Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Maple Island (Excerpt)

I’m posting an excerpt today from my latest release, Resisting her English Doc.  As this is the second book, of a four book series, I’ve chosen two short passages from the middle of the book, which mentions the heroes and heroines from the three other books in the Maple Island quartet.

So – just to set the scene – everyone on Maple Island has gathered together for the Fright Night, in the Library, which has been organised by Pamela Vandenberg, the librarian, and Fleur Miller, the heroine of my book.  She’s taken Dr Rick Fleming and his daughter Ellie along, and they get a chance to rub shoulders with Alex and Maggie (Annie O’Neil’s hero and heroine, from Book 1), Rafael and Summer (Karin Baine’s hero and heroine, from Book 3) and Cody (Susan Carlisle’s hero from Book 4).  Annie, Karin and Susan all chose their characters’ costumes for the event.

We also meet Salty Harrington – who was the hero of the hour when he helped save two children from a stranded ferry.  He’s the Clinic’s most awkward patient, and his story runs through all four of the books.

Next week we’ll be blogging again about Maple Island, so please drop in again, to have a chance to win one or more of the books in this four book series!  But in the meantime, please meet the Maple Island cast and crew.

 

Salty Harrington was parked in one corner in his wheelchair, in charge of storytelling, and Ellie had run off to join the circle of children around him. A cocked hat, an eye patch and a wicked-looking cutlass were all that Salty needed to look exactly like a pirate. Fleur had left Rick’s side, to speak with a mummy who he guessed was Pamela, although it was difficult to tell under all those bandages. A taller mummy, who arrived with drinks for them both, and pressed his bandaged mouth against Pamela’s bandaged cheek, must be her husband.

The clinic staff were out in force, along with a few of the patients. Summer Ryan, the daycare assistant, was dressed as a white witch, complete with a basket of fragrant herbs. And the new spinal surgeon, Dr. Rafael Valdez, wore an immaculate dark suit and top hat, his face painted to resemble a skull, with intricate traceries of black and red on his cheeks and forehead. His little daughter Gracie was clinging to his hand, dressed as a fairy princess. Rick smiled. If Ellie was anything to go by, three-year-old girls rarely wanted to dress as anything else.

Wondering what Salty was filling the children’s heads with, he wandered over. Ellie was sitting cross-legged on the floor with a dozen others, drinking in the story.

“Are there trolls on the ship, Uncle Salty?” One of two identically dressed trolls, with pointed hats and patchwork jerkins over colored leggings and boots, piped up.

“Every ship has trolls, little ’un.Two trolls together is especially lucky.” The two little girls squealed with delight, and Rick saw Cody’s head turn at the sound of his daughters’ voices. It seemed that Cody’s imagination had been exhausted by finding costumes for his girls, and he’d come in a surgical mask and gown, looking exactly the same as he did most days at the clinic.

“No doctors in fancy weskits, though…” Rick jumped as Salty singled him out for comment and grinned, moving away. Clearly Salty had had his fill of doctors today.

Fleur was still talking to Pamela and Rick made his way over to the drinks table, accepting a fizzing purple concoction from a red-haired Bigfoot in a leather jacket. Tonight was going to be an interesting night.

*****

“Where’s Pamela?” Rick looked around.

“She was dreadfully nervous about this evening and ended up downing one too many of those purple cocktails. Her husband’s taken her off for a lie-down in the family pyramid.”

“She needn’t have worried. Tonight was amazing.” The library looked even spookier now that it was empty. Long, dark shadows, one of which seemed to be moving…

“Hey, you two. Take it home…” Fleur called out laughingly, and when Rick focused more carefully, he could make out two figures. Zombie superheroes, the tallest of whom had his cloak wrapped around the smaller one’s shoulders, were busy smudging each other’s face paint.

“Fabulous party, Fleur. Goodnight.” Maggie’s voice emanated from the smaller zombie, as she led Alex from the shadows. Rick and Alex exchanged a gruff “See you at work” and Fleur closed the library doors behind them.

“I’ll just check there’s no one else here and lock up.” Fleur flipped on the overhead lights, and suddenly the artistry of the decorations became apparent. Floating cobwebs, a few torn and painted sheets and cleverly placed lighting were all that she’d needed to turn the library into a place of shadows.

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Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Their Unexpected Babies (Excerpt)

This December, I have a new book coming out, called Their Unexpected Babies. It returns to a favourite topic of mine and one I wrote about in my very first book – surrogacy.

I’m endlessly fascinated by surrogacy, the couples who choose it, the women who offer their womb for nine months, knowing that the child they carry is not for them. In my first book, I explored surrogacy from the point of view of the surrogate herself and in this new book, I’m exploring it from the point of view of a woman who can’t carry a child of her own.

I hope you enjoy this little excerpt!

Dancing was an art form. There were those who could do it well, who looked as if they’d been born to dance. And there were those who did it badly—and Leah was one of them. Dancing might even be a bit too fancy a word for the moves her body was able to perform. Fancy swaying might be more realistic.

She felt awkward trying to do anything more complicated than that, being all angles and long limbs, like a newborn foal, trying to stay upright. It wasn’t her favourite thing to do and, quite frankly, she couldn’t wait for this to be over.

Just keep smiling! Pretend you’re having a great time.

Everyone else was. One or two had even paired off with a couple of guys who had bought them drinks. Thinking of which, she was beginning to get a little thirsty. She looked over at the bar, to see if there was much of a queue, and instead met a steady pair of beautiful blue eyes gazing back at her.

He was at the bar—the man in question. Holding a tall glass with what looked like water in it, condensation dripping down its sides. Black shirt, open at the collar. Black trousers.

She couldn’t look away. She wanted to, but he held her gaze, and somehow, before she knew it, he was standing in front of her.

‘May I have this dance?

The old-fashioned request was charming. If he’d said anything else, come out with a cheesy line, then she would have raised a sardonic eyebrow and turned away, but his question—polite, gallant, charming—hit all her buttons.

She could feel her cheeks flushing and was thankful he wouldn’t be able to see that in the darkness. But the terrible thing about being in the dark was that it also made you throw a bit of caution to the wind. It created intimacy. And she couldn’t help but laugh.

‘You’ve seen me dance, right? The flailing?’

He smiled. ‘It was utterly charming.’

‘Charming?’

He leaned in. ‘Adorable.’

And she liked him. He smelt great. She didn’t know what it was, but she just felt secure with this guy. What was one more flail? They were in a public place. Nothing was going to happen.

‘Sure. Okay.’

She bit her lip as he led her to the centre of the dance floor, and just as she was about to begin the music changed. It was almost as if this man and the DJ were in cahoots, because the music switched from a frantic, heated rhythm to something slow and soulful. The kind of music that begged couples to dance in each other’s arms. Bodies pressed close. Intimate. Knowing.

She smiled and stepped shyly into his embrace, draping her arms over his shoulders as he pulled her to him.

He smelt delicious. Edible. A musky heat. And she closed her eyes as they swayed in tune together, sensing him inhale the scent of her shampoo as he lifted a tendril of her hair up to his nose. It was such an intimate gesture she felt shivers tremble down her spine, and her breath hitched in her throat as she wondered what he’d do next.

But he was a perfect gentleman. His hands didn’t wander and she found herself wondering about this man in her arms. Who was he? Where had he come from? What was his name?

Why was he so hot?

She let him have the next dance. And then the next. And when she had to sit down, to give her feet and ankles a rest from the vertiginous heels she had unwittingly chosen for that evening, he walked her over to a place to sit and helped her slip them off. He massaged her feet for her whilst she squirmed in delight on the banquette and thanked the heavens that she’d had a pedicure two days ago.

He looked at her and smiled. ‘Are you ticklish?’

‘A bit.’

‘Then I’ll be careful.’

She liked the way he held her feet firmly, determined not to tickle her, but to give her the maximum benefit of his strong, capable hands.

You know your way around a woman’s foot.’Leah cringed once the words were out.

But he didn’t raise an eyebrow. ‘I know my way around many parts of the female anatomy.’

She blushed. The foot massage already had her biting her lip, trying her hardest not to moan and groan in delight at what was happening to her flesh, and his words made her wonder what magic he could cause in other places, with other parts of his anatomy?

But the thought was fleeting and quick. That wasn’t who she was, so she knew she didn’t have to worry about that. But somehow they got talking and chatting, and his name was Ben. So simple. So wonderful. It suited him.

She discovered they liked a lot of the same things—old movies, reading, and the exact same brand of salted caramel chocolates—and when he learnt how close she lived, he offered to give her a piggyback home.

‘A piggyback?’ she asked in amused disbelief. They weren’t kids.

‘You can’t dance in those shoes and you certainly can’t walk in them. I’m amazed you didn’t break an ankle just getting here.’

The idea of him walking her home thrilled her. She didn’t want to part company with him yet. But she didn’t want to do this alone. Just in case. He could be anyone.

Hannah offered to accompany them for safety. Her friend lived in the block opposite her own. As good as his word, Ben carried her all the way back, like a groom carrying his new bride over the threshold of their new home, telling them jokes and making them laugh, paying attention to both women fairly, though it was clear his interest was in her. And when he gently set her down on her feet, her soles pressed against the chilly pavement, she impulsively offered him a coffee or a nightcap, not yet willing to say goodbye.

He’d smiled. ‘Coffee would be nice.’

Hannah waved them both goodbye, giving Leah a big thumbs-up sign in secret, when Ben wasn’t looking.

She smiled and fished her keys out of her bag.

What am I doing? I don’t do this. I don’t invite random guys back!

But another voice in her head said, Go for it! When are you going to get another chance?

So she made him coffee. And they sat together on the couch, drinking it until it was gone, and the tension in the room was palpable.

‘I should go.’ His voice was loaded with regret. ‘It was lovely spending a few hours with you, but I have an early start in the morning.’

She nodded. ‘Me, too.’

She wasn’t kidding either. She started a new job tomorrow. Going to the club had been in celebration of that.

He stood up and she stood with him. They were so close! Millimetres apart. Leah gazed up at his face, his mouth, and then he pulled her gently towards him and lowered his face to hers.

The kiss was perfect. Gentle.

Soft.

And then…

And then it wasn’t. And they couldn’t remove their clothes fast enough.

9781335641335

 

From irresistible attraction…
To ready-made family!

After her best friend agrees to be her surrogate, Dr Leah Hudson’s dream of being a mum is finally coming true! But throwing caution to the wind for one night with sexy Dr Ben Willoughby has shocking consequences… Leah’s pregnant! Now, with two babies depending on her, Leah must push her feelings for committed bachelor Ben aside—unless he proves that Leah and the babies can depend on him

Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Hot Docs!

Excerpt – Nurses in the City

 

Amy and I are at it again with another duo set in Sydney.

Reunited with Her Brooding Surgeon is Grace’s story:

Grace Gibson loves her job as a transplant coordinator at a Sydney hospital but she’s blindsided when a ghost from her past reappears. Devastatingly handsome surgeon, Marcus Washington, was her childhood neighbour – but he’s all man now and hiding a wealth of pain. Will Grace be the woman to break down his walls and claim his heart?

and Tempted by Mr Off-Limits introduces Grace’s brother, Hamish:

Lola Fraser knows better than to fall for her best friend’s brother, paramedic Hamish Gibson. Living together whilst he’s training could get awkward—fast! But as they work together on a heartrending case they can’t resist the temptation to take their minds off work. Surely one night will be enough…until they discover it isn’t!

Read on for an excerpt of Reunited with Her Brooding Surgeon

Grace followed Marcus out of the room. His strides were long and Grace found her gaze drawn to his hips. He’d removed his suit jacket leaving the shape of his buttocks under his pants clearly defined as his legs ate up the length of the corridor. Grace forced herself to keep her eyes lifted, she didn’t want to be caught ogling him or running into something because her attention was elsewhere.

She got the feeling he was trying to put as much distance between them as possible. But she had no idea why. Her curiosity got the better of her and she hurried after him. She wanted to know what his issue was. Why he was so abrupt with her. She didn’t think she’d done anything to put him off-side yet his aloofness was definitely directed at her. She had to admit he was an empathetic doctor with a good bedside manner and maybe she’d just have to be satisfied with that. But she still wanted some answers.

‘Dr Washington!’

He stopped and turned towards her.

‘Have I done something to upset you?’ She asked as she caught up to him.

‘No.’

Grace waited for him to elaborate but he was silent. Man, he could be the poster boy for the strong, silent type.

Oh well. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, she thought as she said. ‘Do you remember me?’

Marcus looked down at the petite redhead standing in front of him. She had her hands on her hips and looked as if she’d like to tear him to shreds. ‘What do you mean? Of course I do,’ he replied, attempting to use his most reasonable tone in an attempt to calm her down. ‘We were just in Connie’s room and I only met you a few hours ago.’

‘I meant from before.’

***

He watched her with his steady gaze but said nothing. He wasn’t going to admit to anything. Not until he knew what she wanted. She reminded him of a firecracker about to explode.

‘You grew up in Toowoomba,’ she said. It was apparent she wasn’t going to be intimidated and she wasn’t asking him a question. She looked small and easy to handle but, just like a firecracker, he got the impression that once something set her off, you’d know all about it and there’d be nowhere to hide.  ‘I lived around the corner from you. You were at school with my brother, Lachlan.’

It was obvious she knew who he was. He’d suspected as much. He had recognised her too. Well, not her as such, but her hair matched with her name was a giveaway. Her golden copper locks were distinctive. He hadn’t wanted to think she was the same person even though it was blatantly clear, just as it was clear she remembered him.

He cursed his luck. ‘Was I?’

He knew he was being bullish but he couldn’t help it. He’d spent twenty years trying to get away from his past. Twenty years spent reinventing himself and wiping away all traces of his childhood. He hadn’t been back to Toowoomba in all that time and he’d even debated the wisdom of returning to the east coast for this three-month stint but the opportunity of this experience at the Kirribilli General Hospital had been too good to refuse. Guilt and opportunity had brought him back. And now it seemed it was about to make him pay.

He hadn’t expected to run into any one from his past and he certainly wouldn’t have expected to be remembered. He didn’t want to remember who he had been and the life he’d lived then. He didn’t want to think about it and he definitely didn’t want to talk about it. So, he stayed silent, refusing to incriminate himself by admitting any recollection. He couldn’t admit to Grace that he had lied. That he had recognised her.

‘I guess I look a bit different,’ Grace admitted when he stayed mute. ‘I must have been about seven the last time I would have seen you.’

Was there are a question in there? Was she wondering why he’d never come back? Had she even noticed?

He wasn’t going to respond to vague insinuations but she was right. She looked nothing like he remembered. He remembered her brother and he remembered Grace as Lachlan’s little sister with skinned knees and missing teeth. The only thing that remained of the seven-year-old she’d once been was her hair. Her fiery copper locks hung in loose waves over her shoulders, its rich colour bright and vibrant against the contrast of her navy uniform. He’d hadn’t seen a colour like it since leaving Toowoomba.

But everything else about her was different. She no longer looked like anyone’s kid sister. She had filled out in all the right places. She was tiny, a good foot shorter than his six feet two inches, but her proportions were perfect. Her shirt was tucked into navy trousers, pants which would have been unflattering on most figures, yet his eye was drawn to her small waist, the swell of her breasts and the curve of her hips. He felt an unexpected surge of lust. Bloody hell, that was inappropriate. He lifted his head and met her amber eyes. They blazed at him. She appeared to have the fiery temper to match her hair but what was getting her so riled up? Had she noticed his inappropriate once-over? He needed to douse the flames of her temper, he needed to make sure he didn’t set her off completely. Something told him there would be no stopping her if he did that.

Or maybe he should take up the challenge he could see in her eyes. She gave off an air of not being one to back down. Of having the courage of her convictions. That didn’t appear to have changed. He remembered more about her than he cared to admit. She’d been loud and boisterous, full of energy, he’d always known when she was around and he suspected that hadn’t changed in twenty years. He wondered what had.

The idea of putting a flame to her wick just to see what would happen was strangely exciting but he resisted the temptation. He didn’t want to bring unnecessary attention to the two of them. He didn’t want anyone asking awkward questions. Going under the radar was always best. He’d learnt that from experience.

But what did she want? What was she after? What did she remember of him? What secrets could she spill?

He hoped not many.

As a child he’d been quiet, shy and nervous. The complete anti-thesis to Grace. He’d been nervous around the kids at school and nervous around his father. His life had been unpredictable and devoid of routine but it hadn’t been until he was at boarding school as a teenager that he’d realised that not everyone’s lives were like that. He’d never experienced anything different. Most of the time he just tried to get from morning to evening without being noticed. It seemed his presence irritated people – his classmates and his father – and he was never sure about what was going to happen, how people were going to react, although more often than not it was unfavourably. He’d learnt to keep his head down, to try to be inconspicuous, but that was never easy when he looked so different.

Thanks to his Caribbean mother he wasn’t white but he wasn’t indigenous either. He was part black but not the black that was common in Toowoomba. There wasn’t another person in the town who had the same genetic mix as him. Everywhere else in the world he would have been called African -American, even though he wasn’t American or African, but in rural Australia that wasn’t a common term and he was called any number of other things and none of them had been complimentary. And if that wasn’t enough to make him stand out then his family history and his unorthodox father certainly made sure that everyone singled him out.

His mother had disappeared when he was six leaving him behind with a father who had chosen to develop a relationship with alcohol instead of with his son. His young life had been full of disappointments and he’d learnt early on not to ask for or expect much. He’d learnt early on that the only person he could count on not to let him down was himself.

He’d worked hard to escape a miserable childhood and to avoid all memories of his past. He’d worked hard over many years to forget who he was and where he came from.  He didn’t want to be remembered as that boy. That wasn’t him anymore.

And he didn’t want anyone to remind him.

Which made Grace the last person he wanted to see.

 

You can buy these books here

Reunited with her Brooding Surgeon

Nurses in the City UK

Nurses in the City USA

 

Happy Reading,

Emily and Amy

Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Excerpt – Their Own Little Miracle, by Caroline Anderson

9781474075251

A surrogate mum—
And then she fell in love…

When Dr Iona Murray agrees to be her sister’s surrogate she never imagines it will lead her into Dr Joe Baker’s arms. Joe has no intention of ever being a sperm donor again, or of becoming emotionally attached after his painful divorce. But when he meets Iona his boundaries become truly blurred. Will they be able to give up their baby…or each other?

 

 

 

He still had her stethoscope.

The graduation present from her sister, the one he’d been told in no uncertain terms not to lose or damage. He could see why, it was a really expensive one, although it had to be a few years old now. No wonder she’d been precious about it. His own was only slightly better, and he’d bought it last year because he’d mislaid the one identical to this.

That was getting to be a habit.

He changed out of his scrubs, pulled on his clothes, clipped his watch on his wrist and checked the time. Seven-thirty. She’d be long gone, unless she was on a late shift, but it was worth a try. He might even invite her out for dinner—assuming she’d speak to him. He’d been a bit tough on her, but he felt a grudging admiration for a junior registrar who’d had the guts to stand up to him in defence of her patient.

He headed down to the ED, found the nurse who’d been with them in Resus and asked her where Iona was.

She folded her arms and looked him straight in the eye, and he had the distinct feeling he was in trouble. ‘She’s gone.’

‘Do you know where I can find her? I borrowed her stethoscope and forgot to give it back.’

‘Yes, she mentioned that. She wasn’t happy about it.’

He laughed softly. ‘No, I’m sure she wasn’t.’

‘You can leave it with me.’

‘I can’t do that. She told me I’d be dead meat if anything happened to it and I don’t think it was an empty threat. I’ll hang onto it and give it to her tomorrow.’

‘She’s away this weekend. She’s not back in till Monday.’

‘And I’m on a course next week. Great.’ He hesitated. ‘I don’t suppose you know her address or mobile number?’

Jenny raised an eyebrow. ‘Now, you don’t seriously expect me to give it to you? I do know where you can find her, though. She’s at the Queens Hotel just round the corner. There’s a charity speed-dating event raising money for the new IR angio-surgical suite. I’m surprised you aren’t going anyway as it’s in aid of your department, but here’s your chance to support it. Out of the drive, turn left, five hundred yards on the right. You can’t miss it.’

Speed-dating? Seriously? She was gorgeous! Why would she need to go speed-dating, of all things? And then he realised she’d be helping with the organisation. Idiot.

‘OK. Thanks.’ He headed for his car, followed the directions and parked on the road opposite the hotel. The speed-dating event was signposted from Reception, and he headed towards the door. It shouldn’t be hard to find her—

‘Oh, excellent, we’re short of men, especially good-looking young doctors. That’ll be ten pounds, please. Can I take your name?’

He frowned. ‘How do you know I’m a doctor?’

‘The stethoscope?’

‘Ah. Yes. Actually—’ He was about to tell the woman why he was there, and then spotted Iona at one of the tables that were arranged in a circle, a man sitting opposite her. OK, she wasn’t just helping, she was actually doing it as well, and if he wanted to see her, he’d have to pay up and queue for his slot. That was fine. It meant she’d have to listen to him for three minutes or whatever it was, which meant he’d have time to apologise for pushing her so far out of her comfort zone in Resus. And having three minutes to look at her was no hardship. He might even persuade her to go out for dinner—

‘Name, please?’

‘Sorry. Joe Baker. I’ve only got a twenty-pound note,’ he said, but the woman just smiled, said, ‘That’ll do perfectly,’ plucked it out of his fingers, stuck a label with ‘JOE’ written on it on his chest and handed him a printed card and a pencil.

So he could score the ladies? Good grief. He wrote her name and ten out of ten, and waited.

There was a gap before Iona, maybe because of the lack of men, so he hovered and then pounced when the bell rang and the man at her table got up and moved on.

He sat down in front of her, and she looked up from her score card and did a mild double take, her eyes widening.

‘What are you doing here?’

He took the stethoscope from round his neck and handed it to her with a rueful smile. ‘I forgot to return this, and when I refused to give it to the nurse who was in Resus because you’d told me in no uncertain terms what you’d do to me, she told me where to find you.’

Her mouth flickered in a smile. ‘Ah. Jenny.’

‘Yeah, that’s right. She wouldn’t give me your address.’

Her eyes widened. ‘I should hope not!’

He gave a little huff of laughter at the outrage in her voice. ‘I might have been insulted if I hadn’t been glad she was so protective of your privacy, but I also wanted to apologise for pushing you out of your comfort zone in Resus.’

‘You don’t need to apologise,’ she said, her clear and really rather lovely green eyes clouding, ‘even though you were rude and patronising—’

‘Rude and patronising?’ he asked, pretending to be outraged, but she held his eyes and a little smile tugged at her mouth, drawing his attention to it. Soft, full, and very expressive. Like her eyes. He wondered what it would be like to kiss her—

‘You were a teeny bit. I was way out of my comfort zone, because I thought you’d need more from me than I could give you. I’ve never led before on a case that critical and I should have appreciated you’d only do what you knew you could, but I was afraid Jim was going to die and I was freaking out a bit. I’m sorry you took it wrong, it really wasn’t meant like that.’

‘Don’t apologise,’ he said wryly. ‘Standing up to me took guts, and you were quite right about the risks. Without image guidance there were no guarantees I could get the guide wire in without causing more damage, but I’d had a good look at the X-rays and I was pretty sure I could do it, and anyway, as I think I pointed out fairly succinctly, Jim had run out of options. He’s OK, by the way. I sorted the bleeds, repaired the entry site and shipped him off to the orthos with a nice healthy reperfusion and well within the time limit. They’ve put an ex-fix on in Theatre and he’s doing OK.’

He saw her shoulders sag slightly with relief. ‘Oh, good. Thanks for the update. I’ve been worrying about him.’

‘No need to worry, he’s sore, he’s broken but he’ll make it. Good stethoscope, by the way. Very good. Your sister must think a lot of you.’

She smiled, her eyes softening. ‘She does. That’s why I was worried about you walking off with it, knowing you’d already lost yours. It didn’t bode well.’

He laughed at that little dig. ‘I hadn’t lost it, it was in my locker, I just failed to pick it up—but I did lose the last one, so you weren’t wide of the mark. You did well, by the way,’ he added, sliding his score sheet across the table to her. ‘It was a tricky case to manage and you’d done everything right. You should be proud of yourself.’

She glanced down at the paper and her eyes widened. ‘Ten out of ten? That’s very generous. You must be feeling guilty.’

‘No, I just give credit where it’s due, even if I amrude and patronising. And I did return your stethoscope, so hopefully that’ll earn me a few Brownie points.’

‘Maybe the odd one.’

Her lips twitched, and he sat back with a smile, folded his arms and held her eyes, trying not to think about kissing her. Or peeling off that clingy little top and—

‘So, anyway, that’s why I’m here. What about you?’

‘Me?’ She looked slightly flustered. ‘Because it’s a good cause?’

He raised an eyebrow at her, deeply unconvinced, and she smiled and shrugged and took him completely by surprise. ‘OK. You asked. I’m looking for a sperm donor.’

Joe felt his jaw drop, and he stifled the laugh in the nick of time. Of all the unlikely things for her to say, and to him, of all people…

‘You’re kidding.’

‘No. No, I’m not kidding. I’m looking for a tall Nordic type with white-blond hair, blue eyes and good bone structure, so you can relax, you don’t qualify.’

‘I might feel a bit insulted by that,’ he said, still trying to work out if she was joking.

She smiled, her eyes mocking. ‘Oh, don’t be, it’s not personal. I have very specific criteria and you don’t fit them.’

He frowned at her, but she was so deadpan he didn’t know whether she was completely off her trolley or winding him up. He turned and scanned the men in the room and this time he didn’t stifle the laugh.

‘OK,’ he murmured in a low undertone. ‘Nor does anyone else in this room. So far you’ve written zero out of ten against everyone, and the nearest candidate is white-blond because he’s twice your age. He’s also about three inches shorter than you and twice as heavy. And the lady on the next table looks utterly terrifying, so frankly I reckon we’re done here. I’m starving, I haven’t eaten since breakfast and I don’t suppose you have, either, so why don’t we get the hell out of here, go and find a nice pub and have something to eat? And that way I can apologise properly for being rude and patronising.

‘Won’t your wife mind?’ she asked, clearly fishing, and he raised an eyebrow and gave her the short answer.

‘I don’t have one. So—dinner?’

She hesitated for so long he thought she was going to say no, but then the bell rang, the lady at the next table was eyeing him hungrily, and she looked at the man heading to take his place, grabbed her bag and stethoscope and got to her feet.

‘Sorry. We have to go,’ she said, squeezing round from behind the table, and they headed for the door amid a chorus of protests. From both sexes. He stifled a smile.

‘Right, where to?’ he asked, and she shrugged.

‘What do you fancy? Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Indian, Asian fusion, pub grub, Italian, modern British—’

‘Good grief. All of those in Yoxburgh?’

She chuckled. ‘Oh, yes. They might be busy, though, it’s Friday night.’

He had a much better idea. ‘How about a nice, cosy gastro-pub? There’s one right round the corner from my house that comes highly recommended, and we’ll definitely get a table there.’

‘Is it far? Can I walk back? My car’s at home.’

‘No, it’s a bit out of town, but that’s fine, I’ll drive you home. Look on it as a hire charge for the use of your stethoscope.’

Again she hesitated, a wary look in her eyes, but then she nodded as if she’d finally decided she could trust him. ‘OK. That sounds good.’

Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Excerpt – One Night with the Army Doc, by Traci Douglass

We’re welcoming Traci Douglass back today with an excerpt from her debut Medical Romance, One Night with the Army Doc.  Enjoy!!  Traci will be joining us in a regular blog spot in the next few months.

9781335663689

Is it enough to convince her to stay…?

Filming the latest episode of her TV show, diagnostician Dr Molly Flynn clashes with privacy-loving ex-army doc Jacob Ryder! But as friction turns into flirtation does she dare believe they might have a future…together?

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I’m surprised you came here to Alaska,” Jake said finally, after pulling a black “Anchorage Mercy” T-shirt over his head. The clothes helped, covering all that forbidden flesh. “Doesn’t your network usually prefer more glitzy locations?”

“MedStar thought a sports star case would draw in more viewers, so here I am.”

“That simple, huh?”

“That simple.” Molly wiped her face on her towel then slung it around her neck, her nerve endings on high alert with him sitting so close. “Why are you so against the media?”

“I was raised to keep my head down and stay humble. Doing good should be its own reward. And I’ve had some bad experiences with reporters in the past.”

Jake leaned against the wall beside her, his arm brushing Molly’s and sending a fresh explosion of sparks through her system.

“So… Molly Flynn. Daughter of the famous Roger Flynn?”

She cringed, staring across the empty gym. “Yes.”

“We spent a whole semester in medical school studying his suture techniques.”

She gave a derisive snort and he narrowed his gaze, his expression thoughtful.

“Must be hard, living up to that kind of perfectionism.”

“You have no idea.” Head lowered, Molly poked the toe of her running shoe into the car- pet. “Everything in my household was performance-based. Everything.”

“Ouch. I’m sorry.”

“For what?”

Outside, the world might be pure chaos, but in here with him all seemed oddly private and safe. But cracks were appearing in the logical wall she’d built to keep him away—the one that told her touching him, tasting him, would be wrong. Jake was so close now that Molly could see the tiny flecks of gold in his stormy gray eyes, and all her practical ideas and reasons evaporated.

“For what must have been a tough childhood,” he said, his voice gentle, husky as he leaned closer still.

She didn’t move away. “It wasn’t like I was abused or anything.”

“No.” His gaze lowered to her mouth. “But I bet you weren’t nurtured either.”

“Nurtured?” The invisible cord between them tightened, the word squeezing Molly’s heart like an embrace. “N-no. I wasn’t.”

“Such a pity…” Jake frowned, his lips hovering over hers for a brief second before capturing them in a light kiss.

Warning bells clanged in the back of Molly’s mind, telling her this was happening too fast. Telling her she’d only be hurt by this man who saw too much, who fought as fiercely for what he believed in as she did. But instead of pushing Jake away Molly twined her arms around his neck and pulled him closer, craving his taste more than she craved her next breath.

Jake groaned low and slipped one hand around her waist while the other cupped the back of her head as he deepened the kiss. Molly opened her lips, welcoming the gentle sweep of his tongue and his minty, sweet flavor. It was nice and wonderful and…

Over.

Cursing, Jake pulled away and grabbed the cell phone clipped to the waistband of his shorts, blinking down at the screen with a frown. “Sorry. I’ve got a critically ill patient in the ICU. He’s stabilized enough to get a CT scan. They’re taking him now.”

Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Retro excerpt from Amy Andrews

This year’s RITA competiton saw 2 medical romances final in the short contemporary romance category. Scarlet Wilson’s book,  The Doctor and the Princess,  and my book, A Christmas Miracle.

The RITA award ceremony is held  in about 5 weeks time so I thought you might enjoy a little snippet from my book. Happy reading!

ritaCOVER

Reid and Oscar stayed in for close to an hour. He was so excited to be out in the deeper water, splashing around with the rest of their fellow ocean-goers, that Reid was determined to stay as long as Oscar wanted.

His mother needn’t have worried about them being separated. For all his bravado, Oscar clung to him like a monkey, his breathing fast and excited as they’d waded in together.

Still, it didn’t stop Trinity from pacing up and down the shoreline. She was easy to spot in bathers that would have been perfectly at home at Bondi a hundred years ago. Compared to the other scantily clad women she stuck out like a sore thumb, covered neck to knee, her hair stuffed up inside her big, floppy hat totally obscuring her face and eyes.

Even so, he could feel her gaze firmly fixed on him.

Well, Oscar anyway.

Reid, on the other hand, could hardly take his eyes off her. She might not have been exposing much skin but it was the first thing she’d worn that actually showed off her body and what she actually had going on under clothes that usually hung.

It was a novelty to be able to see she actually had a waist. And breasts that looked as if they’d fill a man’s hand. He’d known they were there. Had felt them pressed to him, mashed up against him that day on her bed, but to see them… Or glimpse their outline anyway.

He’d spent an inordinate amount of time while playing with Oscar hoping she might get wet.

‘Can we go out to Eddie?’

Pops was out in shoulder-deep water chatting to some other old guy and, while Reid was confident in his own abilities, he’d promised Trinity he wouldn’t take Oscar out deep.

‘Not this time, dude.’

Oscar took it on the chin as he did everything else. He was a good kid. Well behaved, not prone to sulking if he didn’t get his way. Trinity had done an awesome job with him, considering their circumstances.

Not that he was any closer to knowing what her true circumstances actually were. She might have relaxed around him but chatty she was not.

Oscar absently traced the outline of his eagle wings tat with one pruned finger. ‘I like your tattoos,’ he said.

Reid grinned. Oscar hadn’t really mentioned them before—to him, anyway—which was unusual. Most kids were agog. ‘Thank you. Tattoos sometimes frighten kids but not you, huh?’

He shook his head. ‘No. Mummy has a tattoo.’

Reid blinked. Oh, does she now? He glanced at her staring at them from the shoreline in her neck-to-knee gear. He really, really wished he hadn’t known that. He was going to be thinking about it way more than was good for his sanity.

Already questions about where and what rose in his throat. But he was not going to pump her kid for information that was none of his damn business.

Oscar shivered and goose bumps broke out on his arms. Reid was pleased for the distraction. ‘Cold, little dude?’

‘No.’

Reid gave a half-laugh. He was on the cool side himself now but, on closer inspection, Oscar’s lips were a nice shade of purple-blue and he was pretty sure Trinity would bundle him straight out if she were here. Because that was what a responsible parent did.

He’d never given a lot of thought to being a parent. A father. He’d assumed he would be one day but, at thirty-four, maybe he’d missed that boat?

Oscar’s teeth started to chatter.

‘Your teeth are chattering.’

‘They’re j…just exci…excited.’

Reid laughed again. Excited teeth. Kids!

‘Yeah, I don’t think your mum is going to buy that, dude, and she’ll have my—’ He cut himself off before he said ass on a platter. ‘I’ll be off her Christmas card list.’

Oscar nodded, resigned. ‘Yeah. She always worries I might catch a bug and have to go to hospital.’

It was a natural thing for mothers to worry about, even though Reid knew no one caught a bug just from being cold. But there was a gravity to Oscar’s words that told him it was a legitimate fear of Trinity’s.

That Oscar had been in hospital before.

He opened his mouth to press for more then shut it again. He wasn’t going to ask about that any more than he was going to ask about Trinity’s tattoo. He should just man up and do it himself—the hospital thing, not the tattoo thing—instead of waiting for her to open up to him.

Maybe he would ask her. In a few weeks.

In the meantime, he didn’t want to start on the wrong foot by handing over a hypothermic child. He motioned to his grandfather to let him know they were heading back. ‘Okay, let’s go in.’

Oscar sighed and put his head down on Reid’s shoulder. It fitted perfectly. Reid’s heart gave a strange little kick and the feeling of restlessness that had dogged him since coming back to stay with Pops stilled. After a moment’s hesitation, he placed his chin on top of the snowy-blond head and strode out of the ocean with him.

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If you enjoyed this excerpt you can buy the book at all good online retailers. Here is the Amazon link. Currently its only $2.99 for Australian and NZ readers via Amz Oz, Kobo, iBooks and Google!

Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Excerpt – Healed by the Single Dad Doc, by Annie Claydon

9781474074957

Could single dad Ethan be the one…

…to put Kate together again?

When kind-hearted single father Dr Ethan Conway comes to vet Kate Foster’s rescue one night, it forges an unexpected bond between them. Could Kate be the perfect woman for Ethan and his young son to let into their life? If Kate can learn to trust again and let Ethan help her perhaps they can both move on—and be a family!

 

 

Chapter 1

Dr Ethan Conway was no stranger to the saving of lives. And also no stranger to the desolate feeling of having to accept that sometimes there is nothing that can be done.

And Jeff wasn’t ‘just’ a dog. He was Ethan’s dog. The gentle, giant Newfoundland would be over ninety now in human years. Old age was finally catching up with him and, if his gradual decline over the last three weeks hadn’t come as any surprise, it had still been hard.

‘All right, Jeff. She’ll be here in a minute.’ Ethan had parked the car in the empty forecourt of the veterinary surgery, and he twisted round in his seat. Jeff lifted his head slightly at the sound of his name and Ethan reached back, stroking the dog’s head. Jeff had been with him for nine years, through love and loss, dreams and shattered hopes, and the thought of losing him now hurt.

It’s okay to be upset about this.

The words of the pretty red-haired vet who’d seen Jeff last week sounded in Ethan’s head. He’d explained to her that, in the scheme of things, this wasn’t so bad and she’d cut through his bravado with one look.

Another car swung onto the forecourt, its headlights blinding him for a moment. It stopped at an interesting angle, taking up two parking spaces, and the driver’s door opened. Kate Foster got out, hurrying across to where Ethan’s car was parked.

‘I’ll straighten it up in a minute…’ Ethan wound the driver’s window down and she grinned at him. ‘Have you been waiting long? I’m sorry, my last call took a bit longer than I anticipated.’

‘I was early. And it’s good of you to see us so late in the evening.’

She brushed the idea away with a wave of her hand, even though Ethan knew from his earlier conversation with the receptionist that Kate had been working all day. Despite that, she was all fresh-faced energy as she craned her neck through the window of his car, her gaze seeking Jeff out.

‘Hello, Jeff. How are you doing, old boy?’

Jeff’s tail thumped on the seat and he raised his head again. Kate smiled, and Ethan provided the answer to her question.

‘He’s been a lot more comfortable since you saw him last week. I’ve been giving him the medication regularly.’

She nodded. ‘Good. Let’s get him inside and I’ll take a look at him.’

Kate unlocked the main door of the surgery and waited while Ethan unclipped the car safety-harness. Jeff lumbered slowly inside. The door slammed behind them and she squeezed past him in the narrow entranceway, leaving a scent of fresh air and flowers behind her as she walked through the darkened reception area and opened a door to the surgery at the back, flipping on the light.

‘Bring him through…’ She held the door open and Ethan bent, ready to lift the large dog up onto the examination couch. ‘That’s okay. Sit down there with him. He didn’t much like it up on the couch last time, did he?’

She’d only seen Jeff once before but she remembered. Ethan sat down gratefully on the long vinyl-covered bench which ran along one wall of the surgery, and Jeff sprawled on the floor next to him, leaning against Ethan’s legs.

‘You’ll be okay there for a moment? I’ve got to go and get my bag from the car.’ She gave a smiling shrug that, for one moment, dispelled the weight in his heart. ‘I should probably take another shot at that parking bay, too. I’m told the white lines are there for a reason.’

‘We’ll be fine. Call me if you need someone to wave you in to your space.’

She chuckled, and it occurred to Ethan that parking in a straight line wasn’t much in Kate’s nature. At work, she was thoughtful and methodical, but everything else she did betrayed a deliciously free spirit.

He heard the sound of the front door closing behind her. Then silence, broken only by the faint whisper of a car engine. A dull thud, and then silence again.

‘Better go and see if she needs some help, Jeff.’ Ethan shifted Jeff to one side a little and got to his feet. As he did so, the sound of a scream made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end…