Between the Pipes #MFRWHooks

The doctor at the rink could’ve used a doctor at the rink! Do you love hockey romances? Medical hockey romances? Then you’ll love Between the Pipes! A mix of fun and intrigue. 😀 It’s another #MFRWHooks hop!




Sarah Jain is a family doctor in a hockey-crazy town. She hates hockey. She hasn’t gone anywhere near a rink in years, until her friend, the team doctor, calls in a favour. Mike Wallace is the starting goalie for the Clarington Quakes, the local professional hockey team. He’s not about to let an injury slow him down or a rookie doctor call the shots. Sarah and Mike don’t respect each other’s jobs. When they have to work together, sparks fly and ice melts. Can they play a game they both can win?

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Enjoy an excerpt ~

“He’ll be in the intensive care unit overnight, but they’ll probably move him to another room tomorrow,” Sarah said. Coherent and professional. So far, so good. She could hardly be blamed for being distracted, though, considering what she was up against.

Ben popped his head into the dressing room. “Mike, how’s the chest?”

Mike’s gaze darted to Sarah and then back to Ben. “Fine,” he responded curtly.

Ben nodded as if that was the answer he’d expected to hear and left with a salute.

Sarah thought his chest was more than fine, but that probably wasn’t what Ben had meant. She looked over at Mike. “What happened?”

“Nothing. I caught a puck in the ribs in the third, but it’s fine.”

“Against your chest pads?”

“No. I must’ve twisted, and it found a hole.”

“Is it painful?” she asked, wondering if he could have injured a rib. From the little she’d watched of the game, it didn’t appear that the players held back when they shot at the goalie. It wouldn’t take much to fracture a rib.

He gave a short laugh with a shake of his head. “I’m a goalie. It would be unusual not to have pain after a game.”

“Maybe I should take a quick look.”

“No. It’s fine,” he replied with a hint of anger and a whole lot of impatience.

Sarah cocked her head to one side and looked at him. Why wouldn’t he want her to check it, to make sure it wasn’t something more serious than a bruise? She grabbed a towel off the bench and threw it at him.

“Hey,” Mike said, startled, and he instinctively reached for the towel. He twisted as he reached out his arm and grimaced, missed the towel, and grabbed his right side. His face was a study in pain, and he scowled at her.

If looks could kill…yikes. She set her bag down and pulled out her stethoscope. “Let me listen to your chest.”

He pressed his lips together, and his eyes darkened, but he stood and turned around.

“Can you take a deep breath?”

“Of course.”

Sure. He splinted his chest, barely moving air in and out, but it sounded normal. She ran her fingers gently over the side of his chest, feeling the ribs. He winced when she palpated a small bump on the right side. It was already starting to bruise. She looked him in the eyes when he turned back to face her. “You know, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve fractured a rib.”

Mike’s expression was stony. “I cannot have a fractured rib. I’ve worked my butt off to become the starting goalie, and I intend to stay that way. I’m not giving that up. I know my own body. This is not a fracture.”

Sarah watched his face. There was more anxiety than anger behind those words. She removed the stethoscope from around her neck and folded it to put it away. “You may be right, but you need an x-ray to be sure.”


Sarah’s heart pounded. “I can’t let you play if your rib is fractured. It’s too dangerous,” she said quietly. She willed her hands to stay steady. She was right, she knew it. Danni always worried about players who insisted on playing through an injury. Sarah hadn’t understood how it felt to be in the position of deciding their fate until now. It didn’t feel very comfortable. “You can’t play until I’ve seen the x-ray result.”

“You can’t do that.”

They both knew she could. She stayed silent. He drew himself up and pulled in the anger.

“I’ll transmit the requisition to the hospital,” she said.

“Fine.” He didn’t look at her. Yikes. That hadn’t sounded fine.

“As soon as I hear the result, I’ll let you know.” She picked up her bag and headed out.

That went well, she thought ruefully. Man, she hated hockey.

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  1. Ping from Ed Hoornaert:

    Gee, the first time I fracture a rib, the doctor didn’t do anything other than say, you broke a rib. The second time, I didn’t even bother to see a doctor . . . but then, I’m not a hockey player.

    • Ping from Linda:

      It’s true, Ed, that there is no treatment. But Mike Wallace is a goalie for a professional hockey team – so he has to sit out a few games or risk puncturing his lung. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Ping from Cie from Naughty Netherworld Press:

    When I was working as a waitress close to 20 years ago now, the head waitress fractured a rib and was in a lot of pain, but the restaurant didn’t give sick leave, so she worked anyway. I’ve always feared fracturing a rib because there’s nothing that can be done except to let it heal.
    I used to be a big hockey follower. Fans expect players to just “play through the pain.” One of my favorites, Peter Forsberg, had to have his spleen removed and still couldn’t play after the standard “six week recovery time.” Fans were calling him a wimp. Made me angry, really.

    • Ping from Linda:

      Ouch that can be very painful to work with a fractured rib. And dangerous for a hockey player who risks further injury and a punctured lung! Thanks for your comment and for stopping by, Cie!