eyes forever memorialized in the photo. This was the guy who didn’t want to live beyond the next couple of years? The picture had to be recent, because the file said he was thirty.
“Can I help you?” A head popped out of the meager office to her right. The same face, right down to the five-o’clock shadow, greeted her.
“Yes, hello. I wanted to—”
“Volunteer? Great.” He stepped completely out of his office, filling the doorframe with his tall build—he had to be at least six-foot-four. “We can use all the help we can get this time of year. Lots of food going out to make sure kids are fed for the holidays.”
She swallowed and nodded, the French twist she’d wrangled her long, blond hair into that morning staying perfectly in place. She basically funded Paul Mitchell’s hair thickening and taming product lines.
A slow smile flourished on his strong jawline, adding wrinkles on both sides of his mouth that were nearly invisible through his thick, brown five-o’clock shadow that was probably knocking on the door to a thirteen-hour stubble.
“Fisher Tibbs.” He stuck out his palm, and she let her hand slip right in and be consumed by the hard flesh, only pulling back when he did.
“Silver. Rae.” And now she wasn’t giving him her full name. Because he’ll know who I am.
What was she doing? She wasn’t here to volunteer. She barely had enough time in her day to do the work that was her day job. Volunteering and do-goodery was a thing of her past, as of twelve months ago. Another lifetime.
She was here to talk the man out of a death sentence.
Only the pink of his cheeks was healthy, his brown eyes sharp, and his white smile easy.
The man standing before her had a lot to offer. Especially to children who were hungry and single women who wanted to impress their mothers with a charitable-hearted hottie date for the holidays.
“Nice to meet you.” His gaze fell to her jacket then her nude heels, and he didn’t miss a beat when their eyes connected. “Do you have time now to go over the basics, or do you have to get back to work right away?”
“I’m on my lunch break. I’ve got some time.” Thank goodness the truth was coming out of her mouth again. She’d let him give her the tour and then dive in to a speech about the effectiveness of transplants and the success rate and that surely he had something or someone to live for.
She snuck a glance at his ring finger. Bare. She’d start with his job then.
“This way.” He held his palm toward the wide-open space before sliding his hand back into the pocket of his dark jeans as he led the way. And she let him.