Emergency Marriage
By Grace
Sep 11, 2004 - 3:07:00 AM

Dr. Laura Burnside arrives in Argentina full of hope.  She's come from the United States to serve the Global Aid Organization's efforts to improve medical care following the collapse of the government and other internal structures.  She's also come to build on her relationship with Diego Salazar, an Argentine with similar goals who works with his cousin Armando running La Clínica, an innovative full-service medical facility.  In conjunction with the GAO, the three of them plan to improve medical services in the area.

From the moment Laura arrives in Argentina with her small medical staff, everything deteriorates.  Diego isn't all he seemed to be. Instead of noble and idealistic, he's petty and difficult.  Such are the pitfalls of falling in love through the Internet.  As for Armando, he seems to take an instant dislike to Laura and undermines her at every turn, refusing to allow her to serve in the role the GAO assigned her.  Soon the GAO shifts their local backing to Armando. 

Having had enough of Diego's behavior, Laura ends their three-month relationship, resulting in a show of daredevil driving culminating in Diego's death and serious injury to Laura.  Without her job or her lover, she decides to go home.  Until Armando delivers another blow -routine medical tests performed after the crash indicate she's pregnant, and Armando wants her to stay and marry him so he can father his cousin's baby.

How can she marry a man who neither cares for her nor respects her professionally?  And if she agrees, can their emergency marriage last?

Laura attempts to rescue riot victims while still healing from her near-fatal car collision, and Dr. Armando Salazar begins to see her in a different light.  He had written her off as a shallow American do-gooder.  Watching her risk her own life to save others cracks the barrier he's erected between them.  When he's honest with himself, he realizes he judged her unfairly in an attempt to keep his distance from her.  Because his cousin's new girlfriend is everything he could ever want, and can never have.

Consumed with guilt after Diego's death and desperate to keep Laura near him, Armando proposes marriage, saying he will claim Diego's baby as his own.

This is the second novel in Ms. Gates' continuing series about the Global Aid Organization.  These are the kind of people we wish we could be: generous, brave, and caring.  People who want to change the world, to make a difference.  People who would give their lives to help others, while holding nothing back in the pursuit of personal happiness.  This novel inspired me while it entertained.

EMERGENCY MARRIAGE begins with an explosive scene from the riot, pulling the reader into the story from its opening pages.  From the riot in Buenos Aires to fire and flood rescues to emergency eye surgery in the field, Ms. Gates delivers non-stop action.  In addition, she offers the best of romance and emotion as the relationship between Laura and Armando develops, personally and professionally.  Armando is a man of deep passion, and he loves with everything he has, physically and emotionally.  His nickname of 'Super Armando' fits him well.

Descriptions of physical love match the level of sizzle in Ms. Gates' debut novel, but this story affected me in a different way.  A man making steamy love to a woman seven months along with another man's baby tore at my heart even while it sent my pulse racing.

Whether you are a fan of sexy romance, deep emotion, action, or the Medical line itself, you'll find something captivating in EMERGENCY MARRIAGE.

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