Legacy of the Maguires, Book 5
Release Date:

Nov 14, 2023



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Merry Little Heartbreak


Stella Holt

This year, they’re unwrapping the truth for Christmas…

Drake Maguire’s first love dumped him right before they were to move cross country for medical school. Now he’s made a name for himself as a plastic surgeon to LA’s wealthiest, even if it bores him. But this Christmas, he returns home to Virginia to pitch in at the same hospital as his ex. Could this be a restart for his career and his heart?

Margo Monroe can’t believe her bad luck. December should be a time to string twinkle lights and stockings in her ER, but instead, she’s dodging Drake’s questions and her urge to run her fingers through his hair. Yes, they broke each other’s hearts last time—yet perhaps throwing in the towel was a mistake.

But flirting leads to more than just words, and Margo needs her head in the game if she wants to expand her career in the new year. Are their emotions merely on call for the holidays, or is this attraction a symptom of something far merrier?

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Chapter One


Dr. Margo Monroe was meticulously typing out new labels for each of the cupboards in the ER attending doctor’s office. The space was small, with no window, and may have previously been a closet, but it was now organized. She shared it with three other attending physicians at Mercy Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, and she liked to help them keep it tidy. Organizing was also an excuse not to walk over to the auditorium gallery.

“Dr. Monroe, you missed a fantastic presentation in the gallery on the new triage techniques for burns and treatment by the plastic surgery god from LA.” One of the eager second-year resident students on rotation in her emergency room saddled up next to Margo just as she exited the closet.

“I’m sure it was riveting but probably more applicable up in the burn unit.”

The bright-eyed doctor picked up a tablet from the charging station. “Thank you for letting me attend with the others.”

“Don’t thank me. It’s important for you all to be exposed to every discipline, so you can see the ER is by far the superior place to practice real medicine while serving your community.”

“Well, you missed more than just the techniques. It was clear why the doctor from LA is referred to as ‘The One.’ He was smoking hot.”

“Sara, you have too many years left of residency to get sidetracked by a pretty face, besides you know what they say about hot men with god complexes?” Margo said.

“What do they say?” a deep voice from over her shoulder asked.

Margo’s arch-support black sneakers squeaked on the linoleum floor as she turned to face the man behind that voice. A voice that sent a shiver of awareness over her skin and made her heart skip a beat before it plummeted to the floor.

“Dr. Monroe, I was expecting to see you in the lecture today,” the director of the hospital said.

She was standing next to the tall, gorgeous man with a deep voice. A man with midnight-black hair and dark eyes to match. He stood towering over the three women in a flawless tailored gray suit, black tie, and a playful smirk pulling at his full, lush lips.

Margo took a deep breath and squared her shoulders like she was facing a firing squad with her head held high.

“Someone needs to actually see patients in the ER, Director Kelly, even when we have world-famous lecturers,” Margo said, not trying to hide her distaste with the insinuation that she was slacking.

“Our guest, Dr. Maguire, asked to see the triage space for burn victims so he can consult on which upgrades can be made. He’s going to be consulting with the plastic surgery department for the week and needs to know the process a burn victim goes through upon intake.”

Margo’s stomach did a dive, and her heart fluttered in her chest.

“Dr. Monroe, it’s lovely to see you again,” Dr. Maguire said, holding out his hand toward her.

She forced herself not to flinch when she took his strong, warm hand that enveloped hers. He held her hand for a few seconds longer than necessary. Long enough for her to notice how soft and strong his hand was at the same time.

“Dr. Maguire, welcome to Mercy where chaos reigns,” she said, not knowing at all what to say.

“Yes, obviously, we have one of the busiest trauma units and emergency rooms in the tri-state area,” the director blathered.

“I read you see over one hundred thousand burn victims a year.” His eyes didn’t leave Margo’s.

“Dr. Maguire, your presentation in the gallery was exceptional. There was a rumor you’ll be joining the plastic surgery department tomorrow for a demonstration on your techniques.” Sara exuded awe.

Drake was still staring at Margo as if he was trying to make sure she was really the same girl he’d left behind twelve years ago. Then he finally stopped staring, and his face lit up with an authentic smile that highlighted his carved jaw, covered in a five-o’clock shadow she wanted to reach out and touch.

“Yes, I’ll be consulting on possible improvements in the plastics department and participating in an exciting procedure tomorrow.”

Before Sara could swoon over Drake, the trauma alarm went off, and the head nurse called out, “Shooting victims, five.” Margo was off like an Olympic runner. Eight years of daily trauma training, and she couldn’t have stood still if she’d wanted to. Her first stop was to wash her hands in the utility sink nearby next to another resident.

“Dr. Monroe, the tour of the triage area?” the director called.

“No time, but you’re both free to watch how we handle multiple gunshot victims. There will be burn marks from the shots if they were in close quarters.” She finished washing her hands and grabbed gloves. “There’s at least a fifty-fifty chance.”

She let her eyes run up and down Drake’s form, his hands pushed into his pockets as if he were on a tour of the zoo, but she could see the tension in his shoulders. “Stick around and you can help us sew up the victims, but you might want to put on some scrubs. Nothing nice ever makes it through a shift at Mercy.”

Drake nodded with a knowing smile. “I’m already scheduled for another procedure in plastics, but hopefully we’ll get a chance to work together soon. There’s something we need to discuss.”

Then the paramedics with gurneys were pouring in from the ambulance bay, and she was too busy for the next two hours to worry about how long the director or Drake stuck around. But if she were honest, she’d known the minute he left because her heart stopped racing, and the hairs on the back of her neck went down. All these years, and he still had the allure to make her entire body respond. He’d only gotten more confident and gorgeous with time.

Over ten years felt like ten minutes. And he looked even better in person than in the medical journals she always looked for him in.

End of Excerpt

Merry Little Heartbreak is available in the following formats:

ISBN: 978-1-961544-56-7

November 14, 2023

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