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A thriving medical practice and three rambunctious daughters have Joshua Darling looking heavenward for help. The harried widower' s prayers are answered when a young surgeon accepts a temporary position in his small-town practice.Soon the lady doctor fills more than Joshua' s need for a partner. She wins the devotion of his patients and his family… but can she heal his wary heart, as well?When Nicole Brandt sets out her shingle in tiny Blessing, Colorado, her dreams for the future change. Finding a new purpose, Nicole helps to restore a struggling single dad' s faith and his ability to love. Now she must discover her own destiny and fight for the life of the man she has grown to love… .


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“Nicole, I—” Joshua stepped forward, realizing she was crying, and reached up to wipe the crystal drop away from her cheek.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered, shamed that in all the months she’d been here, he’d never really considered what he’d asked of her.

“You don’t have anything to be sorry for.” She looked at him. A smile quivered across her lips.

“Then why are you crying? It must have been something I said.”

“It wasn’t that.” She shook her head, pale hair flying around her shoulders. “It was just—everything.”

“Huh?” He studied her, trying to understand.

“The emotion of the moment,” she whispered. “I think I finally realized how proud you must feel sometimes. For a minute, it was almost as if your girls were my daughters, and we’d—” Her voice jerked to a stop. She blinked at him, a shocked look washing over her face.


Sneaking a flashlight under the blankets, hiding in a thicket of Caragana bushes where no one could see, pushing books into socks to take to camp—those are just some of the things Lois Richer freely admits to in her pursuit of the written word.

“I’m a bookaholic. I can’t do without stories,” she confesses. “It’s always been that way.”

Her love of language evolved into writing her own stories. Today her passion is to create tales of personal struggle that lead to triumph over life’s rocky road. For Lois, a happy ending is essential.

“In my stories, as in my own life, God has a way of making all things beautiful. Writing a love story is my way of reinforcing my faith in His ultimate goodness toward us—His precious children.”


Lois Richer

I love the Lord because He listens to my prayers

for help. He paid attention to me so I will call to Him for help as long as I live.

—Psalms 116:1-2

This book is for those people

in my own blessed community whose support, kind words and gentle encouragement are treasures a writer esteems most highly.

And for my boys, C and J, who now understand

glazed eyes, scribbles on bits of paper and burnt lasagna are “normal” things for this mom.

And, as always, to my husband—

patient doesn’t begin to describe you, dear.


Dear Reader,

Hello again! I’m delighted you’ve chosen to join me in my journey to a small Colorado town that I call Blessing. It’s a perfectly normal town, where heavenly blessings aren’t always easy to spot. In fact, when Dr. Joshua Darling suffers a terrible accident, the word blessing just doesn’t seem to fit! But looks can be deceiving, as God uses pain to bring joy and love to hurting souls—with a little assistance from the town baker and her delicious love cookies. Isn’t it just like God to send his blessings in disguise?

I hope you’ll watch for my next book in the BLESSINGS IN DISGUISE series. Dani DeWitt thought she had the perfect life until her father died and she was forced to return home to the legacy of a ranch steeped in debt. Torn between trying to make the ranch pay and her dreams of becoming a playwright, Dani finds a friend in the town’s newest doctor, Luc Lawrence. But Luc wants to settle down, while Dani knows that staying means revealing the awful secret she’s uncovered. How can giving up her father’s ranch possibly be a blessing in disguise?

I wish for you the greatest love, the strongest faith and the richest blessings from God’s own hand.


Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter One

“What have you done with my daughter?”

As fresh beginnings went, it stunk.

Barely an hour in a picturesque town with the unusual name of Blessing, Colorado, and already an irate father loomed.

“Where is she? And while you’re at it, Arvilla, direct me to the unfeeling lout who ran over her. I’d like to press charges.”

Blessing? They should have called it Catastrophe Corner!

Dr. Nicole Brandt gulped, fingers tightening on the stainless-steel kidney dish she was holding. The husky male voice continued its furious diatribe, though now it was muffled by the door Nicole’s tiny patient quickly closed.

“That’s my dad,” the little girl whispered. “But don’t worry, he’s just scared. He always talks loud when he’s scared.” Tiny fingers curved around Nicole’s lower arm, infusing warmth. “He’s just pretending to be fierce.”

He’s doing a good job.

“Thanks, sweetie. I hope you’re right.” Nicole led the little tyke back to the table and lifted her onto it. “You’d better wait right here for him. Okay?”

The angel-wisp hair barely moved with the nod before they were interrupted.

“Ruth Ann?”

In a whoosh the door whacked back against the wall, knob thudding into the doorstop with a dull bump. A man stalked in, his long legs swallowing the considerable distance across E.R. room number two with ease. He stopped in front of the child, eyes searching her pale face, hand half-stretched as if he didn’t dare touch.

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