Welcome to A Week of Romance: From Our Heart to Yours miniseries where we’ll be sharing excerpts from some of our romance novels. Today we have an excerpt from Katy Eeten’s A Heart Held Captive. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and celebrate the love of reading with us!
Physical therapist Cole Pearson has had his share of shallow relationships. But a year spent focusing on God opened his eyes to what he really wants in life. When he learns that ER nurse Emily Jenkins has volunteered to pay for a foster child’s therapy, he is inexplicably drawn to her generous spirit. If only he can convince her to take things beyond their casual conversations at the clinic.
Emily is a prisoner to her past mistakes and insists on paying a price God never asked her to pay. When she finally allows herself to grow closer to Cole, her faulty theology is shattered and her wounded heart begins to mend. But when tragedy strikes, Emily is sent into a tailspin. Can Cole help her grasp the freedom of God’s grace, or will she revert back to the captivity of her old ways and shut Cole out of her life for good?
“What made you decide to become a physical therapist?”
It was encouraging to hear Emily take on the role of the question asker. She laid her head on his shoulder, and sparks went off in Cole’s stomach. She had to be sensing the same chemistry, didn’t she?
He cleared his throat to delay his answer. The real reason he’d pursued this line of work was for the paycheck and prestige, but that sounded selfish seated next to such a generous woman. Now that he was more mature, he loved being able to use his job to help people like Tyler. But she deserved an honest answer. “Don’t judge, but I basically just wanted a nice job, a big paycheck. I was willing to work for it too, and since I was good at science in school, I knew the medical field was the way to go. I’m in it for the right reasons now though, I promise you. I love my patients—more than my paycheck.”
“That’s obvious, Cole. And trust me, I’m in no place to judge.” Another cool breeze blew in, and Emily lifted her head.
Holding up half the blanket, she turned to face him. “Are you cold? We can share.”
Cole only pondered her question for a moment—he was warm blooded by nature, but he certainly didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to cuddle up next to Emily under a blanket on a porch swing on this beautiful night. Nodding, he scooted closer to allow for the blanket to rest on his lap and cover his legs. Their thighs now touched, and heat radiated through his body.
“Is there anything else I can do for you?” Cole noticed with mixed feelings that Emily’s eyes were starting to droop.
She yawned. “Oh, no thank you. You’re a really nice guy, you know that?”
He let his fingertips brush the top of her shoulder as his arm rested on the back of the swing. “Nah, just your average Joe.”
She shook her head, and her hair tickled his neck. “Well, I know I haven’t had much recent experience, but I still feel qualified to tell you that you are definitely not average.”
Cole closed his eyes, soaking up her words. “Well, Miss Emily. You are one to talk. I can honestly say I’ve never met anyone quite like you. And I mean that in the best possible way.”
Emily didn’t respond, but instead leaned her head against Cole’s chest. He dropped his arm from the back of the swing to cradle her shoulder. This felt right. More than right. And he hoped she had the same thoughts. But before he knew it, he heard her rhythmic breathing, and a quick glance told him her eyes were closed. Well, he had succeeded in his mission. She was asleep. Now all he had to do was figure out what on earth to do next.