Noelia Russo’s plate is full: she works at Wedding Bliss by day, writes romance by night, and now she’s agreed to volunteer at the hospital too. However, this favor for a friend pays off when Noelia bumps into Dr. Nate Westbury, a widower who could warm her lonely heart.
But Nate can’t think about a relationship while his daughter, Lydia, remains in an unexplained coma on the trauma floor. He blames the girl’s fiancé, a young mechanic whom Noelia instantly judges is innocent in the tragedy. She’s determined to help the young couple find their happily ever after against Nate’s wishes, even if it costs her one of her own.
Then strange events begin to occur that seem tied to Lydia’s wedding dress, and it’s up to Nate and Noelia to unravel the otherworldly messages. As the real saboteur closes in on the Westburys, can Nate learn to trust Noelia’s instincts—and her love—to save them all?
Sensuality Level: Behind Closed Doors
After several years of living and working in other countries, Glenys O’Connell is now settled in rural Ontario, Canada, with her musician husband and three spoiled cats. She likes to write on her backyard patio and watch wandering critters such as chipmunks, wild turkeys, raccoons, squirrels, and the occasional bear pass by. Find Glenys O’Connell at romancecanbemurder.blogspot.ca, on Facebook, and on Twitter @GlenysOConnell.
An excerpt from The Sleeping Beauty Bride:
Despite her tiredness and aching feet after a full day at the store, Noelia was pleased to find she actually liked being a volunteer at the hospital. Not that she wanted to carry on after her friend Ellie Mae returned from her exotic cruise, but it was opening up a whole new world to her, a world in which she felt of use to people who needed and appreciated her.
She liked and admired the nurses and doctors that she met and the other volunteers, too. In fact, she was making new friends, particularly Eva Wilkinson, the nurse she was currently doing rounds with.
“This is one of our heartbreakers,” Eva told Noelia as she paused before opening the door. “We call her Sleeping Beauty. She’s been in a coma ever since a car accident three months ago.”
“Oh, the poor lamb!” Noelia fought to keep the tears that pooled in her eyes from falling as she peeked in through the door of the private room. “That name suits her—she’s lovely.”
The room they entered was so quiet it seemed almost cut off from the real world, aside from the low, diligent mutterings of the monitors attached to the body of the pale young woman who lay in the hospital bed. In the dim light that stole through the half-closed blinds, Sleeping Beauty looked fragile and pale, her deep sleep giving the impression of a dreaming fairy-tale princess.
Maybe it was the air of loneliness that pervaded the room or seeing such a young woman trapped in a death-like coma, but something made Noelia shiver as if a cold breeze had suddenly sprung up.
“Looks like a goose walked over your grave. That’s what my mom always said when someone shivered like that for no reason,” Eva said cheerfully.
Noelia shivered again. The picture of the goose on her grave was depressing, and she wondered how Eva could take it so lightly. “I think there was a bit of a draft,” she said, suppressing another shiver.
“It’s just an old English superstition, hon,” Eva said, looking chagrined at Noelia’s sudden paleness.
“I think I’m just tired. And there’s something . . . so sad about this poor girl.” She’d almost said, “something about this room.” But that would have sounded odd.
“Our pretty little Lydia? There’s a story to this and I’ll . . . ” Suddenly, Eva’s pager went off. “Gotta go. Can you find your way back to the nurse’s station? I’m sure they’ll find something else for you to do.” With a quick smile and a gentle touch on the shoulder, Eva was gone.
Noelia took one last look around the room and uttered a prayer for the young woman on the bed. Then she left quickly.