Dr. Hot Stuff - Tawna Fenske

Chapter 1


“Thank you all for being here.”

James adjusts his tie, then starts a slow circuit around the conference room. He picks up a lamp and studies the underside. Frowning, he puts it back and moves on to the stapler. I wait for one of my other siblings to address this peculiar behavior.

I don’t wait long.

“For fuck’s sake, give it a rest.” Mark sounds gruff, but I saw him rescue an injured duck by the pond yesterday. I know what sort of man he is.

“Seriously, bro.” Jonathan folds his arms over his chest and regards our older brother with bemusement. “No one bugged the damn conference room.”

James looks utterly unconvinced, but before he can object, Bree stands and touches his arm. “Would you feel safer having this meeting somewhere else? Your cabin or maybe the resort stables?”

My brother’s eyes drop to the baby strapped to Bree’s chest in an odd American contraption called a Cuddlebug. It’s a bit like the slings they use in my home country, though in Dovlano they’re made of silk instead of cotton. I’m certain my mother never wore one, but perhaps my nanny did.

The sight of his nephew must soften something in James because his green eyes warm just a little. “I’m being cautious,” he says. “Switching meeting venues won’t be necessary.”

Across the table, Sean raps a long-handled spoon on the table. “We’d have plenty of privacy in the walk-in cooler. Just need our winter coats and—”

“Is there a reason you brought a damn spoon to this meeting?” Jonathan reaches over to grab it, but Sean snatches it back.

“Maybe I felt like stirring up shit?” Sean grins and turns his attention back to James. “Or maybe it’s for the guest in cabin 34. I’m running it over right after this.”

Mark frowns. “Someone requested a special fucking spoon?”

“I guess he’s making stew or something.” Sean shrugs. “Beats me, but I’ve got enough spoons. I can share.”

Bree lifts one perfect eyebrow. “Is he aware he doesn’t need to prepare his own meals? We do have a Michelin starred chef on the premises.”

“Yeah, but he sucks.” Jon laughs and makes another grab for the spoon, and Sean retaliates by whacking him on the arm with it.

“Keep that up, and I’ll bring lima beans and clam pizza for poker night.” Sean tucks the spoon safely in the pocket of his chef’s coat. “No homemade pretzels and beer cheese dip for you.”

Mark grumbles something profane while James launches into a lecture on professional meeting conduct. While the Bracelyn men are squabbling, Bree leans toward me with a sly little smile.

“Don’t worry,” she whispers. “He already made the pretzels and saved extra cheese for us since ladies aren’t invited to poker night.”

“How lovely.” I’m not sure I’ve ever had beer cheese sauce, but I appreciate being included. “Who goes to poker night?”

I know full well it’s all the Bracelyn brothers, plus a few men in the community. There’s something quite specific I’m wondering, but I don’t have the courage to ask.

Will Bradley Parker be there?

Bree smiles like I’ve spoken aloud. “These dorks started the poker night thing.” She gestures at our brothers, who are still busy bickering. “Austin joins when he’s not on duty. Oh, and Bradley Parker, of course. You remember Dr. Parker?”

Heat floods my cheeks, and I pray she doesn’t notice. “Of course. Nice man. Very polite.”

It’s an idiotic thing to say, but Bree only smiles. “It’s probably the military background.”


She shrugs like it’s unimportant, but this is an enormous nugget of information for my collection of personal data on the handsome doctor. “He started as an Army doc, but got out when his father died,” Bree says. “So he could be there for his mom.”

“I see.” I had no idea about any of this, though we’ve crossed paths plenty in the year I’ve spent at Ponderosa Resort.

Bree’s watching me closely, and I swear she reads my thoughts. “He’s single, by the way.”

My cheeks get even hotter, but before I can respond, James claps his hands to bring the meeting under control.

“Welcome, Isabella,” he says. “I know this is your first official meeting as part of the Ponderosa Resort team, and we’re happy to have you with us.”

A murmur of agreement rolls around the table, filling my chest with sunshine. I’m thrilled to be included, even if I’m unsure how best to contribute.

“Shall I take notes?” I pluck a pen from a polished metal container and scan my siblings’ faces. “I’d like to do my part.”

“No notes.” James frowns at the

readonlinefreenovel.com Copyright 2016 - 2024