WHEN MORNING COMES - Francis Ray
A Family Affair Novel - Book 1
St. Martin's Griffin
Dallas, Texas - The Present
Sabrina Thomas works as a patient's advocate at Texas Hospital in Dallas. When she interferes in Dr. Cade Mathis's surgery schedule for one of his patients, she goes up against one of the most powerful doctor's in the hospital. When she learns of the patient's peril in waiting, she must use her negotiating skill to soothe both sides and persuade the patient surgery is better now than waiting until after her young daughter's birthday. Adopted as an infant, Sabrina's birth mother had burned her, and the remaining scars cover her body. Sabrina's beauty draws men, but she knows once they see her body, romance is gone…fast. An encounter with Cade persuades Sabrina that the doctor is different, and perhaps the man for her.
Sabrina's best friend since moving to Dallas is Kara Simmons, who also works at Texas Hospital as a social worker. After making a promise to her dying father to care for her mother, Kara is the sole support and caregiver for an inordinately selfish and unfeelingly cruel woman. When she helps an alcoholic patient and his wife find after-care, she meets his friend Tristan Landers. She soon learns he is out of her social league, even if he is very willing to help her market her other passion, her paintings. She realizes her mother will also interfere in any dreams for a romantic relationship.
No one is more surprised than Cade when Sabrina begins to pull him out of his self-imposed exile. Yes, he has sexual encounters with women, but these will not endanger him heart and soul. He distrusts everyone. Raised by an adoptive couple who didn't hesitate to call him a rich woman's unwanted bastard, and who were willing to work him like slave labor, Cade escaped his situation and reached the pinnacle of his profession as a highly esteemed neurosurgeon. An unexpected encounter with his real mother and her family, though, twists his attraction to Sabrina into a punishment.
It takes Tristan a little while to realize Kara is the woman for him, but how can he free her from an emotionally abusive parent? He can't lure her away with his wealth, prestige, or sweet talk. What will it take?
While WHEN MORNING COMES is the beginning of a series about adoptive children finding their true families, and while this story is Cade's, the novel is actually two stories. Cade and Sabrina's bumpy romance equals that of Tristan and Kara's. It is a fast read due to the emotional content. Readers will wonder about Kara's mother's malignant attitude, aptly contrasted by Tristan's mother. All the characters shine in their superior qualities, having risen above their past limitations, but their romance issues are iffy. Good reading.