Can digging and weeding, planting, and pruning equal love?
Nursing is Holly Cooper’s vocation, and her sanctuary, until she witnesses a murderous attack during emergency surgery. Her childhood fear of never belonging resurfaces. Untethered, she’s following music festivals down Australia’s eastern seaboard, sometimes working as a nurse, sometimes as a volunteer.
Reclusive gardener Christopher (Kit) Silverton needs a nurse for his half-finished research project: the therapeutic power of gardening. In plain English, can digging and weeding, planting, pruning, hacking, or any one of those activities help kids to heal after domestic violence? A survivor himself, he knows what it’s like to live with pain, guilt, and relationships that end in tears.
When Kit’s partner, and on-site nurse, is injured, she suggests her granddaughter, Holly Cooper, as a replacement. Holly has the qualifications, but Kit will need convincing that a pink and green haired free spirit has anything to offer the project.
As the garden develops, passion blooms between Holly and Kit. When security on the site is breached, Kit confronts his worst nightmare. Defending the kids and Holly proves his critics right—violence lives within him. Can Holly overcome her own doubts to prove he’s wrong?
Jennifer Raines’s books evoke the romance of Nora Roberts’ books but set in the sweeping Australian countryside. PLANTING HOPE proves that love can overcome demons and let our true self shine through. Don’t miss this story that blooms like a garden of hope.
“You know the dog.”
Holly recognised the voice of her caller from earlier in the day. Her gaze travelled up long legs and paused at the work-roughened hand holding the large cat basket where Max peered regally through the mesh. Continuing up, she found a broad chest, covered in a navy sweater knitted in an intricate pattern Mona reserved for those she was fond of. Holly’s stare landed on a craggy, square-jawed face scowling at her. His frosty grey gaze suggested his mood hadn’t improved. How come Mona didn’t mention her ripped, mid-thirties friend?
“Christopher Silverton.” She scrambled to her feet and offered a hand. “I’m guessing you looked after Bella and Max, as well as Mona.”
He refused her offer of a hand, instead doing his own slow survey. She failed whatever test he’d set her. “I’ve driven past the house a few times today,” he said. “But you weren’t here.”
“Just got here,” she replied. The guy needed a personality bypass, but he’d done his second good deed for the day.
“It’s after nine.”
“Is it?” It could be a hair past a freckle for all Holly cared. She held out her hand. “Max.”
“I fed them.” He handed her the carrier. “I’ll take you to the hospital.”
Her eyebrows rose at the masterful tone. “That’s not necessary.”
“The least you can do is go and see your grandmother. Or”—he leaned closer and his nostrils twitched—“maybe you need a bath first.”
“Advice noted.” She set the carrier on the floor, then closed the door in his face, deliberately locking it. She braced herself—body and mind—for a pushback, expecting his pent-up irritation to explode in loud knocking or shouted instructions. Nursing had taught her a lot of men didn’t take no for an answer. Her heart skittered against her chest. A lot of people didn’t take no for an answer.