Midnight Remedy

Midnight Remedy
Eve Gaddy

February 2012 $11.95
ISBN: 978-1-61194-088-6

Could a devilish doctor heal his heart by loving a lady with a slightly sinful past?

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Synopsis | Reviews | Excerpt


Piper Stevenson’s mysterious "potion” cured one of his patients. Dr. Eric Chambers is determined to unravel the secret of her painful past. Can they heal each other’s hearts?

Eve Gaddy is the bestselling, award-winning author of sixteen novels for Bantam Loveswept and Harlequin Superromance, with more than a million copies in print. Her books have won and been nominated for awards from Romantic Times, Golden Quill, Bookseller’s Best, Holt Medallion, Texas Gold, Daphne Du Maurier and more. She was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Innovative Series romance as well as winning the 2008 Romantic Times Career Achievement award for Series Storyteller of the year. Visit her at http://www.evegaddy.net.


"Midnight Remedy is about love, heartbreak, forgiveness and moving on from the past. Great characters, interesting plot, this story won't disappoint romance lovers." -- AnnMarie Salcedo, Love to Read a Good Book Blog

"A sparkling fresh love story . . . 4 Stars” —Romantic Times, Melinda Helfer

". . . lively and entertaining . . . Piper and Eric make a wonderful, steamy combination.” —Old Book Barn Gazette

"This book is fabulous; the plot is original and fresh. The characters are darling and the sexual tension simmers . . .” —Rendezvous



"Dammit, Gus, do you try to hit every blasted pothole on the road?” Eric Chambers stared at the old man as the battered pickup bottomed out with yet another bone-rattling, gut-busting thud.

"Eh? What’s that?” Gus cupped a hand to his ear and flashed a yellowed grin.

After Eric’s car died on the deserted west Texas road and he began walking in the hundred plus degree heat, the wizened old man in the beat-up pickup seemed like a godsend. Some godsend. Eric had managed to hitch a ride with the Good Samaritan driver from hell.

"Funny thing, you wantin’ to go jest where I was headed.” Gus cackled, blithely unaware how much his driving grated on Eric’s nerves.

Grunting in answer, Eric shut his eyes, blocking out both the sight of Gus’s shaggy head and the mountain road boasting shoulders that dropped off into nowhere and potholes the size of Lake Texoma. Funny thing they were going to the same place, was it? In this uninhabited part of the state, odds were any car he saw would be going his way.

Piper Stevenson would have a lot to answer for when he finally came face to face with her. She was the reason he was stuck in an ancient pickup with a man so old he made dirt look young. She was the reason he’d had to take time off from his practice to talk about a claim that couldn’t possibly hold water. And she was the person who’d taken his patient and convinced him that she’d cured him with her blasted herbal medications. God only knew what she’d put in that herbal tea she’d given Randy Johnson.

Eric intended to find out, and he also intended to tell Ms. Piper Stevenson to keep her herb-pickin’ hands off his patients.

The pickup shuddered to a halt outside a one-story ranch style house badly in need of fresh paint. Plants bloomed profusely and a dogwood tree flowered in the front yard.

"Any ideas where Ms. Stevenson might be?” he asked Gus.

"In there,” the old man rasped, jerking his head at long, L-shaped building of painted green wood and glass panes. A greenhouse, obviously. A couple of windows were cranked wide, opened to the outside.

"Thanks for the ride,” Eric said, at the same time thanking God he’d reached the place alive. His confrontational mood reinforced by his recent difficulties, he strode to the greenhouse. A huge, shaggy dog lay stretched across the threshold, snoring loudly. Eric halted, wondering how to shift the animal, but it raised its head and gave a sleepy woof. Then it thumped its tail and rose, stretching long and languidly before ambling away. Fingers on the door handle, Eric remembered the advice Dave Burson, his former colleague, had given him.

"Don’t tick her off until you’ve found out for sure if it’s bull or not,” Dave had said. "Think of it, Eric, a cure for—”

"Right,” Eric had interrupted irritably. "She’s got a cure like I’m going to be the next Surgeon General. Give me a break, you don’t believe it any more than I do.”

"Hey, it’s a possibility you can’t afford to ignore. It’s one I can’t afford to ignore, anyway. What if it is a cure? It worked for the Johnsons,” his friend had reminded him.

And Dave was right, dammit. Somethinghad worked for the Johnsons, and he was going to have to at least be civil until he found out more. First he had to prove that Randy Johnson’s cure had been no more than coincidental to his drinking that herbal tea. Once Eric did that he could blast Ms. Stevenson’s ears with what he thought about practicing medicine without a license.

He jerked open the door and stopped in mid-stride. Stunned, he absorbed the fantasy land of colors and smells, set incongruously in the midst of a spartan, west Texas ranch. The long, narrow room exploded into color and confusion, crammed full with plants in every stage of growth and every color of bloom. Though there was probably some sort of order to the grouping, Eric’s immediate impression was one of wild disarray. The scents of damp earth and blooming flowers gave the humid atmosphere a tropical flavor, which blended well with the exotic flair of the plants.

He didn’t see a sign of human inhabitants until he found his way into the next section of the greenhouse. No less crowded, it held more flowers and other assorted greenery, including what looked to Eric like weeds. His quarry stood in a corner of the cramped room, surrounded by plant cuttings, clay pots and dirt.

"Where in blazes have you been, Gus?” she asked without turning around. "We’ve got to get the orchids sprayed today.”

"Ms. Stevenson?”

She turned to look at him. Her eyebrows lifted in a faint question. "Yes. Can I help you?”

Blonde, curvy, pretty—no, pretty didn’t cover it. In her own way, she was as much of a contradiction as the flowers. What was a knockout, whose sweet-hot drawl hit him like Southern Comfort on an empty belly, doing digging up dirt in a greenhouse in the middle of nowhere? Business, Eric reminded himself, realizing he stared. You’re here on business. "Eric Chambers,” he said, offering his hand.

She started to offer hers, but drew it back before he touched it. "Sorry. Mud,” she said, by way of explanation.

"Dr. Chambers,” he repeated, dropping his hand. "From Capistrano. We had an appointment.”

"Appointment?” Her brow furrowed. "To see the plants? I’m afraid I don’t—”

"No, not the plants. It’s about the Johnsons.”

"The Johnsons?”

Why did she look so mystified? "Randy and Virginia Johnson. Friends of yours, I understand?”

"Yes, but I really don’t see—”

"I made the appointment yesterday. With your husband, perhaps?”

"Oh, I doubt that,” she said, with a tight smile, "since I’m not married.”

"Whoever he was, he said he’d tell you. I take it he didn’t.”

"You take it right. But you probably talked to my grandfather, so I’m not surprised. He forgets stuff like that all the time.”

"Typical,” Eric muttered, beginning to feel impatient. "Well, since I’m here could we discuss this matter? I’m on a tight schedule and I’m not sure I can get back this week.”

Her sky-blue eyes assessed him critically, as if he were a plant she suspected of having aphids or some other undesirable quality. Though she still looked confused, she finally said, "All right. We might as well go to the house.”

They retraced his previous path through the building, only this time the woman in front of him distracted Eric even more than the plants had. As they stepped outside, a small boy catapulted from the back door of the house and ran straight at them. Reaching the woman, he clutched her around both legs.

"It wasn’t my fault, Mom,” he said, looking up at her.

"What wasn’t your fault?”

"I was just tryin’ to feed it.”

"You murdered your crab.” She seemed unsurprised.

"Didn’t murder it,” the child said sulkily. "He wouldn’t come out.”

"Didn’t I tell you if you pulled that hermit crab out of his shell, you’d kill it?” Exasperation colored her voice.

"Just dropped him a little, Mom, honest.”

"From where, the top of the refrigerator?”

The child hung his head and started crying. Piper smoothed a hand over his blond hair and said, "Never mind. We’ll discuss this later. Where’s Grandpa?”

"Dunno.” The tears dried like magic. "Jason wants me to come to his house and play. Can I?”

"If it’s all right with his mom.” Before he could disappear, Piper added, "Cole, this is Dr. Chambers. My son, Cole.”

"Hi,” Eric said, thinking that the kid looked like a small clone of his mother.

"Hi. Are you an animal doctor?” Cole asked. Hope brightened his eyes.

"Sorry, sport. Just people.” It didn’t sound like there was much chance for the crab anyway, from what he’d heard.

"Oh. You didn’t come to see Grandpa, did you?”

"No, I came to see your mother.”

"That’s good ‘cause Grandpa don’t like people doctors. Yesterday I heard him say that if that sorry son of—”

"Cole! How many times do I have to tell you not to repeat what Grandpa says to Sam?”

"Oh, yeah, I forgot. Bye,” he said to Eric with an impudent grin for his mother.

"Poor Herman,” Piper said, shaking her head. "He lasted longer than I thought he would, though. I gave him a week, tops, and it’s been two.”

From what little he’d seen of the kid, Eric was surprised the crab had lasted a day. Wisely, he didn’t make that observation aloud.

Once inside the kitchen, Piper asked, "So, I guess you’re the new doctor from Capistrano?” What in the world did he want with her and what did it have to do with Randy and Virginia Johnson? Piper supposed she ought to give him a chance to explain, especially after Cole had all but insulted his profession. He’d taken it in stride, though. She could have sworn she’d seen a smile hovering around the corners of his mouth.

"That’s right. Let’s talk aphrodisiacs, Ms. Stevenson.”

"Let’s not,” she said. Great, was the new doctor a quack?

"Herbal tea, then.” He gestured impatiently. "Whatever you want to call that concoction you gave Randy Johnson.”

This was getting weirder by the minute, Piper thought. Concoction? "Excuse me? What the devil are you talking about?”

His eyes narrowed. "I want to know why you were treating my patient. My patient, Ms. Stevenson, not yours. Just what kind of aphrodisiac were you giving him in that herbal tea?”

Arrogant jerk, she thought, shooting him a withering look. "Herbal tea? Aphrodisiacs? You’re a little confused, doctor. I don’t treat people. I sell them plants.”

"You must have forgotten that when you decided to treat Randy Johnson.”

It was really too bad, she thought, her gaze sweeping over him from top to bottom, that he was so cute. And that he had such gorgeous green eyes. If there was any justice at all his looks would match his overbearing personality. "Are you sure the Johnsons are your patients?” she asked, eyeing him distrustfully.

He ground his teeth. "Of course I’m sure. Don’t be absurd. Randy and Virginia Johnson sent me to you. Call them if you feel the need to check my credentials.”

She mulled that over, irritated at him, yet curious about his reasons for being here. Herbal tea, aphrodisiacs, and the Johnsons. Where was the connection? There was one way to find out. "Okay, we’ll talk,” she said, motioning to a chair at the kitchen table.

Frowning, he took a seat.

Piper grabbed a faded blue plastic pitcher from the refrigerator. "Want some?”

He eyed the pitcher dubiously. "No, thanks.”

"It’s not herbal tea. Good old Lipton’s, FDA approved.”

His lips quirked. "In that case, yes, please.” As she reached for the glasses he added, "You’ve got a smart mouth, Ms. Stevenson.”

"Self-defense.” She threw him a pointed look over her shoulder. "It comes from years of people assuming blond equals dumb.”

"You left out beautiful.” His gaze slid down the length of her back before returning to meet her eyes.

Her breath caught at the unexpected comment. "Why, Dr. Chambers, a compliment?” she asked sweetly. "I’m flattered.”

"Don’t be. I merely stated the obvious.”

Obvious? Jerk, she thought, slamming the glass of tea down so hard it sloshed out on the table and dribbled off the edge onto his slacks. Reacting instinctively, she grabbed a dish towel and tried to blot up the tea. For an eternal, electrically laden moment, she froze with her hand on his thigh—high on his thigh. Her face flushed and she snatched her hand away and jumped back, throwing the dish towel toward the drain board as if it had bitten her.

"Thank you,” he said solemnly.

Their gazes met and he smiled. She wanted to sink into the ground from sheer embarrassment.


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