Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

We’re extending our Blog Schedule!

You may have noticed that our blog schedule has been full recently!  At the moment we’re in the happy position of having more blogs than we do dates, and so we’ve decided to extend our schedule and post on Saturdays, as well as Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  We’re going to start filling up our Saturday dates over the next couple of months.

Fiona McArthur will be getting us off to a great start, by taking the first of our new Saturday spots on the 8th August.  We’ll be continuing with our regular features and guests, and have some ideas for new features as well. We’d love you to join us!

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Thank you – and catching up with Fiona McArthur!

A few months ago we collected some ‘extra’ blogs from our authors, to make sure that we could keep our schedule full during lockdown.   It’s way past time to acknowledge all their work and say thank you to everyone who’s kept our blog flourishing over these last difficult months, both readers and writers.  Whatever happens next, we’ll still be here!  

We are also keen to acknowledge a more important debt. Some of our Medical Romance writers have been away working in various medical roles – risking so much to help keep their communities safe and well.  Thank you isn’t enough, but it’s all we have.  We love you.

Today we have a blog from Fiona McArthur – who wrote some months ago about ten jobs to do in lockdown.  But her suggestions are so good, that as some of us take our first tentative steps towards a new normal, they’re as much fun to do now as they were then.  Over to Fiona!

Waving again to lovers of Medical Romance.

Thank you so much to the hardworking organisers who keep this blog going. I may not post much but I really enjoy reading your blogs.

Blog wise – A little while ago I was asked to submit a short, fun, column for The Sunday Telegraph, an Australian newspaper, and I came up with this. ST did take some of the article but only about a third of it was published, apologies to those who have seen this, but I’m hoping most of you haven’t. I thought Love Is The Best Medicine might enjoy the whole article- even if it gives you just a tiny smile- I’m happy xx Fi

Ten jobs you never thought you’d achieve

As a recently retired midwife – pre Covid-19 – normally I would be away gallivanting in some far town, far city or far country for a week or two most months, because travel and travelling gives me inspiration for my writing. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. Now, like you, I’m home to stay. Here’s a quick play with ideas as I settle in for the duration. I hope to spark some of your own clever tasks, make you smile, and leave you with the satisfaction of success at a fun task. Happy achieving.

Washing the collection of seashells in the bathroom that have sat on the window-sill for years – don’t forget to take the time to listen to the sound of the sea inside them.

Culling books you know you will never read. Someone else will love them. Reassure yourself that if you want to read the book you donated then you can probably get it in e-book or from the library. I know this WILL NOT find favour with stalwarts of ARRA who have book children they would never part with xx But I need to cull.

Sorting the old boxes (and boxes) of photographs of your children – what do you do with fifteen copies of solo year four pics of each son? Then give the new boxes to each son. Heh Heh.

Making a space for you. A meditation room to sit and chill and not think. Needs a comfy cushion and a curtain for privacy.

Or, could also be a medication room if you take a glass of wine, with a makeshift day bed to lie on in a tiny space. I’ve seen fab ones on the corner of a verandah inside a kids tent.

Best as separate from the house where you can listen to your meditation, music or read a book. Can be a tent with cushions or your car in the garage with a sheet over it if needed. Company is lovely but we all need our own space to chill.

Rewrite your address book. Write a letter, send a postcard – that would be fun –  to every person’s name you come across who makes you smile and you haven’t connected with in a while. Those who don’t make you feel good – wish them well out loud and remove from the list.

Grow something – Shallots are satisfying. Nothing more fun than buying a bunch of shallots from the supermarket to use – then planting the ends after you’ve garnished with the tops. They grow so quickly and look so green. They make me smile and taste amazing.

Experiment – with hair colour. Try a new one every week. 🙂 Use food colouring and mix it with white conditioner until you get the colour you want. Natural ones wash out.  Look it up on google for instructions. How funny. Nobody is going to see you. Though if you have black hair nobody will be able to tell.

Cook. Something old-fashioned you’ve never tried before. Like toad in the hole? Or Turkish delight? Or damper.

Marathon watch that box set you never opened. I can’t believe I have McCloud’s Daughters and Downtown Abbey to watch.

Write ten fabulous things about your significant other or best friend, despite it not being their birthday, Give it to them.

11/ Or you could read a fabulous medical romance.

Loving all the discussion on-line. Thanks so much for being there everyone and for your support of authors and readers. xx Fi

9781760894986Author of more than forty books, Fiona’s latest fiction novel is MIDWIFE IN THE JUNGLE mostly set in Papua New Guinea. Available now. Her audiobook out this month is MOTHERS DAY. The Bush Telegraph, set in far western Queensland, is out 1st September  2020. Pre-order here. Or order any of her signed print books from Fiona at www.FionaMcArthurAuthor.com/bookstore.

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Escape with a Romance (Part 2)

Two more recommendations from our Medical Romance authors, who have sorted through their backlists to recommend their favourite escape stories.  Enjoy!

Taming Her Hollywood Playboy, by Emily Forbes

Emily

Redeemed…

by his fake fiancee!  Hired as the on-set paramedic on Hollywood actor Oliver Harding’s latest film, Kat Angelis finds herself equally as charmed by his off-screen persona. And when his playboy reputation threatens his hard-earned career, she’s the first person Oliver turns to – to pose as his fiancée! Kat’s warm personality and commitment to her family opens Oliver up to something he’s never had. Is this girl from the outback the key to unlocking his heart?

Why recommend?  I think this book might be the perfect antidote to being stuck indoors – it will take you to the Australian outback where there are no nasty viruses lurking!

It is set in Coober Pedy, South Australia in the middle of the red desert where my hero, Hollywood actor, Oliver Harding has been sent in order to keep him out of trouble. Needless to say – it doesn’t work!

Book available here  and Mills&BoonAus plus Mills&BoonUK and Harlequin USA

You can also find an excerpt on this blog.

 

English Rose for the Sicilian Doc, by Annie Claydon

imageUncovering a sizzling attraction…

Burned in love, Dr Matteo Di Salvo knows he should stay away from single mother, Rose Palmer.  But as he gets to know the beautiful English archaeologist, he longs to chase the shadows from her eyes…

Rose is drawn to the handsome radiologist, though after her disastrous marriage, getting emotionally entangled is out of the question! But as the sun-drenched island of Sicily works its magic, she wonders if she’s finally found a man she can trust…with her heart and her son.

Why Recommend?  The book features a beach, a handsome doctor, a vineyard and a hot spring – along with an archaeological mystery, solved by modern medical knowledge.

The book is available from Mills and Boon UK, Mills and Boon Australia and Harlequin, and you can read an excerpt on this blog.

 

Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Excerpt – From Hawaii to Forever, by Julie Danvers

Jack Harper has been showing Kat Murphy that sometimes the best way to relax is to seek out a thrill.  But Kat’s already decided that the thrill she wants is him.

Medical2JuneThey approached the edge of the cliff at the golden hour—the hour before the sun set and cast everything with a luminous glow. It was one of Jack’s favorite spots in all Hawaii: a stretch of coastline on the island’s north shore. This part of the shoreline was made of high cliffs, with deep water below. It was an ideal spot for cliff jumping, if Kat decided she wanted to go through with it.

Being so close to the shoreline awed Jack, as it always did. And as he looked at Kat he could tell that she was just as taken by the island’s beauty as he was.

“It’s incredible,” she said. “I’ve never seen water this shade of blue before. It’s like looking at liquid lapis lazuli.”

Jack realized he’d never really taken in the islands through someone else’s eyes. Kat’s response to the wild beauty of Oahu made him feel as though he were seeing it all again for the first time.

“You love this place,” he said.

“I think I do,” she replied. “Even though I haven’t spent much time here. From the moment I got off the plane I felt like I was home. Chicago is a great city, but it’s very…flat. I’ve never seen a place that radiates so much natural beauty as Hawaii.”

Speaking of radiating beauty, Jack thought, she should see how her face softens and her eyes shine when she looks out over the cliffs.

Somewhere along their hike to the cliffs she’d plucked a plumeria flower and placed it in her hair. The effect was breathtaking now, as Kat looked out over the coast, framed by the sea and sky, her tangled red hair waving in the wind. She turned toward him and somehow, before he knew what had taken hold of him, he’d reached out and she was in his arms, her face tilted up toward his.

He felt as though she’d always belonged there—as though he’d reached out for some lost piece of himself that he hadn’t known was missing. But to have her so close was confusing. He couldn’t think clearly with her pulled into his arms, pressed against his chest, her hair smelling of flowers.

He found himself saying, “There’s no reason to be scared,” and he couldn’t be sure if he was saying it to her, or to himself.

“Scared?” she said. She looked up at him, confused. “Why would I be scared?”

A fair enough question. She rested securely in his arms and he would damn well never let any harm come to her if he could help it. She was in the safest place she could possibly be, even if she didn’t know it. So why should either of them be scared?

He searched his mind for an explanation of what he’d said—something that would make sense. “I was talking about the cliff-jumping, if you decide you want to try it,” he said. “It’s always scary the first time, but there’s nothing to be afraid of here. The water’s deep, but we’re close enough to shore that we can swim back safely, and the current isn’t overpowering.”

She looked up at him, still folded in his arms, her eyes filled with emotion. “Jumping off a cliff doesn’t scare me,” she said. “I know that might sound strange. But you were right, Jack! I was never going to learn to relax from a book. I need to try new things, and I need a thrill. I’m the kind of person who relaxes by finding excitement—not by sitting in a quiet room meditating. But before coming to Hawaii I never realized that about myself because my whole life has been about studying. I never even had a chance to experience an adrenaline rush until I started working in the ER. I don’t think I ever realized that that’s what I love about medicine: the excitement, the unpredictability, having to think quickly. At least, I didn’t realize it until I met you.”

Jack wondered if Kat could feel his heart beating underneath his shirt. He’d pulled her to him and she hadn’t pulled away. She was still resting in his arms, her head against his chest, as though she belonged there. As though she wanted to be there. As though whatever was between the two of them wasn’t about being friends, or having a physical relationship with no emotions.

She held him as though she wanted him.

She held him the same way he was holding her.

“I’m not scared of jumping off a cliff, Jack,” she continued. “Why would I be? I trust you. But I’ll tell you what I really am scared of.” She locked her eyes with his. “I’m scared of the two of us hiding from how we really feel about each other.”

And then she was kissing him, her lips seeking his with ardent desire, and he found himself kissing her back just as passionately, his tongue desperate to explore every last corner of her mouth and his arms pressing her against his body, right where she belonged.

Some time later their kisses became shorter and softer, until they simply held each other close, their foreheads pressed together.

“What do you think?” he said. “Should we take the leap?”

She looked over the cliff. “The relationship leap or the actual leap?”

“Both,” he said.

“I want to, but I’m not sure I know how,” she said.

He held her close. “I think there’s only one way to do it,” he said. “Take a running start, hold hands, and jump together.”

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Escape with a Romance! (Part 1)

We all know that romance offers an escape from the everyday.  Because no matter how good the everyday is, a little escape is great too!  So we asked our Medical Authors to recommend one book from their backlists.  We’ll be publishing more recommendations in the future, and to start we have Susan Carlisle and Amy Andrews.  Enjoy!

Amy Andrews

XmasMiracle CoverHer knight in shining leathers!

Trinity Walker has learned the hard way to stand on her own two feet for her sick son Oscar. But, when ex–army surgeon Reid Hamilton walks into her life and offers her a job and a home, she can’t refuse!

He might ruffle her feathers, but Trinity can’t help falling for this knight in motorbike leathers. Reid never expected this little family to bring such sparkle into his cynical life, but now he’ll do whatever it takes to give Trinity the love she deserves this Christmas!

Buy link – Amazon

Why recommend?

I was super thrilled that A Christmas Miracle was a finalist in the prestigious RITA award in 2018 – my first time finalling after many years of entering. I didn’t win but just being up there in Denver with all those other amazing books was such a buzz. Both Trinity and Reid were very real characters to me. Both so deserving of a HEA and it was my pleasure to give it to them!

Susan Carlisle

SheikFrom shy Cinderella…

To convenient princess!

For sensible Dr. Laurel Martin, heading up a new lab for royal doc Sheikh Tariq Al Marktum is the chance to conduct the study of a lifetime. But to protect Laurel from the scandal her presence in his palace will cause, Tariq has his own condition—a paper marriage! Swept into his desert kingdom, passion overtakes the convenient couple, but can Laurel find her place in Tariq’s world—and his heart?

Buy link – Amazon

Why recommend?

I recommend my book The Sheikh Doc’s Marriage Bargain. It’s a complete escape from the realities of real life. Who wouldn’t want to go to a beautiful island in the middle of the Mediterranean with a super intelligent and handsome prince who lives in a palace? This is one of my favorite love stories and in it I also get to share information about living with hemophilia. There’s also horses and a night in a tent.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

What’s keeping you distracted today, by Allie Kincheloe

In these uncertain times … does anyone else feel like every single commercial or news story contains these words right now? We are all aware, so why keep saying it? I’m skating along a fine line of need to be informed and overwhelmed by the negativity in this world right now. I find myself more in need of distraction than ever—and also more distracted at home than ever.

Like every other parent in the country, my kiddos are home with an ETA on school starting back as vaguely (hopefully) in the fall. So my quiet peaceful days to sit on my porch and write have been replaced with the patter of (not-so-little) feet, squeals, and a constant chorus of “Mom, Mom, Mom” or “Can I have a snack?”, and attempts at doing something somewhat educational each day. I’m sure I’m not the only author struggling to get words on the page right now. (Right???)

Besides that, I’ve been trying to distract myself, when I can. Use this time to refill the creative well, so to speak. When the kids cooperate, I’ve been binge-watching some medical shows, reading a ton of books, and just brainstorming ideas. I’ve removed some of the pressure of trying to force daily word counts, and instead focused on trying to enjoy this time with my family.

My current favorite with kid distractions:

  1. Spending the day outside. We live on a farm and the kids are loving having land to explore. It’s, uh, science, right? Old school education.
  2. Cooking lessons. My 9 year old is very interested in cooking right now, so we are using this time for expanding her skills in the kitchen.
  3. Reading a book together and then watching the movie. We’ve done this on a much slower pace throughout the years, but with so much time now, we are getting through several. Any suggestions of good book/movie combos appropriate for 9 year olds are highly welcome!

My current favorite without kid distractions:

  1. The Night Shift. This cancelled medical drama on Netflix has really caught my attention. I can’t believe I haven’t seen this one before.
  2. Chicago Fire. Kelly Severide… enough said. I’m only on Season 3 though, so no spoilers, please.
  3. Stacks and stacks of romance novels.

If anyone is in need of a romance novel for a distraction, I have a new one out this month:

Heart Surgeon’s Second Chance

9781335149343Can they leave their past behind…

To save her son’s life?

When paramedic Rhiann Masters’s young son needs heart surgery, there’s only one man she can trust—former best friend and top pediatric surgeon Dr. Patrick Scott. The only problem? After a tragic accident changed Patrick’s life forever, they haven’t spoken in years. Now as they’re thrown back together, they soon remember just how good life can be when they’re by each other’s side…

Excerpt:

Dread pooled low in Rhiann’s stomach as the door to the exam room opened with a slow and ominous creak. Broad shoulders in a white coat filled the space and her eyes roamed the doctor’s familiar form, taking in the subtle changes time had wrought.

Three years ago he hadn’t had those deep lines etched into his face. His dark hair had a little more silver at the temple than she remembered, but he was as lean and handsome as ever.

Dr. Patrick Scott stepped into the room, his eyes looking down at the screen of the silver laptop in his hand. His movements carried the spicy aroma of his cologne into the small room, the pleasing notes covering the harsh antiseptic and teasing a part of her that had gone dormant since her divorce.

But on top of the overtly masculine scent he brought with him a wave of sadness that hinted at tragedy.

“Hello, Mrs…. Masters…um…”

His deep gravelly voice trailed off and his sky-blue eyes jerked up to meet hers when he recognized her name. The slight fake smile he’d had on his lips when he’d opened the door faded fast. Judging from the ice that frosted over his gaze, the animosity he’d held for her hadn’t eased since she’d last seen him.

The exam room door shut behind him with an audible click and the laptop clattered slightly as he set it roughly on the counter.

“What are you doing here?”

The uncharacteristic coldness in his tone sent a shiver coursing down her spine. Patrick’s voice had always held such emotion, its rich timbre broadcasting his feelings with the simplest words. In all the years she’d known him Rhiann had never heard this distant tone.

Rhiann hugged the baby in her arms close to her chest, tears filling her eyes as she fought to keep her emotions from overwhelming her. She’d hoped the time since they’d last seen each other might have given Patrick clarity and smoothed the raw edges of his anger, but clearly not enough time had passed. Now she could only hope that he would be professional enough to put their personal grievances aside and focus on her child’s best interests.

She needed to keep a clear head today, so she stuffed her feelings away as best she could. She had known coming here was a risk, but there was no other way or she’d have explored it already.

“I need your help. Well, he needs your help. This is my son Levi. He has a heart defect, and the cardiologist at St. Thomas’ wants to do surgery to fix it. But if anyone is cutting my baby open I want it to be the best surgeon I can find.” She paused to swallow down an oversized lump in her throat. “And that’s you.”

“You expect me to save someone you love. How ironic.”

A single dark eyebrow raised as he stared down at her, his expression unreadable and as cold as marble. His eyes searched hers—for what, she didn’t know.

Just as she was sure he was about to tell her to leave, to scream at her like he had the last time she’d seen him, his gaze flicked down to the baby in her arms and the ice in his eyes melted the tiniest bit.

“Please, Dr. Scott.”

The formality felt stiff and awkward as it rolled off her tongue without the teasing tone she’d used each time she’d called him by his title in the past. Years ago they had been the closest of friends, sharing every secret with each other. They had even flirted with the idea of a relationship on an occasion or two.

But it no longer seemed appropriate to call him by his given name. Not when their friendship had crumbled on the back of accusations and misplaced blame. Their personal connection was more of a hindrance than a help in her quest to get her son the care he needed, so she kept things formal, hoping to appeal to his professional side.

His eyes snapped up to meet hers and that hint of softening was gone. “You ask too much.”

The once happy-go-lucky Patrick had earned a reputation over the last couple years for taciturnity. His white-hot talent was tempered by his ice-cold bedside manner, but he was the best pediatric cardiac surgeon in the southeast, and that fact made people overlook his brusque manner.

He’d changed three years ago—just as she had.

Rhiann remembered the caring man he’d used to be, though, and she hoped there was enough of that man left deep inside for him to agree to help. Her son’s life depended on it.

Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Excerpt: Tempted by the Single Mum by Caroline Anderson

41mX8cT+AJL.jpgCHAPTER ONE

Why? Why today, when she was already running late before she’d even started, did someone have to make it even worse?

          She glared at the car reversing neatly into the one remaining doctors’ space—a car she didn’t recognise, and she’d never seen the driver, either. He certainly wasn’t one of their doctors, so whoever he was he had no business parking there.

          Didn’t seem to bother him. He either didn’t know, or didn’t care, but he flashed her a smile as he got out of the car, then locked it and headed for the surgery without a backward glance.

          Who did he think he was? Cocky, arrogant—argh! There weren’t words for what she felt. The expensive car, the confident stride, the easy charm—not to mention the insanely good looks. Clearly a man for whom everything had always gone his way. Well, not now. Whoever he was—probably a drug rep—he was about to get his comeuppance.

          Still fuming, she reversed into the last available space in the car park, not really wide enough but doable—or it would have been, if she hadn’t been so cross.

          She heard the scrape, closed her eyes and breathed, then shuffled the car slightly further from the offending wall, squeezed out of the ridiculously narrow gap she’d left herself, slammed the door and headed across the car park.

          Seriously, could today get any worse? Well, his could. If he was still in Reception—

          He was. He was chatting to the receptionist, leaning forward engagingly as he spoke, and that easy charm was obviously working on Katie, which just infuriated her more. His hands were shoved casually into the pockets of immaculately cut trousers that fitted his neat, strong hips to perfection. Of course they did. They wouldn’t dare do anything else.

          She eyed his shoulders, broad and yet not heavy, the legs strong and straight below firm, taut buttocks. He probably worked out in a fancy gym somewhere. You didn’t get a neat, sexy bottom like that by accident.

          She dragged her eyes up to head height.

          ‘You’ve parked in a doctor’s space,’ she said crisply to his back, keeping a lid on her temper with difficulty, and he straightened up and turned towards her, that infuriating smile still on his face.

          ‘Yes, I—’

          ‘I know parking’s tight, but that is just not on. There was another space, so why not park there yourself? Or anywhere else, frankly! Or was that the only space big enough for your ego? Thanks to you I’ve scraped my car, I’m now ten minutes late and I’ve got patients waiting!’

          An eyebrow rose a fraction. Over his shoulder she could see Katie gesturing wildly, but she ignored her and stood her ground, and he shook his head slowly.

          ‘Maybe you need to get up earlier,’ he murmured, and she stifled the urge to growl at him.

          ‘And maybe you need to learn to read!’

          ‘Ellie! Dr Kendal!’ Katie chipped in, getting to her feet and looking even more flustered, and his eyebrow went up a little further, a lazy smile now playing around his aggravatingly beautiful mouth.

          ‘I think we’d better start again,’ he said, holding out his hand, the smile tugging at his lips. ‘It’s a pleasure to meet you, Dr Kendal. I’m Nick Cooper. Dr Nick Cooper.’

          The new—and desperately needed—member of their team.

          Brilliant.

          Why didn’t the ground just open up and swallow her?

*

He had to stifle his laugh.

          Her jaw sagged, and for a second she was speechless. Then she shook her head, mumbled what could have been an apology and fled through the staff door as Katie opened it, her face flaming.

          He dropped his hand back to his side, shrugged and smiled at the receptionist who was looking horrified and fascinated all at once.

          ‘So, that’s Dr Kendal,’ he murmured, vaguely intrigued.

          ‘Yes. Ellie. I’m so sorry, she’s normally lovely. I don’t know what’s got into her.’

          He pulled a face and walked through the door into the back of Reception, closing it behind himself. ‘I do. I took the last doctor’s space, and now she’s scraped her car. Oops. If I’d known who she was I would have moved, but I didn’t have a clue.’

          ‘She’s only part time, so if she wasn’t on duty when you came for your interviews you wouldn’t have met her—and she does normally walk. You weren’t to know.’

          He nodded. ‘No. Ah, well. I have no doubt we’ll have time to catch up later.’

          Katie gestured towards the other doorway, still looking flustered. ‘Come in and I’ll introduce you to the admin team, and I’m sure Dr Gallagher will be out in a minute to talk to you. I’ve let her know you’re here.’

          She led the way, and he followed her into the office and scanned it for any sign of his fiery new colleague, but she’d gone.

          Pity. Never mind. He was here all day, there was time, and he could look forward to what was bound to be an interesting conversation…

*

Why had she done that?

          Torn him to pieces without even giving him a chance to speak? And if he’d been a patient, he would have been well within his rights to complain. No, it was even better than that. He was a colleague, her senior, and she’d just hurled abuse at him in their first interaction.

          Marvellous. Just marvellous.

          Not that he’d been exactly polite himself, telling her to get up earlier. She’d been up before half five as it was to do the laundry, and if Maisie hadn’t been a diva and Evie hadn’t needed her nappy changed again and Oscar hadn’t lost one of his shoes and then had a meltdown, she wouldn’t have been late and then none of this would have happened.

          She felt her eyes prickle, and clamped her jaw shut hard, blinking furiously as she closed her consulting room door behind her and leant against it. It could have been worse. There could have been a whole bunch of patients in Reception, so at least she hadn’t had an audience while she’d made a total fool of herself.

          ‘Breathe,’ she said softly, and closed her eyes, sucking in a long, slow breath through her nose and out through her mouth. In…and out… In…and out—

          The quiet tap on the door made her jump, and she leapt away from it and wrenched it open, to find herself face to face with her worst nightmare, no doubt coming to tear her apart in private. Well, it was certainly justified, and he probably hated her already.

          Or maybe not…

          ‘Katie thought you’d want this,’ he said quietly, holding out a mug of tea without a trace of a smile, and she stared at it suspiciously.

          Beware of strangers bearing gifts…

          ‘Why are you bringing me a peace offering? I’m the one who should be apologising—or have you slipped something into it?’

          His mouth twitched. ‘Don’t tempt me,’ he murmured, and gave her a wry smile. ‘It’s not a peace offering. Katie was about to bring it to you, and I suggested I do it. I thought we could do with clearing the air.’

          She took it from him with fingers that weren’t quite steady, then made herself meet his eyes. He held her gaze, his searching, thoughtful, the smile gone now. She was quite glad she didn’t know what he was thinking…

          She felt her shoulders drop in defeat. ‘Look, I’m sorry, I didn’t know who you were, which is no excuse whatsoever, I know that, but—’ She broke off, still mortified and wondering if there was any way she could rescue the situation. ‘I hadn’t realised you were coming in today, I thought you’d be starting on Monday, so I wasn’t expecting you, I didn’t recognise you, and then you took the last reserved space, and as if that wasn’t enough I scraped my car parking by the wall, which was just the icing on the cake—’

          ‘Ellie, breathe! It’s OK. Forget it. You’re right, I am starting on Monday, I’m just having an induction today, learning the ropes a bit, finding my feet before I start. I guess nobody told you. And I’m sorry I took your parking place, but Lucy told me to park there because you usually walk to work. Obviously not today.’

          ‘No. I should have been, I nearly always do, but I got—held up,’ she said, for want of a better way of putting it.

          ‘So it seems. Parking’s tight, isn’t it? Lucy said it’s a regular occurrence with the building work going on.’

          She nodded, sighing with relief because he had every right to be unreasonable about this. ‘It is, but they should be finished soon and the builders’ vans will be gone, and not a moment too soon. Look, I’m sorry, can we do this later? I don’t mean to be rude—again—but I do have patients waiting and I’m already on the drag.’

          ‘Of course. And I’m sorry about the parking—and your car.’

          ‘Don’t be sorry. You had every right to park there, as it turns out, and I massively overreacted. And thank you for the tea. I haven’t had time for one today.’

          His eyes softened at the corners, that flickering smile sending strange little shivers through her body. ‘My pleasure,’ he murmured. ‘We’ll catch up later.’ His lips twitched again. ‘You can teach me to read, and I can teach you to tell the time.’

          She rolled her eyes. He might have forgiven her, but he clearly wasn’t going to let it drop.

          ‘Oh, I can tell the time,’ she told him wryly. ‘I was up at five twenty-seven, for what it’s worth.’

          A silent ah, and he backed out, fingers waggling. ‘Better not hold you up any more, then. I’ll see you later.’

          She nodded, and the door closed softly behind him.

          Shaking her head and wishing she could wind the clock back, she put the tea down, washed her hands and fired up her computer, her mind refusing to let go of that lazy, sexy, fleeting smile.

          Stupid. She was nearly twenty minutes late now, and it would have a knock-on effect on the rest of the day. She didn’t have time to daydream, and particularly not about a man who probably practised his smile in the mirror!

          ‘Get a grip, Ellie,’ she told herself, took a gulp of her tea and pressed the button to call her first patient.

*

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

We’re taking a break for Christmas!

We’re taking a break from blogging over Christmas and the New Year, but we’ll be back again with the New Releases for January.

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We’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge THANK YOU, to everyone who’s contributed to the blog this year – and in particular our wonderful commentators and readers, who always make blogging fun.  We’re enormously grateful to everyone who takes the time to visit us.

And last but by no means least, on behalf of all the Medical Romance Authors – Happy Holidays!  We wish you all the joys of Christmas, and a peaceful, healthy and happy New Year.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

A Tribute to Dianne Drake

We’re taking some time today to remember a wonderful author and friend, Dianne Drake.  Dianne passed away in November and we’re paying tribute to her with memories from the Medical Romance Authors and Editors.

No tribute to Dianne is complete without her own words, full of humour, wisdom and inspiration.  Dianne wrote regularly for this blog, and if you’d like to enjoy some of her posts again, please click here.

 

Susan Carlisle

I met Dianne at an RWA conference over ten years ago before I even became a medical author. She was warm and encouraging to a want-to-be. I was so excited to respond to her welcome when I announced I had sold my book.

She mentioned one time how many books she had written for medicals. I was so impressed that I called her the Nora Roberts of Medicals. I think she liked that idea.

Dianne was a multitalented person. I read her bio once and thought she might be Wonder Woman from all she had accomplished. She had written hundreds of articles for magazines, big time magazines. She also had a deep insight into the world. If you would like to read some of those check out her past posts here. You won’t be disappointed.

I will miss Dianne. Her smile, her graciousness and her insights. Thankfully she left part of herself with the world forever- her words. For those, I will always be grateful.

 

Julia Williams, Editor, and Sheila Hodgson, Senior Editor, Harlequin Mills and Boon

First published by Harlequin in 2001, Dianne Drake soon found herself in her natural milieu writing for the medical line. A former nurse, there was little Dianne didn’t know about life on the frontline of medical care. She expertly coupled that with gorgeous romances between sometimes unlikely heroes and heroines, that were loved by readers the world over. She was a consummate professional and thoroughly dedicated to her books and readers. Whatever life threw at her – and it threw a lot – Dianne had the enviable capacity to shrug her shoulders, pick herself up and soldier on. She somehow managed to meet deadlines while being ill in hospital, or recovering from surgery, and her capacity for humour despite difficult circumstances was second to none. Typically, she produced her final book, Falling for her Army Doc, despite being severely ill – a fact she didn’t reveal until after the book was done. Right until the end she continued to work on her next manuscript, one which sadly didn’t see the light of day – which was also typical of her spirit and dedication. She will be a huge loss to the Harlequin family, and, it has been our great privilege and pleasure to have been able to work with her so long. We will all miss her very much.  Julia Williams and Sheila Hodgson

 

Kate Hardy

I was so sorry to hear of Dianne’s passing. She’d been a colleague and friend for years, and we bonded over a shared love of spaniels and Joe Bonamassa. Every time one of us got tickets for a gig, we’d message the other excitedly, and then talk about the gig afterwards (especially if he’d played one of our favourites). I’ll miss her very much. Rest in peace, Dianne, and thank you for the friendship and the memories. When I see Joe in May, I’ll be thinking of you xxx

 

Caroline Anderson

I didn’t know Dianne but we shared a duo recently. Her book, Bachelor Doc, Unexpected Dad, was lovely. Beautifully crafted, with a very gentle touch, and she obviously had so much more to give, so many more stories to tell. Tragic loss of a great member of our team. I feel privileged to have shared a duo with her. Just wish I’d told her how much I enjoyed it. RIP

 

Amy Ruttan

I was very saddened to hear about the passing of Dianne Drake.

When I was new to Harlequin Medicals and I was gearing up to write my 5th book I was asked by the editorial team to do my first ever duet. I was excited and the author I was assigned to was Dianne Drake.

I was familiar with Dianne’s work because we seemed to be paired up a lot in the UK 2in1’s, so I was pretty excited to get to work with her.

She was so nice and kind. We decided to write about brothers, both who had served, but had drifted apart. That Duet series became the Army Docs duet. That book was one of my favourites, “It Happened in Vegas” and her book was “Tortured by her Touch”.

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We didn’t work on anything again, which I am saddened by. I always held out hope that we would, but scheduling and deadlines didn’t jive.

However, when my Mom got sick during her chemotherapy for CLL, she ended up paralyzed and hospitalized for about 6 months. The doctors were doing all these awful tests on my Mom and I was just, devastated. We didn’t know what was causing the paralysis, there was no tumor. It was then that Dianne reached out and shared her own story. She gave me some hope in the darkness of all that.

And when my Mom passed, again, she passed on her kindness.

I will always think about Dianne fondly and I cherish our two brothers from our Duet. Rest in peace, Dianne.  Amy Ruttan xo

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Excerpt -Their One-Night Christmas Gift, by Karin Baine

It’s my turn to bring you an excerpt from our Pups That Make Miracles quartet. This one is from Their One-Night Christmas Gift, the final book in the series.

My surgeon, Charles Ross-Wylde, is the laird at Heatherglen Castle and also runs the clinic. It’s fair to say that unlike his sister, Esme, he’s not a dog lover. This scene is with one of his young patients and Harriet, his ex, who is helping out over the New Year Not to mention a certain, special pup…

Karin Baine xx

y404-2The triumphant smile Charles was wearing as Harriet was saying her goodbyes to the family died on his lips. A wagging, panting bundle of fur streaked past him as he opened the door to leave the room.

‘What the—?’

‘Isn’t this Esme’s puppy?’ Harriet scooped up the excitable animal, which had been causing havoc recently.

‘He’s so sweet. Is he for me?’ Bryony’s voice matched the excitement of the canine intruder and he cursed his sister’s generous heart. If Esme hadn’t insisted on keeping this nuisance around, he wouldn’t have to upset a young patient.

‘Sorry, Bryony. He must’ve escaped from the house.’

‘You can stroke him if you want.’ Harriet stepped in with a compromise and took the dog over to her before the tears had an opportunity to fully form.

‘He tickles.’ Bryony giggled as Dougal licked her face. Charles wasn’t pleased that Dougal had made an unscheduled, unsupervised visit but it was good to see her happy. Harriet too. Although the dogs were part of the ongoing therapy around here, he’d still have to have a word with Esme about keeping a closer eye on her four-legged friends. He didn’t want them getting in the way when staff were doing their rounds.

He lifted the hand sanitiser and passed it to her mother. ‘I’m so sorry about this..’

‘Don’t worry. He’s the best therapy we could have asked for.’ Bryony’s mother joined the group fawning over Dougal as though he were a newborn baby.

He understood their importance in terms of therapy here when he’d seen the results for himself. They calmed patients as well as provide a distraction from illness and treatment. However, on a personal level he didn’t know what the fuss was about.He’d never been a dog lover. Probably because his parents had stressed how much mess and destruction they could cause in a place like this where every stick of furniture had history and substantial monetary value. As proved by their canine companion. Sure, Dougal was cute, but he didn’t do anything for Charles except generally make his life more difficult around here.

‘We should get him back where he’s supposed to be.’ Charles stood back and let Harriet and her new friend leave before him.

‘’Bye, Dougal.’ There was a chorus as they left, indicating there was only one of them who’d be truly missed.

‘Just wait until I see Esme. I’d prefer he had a bath at least before he starts wandering around the place.’

‘Oh, poor baby, don’t listen to the nasty man. You smell like home to me.’ Harriet covered Dougal’s ears against the insult and peppered him with kisses, completely losing her own professional image to let her soft-hearted mothering instinct take over.

‘You lived in a kennel?’

She tutted. ‘We always had a dog in the house when I was growing up with Mum. They’re great company and totally devoted to their owners. If I wasn’t so busy with work, I’d still have one, but it wouldn’t be fair to leave one at home alone all day.’

‘Exactly why he shouldn’t be in the castle, unsupervised,while Esme is at work.’

 ‘He’s only a baby. Esme is the expert and she only has his best interests at heart. How could you be mad at this little face?’ She held Dougal out towards him. The dog’s tail was wagging so hard his body nearly folded in two.

Charles stared into the pair of soulful eyes begging for his love. A little pink doggie tongue shot out and began slobbering over his face, making it impossible to remember why he was being a grouch.

Then a warm trickle of liquid soaked through his suit and reminded him.

‘Dougal!’

‘Whoops. I think he got too excited.’ Harriet could barely contain her laughter as the puppypromptly forgot all the house training Esme had no doubt instilled in him the moment his Alpha hero had paid him some attention.