Holiday Magic – The Gift of Love

Holiday Magic: The Gift of Love
An emotion-wrapped, two-story anthology by Laurie Ryan and Lavada Dee

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Holiday Magic – The Gift of Love


Priceless Love by Lavada Dee
“For Richer, For Poorer.”
Taylor Hamilton, dissatisfied with a life designed by her parents, attends a friend’s fall wedding and finds small town life agrees with her. The problem is, her wealth doesn’t agree with the man she falls for. Is their love strong enough to find a bridge of trust where money isn’t an issue?

Healing Love by Laurie Ryan
“In Sickness and in Health.”
Nicole Milbourne’s single-minded focus on a medical research career is thrown for a loop when charismatic Dr. Damien Reed shows her there’s more to life than studying diseases. Will an unexpected Christmas fill Nicole’s lonely heart and show her the healing power of love?


~EXCERPT from Healing love~

Damien Reed put both hands in the pocket of his jeans and leaned back against the wall. The longer he stared across the corridor, the more Nicole began to sweat. This couldn’t be good.

Well, better to confess up front than to wait and have it thrown in your face. “I’m sorry, Dr. Reed. I—I don’t know why the possibility of a systemic disease like diabetes slipped my mind. I know better.”

He closed his eyes. The look on his face was reminiscent of someone who’d just tasted heaven…or really great chocolate. When he opened them, she caught a quick flare of emotion before it disappeared behind his smile.

“Relax,” he said. “Even if I thought you should be booted out of the program, I don’t have the authority.”

“Maybe not,” she conceded. “But you have the ear of those who do.”

He chuckled. “You’ve got me there.” He pushed off the wall. “Walk with me.”

She looked at the kit in her hand. “I really should get this to the lab.”

Dr. Reed took it from her, pulled a pen from his pocket and, using the wall, wrote the patient’s name and room number on it. Next, he waylaid a nurse. “Would you deliver this to the lab for me?”

“Certainly, Doctor.” the nurse said. Twice his age, the woman glowed at the attention. Nicole rolled her eyes. The man had that affect on, well, just about everyone.

“Thank you,” Nicole said to the nurse as she disappeared without any indication she’d heard Nicole’s gratitude.

They walked in silence until he turned into a waiting room with nothing in it but a few chairs and neutral colors. Sitting, he motioned for her to take a chair across from him.

Here comes the boom. Nicole glanced at the picture above Dr. Reed’s head. Did the sky over that sailboat indicate a storm was coming? Maybe. She settled her hands in her lap and waited.

“Why did you choose medicine for a career?”

The question came out of left field and Nicole felt her heart fill with the familiar ache of long ago memory. She clamped a lid on the pain and sat back, crossing her arms. “I don’t see how that has any relevance to today.”

“Humor me,” he said. He leaned forward to rest elbows on knees, fingers laced together. “I’d like to understand your motivation.”

“I have an interest in research,” she finally answered. “Oncology research.”

“That’s on your resume. What I want to know is why?”

Nicole stared at green eyes that held both gentle question and firm resolve. She wasn’t going to get out of answering. Over his head, the clouds in the picture seemed to darken. She didn’t want to have this conversation, but he waited without moving until she finally answered.

“My mother passed away when I was ten years old.”


She gave a quick nod. “Ovarian.”

He cocked his head. “I’m sorry.”

Nicole tried to shrug. She willed her shoulders to rise and show her indifference. Willed her head to remember that it had happened a long time ago. Willed her heart to stop thumping a painful reminder.

She should answer him. He was waiting, watching. After all these years, she still didn’t know how to respond to that phrase. ‘I’m sorry.’ What the hell did that mean, anyhow? As she searched eyes filled with the patience of a man comfortable with silent pauses, she wanted, for the first time, to answer. “’I’m sorry’ is such a strange phrase, don’t you think? I’m not even sure I know what it means.”

One dimple appeared. “It means something different for everyone. For me, it’s all about what you went through, the pain you feel.”

“Thank you.” The unfamiliar sting of tears made her blink and her fingernails dug into her hands as she tried to regain some control. “I’m sure, Doctor, that you didn’t call me in here for a therapy session.”

He studied her for a long moment before making some sort of decision. “No. I didn’t. But it is nice to know you’re capable of showing some emotion.”

She straightened. “I beg your pardon?”



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