When Dr. Jenni Vine fled Los Angeles, she was trying to escape the taint of an old scandal. Luckily, most of the folks in small-town Downhome, Tennessee, seemed willing to give the lady doc the benefit of the doubt and were thrilled to have a glamorous outsider in their midst.
Police chief Ethan Forrest liked his town peaceful, and he made it clear that the newcomer's dubious credentials blond surfer girl in designer duds, and alleged home wrecker put her at the top of his least-wanted list.
But once Jenni starts caring for his motherless son, the lawman would swear on a stack of Bibles that she's not the heartbreaker type. Except, she's driving him wild!
THE POLICE CHIEF'S LADY is the first of three books by Jacqueline Diamond in the Downhome Doctors Series that are set in the imaginary town of Downhome, Tennessee. Although this town doesn't exist on any map, the people and setting come alive in this first book, and if you're like me, you'll be anxiously looking forward to the next two books in the series. Downhome is a town that desperately needs doctors, and in THE POLICE CHIEF'S LADY, Dr. Jenni Vine needs a second chance at living her own life just as much.
Jenni is a wonderful doctor, and she had planned to further her career at the hospital where she currently works in Los Angeles. But a scandal in the form of a patient's lying husband who proclaims to have had an affair with the beautiful doctor has waylaid her plans. Now the brunt of speculation, Jenni feels she has no choice but to leave L.A. far behind, and start over in a town that won't judge her. She had traveled to Downhome, Tennessee, a small town who lost their married town doctors six months ago, to interview for the job. When she learns that she's being offered the position of town doctor, she's ecstatic-a new start, in a new town, with the chance to continue doing what she loves, which is practice medicine.
For Police Chief Ethan Forrest, hiring Jenni is a thorn in his side. He had argued against offering her the position, based on the scandal that followed her from Los Angeles. Seducing a patient's husband is a serious allegation, and although the hospital didn't have enough proof to reprimand her, he's still worried. Although Ethan recognizes the need for a town doctor-after all, he has a five-year-old son, Nick, who has diabetes-he's convinced that Jenni Vine isn't the right choice for their town. Sure, they'd advertised the job as being a second chance to a deserving doctor, but a big-city adulterer wasn't what he'd had in mind.
Once Jenni moves to Downhome, she realizes that starting over may not be as easy as she'd hoped. The Police Chief seems to have serious reservations about her arrival, not to mention her morals, as do others-mostly men-of the town. But once she begins to prove herself as not only a competent doctor but a woman without a devious bone in her body, people start coming around. Ethan, of course, takes longer to warm up to the new doctor, but his son's health condition keeps throwing them together-even though he'd planned to keep his distance.
Ms. Diamond has penned a wonderful read. Warm and engaging-and totally believable-characters make this a quick, entertaining read. I found myself immediately drawn into the lives of Jenni, Ethan, and other Downhome residents, and was a little sad when the story ended. The growing relationship between the two main characters is the main story line, but the very real details of a small town's needs and everyday dealings make this book a true winner.