Monday, 2 November 2015

Monday, November 02, 2015 -

The Doctor and Her Rancher

by Leigh Smith
Published: Aug 29, 2015
Words: 35,665
Category: western, romance
Orientation: M/F
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Chapter One

Dr. Lauren Bancroft drove into Carsonville on a Tuesday afternoon in mid-September. Overwhelmed with the beauty surrounding her, she knew she would be at home here. Carsonville, Montana was as picturesque a town as one could ever expect to see. She felt as if she was driving onto a movie set back in Los Angeles instead of her new home. Main Street boasted a general store, a small Mom and Pop Grocery store, a café, an old-fashioned looking drug store, nothing like Walgreen's or CVS, the local bank, and a post office. Driving further down Main Street she saw the town hall, the Fire Department, a local grain and feed store and at the end stood a white church with a tall steeple. Following directions on her GPS, she turned at the only light in town onto Madison Avenue. She drove past a Laundromat, the sheriff's office and found what she was looking for - a square of buildings marked Medical Center. There were four wooden structures surrounding a courtyard. One housed a dentist, a veterinarian office, an emergency clinic and next to that her new office. Dr. Dedham's sign still hung above the door. There was a sign in the window that announced Dr. Lauren Bancroft, the new town doctor, would be arriving soon and until then call 406 555 4468 for emergencies only. She smiled to herself.

Lauren was born and raised in a small town outside of Ketchum, Idaho. Her dad was a pharmacist and her mom taught high school science. So it didn't come as a surprise when, at seven years old, Lauren announced that when she grew up she wanted to be a doctor. She remained steadfast in that wish and started researching the best colleges when she was only a high school junior. She received a partial scholarship to UCLA and then went on to David Geffen UCLA Medical School. She had completed an internship and residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center before she joined a private practice where she became one of fifty other doctors. She hated it. There was no time to actually get to know a patient - you knew the chart and nothing else. It wasn't why she went into medicine, but it paid down some of the debt hanging over her head so she toiled there until the death of her parents freed her. If she had her druthers, she would rather have had her parents for a few more years, but a helicopter crash during a tour of the Grand Canyon shattered that possibility.

At thirty-five and debt free, she'd began looking for a better place to live and practice the kind of medicine she'd dreamed of while watching Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman as a young girl. She'd been leafing through the New England Journal of Medicine when an ad had caught her eye. Carsonville was looking for a town doctor.