Dear romance readers!
Today’s the day! Prescription for Desire is now available with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and All Romance eBooks. It will be available with iTunes and Kobo soon. I truly hope you enjoy Raven and Armand’s love story. I received plenty of emails and messages from quite a few of you over the past year about making sure I gave Raven a wonderful man that would love her forever. I hope you won’t be disappointed in my choice! I fell in love with Armand while writing the book, and I hope you will as well! The blurb and chapter one are below. Happy reading!
Since the death of her husband three years ago, Dr. Raven Arrington has found herself in the same mundane routine. Needing a change of scenery, she escapes to a little town outside of Buenos Aries to temporarily work at a medical facility. Raven didn’t realize what prescription for medicine she needed until she meets Chief of Staff, Dr. Armand Phillips. With just the right dose of desire, the gray-eyed, sinfully suave doctor awakens a part of her she’d suppressed.
Armand knows having a fling with a co-worker is a prescription for trouble, but the older, sophisticated doctor is like no other woman he’s met. He’s used to no responsibilities outside of his career and loves his freedom to travel wherever needed. However, Armand is willing to sacrifice it all in order to make Raven his—despite her reservations—and to give her what she wants more than anything.
Prescription for Desire is the fourth book in the Arrington Family Series.
When her twin brother casually asked her to do him a favor, Dr. Raven Arrington was expecting something like check his mail while he’s out of town, give advice on a patient, or walk his dog if he had one. However, flying halfway across the world to Argentina wasn’t exactly what she expected to hear.
Raven ran her eyes over her checklist one more time to verify she had everything she needed for the next few months. She was still surprised that she’d promised her brother, Dr. Cannon Arrington, that she would go to Ghilaua, a small town outside of Buenos Aires, to fill in for the Ob-Gyn position while the board searched for another one. Cannon was the CEO and one of the founders of Doctors Unlimited, an organization that built medical clinics in areas that were without proper medical care or full service facilities.
As a partner in her family’s medical practice, Arrington Family Specialists, Raven didn’t feel comfortable leaving her own patients to tend to some on another continent. However, a part of her longed for some type of escape and change, so she jumped at the opportunity after taking only a few hours to mull it over. Now, one week after he’d asked, she was packed and ready for a change in her accustomed routine.
Yawning, she threw her ereader into her carry-on bag and grabbed it from her bed. Just as she headed downstairs, the doorbell chimed. She knew Cannon would be on time so she could make her five-thirty flight at Memphis International Airport. Raven wasn’t exactly a morning person, so she was glad when she opened the door and Cannon handed her a coffee and a small bag.
He slid her carry-on bag from her shoulder and unto his. “Caramel macchiato, with two shots of espresso and no whip cream. Plus, a turkey bacon, spinach, and cheese croissant sandwich all made by my lovely wife.”
“Thank you, big brother,” she said, sipping the coffee and inhaling deeply. It was just what she needed to wake her up and to stop her pre-flight jitters. Raven loved to travel but wasn’t fond of flying.
“No, thank you for being able to help me out at the last minute.” Cannon turned and stopped in the doorway, staring at the five suitcases sitting on the foyer floor. Chuckling, he shook his head as he popped the trunk of his BMW with his remote key. “I said two months, not two years.” His almond-shaped cinnamon eyes, which matched hers, twinkled with amusement.
“You said be prepared for all weather conditions. It may be fall here, but its spring in Buenos Aires even though it’s October. Plus, one of the suitcases is empty. I plan on doing some major shopping while there.”
“You really need to go to a shop-a-holics anonymous meeting. In fact, I’ll drive you,” he joked, rolling the biggest suitcase out of the house but turned back toward her. “Since I have a key, I’ll just clean out your closets while you’re gone.”
“Not funny.” Raven playfully punched his upper arm just as she always had since they were children. “Not funny, at all.”
She proceeded to walk around her home one more time, making sure all of the doors and windows were secure. Luckily, she’d just had cameras installed on all of the outside doors and would be able to monitor her home just by looking at her cell phone or tablet. Plus, Cannon lived on the next street over if anything was amiss.
“Ready?” Cannon asked as Raven returned to the foyer and grabbed her purse and breakfast from the credenza.
“Yep. Just need to set the alarm.”
“And Sahara is already gone?”
Raven nodded, taking her keys from the hook near the door. “I dropped her off at Shelbi’s home last night since you wouldn’t dog sit.” Sahara was the two-year-old Pomeranian that Cannon had given to her as a birthday gift.
“I prefer big dogs. You can’t play catch with a little, yappy dog.”
“Whatever. I’ll meet you in the car.” She pushed him out and shut the front door to set the alarm.
A few hours later, Raven was buckled in her first class seat. Staring out the window as the plane took off, she reflected about her life at the present moment. She never thought in all of her thirty-nine years she would run off to assist with a medical clinic in Ghilaua. That was Cannon’s life, not hers. However, her life hadn’t gone according to the blueprint she’d laid out for herself when she was a teenager. Raven was organized and planned every aspect of her existence. Go to college. Go to medical school. Become an Ob-Gyn at the family’s medical practice. Get married and have two children; a girl and a boy.
Everything had been perfect when she met police officer Howard Smith almost four years ago. She was rushing to the hospital to deliver a baby when he pulled her over for speeding. Once she explained why she was in a hurry, he let her go. After Raven delivered the baby, she was surprised to see Howard seated in the waiting room to ask her out on a date. They ate dinner in the hospital thirty minutes later since she had another patient who was due to deliver that night. The following evening, they went on a real date and married a year a later. Unfortunately, he died in the line of duty three months after their wedding. Raven had been devastated, especially since she’d discovered she was a month pregnant with twins just a few days before his death, but was going to wait until Father’s Day to tell him. She miscarried the following month, but the only person that knew of the pregnancy was her mother and her best friend Taylor.
After a brief mourning period, she went back to work and carried on with her life as it was before Howard. Now she was going through the same routines, including wearing a pleasant smile to let the world know she was fine. However, on the inside, she was a horrible wreck.
When Cannon presented the opportunity to go away—or rather, escape for two months—she was grateful for the change. Change was good. Right? She wasn’t quite sure, but Raven welcomed the distraction that Cannon suggested she’d needed for the last few years.
After landing and making it through customs at Ministro Pistarini International Airport, Raven headed to the baggage claim area. There, she was supposed to meet one of the nurses from the clinic who was going to drive her to Ghilaua, which was an hour or so from Buenos Aires.
As Raven observed the crowded airport where people were speaking in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, her eyes rested on a good-looking man who was also gazing about as well. She glanced at the bags on the baggage belt, but her eyes kept pulling toward the devastatingly handsome man. He wasn’t overly tall or short. She figured right around six feet tall even though he had a commanding presence, and if he’d been any shorter, it wouldn’t matter. He had an air of confidence, which made him stand out more than anyone in the vicinity.
His light blue dress shirt, with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, and khaki pants weren’t doing a good job of hiding a well-defined and muscular physique. His golden-coated skin had been kissed by the sun for she could see a faint tan line on his under arm. Other women were noticing him as well, either nodding or winking at him. He seemed to love the attention, and when he flashed a charming smile her way, Raven found herself releasing one as well. Her breasts tingled and heat rushed through her veins as his sexy gaze lingered on her face. She couldn’t believe she was lusting over a stranger—a ruggedly handsome one—but stranger nonetheless
Remembering where she was, she turned away from the mesmerizing sight, especially when he approached a young lady whose eyes brightened with acknowledgement.
Lucky girl. I guess he found who he was looking for.
Raven sighed and laughed at herself for actually staring so hard and long at a man she would never meet. Besides, she was there to work, not start a romantic affair in another country … even though her baby sister Shelbi did suggest she find an Argentine hunk. However, that guy was apparently spoken for.
She pulled her first bag off of the belt and sat it at her feet. She saw two more on their way and reached out to grab them.
“Excuse me, miss?” a baritone, American voice questioned behind her. She hated traveling alone for the fear of strangers approaching her, especially when she was trying to keep one eye on her luggage at her feet and the other eye on the belt. She looked over her shoulder, and her heart stopped. A pair of sinfully sexy gray eyes stared down at her. It was the jaw-dropping stranger she’d been ogling over just a minute ago.
“Um … yes?” she managed to croak out along with stifling a gulp.
“Sorry to bother you, but I’m Dr. Armand Phillips. Would you happen to be Dr. Raven Arrington?” His smile and tone were desperate, yet quite pleasant.
“Oh, Dr. Phillips.” She immediately put on her professional hat, nodding knowingly at the familiarity of his name and shaking his hand. He was recently named the chief of staff since the last one had managed to embezzle thousands of dollars and was currently sitting in a prison cell. “Nice to meet you. I was expecting one of the nurses.” Raven turned back toward the belt to retrieve her last bag and hide her embarrassment, but he reached out and grabbed it. She was grateful because it was the heaviest one, plus to witness his arm muscles tighten was a welcomed sight.
“I know, but Cannon called and said you had a lot of luggage. He asked if I could meet you instead, and mentioned he would inform you.”
“He probably did,” Raven said, remembering she hadn’t turned her cell phone back on once her flight had landed. “My cell isn’t on.”
“He said you had curly, brownish red hair with gold highlights and was about 5’7, so I’ve been approaching every woman in here that fits that description.”
She nodded her head with a smirk. “Yes … I noticed.”
“He should’ve just said the most beautiful woman that I’ll ever lay my eyes on.” He paused as he stepped into her personal space. “Then I would’ve immediately approached you.”
His sexy, seductive tone awakened a desire in her that she’d suppressed for the past few years. However, his charming personality was borderline arrogant and the mild flirting he bestowed, while flattering, wasn’t what she had in mind when she agreed to help her brother. She knew she’d been thinking wicked thoughts about the man some moments ago, but that was before she knew who he was. Now that she did, she needed to nip this in the bud quick before she broke her rule of mixing business with pleasure. The last thing she needed was to fall for her superior.
“Look, Dr. Phillips,” she started in a curt tone, “while I appreciate the compliment, I didn’t come all this way to be flirted with. So let’s remain professional while I’m here.”
He nodded in agreement and stepped away from her. “Forgive me. That was completely out of line.”
His gray eyes lingered on her face briefly, and Raven had to suppress another gulp. The man was gorgeous, and she was slightly disappointed about her rule. However, falling for a man halfway across the world wasn’t in her plans especially with her boss.
“I’m going to go grab a luggage cart for all of your suitcases,” he said, waving his hand in their direction with a slight smirk before strolling away.
After loading her luggage into the trunk of his red Ford 150, they’d remained silent since she’d shot down his flirtatious remark. Except for a few questions about the distance to Ghilaua, Raven kept her eyes on the road and the scenery ahead. Meanwhile, out of the corner of her left eye, she noticed Dr. Phillips stealing glances her way as if he was searching for something to say. The last thing she wanted was for either of them to feel uncomfortable around each other, considering they had to work together. It was one of the reasons why she never dated doctors she worked with. Regardless, his flirty comment and the seductive way he said it still played in her head, and for a minute she felt beautiful and desirable again. Sure, men paid her compliments, but she’d never really thought about it for more than a few seconds afterwards. Now the man sitting next to her, whose intoxicating cologne was slowly driving her insane, thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world. And she believed him, which scared her. When men complimented her, she’d smile, say thank you and go about her day, not giving them a second thought even those she had to see on a daily basis at the hospital. However, the man with the piercing gray eyes was causing her thoughts to run rampant.
Thankful for the dark shades she wore, Raven was able to let her eyes roam in his direction without him noticing. Tight hands held the steering wheel at ten and two o’clock. The sleeves of his light blue dress shirt were rolled up to his elbows, showcasing his muscular, smooth golden skin. Thanks to him lifting her heavy suitcases into the trunk, his woodsy, manly cologne was radiating off of his body and had permeated into a scent worth remembering.
His low-cut wavy hair and clean-shaven face sort of gave him a boyish appearance at times except when his seductive heat-filled eyes landed on her. His lips that showcased a heart-warming smile, were also the perfect thick lips she craved for on a man. Butterflies fluttered in the pit of her stomach at the idea of the different ways he could drive her crazy with kisses all over her. She crossed and uncrossed her legs a few times to calm down the sensation that erupted between her thighs.
Raven decided to break the silence before her thoughts and eyes drifted elsewhere. “So, tell me about the Ghilaua.”
He turned his head slightly from staring straight ahead at the road. The quick eyebrow raise and upward curve of his mouth suggested he seemed relieved—maybe even surprised—that she spoke to him.
“Well … it’s about three times the size of downtown Memphis. Everything is pretty much in walking distance, or people ride bikes and scooters. However, the mayor is installing a trolley system soon. I rarely drive unless it’s to run errands in the city, pick up more supplies, or prett– um … people from the airport.” He cleared his throat a few times before continuing. “There’s a market with fresh vegetables, fruits, and meats from local farms. There are restaurants, bakeries, other shops and businesses within walking distance of the clinic. Everyone pretty much knows everyone. It’s a nice, quaint little town. A lot of developers have come and totally revamped the place. Thanks to the clinic, or should I say thanks to your brother and Doctors Unlimited, Ghilaua has efficient medical services. Before, the locals had to go into the big city for any emergencies. There was only one primary care physician, and he works at the clinic now. He’s an expat from the US. Your family must be very proud of Dr. Cannon and his accomplishments.”
She nodded and turned toward him. “We are. He’s been very compassionate about helping people since we were children, thanks to our parents. What brought you all the way to Argentina?”
“Actually, your brother. During medical school, I had a chance to meet one of the board members of Doctors Unlimited at a seminar on campus. I’d heard of the organization, but didn’t know much about it since it wasn’t the route I was going to pursue. After he gave me some literature, I spent weeks on the Internet watching documentaries and reading articles about how your brother and his colleagues started the program when they were barely out of medical school. I was impressed with how they wrote a grant in medical school to help an impoverished village in Brazil that didn’t have proper medical care. People were dying and they helped save lives. Once I completed my residency at Howard Hospital, I started working there, but I wasn’t being fulfilled. After a few months, I began working with Doctors Without Borders for two years in various places, then Doctors Unlimited, and here I am.”
“How long have you worked here, Dr. Phillips?”
“Almost two years, but I’m contemplating going back to the States soon. While I love it here, I get homesick sometimes for my family. I miss out on birthdays, holidays, graduations, and births. While Skype is cool, sometimes I want to see my mother’s beautiful smile in person, or give her a big kiss on the cheek instead of on the computer screen.”
“I’m sure your family misses you. Where are you from?”
“Not far from you, actually. My family lives in St. Louis. I’m a military brat, so we moved around a lot. After both of my parents retired from the Army, we moved to there. I was sixteen.”
“Do you want to go back to St. Louis?”
“Possibly, or at least in a city where I can hop in my car and be there in a few hours. My parents are getting older, and as the oldest, I feel responsible for them.”
“I hear you. Cannon and I are the oldest, even though he likes to remind me that he was born two minutes before me and swears he’s my big brother.”
“It makes sense that he feels like he’s the big brother. I have two younger sisters, so I completely understand the big brother role.”
Raven smiled, thankful that they were having a casual conversation, and that despite her brief moment of thinking she was attracted to him, she felt that they could easily work together.
“Hungry?” Armand asked, briefly glancing at her before turning back to the road.
She nodded, realizing she hadn’t eaten since lunch during the ten hour, non-stop flight to Buenos Aires, which was three hours ahead. The sun had begun to go down, and she was finding herself becoming sleepy, but she definitely needed to eat first.
“Very,” she stated matter-of-factly.
“Good. Everyone at the clinic has been dying to meet you, so we’ve planned a dinner with authentic Argentine foods to welcome you to the staff. We do this for every new doctor or nurse so they’ll feel at home, considering they’re away from home.”
“Wow. That’s wonderful.” Raven looked down at her attire of jeans, ankle boots, and a purple cashmere sweater. She’d been in them all day, and was ready for a shower and something comfy to wear. Besides, it was spring in Buenos Aires, and she was dressed for the fall weather of Memphis. “Will I have time to change?”
She caught his eyes roam over her briefly and a smirk formed on his mouth. “You look fine to me, but yes you can change before dinner. I’m assuming Cannon told you about our living quarters?”
“Yes, he did.”
The living quarters were on the top floor of the three story medical facility. Each staff member had a small apartment, which consisted of a living area, bedroom, and bathroom. There was a kitchen with a full-time staff, including a trained chef and a dining area. Cannon had shown her a picture, and the apartments reminded her of hotel suites … minus the luxury of housekeeping and room service. Even though the staff had schedules, everyone was on call majority of the time except for days off unless it was a dire emergency. The second floor was a hospital, so patients did stay there as well. The first floor was set up like a regular medical practice with exam rooms and offices.
They arrived in the town just as the sun was setting, and Raven was quite impressed with it. She’d seen pictures from the Doctors Unlimited website, but the scene before her was breathtaking. Stores, cafés, and office buildings were neatly arranged. There were very few cars on the road. It was mostly people walking the sidewalks, or sitting and eating at the outdoor cafés, which painfully reminded her she was hungry.
“Are we there yet?” she asked. Suddenly, she chuckled as she thought about her childhood trips and her siblings asking that same question, usually for the same reason.
Armand turned left into a parking lot as soon as she asked. Staring up at the three-story medical building, she smiled at her brother’s accomplishment. Of course she’d seen pictures online, read articles, watched documentaries, and even attended a seminar about the Doctors Unlimited organization. However, actually seeing it in person was the icing on the cake, and her eyes welled up in tears as she realized just how much her twin brother had done for the medical field.
“I may need a gurney for all of your suitcases,” Armand said with a snicker, jarring Raven from her thoughts. He drove around to the back of the building and parked in a space near the door.
“I wasn’t sure what to pack,” she replied. They got out of the truck and walked toward the back of it to retrieve her belongings.
“We’re pretty casual around here.” He shrugged, reaching into his pocket and handing her a key and an electronic scan card. “You’re in apartment 308 … across from me.”
His eyes made instant contact with hers, and for a split second a jolt of electricity shocked her fingertips and soared down to her toes when she took the items from him. She managed to struggle out a “thank you” before looking over her shoulder as the sound of footsteps approached. It was an older, Caucasian male, with salt and pepper hair pulled back into a ponytail. He wore a Hawaiian shirt, blue Bermuda shorts, and flip flops.
Armand laughed and handed Raven her carry-on bag. “I told you we’re very casual around here.” He winked at Raven, and handed another suitcase to the gentleman approaching. “I’m assuming you came to help, Dr. Watkins?”
“Of course.” Taking the suitcase, he then turned to Raven. “You must be Dr. Arrington. Pleasure to meet you.” He held out his free hand to shake Raven’s. “We’ve been looking forward to you coming.”
“Thank you so much, Dr. Watkins. Nice to meet you as well.” Raven remembered Cannon telling her that Dr. Watkins had been the only doctor in Ghilaua, and very instrumental in assisting Doctors Unlimited in opening the medical facility. He was currently the chief of medicine.
An older Asian woman approached with a pleasant smile and warm eyes; her long, black hair, which was sprinkled with gray, was pulled up into a swinging ponytail. Raven breathed a sigh of relief to finally not have to be alone with Armand anymore. Being in the close quarters of the truck and having to smell his intoxicating scent had been pure torture.
“Hi, Dr. Arrington. I’m Kay, the head nurse.”
The ladies shook hands and Kay offered to show Raven to her apartment while the men handled the suitcases.
Raven recognized her name as one of the people instrumental in opening the medical facility in Ghilaua and one of the many in Africa. Kay had been with Doctors Unlimited for the past five years. She’d been a nurse in New York about to retire when she’d heard of the organization and all of its extraordinary contributions to the medical field. Since her children were adults and she was divorced, Kay decided to work for the organization and forego retirement for a few years.
“I know you must be tired after such a long flight. After dinner just rest, and tomorrow I’ll give you a tour of the clinic.” Kay placed her scan card against a silver pad next to the door, and the ladies walked in and headed toward the elevator.
“Thank you. I am rather tired and famished.”
“I bet you are.” Kay nodded understandably. “A few things. The entrance we just used is for staff only. You’ll need the scan card to get into the building, as well as the elevators and stairwells to get to the third floor, so never misplace it.”
Once they arrived to Raven’s apartment, Kay promised to come back in thirty minutes to grab her for dinner. As Kay was leaving, Armand and Dr. Watkins arrived with the luggage on a gurney and brought her belongings inside.
After everyone left, Raven took a quick shower, and threw on a comfortable yellow maxi dress and a pair of flat sandals. She piled her hair into a puffy ponytail at the top of her head, and slid some lip gloss across her lips. She had a few more minutes before Kay came back to get her, so she plopped down on the couch in the living area to call Cannon and let him know she’d arrived safely.
“Thank you again, sis, for doing this on such short notice.”
“Have you met everyone yet?”
“No. Besides Dr. Phillips, just Dr. Watkins and Kay. She’ll be here soon to retrieve me for the welcome dinner.”
“Ah, yes. The welcome dinner. I think you’ll enjoy it. Dr. Phillips started those, and I’ve suggested to the other clinics to do the same. The staff is very close-knit, like a family, so I’m sure you’ll have no problem fitting in.”
“So far so good,” Raven stated, even though her thoughts kept trekking back to when she met Armand. She hoped she could get through her time here without breaking her rule. A knock at the door sounded.
“Gotta go. Kay is here.”
“I’ll check on you in a few days,” Cannon said before hanging up.
Grabbing her key from the hook by the door, Raven opened it.
She nearly swallowed her gum and just barely stifled back an, “oh”. Armand stood there, looking even more handsome and debonair, leaning casually on his own door across from hers. He’d changed into a pair of khaki Dockers, and a black golf shirt that was unbuttoned at the collar, exposing delicious skin. His white coat was draped over his arm, and his stethoscope dangled from his neck, which she couldn’t stop staring at. She had an unwavering urge to nibble on it.
Okay, get it together, girl. You’re just jet lagged, tired, and hungry.
“Ready?” His deep, baritone voice glided over her like warm hands on her body, and his gorgeous smile stirred something in the pit of her stomach. She tried to shrug it off as hunger pains, but she knew that wasn’t it. Or at least she wasn’t hungry for food.
Closing the door, she stepped out into the hallway.
Copyright © May 2014 by Candace Shaw
I hope you enjoyed chapter one. To read the rest of the book, the buy links are below.