Dakota Hearts Book 2
Raised an Army brat, Regis Simpson was used to calling new towns home, learning to quickly make friends but never letting anyone get too close. When devastating floods tear through the Badlands of South Dakota, she thinks Rudolph is just another town that needs to be rebuilt. Nothing more. The sooner she gets her work done, the sooner the people of Rudolph can heal and she can move on to the next town in need. She never counted on the sexy town doctor, Keith “Hawk” McKinnon or his determination to break down walls she’d spent a lifetime building, making it impossible for her to leave.
Nothing pained Hawk McKinnon more than seeing people he’d known his whole life hurting. He traded a high-paying salary at a city hospital to come back to Rudolph and make a difference where he’d dug his roots. When the beautiful Regis Simpson comes to town offering help, he’s immediately drawn to her even though she’s spent a lifetime packing armor around her heart. But once her work is done, she’ll be leaving again. He’s determined to do everything possible to make her stay.
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Army brats weren’t wusses. She’d been dealing with tough situations from the moment she’d pushed her way into the world. At least that’s what Regis Simpson’s daddy always told her. She should've known better than to traipse through mud and rubble without proper boots, no matter how stylish her flats looked in the store window. Her reward was the nice chunk of medal from the rusty fence that had somehow embedded itself into her ankle when she’d slipped.
“You’re going to need a tetanus shot for that.”
Regis looked up at the man standing over her. He’d just taken her on a thirty minute walk around his property to assess flood damage. It wasn’t pretty. Now as she was sprawled out on the muddy ground, smelling earth and Lord knows what else decaying, she tried to focus on the wetness from the ground seeping into the fabric of her pants rather than the pain in her leg.
“I’m up on my shots,” she said, trying her best not to pass out as she pulled her leg away from the twisted fence.
Regis took the man’s proffered hands in hers and welcomed his help. She’d already been out to six properties today and couldn’t remember all the people she’d talked to.
Tim Bennett. That was this guy’s name, right? Relief flooded her. She hated when her brain became overloaded with details. And Mr. Bennett had bigger worries than the damage she’d done to her leg to help keep her straight. Everyone in Rudolph and the surrounding towns in the Badlands of South Dakota were worried about whether or not insurance would cover enough to repair the damage to their property after the worst ice storms and flooding in a hundred years had swept through the area. That’s what she did and the only reason she was on a marathon tour of destruction. And there were days she wondered why she was still doing it after five straight years of living out of a suitcase and calling the local motel in Anytown, USA her home.
“No, you really should have Hawk take a look at that. It looks pretty bad. Might need stitches.”
“Hawk? What is he, a local Native American shaman or something?”
Mr. Bennett smiled. “More like the local dare devil. Or he used to be anyway. People around here joke he went into medicine just so he could stitch up his own wounds because the thieving insurance companies cancelled his policy.”
The joke fell flat and Mr. Bennett’s smile immediately faltered as if he suddenly remembered who he was speaking to. “Let me see if I can find something clean to wrap that leg.”
“I’d appreciate that.”
Regis couldn’t exactly blame Mr. Bennett for being nervous. It didn’t matter what town she was in across America. When a natural disaster struck an area, it caused upheaval and destruction that she needed to help these fine folks fix. She was their hope of a swift recovery…so long as she approved their claim.
And that, she was sure, was the reason for Mr. Bennett’s nervous energy.
While she waited, she carefully tried to put weight on her foot but felt warm moisture seep into her shoe as pain shot up her leg. She quietly let out a colorful stream of expletives that she knew sounded odd coming out of the mouth of someone in her position. But being raised by a single father on Army bases around the world, she heard a thing or two that made even her toes curl.