Thursday Sampler: When the Right One Comes Along by Kate James

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In our mission to connect readers, writers, and books, Caleb and Linda Pirtle is showcasing some of the best authors in the marketplace today. Thursday’s Sampler features an excerpt from When the Right One Comes Along, a beautifully crafted romance novel from Kate James.

As one reviewer said: Author Kate James’ When The Right One Comes Along brims with emotional intensity. It is an emotional rollercoaster ride! Brilliant writing transports readers into a sentimental place filled with deeply moving moments of spell-binding drama and heartbreak which is eventually healed with a balm called love. Keep a box of tissues close-by because the characters’ journey in this beautifully written story will have you wiping a tear or two.

The Story

Brought together by disaster. Kept together by love. 

In the aftermath of a deadly earthquake, it’s chaos for trauma surgeon Jessica Hansen. Among the many victims, one patient stands out—San Diego Police K-9 search and rescue officer Cal Palmer.

Cal vows to help Kayla, a child orphaned by the disaster. But he needs Jessica’s help. Will their shared concern for Kayla and for Cal’s canine partner, Scout, allow them to put aside their personal torments and discover the difference love can make?

The Sampler

Kate James
Kate James

She warmed a little more toward the gruff cop. To her way of thinking, how could anyone not care about kids and dogs? But Cal seemed to care more than the average person.

He was a stranger, and she was about to turn her life upside down for him by offering to take Scout. How could she manage to look after a dog—a high-maintenance dog, at that—and keep doing her job with its long hours, odd shifts and unpredictable demands? She reminded herself again why she didn’t have a pet, despite her love for animals.

But then she looked at Cal, saw the despondency in his eyes. She wanted to help them. She really did. And yet she couldn’t deny that one contributing factor was the fact that she’d be able to see Cal…

While Jessica continued to mull over the idea, Cal reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out something that resembled a baseball card. He smiled as he placed it on the table and slid it toward Jessica.

She glanced down. It was a baseball card. Scout’s card! It had his picture on it, head slightly tilted, his eyes expressive and alert. His name was printed in large letters on the top right. The San Diego city seal in the top left corner, with the words America’s Finest above the seal and To Protect and Serve below. She smiled, picked up the card and turned it over. Scout’s name, a smaller version of his photo, the seal and police department motto were also on the back, but this side of the card listed Scout’s “statistics”—his breed, when he was born, his handler’s name. There was also a short paragraph on his history. Scout was born in Holland and brought to the United States to become a police service dog in March four years ago. It listed Scout’s specialized training in search and rescue, and handler protection.

She flipped the card over again and stared at Scout’s picture before raising her eyes to meet Cal’s. The card had done it; it had tipped the scales. “You really have no other option? Not a friend or another police officer?”

He shook his head. “No.” He sounded sincere.

She exhaled. “Okay, I’ll do it.”

“Do what?” He seemed confused.

“Take Scout until you’re able to care for him again.”

Cal gagged on the coffee he’d just sipped. His face red, he started coughing.

She sprang up to help. “Are you okay?”

He waved her away, but coughed a few more times. “I’m okay,” he choked out, his face still flushed.

“You’d do that?” he asked when he could. His expression was comical, a mixture of incredulity and elation.

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