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Authors: Abigail Gordon

A Wedding in the Village

BOOK: A Wedding in the Village
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The doctor’s longed-for-bride

When Dr Megan Marshall returns home to head up the Riverside Practice she’s not expecting a blast from her past! Her new colleague is gorgeous Luke Anderson—her tutor at university. Megan still blushes remembering the Valentine’s card she sent him!

Megan always stood out for Luke, but as his student she was out of bounds. Now they’re working together, can Luke forget his painful past and capture Megan’s heart?

Because the longer Luke spends with Megan, the more determined he is to make her his bride!

Previously Published.

‘If I ever get married, I want it to be here on the riverbank where I make my vows.

Luke raised his eyebrows.

‘If you ever get married…?’

They were on a delicate subject, Megan thought uneasily. Both were eager to know each other better, and if she spoke the truth it could bring an end to that.

‘I would want to be the first love of the man I married.’

‘I see.’ Luke said flatly. ‘No one could blame you for that.’

But he didn’t have that right. He’d forfeited it because of one big mistake.

He supposed he should be thankful for the straight talk and put those sorts of thoughts out of his mind.

But was that possible?

Abigail Gordon
loves to write about the fascinating combination of medicine and romance from her home in a Cheshire village. She is active in local affairs, and is even called upon to write the script for the annual village pantomime! Her eldest son is a hospital manager, and helps with all her medical research. As part of a close-knit family, she treasures having two of her sons living close by, and the third one not too far away. This also gives her the added pleasure of being able to watch her delightful grandchildren growing up.

Recent titles by the same author:

CITY DOCTOR, COUNTRY BRIDE

THE VILLAGE DOCTOR’S MARRIAGE

COMING BACK FOR HIS BRIDE

A FRENCH DOCTOR AT ABBEYFIELDS

A WEDDING IN
THE VILLAGE

BY
ABIGAIL GORDON

Other books by Abigail Gordon

A Father for Poppy

Heatherdale’s Shy Nurse

Christmas Magic in Heatherdale

Swallowbrook’s Wedding of the Year

Marriage Miracle in Swallowdale

Spring Proposal in Swallowdale

For Roger, who is a tower of strength.

CONTENTS

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

CHAPTER ONE

M
EGAN
M
ARSHALL
was smiling as the train pulled into the small country station.

She was home and happy to be so, and as Mike from the ticket office came hurrying forward to help her lift her cases out on to the platform, it was as if the two weeks she’d just spent in Florida belonged to another life.

A life in which she’d laughed a lot, played a lot, flirted a bit, and in which the two friends she’d gone with hadn’t guessed that underneath her carefree manner there had been worry.

She was soon going to be facing a big responsibility and was concerned in case she wouldn’t be up to it. There were going to be changes in the medical practice in the beautiful Cheshire village where she lived, and she was going to be very much involved in them.

They were connected with her parents, Margaret and James Marshall, both GPs, who had worked there side by side for as long as she could remember.

But now retirement was on the cards and arrangements were having to be made regarding the practice and who would be taking over. It was a problem that was half-solved as Megan had followed in their footsteps by going into medicine.

Since her degree she’d been hospital-based, but not now. That had changed. She’d been brought up around the village practice, played at doctors and nurses there when she had been small and, not wanting it to go out of the family, had taken GP training so that her presence might fill some of the gap that her parents were going to leave.

She wasn’t going to be doing it on her own. Another GP was needed. An experienced doctor who would help her to offer the standard of care that had always been present there.

Her parents were at the surgery now, making the final choice out of three applicants. When she’d got off the airport train in Manchester, Megan had phoned them to say that she would be catching the local train shortly and would one of them meet her at the station?

‘That could be difficult,’ her mother had said. ‘We’re in the middle of the final interviews. I’ll ask Henry to pick you up in his taxi, Megan. It’s lovely to know you’re back. Are you coming straight here? If you do, you’ll be able to meet the person you’re going to be spending a lot of time with in the future We’re pretty sure who it’s going to be. He stands out way above the others. You’ll be fortunate to have him working beside you in our small rural backwater.’

‘All right. I’ll come straight there,’ Megan said, thinking that although she couldn’t wait to get back to her little cottage on the hillside, she may as well get it over and done with.

* * *

‘Been away to get your strength up before your parents leave, have you, Megan,’ Henry Tichfield, the local taxi driver, asked as he piled her luggage into the boot.

She smiled. ‘Something like that, Henry. Heaven knows when I’ll get the chance for another holiday.’

It was the lunch-hour, one of the quietest times in the surgery. The morning patients had been seen, the house calls done, and there would be a lull until the later surgery in the afternoon.

Megan could hear voices coming from the office up above, but the door was closed so she went and made a mug of coffee and chatted to the receptionist who was covering the lunch-hour.

When she heard footsteps on the stairs she felt her mouth go dry. The moment she’d been dreading had come. Since she’d joined the practice there had always been her parents to go to with any problems, but soon all that would be changed. She was going to be in close contact with a stranger every minute of her working day.

‘Ah! There you are, Megan. Just at the right moment for introductions,’ her mother was saying as she led the way down the stairs, with the new doctor behind her and her father bringing up the rear.

When she raised her head with a weak smile on her face it froze, and a voice that she’d never expected to hear again exclaimed, ‘But of course! Megan! Megan Marshall. Your first name hasn’t been mentioned. Otherwise it might have registered that we already know each other.’

‘That’s great news!’ her father cried. ‘It will make everything so much easier when you take over, Luke.’

I wouldn’t bank on that, she thought numbly.

Luke Anderson had been one of the tutors in her last year at university and with his dark good looks and lean masculine appeal he’d been a target for every romantically inclined female on the campus, including herself.

Incredibly, he hadn’t been married or in any sort of relationship. It had also seemed that was how he had wanted it to stay, as no amount of feminine wiles from some of the most ravishing of his students had got them anywhere. The impression he had given was that he had been doing a job he’d liked and his only interest in those in his classes had been a desire to see they did well in their finals.

Even so, she’d sent him a Valentine card, along with all the other hopefuls, and he must have recognised her handwriting as the next time she’d been at one of his lectures he’d called her back at the end of it and said with a glint in his eye that could have meant anything, ‘Roses are not always red, Megan, and I would describe the colour of violets as deep purple.’ With that he’d left her standing alone in the lecture hall with a face red as the roses he’d referred to.

She’d discovered afterwards that he’d made no comments to anyone else who’d sent him a card and wondered why he’d singled her out. One thing had been sure, she wasn’t going to ask him. The embarrassment of those moments in the lecture hall had not been forgotten quickly, but once she’d got her degree and gone into hospital work it had been pushed to the back of her mind.

For the last three years she’d been a junior doctor on the wards, until her parents had dropped their bombshell regarding retirement and a house they were contemplating buying in Spain.

Luke Anderson was smiling and holding out his hand as he spoke, and as she shook it Megan managed to resurrect her grimace of before.

‘Luke was one of my tutors at college,’ she told her parents. ‘This is the last place I would ever have expected to see him.’

‘I’ve actually come to live in the village,’ he said, and her discomfort increased. ‘I’m going to be staying with my sister who lives at Woodcote House.’

Megan could actually feel her jaw dropping. ‘Are you saying that Sue Standish is your sister?’

‘Yes.’

‘She never said.’

‘Sue doesn’t know we knew each other.’

‘We were just as surprised as you when we heard that Luke was related to Sue,’ her mother said. ‘We’ve known her a long time, haven’t we, James, and she and Megan are good friends. We were all so sorry when Gareth died so suddenly.’

‘That’s why I’m here,’ he said sombrely. ‘To give a hand with the boys and offer any other support she might need. I’m going to stay with Sue for as long as she needs me, and then find a place of my own in the village.’

This was turning out to be more disturbing by the minute, Megan was thinking. Luke Anderson was back in her life with a vengeance, and to top it all he was going to be living with Sue and the children. Why hadn’t her friend said?

She’d intended being in on the interviewing and was wishing now that she had been, but when two school friends had asked her to go to Florida with them for a couple of weeks, her mother had said, ‘You must go, Megan. It could be a long time before you get another break once we’ve gone.’

So she’d let herself be persuaded, knowing that whatever decision her parents came to, they would have her best interests at heart while sorting out the future of the practice.

She hadn’t thought about Luke Anderson in a long time and supposed that the rest of the girls attending his classes hadn’t either. Once they’d all got their degrees they’d been off to pastures new, faces that he too would soon have forgotten.

If it hadn’t been for the Valentine card incident she might have been pleased to see him, but as the memory of it came back all she could think of was what a fool she’d made of herself then.

She’d avoided him like the plague afterwards and had caught him observing her thoughtfully a couple of times, and that had been it.

‘I was in general practice before I took up lecturing,’ he said easily, as if quite unaware of her confusion. ‘So I’m hoping I won’t be
too
rusty. When I heard from Sue that there was a vacancy here, it seemed heaven sent. A job that was virtually on her doorstep.’

‘So you’re not lecturing any more.’

‘No. I was ready for a change in any case. I’m looking forward to a spell of village life, having always been citybased and now, if you will excuse me, I’ll pop round to tell Sue and the boys my good news.’

* * *

‘He’ll be joining the practice in a month’s time,’ her father said after Luke had gone striding down the street to where Woodcote House stood back from the road on a sizeable plot. ‘And I have to take my hat off to him, leaving a job at the university for the life of a country GP so he can give his sister some support.

‘But your mother and I need to know if
you’re
happy about the arrangement, Megan. You’re the one who will be working with him every day. How do you feel about it?’

It wasn’t an easy question to answer. Maybe in a couple of days’ time she might be able to come up with a truthful reply, but she was still dazed by the unexpected meeting and the effect that seeing him again was having on her.

BOOK: A Wedding in the Village
11.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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