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Journey Beyond the Dream

Discerning Hearts, Book Two

The Wild Rose Press

Heat Rating: STEAMY
Word Count: 88,690
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LAURIE-LISTS! She’s notorious for them. Whether planning her day or her life, Laurie Howard makes lists and organizes everything. She’s married Andy, the love of her life, planning every detail of the home they will share. Then a visit with her sister, who volunteers at a free clinic, makes her question the narrow role she’s chosen.
With Andy’s encouragement, she explores the idea of going back to school—this time for something more serious than that Mrs. degree she acquired along with her Bachelor’s in Science. If she can manage the load of wife, mother, and student, she’ll be able to add M.D. after her name.
But the world has a way of disrupting plans and lists. When her life takes a tragic turn, Laurie needs all the courage she can muster to live up to her dreams, and the support of her friends and family to journey beyond them.

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Their communications ceased to need words. Laurie felt the glow of young love in her heart. In truth she could have been seventeen again. Andy, always a tender lover, still made her bones melt and her pulse flutter like a caged bird.

“I suppose we’d take pneumonia if we just puddled our clothes here on the deck,” he murmured.

“Mmmmm,” Laurie agreed. “Probably the neighbors would report us. I happen to know where there’s a warm, king-sized bed that’s just sitting around doing nothing. I also happened to put a jasmine candle on the dresser just today. We won’t even need to turn on a light.”

Andy nibbled her ear. “Smart girl. I knew something good would come from you taking all those classes. How are you doing with anatomy?”

Laurie giggled. “A little homework wouldn’t hurt. You know, some hands-on experience.”

His hands moved in interesting patterns under her sweater. “Would my degree in chemistry help you out?”

“Chemistry? Oh, that sounds really useful.” Laurie loosened the buttons of his dark plaid shirt.

“Anatomy, chemistry, we’ll get you through all those classes. No trouble at all.”

“What about personal relations?” Laurie persisted with another button. “I hear that’s very important these days.”

“How personal can these relations be?” he asked, tormenting her deliciously with fingers that stirred flames beneath her skin.

“Oooh, that’s a very delicate subject.” Laurie eased the last button loose and teased spiral circles up his chest.

“Now we’re getting into physics, I see.” Laurie felt her bra snap open from the center front catch. He cupped and caressed breasts that fit perfectly into his hands.

“For every action…” Laurie began.

“There is an equal and opposite reaction. And, Baby, do you give me one hell of a reaction.”

Laurie moved against him, her system singing at his touch. “That’s good. I wouldn’t want this to be a one-way affair.”

“How far do you suppose it is to that king-sized bed you mentioned? The one just sitting around doing nothing.”

“About twenty feet as the crow flies.” Laurie moved against him again, her nipples hard against his bare chest. “But we aren’t crows, so we can’t fly. We’d have to walk about fifty feet.”

“I move faster than you do.” Andy swept her up in his arms and crossed the deck in three paces. The French door closed on silent hinges behind them. A few moments later a tiny candle flame threw a warm glow against the drawn curtains of the master bedroom.