Kim Torres didn't know if she'd ever
love or trust anyone again, but Owen Kent wasn't going to
give up on her without a fight.
Navy combat nurse Kim Torres knew it was
a possibility. But she never thought it would happen. She
never thought she would cut through a critically wounded
Marine's fatigues only to find her fiancé, Tom Albanese. She
never thought he would die in her arms. Or that she'd
collapse against his commanding officer when grief overtook
Fast forward one year, and Major Owen
Kent has returned from Afghanistan to take his
position as the billionaire CIO of Reliance Software. He's
happy to be home, and everything is business as
usual–until he sees Kim Torres, the nurse he saw
unravel in the Afghanistan hospital, the woman he could
never quite get off his mind.
Now Kim is Harper Poole's nanny, a job she took to get
her mind off of her heartbreak, and although she doesn't
recognize Owen at a Memorial Day barbecue, she feels an
instant attraction. Kim hasn't felt this spark in so long,
and Owen is the exact opposite of Tom, who wounded Kim's
heart in more ways than one. But can Kim find it within
herself to love–and trust–again?
Read some of THE SECOND CHANCE HERO
Role 3 Joint Forces Medical Facility
Sometimes it was the quiet that got to her. Kim
knew that if people were screaming, at least they were still
alive. But now, there was nothing. Nothing except the hum of
the equipment, the glare of the harsh lighting and the
beating of her own heart.
Looking down at her gloved hands, her breath
caught; her throat tightened. So much blood.
She snapped the latex off her hands and
threw it in with the other biohazards, then pressed her back
against the wall. As she slid down, her arms folded over her
middle. Holding in her heart, maybe? Her bleeding, breaking
Her emotions started to close in, her eyes
started to burn and she wondered if she would ever get the
memories out of her head. If she would ever be able to see
his face as it used to be. The boy next door. Her handsome
Marine. Her love.
Usually, the team knew at least fifteen minutes
before the inbound dustoff landed with
wounded—especially when it was coming from that far
out. Today, they didn't have near that. They had five. Five
minutes to prepare for men who were so gravely injured they
shouldn't have survived the flight.
The gurneys came crashing through the doors and
they all had their jobs in the ER. Kim was ready for her
patient—an alpha—the designation given to the
patients with the most life threatening injuries. They knew
he had a massive belly wound and burns on his neck and face.
As bombs went, this one was a widowmaker.
Kim remembered descending on the patient with
scissors, cutting off the bandages applied in the field so
they could get to the bleeding in his abdomen. If they could
get that under control he had a chance. A slim one, but a
chance. She hadn't gotten far when the big man took a
gasping breath and she heard the impossible.
Hoarse. Strained. "Kim."
"Baby, look at me." It was barely a whisper,
but the words were screaming in her head. Her eyes traveled
away from the blood, hesitating for a moment over his chest
where his name was displayed.Albanese. God. How had
she missed it? Again she took in every inch of him and when
she got to his face, and looked in his dark eyes, she saw
the pain, the fear, he was facing. And Kim knew they would
be saying goodbye. Even as the doctors worked on him, she
He was dying. And there was nothing anyone could
It seemed unimaginable. She and Tom were part of
each other. Together since they were just kids, he went into
the Marines after high school, she went into the Navy after
nursing school. He gave her a ring.
The wedding was in six months.
His fingers found hers and he gripped them with
desperation. He squeezed hard. Kim reached out and wiped
away the tear tracking down his face. His breathing was more
labored, shallower. And he was scared. So scared. She leaned
in and kissed his temple.
"It's okay," she said softly. "I'm
"I'm sorry. I love you. I'm so sorry."
"I love you, too. It's okay. It's
But there was no response. The end rushed up.
She could see he was losing his fight, his body convulsed,
his eyes rolled back--then he flatlined.
The tone from the cardiac monitor numbed her
brain, told her a truth she wasn't ready to hear. Tom was
There were no measures taken. No dramatic chest
pounding. No paddles. The doctor called his time of
That's when Kim turned and walked into the
corridor. That's where she was now and where she would
likely stay, running over the last few minutes again and