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Deep in the Valley

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Deep in the Valley

Welcome to Grace Valley, California--where blood runs thicker...ties are stronger...and love is all the more sweetVisitors to the town often remark about the valley's peace and beauty--both of which...
Welcome to Grace Valley, California--where blood runs thicker...ties are stronger...and love is all the more sweetVisitors to the town often remark about the valley's peace and beauty--both of which...
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  • Welcome to Grace Valley, California--where blood runs thicker...ties are stronger...and love is all the more sweet

    Visitors to the town often remark about the valley's peace and beauty--both of which are plentiful. Unlocked doors, front porches, pies cooling in the windows--this is country life at its finest. But visitors don't always see what lies at the heart of a community. Or just beyond...

    June Hudson grew up in Grace Valley, the daughter of the town doctor. Leaving only to get her medical training, she returned home and followed in her father's footsteps. Some might say she chose the easy, comfortable route...but June knows better.

    For June, her emergency room is wherever she's needed--or wherever a patient finds her. She is always on call, her work is her life and these people are her extended family. Which is a good thing, since this is a town where you should have picked your husband in the ninth grade. Grace Valley is not exactly the place to meet eligible men--until an undercover DEA agent suddenly starts appearing at all sorts of strange hours.

    Everybody has secrets down in the valley. Now June has one of her own.

 
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    June stood in the shower a little longer than usual, preoccupied with a conversation she would have later in the day. She was the town doctor in Grace Valley, California, a post she had inherited from her father, Elmer "Doc" Hudson. Elmer was seventy-two and playing at retirement, which was a polite way of saying he didn't keep hours anymore but he stayed in his daughter's business all the time.

    The need for another full-time doctor to serve the town was becoming more dire every day. June had already talked to several physicians, and so far there hadn't been a fortuitous match. But today John Stone, M.D., was going to interview. He was forty, had attended Stanford University and UCLA Medical, done his OB-GYN residency at Johns Hopkins, worked for eight years in a prestigious women's clinic, then done a second residency in family medicine. He was made to order for Grace Valley. But was Grace Valley made to order for him?

    She tried to picture him, a yuppie from Sausalito. He had probably passed through town while on a wine tasting tour and begun fantasizing about the good life here. The beautiful landscape--mountains, valley and ocean-- seduced more and more transplants from the cities every year. Or perhaps he'd been on a family vacation, doing the bed-and-breakfasts up the coast. But no, she thought, maybe a rich friend from San Francisco had a huge summer place nearby, someone who didn't need to eke out a living from the town. John Stone couldn't have been drawn here for golf or sailing; there was nothing so refined as that around. Hiking and camping, maybe, but only for a true woodsman. So what's he doing here? He'd say he was looking for peace and quiet and beauty and safety, all of which were plentiful in Grace Valley. Apple butter, heirloom quilts, unlocked doors, front porches and pies cooling in kitchen windows. Country life. Decency and simplicity.

    He probably wanted to get his kids out of the dirty city, away from drugs and crime. How would he react to the news that the Coast Ranges and the Trinity Alps were so full of marijuana growers that army helicopters frequently flew just over the treetops, searching? The regular raids in the deep mountain forests made the simple sport of hiking a dangerous endeavor for the newcomer, since you never knew which camps and trails were controlled by drug farmers. Cannabis remained the largest cash crop in California. It was an uncomfortable reality, and it was just up the road.

    As for peace and quiet, June was looking for a little of that herself. Her reason for trying to hire another physician. Obviously.

    She turned off the water and began to towel her hair.

    June had chosen to practice medicine in the small town she grew up in, knowing the challenge of it, knowing it could be more exciting than a city emergency room. She understood the inconvenience all too well-- she lived it--and the sometimes discomfiting intimacy of being close friends with your patients, a thing big-city doctors could afford to avoid. So far all the medical contenders she had spoken to were trying to escape the hard work, long hours, overstimulation and constant demand of their city practices. Each had ultimately decided this wasn't the place for them, for it was a trade-off, one kind of pressure for another, but no less exacting. It took a certain personality to take on the medical needs of a whole town.

    The phone rang. She glanced at the clock: 6:15.

    That was another thing. There was no such thing as being "on call." There was you. Period.

    She reached for the phone, but the damn cordless didn't work. Out of juice. She'd forgotten to plug it in again....

About the Author-
  • Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than forty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series. Robyn and her husband live in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit Robyn Carr's website at ...

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