Tennessee Vet

By: Carolyn McSparren

Is he ready to soar like an eagle...

and live again?

When Stephen MacDonald brings Barbara Carew an injured bald eagle, the widowed veterinarian doesn’t expect to heal two wounded males! Although he came to rural Tennessee to recover from his own accident, Stephen seems invested in Orville’s future...and Barbara’s. But even as their connection grows, Barbara isn’t sure she’s ready. Or has she already started to teach Stephen—and herself—to soar again?





The eagle let forth with one of his horrendous screeches.

Startled, Barbara slipped and braced her hand against the front of Orville’s cage.

Stephen grabbed her wrist and pulled it away from the cage a second before Orville’s beak struck the wire. He kept her wrist and spun her to face him. “You okay?”

Her eyes were wide with fear and he heard her breathing speed up. He held her close. Those flecks in her eyes drew him to her as though he were a miner who’d discovered a seam of gold a foot wide.

A moment later they were closer still. The kiss came without thought or even volition. It started out as a friendly peck. A moment later it changed into something deeper.

It was one heck of a kiss before breakfast!





Dear Reader,

Losing a beloved spouse, the person with whom we share memories no one else shares, can feel as though we are stuck with a leftover life to live. The very idea that we could find another love feels like a betrayal. Yet, even when we turn our backs on love, it can sneak back into our hearts and our minds.

Barbara Carew, a veterinarian with a small practice by the Tennessee River, is too busy to think about love. The sudden death of her husband left her with complete responsibility for herself, their two children and all the animals that desperately need her help.

Stephen MacDonald, a history professor, not only lost his wife to cancer, but nearly lost his leg in an automobile accident. After a year in rehab, he still uses a cane. He seems to be functioning, but in reality he’s forgotten what it’s like to laugh, to love, to take chances.

Barbara and Stephen are brought together by a shrieking, angry, desperately wounded bird that Stephen names Orville. And through Orville’s journey of healing, Barbara and Stephen find their own hope.

This second book in the animal rehabilitator series Williamston Wildlife Rescue is also in praise of the wonderful people who take in and care for wild animals, raptors included. These people devote their lives and frequently their money to help the wild creatures that so often are in trouble because of human beings in the first place.

Watch for the third book in the Williamston Wildlife Rescue series, available in 2019.

Carolyn




CHAPTER ONE

“THE CLOSEST SERVICE station that has snacks and drinks is eight miles away in that direction,” Emma Logan said and pointed out the window down the two-lane road to her left. “And it’s twelve miles in the other if you want to drive into Williamston. Can you stand to be so isolated? Seth and I live right across the road, but I’m either helping out down at the veterinary clinic or looking after whatever animals we’ve rescued. And in this condition—” she pointed down at her sizable belly “—I can’t pick you up if you fall.”

Stephen MacDonald thumped his Malacca cane with the silver wolf’s head against the floor between his knees. “I do not fall, Emma. I limp. I am not an invalid.”

“Then why hide out here? I’ve known you and your daughters since you all moved into the neighborhood years ago. I know you’re hiding. Takes one to know one. I came out here to hole up and lick my wounds when I lost my job and my fiancé, and look what happened.” She waved her hand at the living room of the farmhouse. From behind the back wall came the thud of nail guns and shouts of men. “It’s already nearly October. With Kicks almost here, we have to finish the nursery and the kitchen and the new bathroom fast before he, she or it arrives.”

“Kicks?” He gave her the barest flicker of a smile. “I remember my Nina nicknamed our Elaine Salsa when she was carrying her. Anne was quieter. I can’t remember Nina’s name for her.” He turned away quickly, but not before Emma caught the flash of pain in his eyes.

When Anne had called to make the appointment for her father to view Emma’s rental house, she’d warned her that she might not recognize Stephen.

“He looks even taller now that he’s lost so much weight—like Abraham Lincoln without the beard. He’s also angry,” Anne had told her. “It’s almost as though he blames Mother for dying on him.”

“I’m sure he does,” Emma had said. “She protected him from the world. I was terrified of him when I used to come to your house after school, until Nina showed me what a pushover he really is. And then his accident—it’s no wonder he’s bad-tempered. Pain makes everybody angry.”

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