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A Prescription for Love (Medical Romance Series)

A Prescription for Love (Medical Romance Series)

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A Prescription for Love (Medical Romance Series)

205 pagine
4 ore
Oct 28, 2011


Lucy Morgan is determined to get over a failed relationship with a jealous and possessive partner. She leaves him behind in the Swiss Alps and moves to the Italian resort of Sella Bianca where she makes a fresh start as ski manager for travel company Cool Adventures. Whilst skiing the mountain she is taken off guard and almost loses her balance when surgeon Roberto Vittalini, descending at high speed, almost collides with her. Brought to a standstill Lucy, temporarily ‘off’ men and now fiercely independent, is furious. She vows to reprimand the guy if ever she sets eyes on him. But, much to her annoyance, when they do eventually meet in the hotel bar she is irrevocably drawn to him.

This is the start of a relationship tantalisingly fraught with obstacles, some created by Lucy and Rob themselves, others resulting from bizarre incidents on the slopes. Can Lucy trust Rob or any of her fellow skiers? And will romance survive this catalogue of intrigue and suspense?

Oct 28, 2011

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A Prescription for Love (Medical Romance Series) - Shirley Heaton

A Prescription for Love

by Shirley Heaton

Smashwords Edition 2011

Copyright © Shirley Heaton 2011

The right of Shirley Heaton to be identified as author of this work asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

All rights reserved

No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication may be made without written permission. No paragraph of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted save with the written permission of the author.

Any person who commits any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims damages


This is a work of fiction. All characters, organisations and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

Also by Shirley Heaton

Chance Encounter

A Lesson in Love

Love Will Find a Way

Relative Strangers

A Break with the Past

Oceans Apart

A Private Consultation

Chapter 1

Relishing the warmth of the sun on his face, Rob relaxed on his skis. He was half way down the mountain, well past the middle station when he felt his mobile phone vibrating against his chest. Slipping it from the top pocket of his ski jacket, he held it to his ear.


Rob, it’s Maria. I have two boys here at the clinic. They were fooling around on the slope and they crashed headlong.

What’s the damage, Maria?

One of them was unconscious when I admitted him, but he’s coming round. I’m sure he’ll be fine. And, don’t worry, Rob. I can cope until you arrive. How long are you likely to be?

You know me, Maria. I’m not worrying, he replied, knowing the capabilities of his casualty sister and always putting his complete trust in her. But I am on my way, he stressed. Give me ten minutes and I’ll be there.

Passionate about his work, Rob had been running the orthopaedic clinic in Sella Bianca for the past three years. An experienced downhill skier, he had spent most of his life in the Italian Alps and found it exhilarating skiing the mountain right the way down from the tops to the village. Although today was his half day off when no appointments were scheduled, he always stayed close at hand in case of emergency. And knowing the boy had lost consciousness, he needed to be back there to monitor the situation. Speed was of the essence.

He changed direction and headed towards the wooded area, taking a direct route through the trees not anticipating obstacles on this hairy track. But a lone skier traversing ahead forced him to swerve suddenly to avoid her and his fleeting glimpse caught her angry glare. Momentarily, his concentration lapsed and he almost lost his balance. But he quickly righted his skis and faced the fall line, skidding to an abrupt but skilful halt as he reached the bottom of the slope. The clinic was minutes away.

Lucy found her descent invigorating as she picked her way down the mountain’s steep and narrow forest path. Gliding and traversing gently through the trees in full control of her skis, she was enchanted by the tranquillity and silence, broken only by the whispering schuss of skis on virgin snow.

But seconds later her peace was shattered. Without warning, a figure loomed towards her like a bolt from the sky. With a massive leap, he cleared a huge crater, swerving and catching the tips of her skis. The vision, darkly clad, flashed by at high speed. Scusi, he called out, glancing over his shoulder before continuing his descent.

Lucy caught his challenging look and the broad grin sketching his face. Poser or what? No cap, trendy sunglasses, lips smeared white.

Stunned at the intrusion, for a split second her balance was in jeopardy. But she managed to stay upright, her face now a blaze of crimson fury as she lost momentum. Hey! she shouted, frowning and staring back at the guy as she dug in her edges and stopped dead. She stared ahead as he disappeared. And now she was almost at the bottom of the slope and was forced to push strenuously on her skis with no alternative but to skate laboriously across the snowfield towards the gondola.

Utterly exhausted with the effort, resentment and annoyance began to bubble up inside after the action she’d been forced to take. She had intended returning to the top of the mountain in the gondola and skiing the forest path once more but, from her experience as a ski rep, she was aware the worst time to ski was when exhaustion set in. That was the time when accidents happened. Common sense told her she should return to the hotel. Hadn’t she already had a lucky escape? The guy who had broken her rhythm and disturbed her solitude had a great deal to answer to.

The incident triggered thoughts of ex-boyfriend, Adam. Her stomach churned, and a vital question bombarded her mind. Had she made the right decision leaving him? She frowned. How many times did she need to ask herself? She had made the right decision; there was no doubt about it. So why waste her thoughts on him?

Intent on getting back to the hotel now that weariness had crept upon her, Lucy decided to put on a spurt. She undid her boots to ease the tension, releasing her skis from the bindings and lifting them up on to her shoulder.

The ski cellar was quiet as she entered through the hotel’s basement door. But then a strange noise behind the ski rack startled her. On impulse, she stepped back as a single ski toppled from the rack and clattered to the floor. It was followed by another and another. Dozens of them came crashing down en masse. She stared in horror as the ski rack itself pitched forward and collapsed on top of the skis. As though mesmerised, her eyes were fixed on the massive heap only inches away.

Her legs felt weak. She’d had a narrow escape from a dangerous situation! One ski could have been lethal, let alone masses of them.

Her head was aching fit to burst and she hurried towards the stairs. It was then she heard a scuffling sound behind her. But by this time her heart was pumping heavily in her chest and she was too scared to turn and look around. Panic almost stopped her from reaching the top of the stairs. She tripped and stumbled her way up, heading straight for reception to report the incident.

Claire, her room-mate, was relaxing on her bed when Lucy entered.

What on earth’s the matter, Luce. You look as though you’ve see a ghost. Claire pulled herself up.

It’s just not my day, Lucy moaned, shaking her head. First of all some guy tries to mow me down on the slope, and then I’m almost felled to the ground by dozens of skis. She unzipped her black and white ski suit and stepped out of it. It’s a miracle I’m still alive, Claire.

How do you mean?

Lucy proceeded to fill her in on the incident in the ski cellar. It was weird. If I didn’t know better I’d say it was deliberate.

Don’t say that, Luce. I’m sure it must have been an accident.

And then of course there was the guy on the slope. He’ll certainly get a piece of my mind if ever I set eyes on him again.

Slow down, Luce! Claire slipped an arm around Lucy’s shoulder to try and console her.

Sorry Claire. After her split with Adam, Lucy knew she’d been tetchy, and she was grateful to Claire who’d been there for her, providing support. She turned to her friend and laughed. What am I like, complaining again? All I need is to offload, let off steam. But I am cross about the guy on the slopes. She huffed. He came at me like an express train. I nearly came a cropper. He certainly didn’t stop.

Was he a local?

The way he was skiing, I’d say he was. She dropped her cap and gloves on the bed and slung the ski suit over the back of a chair. Pressing her hand to her forehead, she added, I’m exhausted. He more or less stopped me in my tracks and I lost momentum when he caught my skis. I had all on keeping my balance.

Forget about him. Some of the guys are show-offs. Claire frowned. But they usually apologise if they cross your path.

Now that you mention it, he did apologise – briefly – in Italian!

At least that’s something, Claire offered, trying to appease the situation. She removed her turquoise and navy ski suit, carefully placed it on a hanger and draped it over the front of the wardrobe door. Collapsing on to the bed again, she lifted her arms and clasped her hands behind her head. There’s a party tonight in the bar downstairs. Seven thirty. Are you game?

Lucy pulled a face and shook her head. I don’t think so. Today’s drama has put me off.

Snap out of it, Luce. Don’t let it influence you. Claire smiled back. It’s so not worth it.

Lucy nodded. I suppose not! But once more the mystery skier came to the forefront of her mind.

She headed for the bathroom. Do you mind if I take the first bath? she begged. I feel desperately tired after trekking across the snowfield.

Be my guest! Claire groaned. It’ll be a while before I can drag myself off the bed. I ache so much after struggling to survive. Normally employed as a summer rep, it was the first time Claire had been involved in the winter season. Not that I was the only one slipping and sliding on the nursery slope. She giggled. I think we were all as bad.

Lucy laughed. You’ll soon get the hang of it, darl. She stepped into the warm bath and gave a pleasurable sigh, stretching her body and sliding her shoulders under the water. This is sheer luxury. She purred and was silent for a moment or two as she took in the sheer delight of the warmth hugging her body. Why don’t we ski together when we’re free tomorrow? We’ll take one or two gentle, blue runs. It should be fun. The more you practise, the more you’ll improve.

Blue runs? You’ve got to be joking. I’m absolutely hopeless. I don’t think I’ll ever get the hang of it. I can barely stand up on the snow, let alone ski a blue run or, more importantly, put the brakes on. She paused. What level are the blue runs anyway? I know I’ve been here a couple of weeks but it all takes time to sink in.

The blue runs are the easy ones. Lucy closed her eyes and relaxed. Talking about the brakes, I’ll teach you how to stop by using the plough. That’s the first step and we’ll start on the nursery slopes. Once you know how to stop, you’ll be fine. Lucy’s mind drifted. With a hint of irony in her voice, she added, Even the guy on the slopes could have used the plough to stop. But, considering his predicament, Lucy acknowledged the mystery skier had been skilful. Had he not swerved, she would have slid down the fall line into the trees. That aside, he could have checked that she was still upright. But of course that would have stopped his little display; it would have slowed him down.

He wouldn’t want that! She sighed. Men!

That thought brought Adam back to mind and Lucy began to reflect. They were both ski reps in the Swiss Alps working for Cool Adventures. It was when Adam began to make demands, suggesting she shouldn’t become too involved in company business that Lucy pointed out she too had responsibilities. He took to sulking after that and insisted he was merely trying to protect her. ‘Protection’ was his term. She’d been too naïve and too besotted to realise that what he really meant was ‘control’. The truth was that he resented her success.

When she was offered promotion to resort manager at Sella Bianca, Adam had a problem handling it. He made a fuss, accusing her of being too ambitious. He’d obviously hoped the post would be his and, for sure, he would have taken it. She was on the verge of turning it down and staying, but when his war of attrition continued, she could take no more of his sniping, his attempts to run her life. Her decision was made and she accepted the promotion.

Telling him had been difficult. After all she still loved him. Or so she thought at the time.

She pulled her thoughts up sharply and focused once more on the guy on the slopes. Her mind held a vivid picture of his face, dark and incredibly handsome but with a look of arrogance. She frowned. Why was he careering down the mountain at such high speed? If he thought he could get away with it, he could think again.

After a long soak, Lucy felt a new release from her earlier tiredness and she was ready for a fun evening. Perhaps she had been rather rash in her comments to Claire. But still the lone skier preyed on her mind and she couldn’t shake him off.

Both boys were conscious when Rob arrived at the clinic. He smiled warmly and rolled his eyes. Do I take it you’ve been fooling around on the slopes? He guessed at the circumstances and, shaking his head, he continued. It doesn’t go down well with the grown-ups, does it?

The boys looked to the floor sheepishly whilst their parents sat anxiously waiting for Rob’s diagnosis.

You know what teenagers are like, their father said apologetically, acting the goat. But they learn by their own mistakes, he added. I hope it’s not going to spoil the holiday too much. We’ve another five days yet.

"It won’t spoil your holiday but I’m afraid these two will be playing snakes and ladders for the rest of it. They’ll certainly not be skiing. He looked at the two boys, grinned and jokingly pulled his mouth down at the corners before clipping one of the x-ray films to the screen. Simon has a fractured clavicle, I’m afraid. He’ll need a sling and it must be kept on at all times, he stressed. Reading the second x-ray, he continued. Jonathan has a dislocated shoulder and a hairline crack to the scapula. I’ll need to slip the shoulder back and immobilise it completely, give the fracture a chance to mend."

Jonathan tried to be brave as Rob clicked the shoulder back into position, but tears trickled down his face. And, eventually, looking tired and disappointed, the two were discharged. It was another hour before Rob left the clinic and headed for his chalet on the mountain side.

The gondola lift was closed when Rob returned to the slopes. He collected his bobsled from the ski hut, switched on the motor and made his way back up the mountain. He frowned as the chalet came into view, surprised to see a thin trace of smoke curling up from the high chimney. That was strange. He’d damped down the fire when he’d set out that morning.

The door was already open when he inserted his key in the lock. He pushed it gently and walked through into the kitchen. Almost immediately he came face to face with his mother, Sofia who was preparing what appeared to be a goulash. Delighted to see her, he felt a warmth shimmer through him. He spotted his father, Franco, through the open door to the lounge. Franco looked up from his newspaper, threw his son a cursory glance and continued to read.

Hey, how long have you two been here? Rob asked his mother, demonstrating his affection with kisses and hugs.

A couple of hours, maybe, his father replied, still concentrating on his newspaper. Left Milan this morning. A wine wholesaler, he was particular about the amount of time he spent away from the business, usually for important issues, nothing more. We dropped in to see Benito and Christina on the way. He folded the newspaper and placed it beside him.

Rob needed no further explanation. He knew exactly why the parents were here. Since Rob’s twenty-fifth birthday, his father had hassled him to strike up some sort of romantic attachment with Tina, the only daughter of Count Benito de Praccinno, a close friend of the family. In short both Franco and Benito were angling for Rob and Christina to marry. At twenty-eight Rob was still single and still

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