Hearts on Fire 7: Claiming Catalina

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer

Dear readers,



Thank you for purchasing this legal copy of Claiming Catalina.

Catalina is fighting the attraction she feels even though she wants to believe that meeting Cody, Jeremy, Don, and Cooper was just bad timing. They meet again, and because of her past, and a previous relationship with another man who broke her heart and betrayed her, she isn’t sure if she should give the relationship a chance.

Have you ever had that first encounter, the one where your belly quivers and your heart races, and every sense in your body is on alert because the man you met is that appealing and perfect for you?

Despite spending some time together and learning about that person you, question the sincerity of love, the future of such a man’s existence in your life and even question whether it was right, or would last?

So does Catalina until she focused on the most obvious method of figuring it out. She followed her heart. She remembered from day one meeting them in the ER and feeling her heart warm and her insides react. One look, a few exchanged words, and, indeed, they’d set her heart on fire. It was a flame that would burn forever because true love had the power to make it through everything.

May you enjoy her story.

Happy reading,

Hugs!



~Dixie~







Prologue



“You are going to do that 10K race in two weeks, aren’t you?” Shayla asked Catalina Shay as she stopped her bike next to where Catalina stood, her hands on her knees as she caught her breath.

Catalina was up to fifteen miles, but she wasn’t sure it was good enough for the 10K race through and around Treasure Town and Fairway, the town over.

“I don’t know. I’m still kind of slow, and I would hate to do it and not come in somewhere in the top ten.”

“I think you will do fantastic. You’ve been training for it. Just sign up already. I’ll even go with you to the Y so you can register today.”

Catalina stood up and smiled at Shayla. She was a nurse at the Fairway General Hospital, too. She stretched out and Shayla got off her bike.

“Are you coming out with us tonight or what?” Shayla asked her.

She shrugged, not really feeling too enthusiastic about hitting the Station again. Although most of her good friends hung out there, she wasn’t quite feeling like going.

“I don’t know. This is my only night off for the rest of the week.”

“All you do is work. You even cover other people’s shifts all the time. You’re going to get burned out,” Shayla told her as they strolled down the walkway and through the park.

“I don’t have anything better to do, and I love working in the ER.”

“I know, and you’re great at it, too, but you also work the burn unit sometimes and help out other days and even nights. You’re the one who said you had no social life.”

She exhaled. “I don’t.” She thought about Jeremy Jones and his brothers Cody, Don, and Cooper. She’d met them months ago at the hospital when Sophia had been abducted and seriously hurt. Jeremy and his brothers had helped to save Sophia’s life. She had been surprised when she felt the instant attraction to the four brothers. It was obvious that they’d liked her, too, but they didn’t live in New Jersey. They were also pretty secretive about their lives, especially Jeremy. He had been whisked off by some federal agents a short time after, and she’d never seen them again. That was just her luck, to finally meet men she was attracted to, but they weren’t attracted to her. It would never work out. Being a workaholic was her life.

“Are you even listening to me?”

She looked at Shayla. “Yes, of course I am. I’m just tired from running fourteen miles. I think I’m going to head home to shower and then do some food shopping and clean up the townhouse.”

“Oh, that sounds like loads of fun. How about I pick you up at six? We can meet MaryAnn and Destiny at the Boathouse for dinner before we check out the hot, single guys at the Station.”

Catalina felt that nervous sensation hit her belly. It was as if she was losing her self-confidence when it came to men. There were plenty of guys that hit on her, but no one she felt attracted to.

She began to decline when Shayla shook her head.

“No, no, no. I will be at your house at six, and you better have your ass ready.”

Catalina shook her head and exhaled. “Fine,” she replied, and Shayla smiled wide as they got to the parking lot.

When Catalina finally got home after hitting the supermarket, she was feeling exhausted. She glanced at the clock and she knew she wouldn’t have time to clean the condo. It wasn’t as though it was dirty, but it gave her something to do on her days off. A glance around the room once she put away all the shopping and she saw that it really didn’t need cleaning at all.

She headed to her bedroom and then grabbed a towel and her robe. She could lie down for a couple of hours and then fix her hair and makeup. She wasn’t in the mood for this tonight, but it was better than sitting home alone. Lately, anything, even working, was better than sitting home alone. Tonight, like every other night, would be a waste of time. She’d rather focus her energy on the things that made her happy and were fulfilling, like being an ER nurse. That was worth her time and even giving up her days off.