How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?
My name is Padric Cleary, but everyone just calls me Pat. I’m a veterinarian in the town of Carvan Ct. and I’m in practice with my dad Seamus, my best friend Quentin Stapleton ( who’s also my bro-in-law) and Q’s father David.
Where were you raised?
Born and bred here in Carvan.
My twin sister, Moira, who’s 4 minutes older than me and never lets me forget it. Next is Dennis, or Denny as we all call him, who’s 21 and last but not least, Alastair who’s 17. Everyone in my family calls him “Steps.” Long story – and he’s not fond of the nickname at all.
Did you always want to be a (a veterinarian)?
Yup. Even though it’s the family business, I really can’t see myself doing anything else. When we were kids, Moira and I always accompanied my dad on his farm visits and when we were old enough, we each took turns working in the clinic caring for the boarded animals, cleaning up, stuff like that. I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. My sister accuses me of being a vet just so I can play with animals all day long, but if you know anything about veterinary medicine, we don’t get to play too often with our charges.
What do you like most about (your profession)?
Animals are natures’ purest-hearted creatures. They will never harm you unless they perceive a threat and their love is unconditional. Who wouldn’t love being a veterinarian knowing that? And really, is there anything more enjoyable than seeing a new litter of puppies romping around?
Are you a pet person?
The answer to that one better be yes, don’t you think? Ha ha.
Do you have any hobbies?
I guess you can all it a hobby, but to me it’s really the best way for me to unwind and relax, and that’s horseback riding. We all rode as kids and had our own horses. I still have mine and whenever I can grab an hour or more I set off on a long, thoughtful ride. I let my horse have his head and he knows exactly where to take me. Being atop such a magnificent animal is one of life’s true pleasures.
What attracts you first to a woman?
Well, if I’m being shallow, looks are always the first thing I see. But what really makes me want to be with a woman after I get over her looks is her sense of self and self-worth. Confidence is very big on my list of attributes for the perfect woman. You can spot a confident woman from a mile away, but you can also get a sense of her self-assurance in the way she treats you, responds to you, and to others. Kindness goes hand in hand with that. I could never be with a sarcastic or cutting girl or a mean one.
Family Practice Doctor Clarissa Rogers’ first impression of Padric Cleary is biased and based on gossip. The handsome, charming veterinarian is considered a serial dater and commitment-phobic by his family and most of the town. Relationship shy, Clarissa refuses to lose her heart to a man who can’t pledge himself to her forever.
Pat Cleary, despite his reputation, is actually looking for “The One.” When he does give his heart away, he wants it to be for life. With his parent’s marriage as his guidebook, he wants a woman who will be his equal and soul mate in every way.
Can Pat convince everyone – including Clarissa – she’s the only woman for him?
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“Have you ever been friends with a girl before?” she finally asked. “Friends?”
“Have a beer and shoot some pool friends? Or the kind with benefits?”
She laughed out loud, shook her head and grinned. “Have you ever been friends with a girl without having sex mixed into the equation?”
“Not since I was sixteen,” he admitted and then felt his neck heat. “Why?”
She cocked her head again. “It’s no secret I’m attracted to you, too. I think my reaction to the way you kissed me proves it.”
“Why am I hearing a ‘but’?”
Her lips twitched at the corners. “But I don’t jump into bed with a man because I’m attracted to him.”
“I never thought you did.”
“Good to know.”
He cocked his head. “So, what’s being friends gotto do with anything?”
Clarissa sighed and settled back against the doorframe. “Can I be honest?”
“I would hope so.”
“I’ve been hearing about your reputation with women since I moved here, and I’m not looking to be the flavor of the week.”
He stared at her for a second as hurt washed through him. “When you say honest, you don’t pull any punches.”
Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance author who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance. A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.
Her current titles, available now, include SKATER’S WALTZ and THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, and FIRST IMPRESSIONS books 1 through 3 in her 6-book The MacQuire Women Series, published by The Wild Rose Press. Tying into her love of families, her children’s book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law, also a Peggy Jaeger!
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