Any Time. Any Place. Any Day. Getaway.

Phantom Heart
by Kim Bowman

Product Information

Genre: Chick Lit

Length: 190 pages

Heat Level: 3

eBook Price: $.99

Print Book: $14.99

 

Product001 tab spacing

Luke Wainwright doesn’t remember leaving, can’t recall where he’s been for the past several weeks, and hasn’t a clue how he came to be so far from home. The only thing he knows is that he woke up one morning desperate to get back to his wife. But Rachel’s reception breaks his heart. She has questions he can’t answer, and even though he vows never to leave again, she refuses to let him in.

Time all but stops for Rachel Wainwright when she loses the love of her life. She still goes to work every day, but she isn’t really living, doesn’t remember how to exist without Luke. Just as she picks herself up and starts to recover, he returns. Her mind can’t quite believe he’s back for good like he claims… even if her heart wants to trust that they’ve been given a second chance.

Just when things are looking up for Luke and Rachel, a mysterious stranger threatens to destroy their fresh start. Rachel lost Luke once, and it was nearly her undoing. That was something she never wanted to go through again. But as each secret is revealed, as the story begins to unfold completely, the choice might not be hers to make.

The first time I saw you, I thought to myself, She’s going to be the mother of my children. From that moment on, other women ceased to exist. I didn’t need to look anymore. I’d found my better half.

Chapter One

Exhaustion had taken its toll on Rachel Wainwright. Exhaustion and never-ending grief. That had to be what it was. Why else would she have abandoned her shift at The Bee’s Knee, jumped into her blue sedan, and rushed to Bee Cave Memorial behind the ambulance?
Had they brought the tall, dark stranger into the hospital yet?
Maybe she’d imagined the man calling her by the pet name Luke had given her — a name only he would have known. One he never used unless it was just the two of them. Except for that first night…
“Hey, Ragdoll, can we get another round over here?”
“Dr. Carney to the ER. Dr. Carney to the ER.”
The obnoxious blare of the loud speaker startled Rachel, jerked her back to the present. She approached the admitting desk on shaky legs. “Um, hi. The man from The Bee’s Knee…” Why was it so hard to speak? Why had her throat tightened?
A stern-looking woman with pale blue eyes and mousy brown hair flipped the papers on her desk face down. “And you are?”
“My name is—”
“Oh! Rachel.” The older woman leaned over the counter, her gaze firmly fixed on Rachel’s chest. “It makes sense now.” She waved her hand at Rachel’s nametag. “Your name is Rachel. The nurses could have sworn he was asking for Ragdoll. He must have meant you. The EMTs said you were right behind the ambulance. I’ll let them know you’re here. If you just want to have a seat in the waiting room.” She pointed to the hallway on her left. “Someone will be with you shortly.”
Rachel felt as if she’d been punched in the gut. It was all she could do to keep the contents of her stomach down. So she hadn’t imagined it. The stranger had called her Ragdoll right before he collapsed at her feet.
No one would call her that — would even know to call her that, except her husband. And he’d been dead for over a month.

~~~~

Bright lights flashed by as he was rolled forward. On a gurney, maybe? A heavy sheet of fog seemed to cover his mind. He felt disoriented, as if he was falling through a tunnel. With a jerk, the gurney came to a stop. Machines beeped all around him. His heart pounded hard against his chest as if trying to break free in order to reach much-needed air. To his relief, someone placed a mask over his face, and oxygen flooded his lungs. Yet his heart didn’t relax, began to beat more erratically. A raging fire seemed to course through his veins, but God, he was cold. So cold. He shivered so violently that the bed shook. A machine on his right alarmed. People talked all around him, but he couldn’t make out what was being said.
Snippets of memories danced in his mind. He tried to piece them together to figure out what had happened, but almost as quickly as they appeared, they fell away. A truck. Coffee. Headlights coming toward him. Intense pain shooting through his body followed almost immediately by warmth.
The voices again, only this time they seemed far away, distant. Echoing. Had someone said Luke? Or had he thought it?
There was a sharp jolt in his chest that made breathing impossible for several long seconds. He coughed. The mask now seemed to be smothering him. He tried to jerk it down. It was instantly put back into place.
“You need to leave the mask on, sir.”
His eyes flew open. A middle-aged woman was replacing the mask over his mouth.
“Sir, have you had surgery recently?”
Surgery? Him? He shook his head no.
“You have a large scar on your chest that isn’t healed. Have you had some sort of open heart surgery?”
He shook his head again. What the hell was going on? Had he been in an accident? The headlights. Had someone hit him?
“—name and any medical conditions he might have? Do you know what happened to him?” a man was asking.
“He just collapsed, so Lou called 911. They don’t know what happened. Rachel Wainwright followed us here.”
Rachel. The name sung across his soul, leaving feather light kisses where it landed. The burning in his chest subsided slightly, and his heart quit trying to tear out of his chest. Where was she? He needed to make sure she was okay. “Rachel.”
“Sir, you need to stay still.” The nurse pushed him gently back down.
“Rachel,” he mumbled through the mask.
“Dr. Rosemont, he’s trying to talk.”
“Sir, can you tell us your name.” The doctor lowered the mask.
“Wainwright. Luke Wainwright.” The name came out a hoarse squeak. Where was Rachel? He needed to see her. Why wouldn’t they let him up so he could see her? Sounds and memories once again flooded his senses as his heart slowed so that it seemed to have stopped altogether. Rachel strongest of all. She called out to him. And his heart answered with all the love his soul could hold.
“Ragdoll.”

 

If you ask bestselling author Kim Bowman's husband, he'd say she spends her days emailing her cyber best friend and writing partner, Kay Springsteen, drinking soda, and eating white chocolate. While that might be true, she also chases their five-year-old son Cage around, thinks about the housework she should be doing, and brainstorms her next favorite book. She's had the writing bug since she was a teenager and is happy to now live her dream of being a full-time author.

You can find Kim on Facebook, Twitter, and her Blog.