Solar Fury by E.A. Chance (Shattered Sunlight Book 1)
English | 2020 | Sci – Fi | ePUB | 2.8 MB
Navigating life with PTSD is no picnic for the young widowed surgeon, Riley Poole. When a global solar flare strikes – destroying the power grid and stranding her in Washington, D.C. with her teenage daughter – it will take near superhuman courage to find safe harbor in a world gone mad.
With the help of a brilliant but quirky cardiologist named Coop, Riley must conquer her fears, traverse hundreds of miles of frozen terrain and survive hostile confrontations to get her daughter, Julia, to safety. Will she have the strength and determination to ensure they survive?
‘You’re Dr. Neal Cooper? The Dr. Cooper? The surgeon who invented the Xavier cardiac procedure?’
He gave a slight bow. ‘One and the same, but you’re an ortho. How come you’ve heard of me?’
‘Are you serious? Every doctor’s heard of you. Are you presenting at the conference?’
‘Yes, and worse, I’m in charge of this little shindig.’
Riley was embarrassed for not knowing that but was also awed to be in the presence of the doctor who’d revolutionized cardiac surgery and helped save hundreds of thousands of lives.
He was nothing like she’d imagined. She’d pictured him as a contemporary of her father, but he was much younger, possibly no more than her age of thirty-five. He was just under six feet with an average build and light brown hair that stuck out in all directions. He had an easy manner and seemed amused at the way she studied him. Everything about him said, ‘boy next door,’ but Riley sensed more running beneath the surface.
‘Did I pass inspection?’ he asked and glanced at their clasped hands.
She released her hold on him and crossed her arms. ‘Too soon to know that either. So, you’re in charge of the conference?’
‘Yes. I was on my way to check on registrations when a little redheaded twister started wreaking havoc in the lobby. I had no idea this conference would be so dangerous.’
‘My husband always said to be prepared for anything.’ The words tumbled out of her mouth from habit. She found herself wishing she could suck them back in.
Dr. Cooper’s tone changed slightly. ‘Sorry. Didn’t notice the ring. Is Mr. Dr. Poole here? He’s not going to come after me for flirting with you, is he?’
‘He died when his helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan three years ago. I still forget he’s gone sometimes.’ She pressed her lips together and shifted her feet. It was the most awkward and unpredictable conversation she’d ever had.
Dr. Cooper extended his hand again. ‘Can we have a do-over?’
‘Yes, please, Dr. Cooper.’ She took a breath and squeezed his hand. ‘I’m from Colorado Springs. I have three children. Two girls and a boy. I brought my thirteen-year-old daughter with me. I should probably sign in and get back to her.’
‘I’m Coop from Chicago, divorced with no children. My wife decided five years ago that her acting coach was more fun than I was and took off with him. Honestly, our relationship was never anything to write home about, so it was no great loss. Since then, I’ve mostly worked, a lot.’
Riley got into step beside him as he walked toward the conference room. ‘Seems like your ex was wrong about you. You have a good, if not odd, sense of humor, and I’d wager you’re lots of fun. That’s the first time I’ve laughed that hard since…’ Her words trailed off. It still hurt to recall that former life, the one where Zach made her laugh every day. ‘Well, I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.’
She couldn’t seem to stop herself from revealing her intimate secrets to this stranger. Famous or not, she knew nothing about him as a man.
‘Trauma. That’s why I need a good sense of humor,’ he said quietly. ‘But, you’re familiar with trauma.’