Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

Reunited By Their Secret Daughter, Emily Forbes, March 2020

3MedicalMarch

Her three-year-old secret…

…is about to be revealed!

Between her job with Queen Victoria’s Air Ambulance and raising her three-year-old daughter, midwife Chloe Larson’s too busy to find love. Only maybe love has found her… Xander Jameson—the gorgeous Australian doctor she had a fling with and who disappeared without a trace—has joined her team! The attraction is definitely still there. But first, Chloe must tell Xander he’s a father.

 

 

Excerpt

The barman served Chloe’s gin, placing it on the bar. She couldn’t believe Xander had remembered her favourite drink and the idea that he had pleased her.

Xander picked up her glass and put it in front of her. His leg brushed against hers and the contact made her jump. It was nothing really, his knee just brushed the outside of her thigh but she could feel his body heat and her body responded to his touch.

She took a sip of her drink and tried to ignore the fact that his leg was still resting against hers. Sitting at the bar with Xander felt the same but different. Familiar but strange. Things had changed. At least for Chloe. She was no longer young and carefree. She was a single mother with responsibilities. But the chemistry was still there. She was still drawn to him. She longed to touch him properly, to see if her memories were real.

He was still gorgeous. Still a Norse god. His grey eyes still held a trace of melancholy. She’d always attributed that to his divorce but surely that couldn’t still be the case. He’d been divorced almost five years now. He must have put that behind him?

She forced herself to focus on the present. She couldn’t dwell in the past.

‘How long have you been living in Wales?’ she asked when she recovered her power of speech. She was desperate to know where he’d been and what he’d been doing for the past four years but she couldn’t ask such a direct question.

He frowned, his grey eyes cloudy. ‘I don’t live in Wales.’

‘Oh, I thought Rick said you had come down from Wales to cover Eloise’s sick leave.’

‘I’ve been working in Wales with their air ambulance unit but it wasn’t permanent. It was a six-month rotation. I was glad to get out of there to be honest. I didn’t mind Wales but it wasn’t the smartest move, spending winter there. I should have timed it better.’

‘And what are your plans when you finish with us?’ she asked. She needed to find out where he was going next. Did she need to tell him about Lily if he had no plans to stay in England? Was there any point in disrupting everyone’s lives? She and Lily were fine, they’d been fine for years on their own. They didn’t need Xander and he might not need them.

He might not want them.

He might not want her.

The drink he had bought her could be for old time’s sake. He wasn’t wearing a wedding ring but that didn’t mean he didn’t have a wife or significant other waiting for him somewhere.

‘I haven’t worked it out yet.’

‘Are you travelling with family?’ she asked as the barman cleared the remnants of Xander’s dinner away.

‘No. It would seem we’re both still single. What are the chances?’

‘Coincidence?’ She said with a smile.

‘I don’t believe in coincidences.’

‘Me either.’

He was holding her gaze and she was lost. She couldn’t think. She could only feel.

He reached for her and the clocks stopped.

He tucked a stray curl behind her ear and Chloe’s knees trembled. ‘It’s been a long time,’ he said as she held her breath. ‘It’s good to see you. Did I mention I’m staying just around the corner?’

The invitation was unspoken but there was no mistaking it. But she couldn’t accept. She had to get home. To her daughter. Their daughter.

‘You did.’

‘Would you like to come back for a coffee?’

Chloe smiled. ‘You know I don’t drink coffee at night.’ She wondered if he remembered that too.

‘I do.’

Her smile got wider. ‘Will you take a raincheck? I’m on an early tomorrow.’

He nodded as she slid off the barstool and picked up her coat. She needed to get out of there while she still could. Before she made a hasty, hormonal decision that she would more than likely regret when her head overtook her heart again.

‘I’ll walk you out to a cab.’

‘It’s ok, I’m taking the Tube.’

Xander shook his head. ‘No, it’s late. That doesn’t sound safe.’

‘I do it all the time after work.’

‘Really?’

She nodded as he held the door for her.

She stopped on the footpath, reluctant to walk away but knowing she had to go. A cab pulled up on the street beside them.

‘Please, let me pay for a cab,’ Xander offered. ‘I’ll feel better.’ He reached out and opened the door, ensuring the cabbie couldn’t drive away, but then he took her hand, holding her back before she could step inside.

She turned to him. Instinctively. Her breath caught in her throat as he stroked the palm of her hand with his thumb. She was pinned by the force of his grey eyes. Held immobile by the intensity of his gaze. She couldn’t breathe. The air was thick with tension. Her mouth was dry, her skin warm, her cheeks flushed. Her heart was beating quickly and her stomach was fluttering.

‘Are you sure you have to go?’

She nodded.

He bent his head until his mouth was next to her ear. His breath was warm on her cheek as he repeated her earlier words back to her. ‘Are you sure you don’t want to find out what happens next?’

She knew what was coming and she was powerless to resist. She didn’t want to resist.  She turned her face towards him and whispered. ‘I know what happens next.’ And then his lips were on hers. Warm, soft. Then harder.

She parted her lips and tasted him. He tasted familiar. He tasted sweet.

Her body remembered his touch. Her skin remembered the softness of his mouth. Her tongue remembered his taste.

The years fell away as the memory of him returned.

Xander’s fingers were on her face, on her bare arms, her skin was on fire and she melted against him as her body responded to his touch. She was aware of nothing else except the sensation of being fully alive. She wanted for nothing except Xander.

One hand was pressed to her spine, holding her close and she could feel the heat of his palm through the thin fabric of her shirt. She felt her nipples harden as she pressed herself against his chest instead as she kissed him back. All her senses came to life and a line of fire spread from her stomach to her groin. She deepened the kiss, wanting to lose herself in Xander.

‘Do you want the cab or not?’

She jumped as the cab driver’s voice interrupted their moment. Her eyes flew open as Xander straightened up. He was studying her face as if committing each of her features to memory.

He smiled as his fingers trailed down the side of her cheek sending a shiver of desire through her. Her heart was racing in her chest and her breaths were shallow.

‘Are you sure you don’t want to come back to my apartment?’

She hesitated. The kiss was wonderful. Magical. She felt as if time had stood still and brought her back to Xander, back into his arms but she couldn’t stay with him.  She had responsibilities.

‘I can’t,’ she said as she stepped back, breaking their connection. ‘You promised me a rain check, remember?’

She waited for him to agree before she made herself get into the taxi. Made herself leave him.

He closed the door and blew her a kiss.

Chloe gave the driver her address but scarcely recalled getting home. Her world suddenly felt full of possibility but she needed to be sensible. She needed to be careful not to get carried away.

Last time she got carried away she’d wound up pregnant.

***

3MedicalMarch

 

Reunited by Their Secret Daughter is available hereMills&BoonAusMills&BoonUK and Harlequin USA

Read a review here https://harlequinjunkie.com/review-reunited-by-their-secret-daughter-by-emily-forbes/

 

London Hospital Midwives quartet

Book 1 — Cinderella and the Surgeon by Scarlet Wilson
Book 2 — Miracle Baby for the Midwife by Tina Beckett
Book 3 — Reunited by Their Secret Daughter by Emily Forbes
Book 4 — A Fling to Steal Her Heart by Sue MacKay

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

March New Releases

We’re finally into March! Spring (for some us) is just around the corner. Not that I’m counting down the days or anything!

So to tide us over during the transition from season to season we have some brand, spanking new Harlequin Medicals for you.

 

1MedicalMarch

 

A Fling to Steal Her Heart by Sue MacKay

Can they afford to risk their friendship…

…by giving in to their desire?

Following her painful divorce, nomadic midwife Isabella Nicholson is determined to put down roots, and where better than in London with best friend obstetrician Raphael Dubois? However, temporarily living together leads to an unexpected yet powerful attraction… And when Izzy discovers Rafe has been hiding his own attraction, the temptation suddenly becomes hard to resist!

A London Hospital Midwives novel

London Hospital Midwives quartet

Book 1 — Cinderella and the Surgeon by Scarlet Wilson
Book 2 — Miracle Baby for the Midwife by Tina Beckett
Book 3 — Reunited by Their Secret Daughter by Emily Forbes
Book 4 — A Fling to Steal Her Heart

 

2MedicalMarch

 

Conveniently Wed in Paradise by Meredith Webber

A marriage made on paper…

A passion explored in paradise!

When nurse Kenzie Steele takes a job as a companion for a wealthy lady on an idyllic Thai island, she’s certainly not looking for love. But to secure her family’s legacy, she does need a husband! Enter Alex McLeod, the charming A&E doctor whose grandmother’s dying wish is to see him happily married. Only, while their wedding in paradise is all business, their intense chemistry is anything but…

 

3MedicalMarch

 

Reunited by Their Secret Daughter by Emily Forbes

Her three-year-old secret…

…is about to be revealed!

Between her job with Queen Victoria’s Air Ambulance and raising her three-year-old daughter, midwife Chloe Larson’s too busy to find love. Only maybe love has found her… Xander Jameson—the gorgeous Australian doctor she had a fling with and who disappeared without a trace—has joined her team! The attraction is definitely still there. But first, Chloe must tell Xander he’s a father.

A London Hospital Midwives novel

London Hospital Midwives quartet

Book 1 — Cinderella and the Surgeon by Scarlet Wilson
Book 2 — Miracle Baby for the Midwife by Tina Beckett
Book 3 — Reunited by Their Secret Daughter
Book 4 — A Fling to Steal Her Heart by Sue MacKay

4MedicalMarch

 

Stolen Kiss with the Single Mom by Deanne Anders

A stolen moment…

A lifetime together?

Three years ago, single mom and nurse Lacey lost her husband in the same IED blast that left his best friend, ER doc Scott, with an injured leg and survivor’s guilt. Thrill seeker Scott’s sworn to always be there for cautious Lacey… And on one fraught night shift, this leaves them entwined in an electrifying kiss—an impulsive encounter that has him longing to keep her in his protective embrace always…

5MedicalMarch

 

The Nurse’s One Night to Forever by Janice Lynn

One shy nurse…

One liaison of a lifetime!

When surgical nurse Riley King shares an unexpected night of passion with heartthrob surgeon Justin Brothers, she vows that their intense connection is for one night only! Riley’s not looking for a relationship—she’s been there and been left at the altar to prove it. But there’s more to Justin than meets the eye… Can she let her past go and allow herself to risk her heart?

6MedicalMarch

 

Winning the Surgeon’s Heart by Annie Claydon

The ultimate prize?

Capturing the guarded bachelor’s heart…

Entering the “Hospital Challenge,” the last person single mom paramedic Hannah Greene wants to be partnered with is Matt Lawson! She’d planned on winning the competition, not getting distracted by a sexy surgeon! But forced to put her trust in lone-wolf Matt, Hannah uncovers the compassion behind his charisma and can’t help inviting him into her world. They make the perfect team. Could they also be the perfect family?

 

Happy Reading!

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

February New Releases

February is the month of love! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. February also marks the arrival of Medicals brand new North American cover redesign.

I have to say I’m a fan of the new cover look!

Also, this month marks the last book by Dianne Drake, who sadly passed away in November 2019.

FebRelease1

 

 Best Friend to Royal Bride by Annie Claydon

When two friends break the rules… the consequences are irresistible!

Best friends Marie and Alex have been inseparable since medical school. Until one impulsive kiss changes everything…and Alex reveals his long-kept secret: he’s king of an exiled royal family. Marie knows she doesn’t belong in Alex’s privileged world, but now neither can deny their unexpected and intense connection. And Marie must decide if she can risk it all to stay in Alex’s arms…as his queen.

FebRelease2

 

Cinderella and the Surgeon by Scarlet Wilson

A Cinderella midwife… and her dashing duke!

In this London Hospital Midwives story, when Harry Beaumont, Duke of Montrose, arrives at Queen Victoria Hospital, down-to-earth midwife Esther McDonald clashes with the buttoned-up neonatal surgeon. They’re from different worlds, but when Harry invites Esther to a glittering ball, she begins to see beyond his title to the man inside. Independent Esther’s life has never been a fairy tale—dare she let gorgeous Harry sweep her off her feet?

Read the rest of the London Hospital Midwives series:
Cinderella and the Surgeon by Scarlet Wilson
Miracle Baby for the Midwife by Tina Beckett
Reunited by Their Secret Daughter by Emily Forbes
A Fling to Steal Her Heart by Sue MacKay

 

FebRelease3

 

Falling for Her Army Doc by Dianne Drake

She’s helping him rediscover his memories… Can she also mend his heart?

After an injury in Afghanistan, Mateo Sanchez finds himself in an amnesia clinic in Hawaii. Struggling to piece together how he arrived on the gorgeous island, Mateo may not be the easiest patient, but no-nonsense doctor Lizzie Peterson is determined to help the brooding ex-army doc. Only as Mateo begins to recover do they discover a bond and a temptation that’s so very hard to resist…

 

FebRelease4

 

Healed by Their Unexpected Family by Karin Baine

Two heartbroken strangers… brought together by their baby!

Midwife Kayla was only intending to be a surrogate. But after tragedy strikes, she’s unexpectedly thrown into the role of mother! Plus, the biological father—eternal bachelor doctor Jamie—wants to be involved! Kayla’s wary of his determination; she’s learned the hard way that her trust is often misplaced. But as the heat between them rises, can she trust him enough to let him into her life…and her heart?

 

FebRelease5

 

Miracle Bay for the Midwife by Tina Beckett

A night like no other leads to a miracle she’s dreamed of!

In this London Hospital Midwives story, Carly Eliston knows that she may never have children. That’s not an easy realization for a midwife but devoting her life to helping other mothers realize that dream is fulfillment enough. Until she begins working alongside sexy neurosurgeon Adem Kepler! After the charismatic doctor challenges Carly to let her hair down, she’s in for a miraculous shock—she’s carrying Adem’s baby! Could this be the passioante romance she’s been searching for?

Read the rest of the London Hospital Midwives series:
Cinderella and the Surgeon by Scarlet Wilson
Miracle Baby for the Midwife by Tina Beckett
Reunited by Their Secret Daughter by Emily Forbes
A Fling to Steal Her Heart by Sue MacKay

 

FebRelease6

 

Surprise Baby for the Billionaire by Charlotte Hawkes

From passion, to pregnancy… to a family for real?

Betrayed by her cheating fiancé, pediatrician Saskia fell into the arms of brooding entrepreneur Malachi Gunn. Her on-the-rebound encounter has consequences she never could have imagined—she’s pregnant! Whisking her away to his Tuscan villa, Malachi makes it clear she must wed him to give their baby the family it deserves. But can Saskia settle for a paper marriage…or should she hope for more?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

New Release January 2020

Happy New Year! I’m pleased to share with you the first new release post of the year and the new decade!

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The Nurse’s Twin Surprise by Sue McKay

Will this new beginning…

…lead to her forever family?

ER nurse Molly O’Keefe is starting over! But she isn’t ready to let sexy Dr. Nathan Lupton into her life. Still reeling from her painful past, Molly isn’t sure she can trust her feelings—especially as Nathan wants a family she may not be able to give him. But then their irresistible temptation spills over—and results in a double baby surprise that could bond them together forever!

Medical2

 

The Midwife’s Secret Child (The Midwives of Lighthouse Bay) by Fiona McArthur

Torn apart by circumstance…

Reunited by their child…

When doctor Raimondo Salvanelli was forced to walk out of her life, midwife Faith Fetherstone was heartbroken and, unknowingly, pregnant! Her letter to tell him went unanswered, so she dedicated herself to being the best mom she could be. Now Raimondo has returned, having finally discovered he’s a dad! He so wants to be part of their lives, but can he convince Faith to trust him with their daughter’s heart—and her own?

The Midwives of Lighthouse Bay trilogy

Book 1 – A Month to Marry the Midwife
Book 2 – Healed by the Midwife’s Kiss
Book 3 – The Midwife’s Secret Child

 

Medical3

 

 Rescued by the Single Dad Doc by Marion Lennox

“So you’re rescuing me?

Like you’ve rescued three kids and a dog already?”

Life has taught Dr. Rachel Tilding the hard way that she can’t afford to let her guard down—ever! Except her new boss, Dr. Tom Lavery, hasn’t read the memo. He’s known for sheltering all manner of waifs and strays, and Rachel feels uncomfortably like Tom’s latest project! She should be pushing back, but somehow Tom and his boys are starting to heal her wounded heart…

 

Medical4

Firefighter’s Unexpected Fling (First Response) by Susan Carlisle

When the best-laid plans…

…go up in smoke!

In this First Response story, with his impending promotion, hotshot fire captain Ross Lawson has no time for romance. Until stunning paramedic Sally Davis starts work at his station… Even if she wasn’t his best friend’s recently divorced sister, a workplace romance is out of the question. But their blazing attraction burns bright and deep and soon becomes one fire Ross might not want to put out!

The First Response Duet

Book 1 – Firefighter’s Unexpected Fling
Book 2 – Pregnant with the Paramedic’s Baby

 

Medical5

 

 Pregnant with the Paramedic’s Baby (First Response) by Amy Ruttan

One-night passion—

To pregnancy bombshell!

In this First Response story, paramedic Kody Davis has kept his heart on ice since losing his wife. He’s careful not to let anyone in, save for his daughter, but he can’t ignore his attraction to his guarded but gorgeous new colleague, Dr. Sandra Fraser. So when one stormy night awakens a dormant passion in them both, they agree it will be one time only—until an unexpected pregnancy changes everything…

The First Response Duet

Book 1 – Firefighter’s Unexpected Fling
Book 2 – Pregnant with the Paramedic’s Baby

 

Medical6

 

A Weekend with Her Fake Fiancé by Traci Douglass

Could her temporary fiancé…

…become her husband for life?

To secure the job of her dreams, midwife Carmen Sanchez needs a fiancé, and fast! Paramedic Zac Taylor should be the last man she asks—there’s nothing fake about the attraction between them! Yet while lone wolf Zac might not be interested in forever, he pulls out all the stops to play fiancé of the year—and their make-believe engagement starts to feel all too real…

 

We hope you have a fabulous 2020! Happy New Years and Happy Reading!

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

December New Releases

I can’t believe we’ve come to the end of another a year! And we have some great new releases to end off 2019. Enjoy and tell us what’s on your TBR pile! 🙂

DecemberMedical1

 

A Puppy and a Christmas Proposal by Louisa George

Her ex-fiancé…

…is giving her paws for thought!

Alex Norton devastated Beth Masters when he told her he could no longer marry her. The last thing she wants this Christmas is to come face-to-face with him, clutching an adorable puppy! Warm-hearted vet Beth can’t say no to a four-legged patient in need, but she’ll need to guard her damaged heart from delicious doc Alex. Which becomes impossible when he finally reveals the reason why he left…

 

DecemberMedical2

 

Making Christmas Special Again by Annie O’Neil

Can the magic of Christmas…

…teach them to love again?

In this Pups that Make Miracles story, vet Esme Ross-Wylde simply wants to offer A&E consultant Max Kirkpatrick the proceeds from her charity ball to keep his Plants and Paws therapy unit open. Until this lone-wolf doc reawakens all her senses! Dangerous ground for Esme, who’s vowed never to love again… Can a week together at her castle this Christmas heal their wounded hearts?

Pups that Make Miracles quartet

Book 1 – Highland Doc’s Christmas Rescue
Book 2 – Festive Fling with the Single Dad
Book 3 – Making Christmas Special Again
Book 4 – Their One-Night Christmas Gift

 

DecemberMedical3

 

Mistletoe Proposal on the Children’s Ward by Kate Hardy

From Santa…

…with love!

Children’s doctor Anna Maskell loves Christmas. But Muswell Hill Memorial’s new locum surgeon, Jamie Thurston, hates it! So Anna makes him a deal—if she teaches him to embrace Christmas again, he’ll play Santa to their little patients! But as Anna tempts him with the joys of the season, they also discover a connection neither expected. Can Jamie find the courage to give Anna what she truly needs this Christmas—his love?

 

DecemberMedical4

 

Single Dad in Her Stocking by Alison Roberts

The greatest gift he could give her?

A family…

After losing her baby, and sacrificing her pediatric career, Emma spends every Christmas as an emergency locum—and this year she’ll be covering A&E consultant Max Cunningham. Their one kiss years ago was unforgettable, and now that this ex-playboy is daddy to three orphaned children, he’s dangerously tempting! But as Max welcomes Emma into his home, she soon wishes her family for Christmas could be forever…

 

DecemberMedical5

 

Taming Her Hollywood Playboy by Emily Forbes

Redeemed…

…by his fake fiancée!

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 open Oliver up to something he’s never had. Is this girl from the outback the key to unlocking his heart?

 

DecemberMedical6

 

Their One-Night Christmas Gift by Karin Baine

An unexpected Christmas arrival…

…on his doorstep!

In this Pups that Make Miracles story, twelve years ago neurologist Charles ended his engagement to orthopedic surgeon Harriet to fulfill his duty to his family—he couldn’t let Harriet sacrifice her surgical dreams for him. But a recent chance reunion at a medical conference led to one more unforgettable night… And what should’ve been the perfect goodbye is now just the beginning… Harriet’s arrived at Heatherglen Castle Clinic—pregnant!

Pups that Make Miracles quartet

Book 1 – Highland Doc’s Christmas Rescue
Book 2 – Festive Fling with the Single Dad
Book 3 – Making Christmas Special Again
Book 4 – Their One-Night Christmas Gift

 

Happy Reading! ❤

Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

Taming Her Hollywood Playboy, Emily Forbes, December 2019

Taming Her Hollywood Playboy, Emily Forbes, Dec 2019

My new book in time for Christmas 🙂 A taste of the Australian outback in Coober Pedy, South Australia 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!

I have some photos of Coober Pedy taken on my recent visit/ research trip on my facebook page if you would like to see more.

Book available here  and Mills&BoonAus plus Mills&BoonUK and Harlequin USA have Black Friday sales (use code BLACKFRIDAY19 at checkout).

 

CHAPTER ONE

Oliver massaged the lump on the side of his head. He’d taken a couple of paracetamol for the dull headache but fortunately he’d escaped serious injury yesterday. The bump on his head and some slight bruising on his shoulder were minor complaints and he had no intention of mentioning those aches and pains. The ATV had taken a battering but could be fixed. The repairs meant a change in the filming schedule but nothing that couldn’t be accommodated. A serious injury to him would have been far more disruptive.

Despite his luck, however, the incident had made George, the director, wary and Oliver had agreed to hand over some of the stunts to the professionals. The movie couldn’t afford for anything to happen to its star and he didn’t want to get a reputation as a difficult actor. George had been good to Oliver; he’d worked with him before and he’d been happy to give him another role when other directors had been reluctant, but Oliver knew that being argumentative, disruptive or inflexible wasn’t a great way to advance a career. He wasn’t stupid, he knew actors were a dime a dozen. He wasn’t irreplaceable. No one was. A reputation as a ladies’ man was one thing; a reputation as being problematic on set was another thing entirely.

He stretched his neck from side to side as he tried to rid himself of the headache that plagued him. The schedule change caused by his accident meant he wasn’t required for filming this morning, but now he was bored. He wandered around the site, knowing that the heat was probably compounding his headache but too restless to stay indoors.

A whole community had been established temporarily in the middle of the desert just for the movie. Transportable huts were set up as the production centre, the canteen, the first-aid centre, lounge areas for the cast and crew, and Oliver, George and the lead actress all had their own motorhome to retreat to. Marquees surrounded the vehicles and more huts provided additional, and much needed, shade. The site was twenty miles out of the remote Australian outback town of Coober Pedy, which itself was over three thousand miles from the next major town or, as the Australians said, almost five hundred kilometres. No matter which way you said it, there was no denying that Coober Pedy was a mighty long way from anywhere else.

He’d been completely unprepared for the strangeness of this remote desert town. He’d imagined a flat, barren landscape but the town had sprung up in an area that was far hillier than he’d expected. The main street was tarred and lined with single-level shops and a few taller buildings, including his hotel, with the houses spreading out from the centre of town and into the hills. Along with regular houses there were also hundreds of dwellings dug into the hillsides. He’d heard that people lived underground to escape the merciless heat but he hadn’t thought about what that meant in terms of the town’s appearance; in effect, it made the town look far more sparsely populated than it actually was.

He knew he should hole up in his trailer and stay out of the heat but he wanted company.

Generators chugged away in the background, providing power for the film set, providing air-conditioning, refrigeration and technology. He was used to having a shower in his trailer but because of water restrictions apparently that was a no-go out here in the Australian desert.

If he moved far enough away from the generators he knew he would hear absolute silence. It should be peaceful, quiet, restful even, and he could understand how some people would find the solitude and the silence soul-restoring, relaxing, but it made him uneasy. He needed more stimulation. He wanted crowds, he wanted noise, he didn’t want a chance to be introspective. He was an extrovert, a performer, and as an extrovert he wanted company. He needed company to energise him and as a performer he needed an audience.

He wasn’t required on set but he decided he’d go and watch the filming anyway. It would kill some time and give him someone to talk to.

He slipped his sunglasses on as he stepped into the heat. Rounding the corner of his trailer, he heard an engine and noticed a dust cloud billowing into the air. He stood in the shade at the corner of his trailer and watched as a car pulled to a stop beside the mess hut. It was an old four-by-four, its brown paintwork covered in red dust, like everything else out here. A haze rose from the bonnet of the car, bringing to mind the story about it being hot enough in Australia to fry an egg in the sun. He believed it.

The car door opened and he waited, his natural curiosity getting the better of him, to see who climbed out.

A woman.

That was unexpected.

She stood and straightened. She was tall, slender, lithe. Her hair was thick and dark and fell just past her shoulders. He watched as she scraped it off her neck and tied it into a loose ponytail, in deference to the heat, he presumed. Her neck was long and swan-like, her limbs long and tanned.

She was stunning and the complete antithesis of what he’d expected, judging from the car she was driving. She reminded him of a butterfly emerging from a cocoon.

He blinked, making sure it wasn’t the after-effects of the bump to his head causing his imagination to play tricks on him.

She was still there.

She wore a navy and white summer dress, which must have been lined to mid-thigh, but from there down, with the morning sun behind her, the white sections were completely see-through. He wondered if she knew but he didn’t care—her legs were incredible. Magnificent.

Oliver was literally in the middle of nowhere with absolutely nothing of interest to look at. Until now. The middle of nowhere had just become a far more attractive proposition.

He watched as she walked towards him. Graceful. Ethereal. Sunglasses protected her eyes but her skin was flawless and her lips were full and painted with bright red lipstick. The shade was striking against her olive skin and raven hair.

He’d seen plenty of beautiful woman in his thirty-two years, he was surrounded by them on a daily basis, but he didn’t think he’d ever seen a woman as naturally beautiful. The ones he worked with had all had some help—a scalpel here, an injection there—and he’d swear on his father’s grave, something he hoped he would be able to do sooner rather than later, that she hadn’t had any assistance.

He watched, not moving a muscle, scared that any movement might startle her, might make her shimmer and disappear, mirage-like, into the desert.

Maybe his headache was affecting his thought processes; maybe he’d been out in the sun for too long, or simply in the outback for too long. Other than the cast and crew he’d barely seen another person for days. The hot, dusty streets of Coober Pedy were, for the most part, empty. The locals hunkered down in their underground dwellings to escape the heat, venturing out only briefly and if absolutely necessary, scampering from one building to the subterranean comfort of the next. But perhaps many of the locals looked like this. Perhaps that was the attraction in this desolate, baked and barren desert town.

She had stopped walking as her gaze scanned the buildings, looking for something or someone. Looking lost. His curiosity was piqued. His attention captured.

Her gaze landed on him and she took another step forward. Belatedly he stepped out of the shadows and walked towards her; he’d been so transfixed he’d forgotten to move, forgotten his manners, but he wanted to be the first to offer her assistance.

‘Hello, I’m Oliver; may I help you?’

She stopped and waited as he approached her.

‘Thank you,’ she said. ‘I’m looking for George Murray.’ Her voice was deep and slightly breathless, without the broad Australian accent that he’d heard so many of the crew speak with. She glanced down at her watch and his eyes followed. Her watch had a large face, with the numbers clearly marked and an obvious hand counting off the seconds. Her fingers were delicate by comparison, long and slender, with short nails lacquered with clear varnish. He was trained to be observant, to watch people’s mannerisms, to listen to their voices, but even so he was aware that he was soaking up everything about this woman. From the colour of her lips and the shine of her hair, to the smooth lustre of her skin and the inflection of her speech. He wanted to be able to picture her perfectly later. She lifted her head. ‘I have an interview with him at eleven.’

‘A job interview?’

She nodded. ‘Of sorts.’

‘Are you going to be working on the film? Are you an extra?’

‘No.’

‘Catering? Publicity?’

‘No and no.’ Her mouth turned up at one corner and he got a glimpse of perfect, even white teeth bordered by those red lips.

He grinned. ‘You’re not going to tell me?’

Her smile widened and he knew she was enjoying the repartee. ‘No, I don’t think I am.’

Two could play at that game. ‘All right, then,’ he shrugged, feigning disinterest, ‘George is out on set but he shouldn’t be long. Filming started early today to try to beat the heat, so they’ll be breaking for lunch soon. Let me show you to his trailer.’ He’d take her to where she needed to go but he wouldn’t leave her.

He bounced lightly up the two steps that led to George’s office and pushed open the heavy metal door. He flicked on the lights and held the door for her. She brushed past him and her breasts lightly grazed his arm but she showed no sign that she’d noticed the contact. She stopped just inside the door and removed her sunglasses, and he caught a trace of her scent—fresh, light and fruity.

He watched as she surveyed the interior. An enormous television screen dominated the wall opposite the desk, which was covered in papers. A laptop sat open amongst the mess. A large fridge with a glass door was tucked into a corner to the left, and a couch was pressed against the opposite wall with two armchairs at right angles to it and a small coffee table in between.

He wondered if this was what she’d expected to see.

‘Have a seat,’ he invited as he waved an arm towards the chairs. She sat but avoided the couch.

‘Can I get you something to drink?’

She nodded and the light bounced off her hair, making it look like silk. ‘A water would be lovely, thank you.’

He grabbed a glass and two bottles of mineral water from the fridge. He twisted the tops off and passed her the glass and a bottle.

‘I’ll be fine waiting here,’ she said as she took the drink from him. ‘You must have something you need to do?’

He shook his head as he sat on the couch. He leant back and rested one foot on his other knee, relaxed, comfortable, approachable, conveying candidness. ‘I’m not busy. The scene they’re filming doesn’t involve me.’

‘You’re an actor?’

He looked carefully at her to gauge if she was joking but her expression was serious. Her mouth looked serious, her red lips full but not moving. But was there a hint of humour in her dark eyes? He couldn’t read her yet. Perhaps she was an anomaly, someone who didn’t immediately recognise him, or maybe he just wasn’t famous out here in the middle of nowhere.

Should he tell her who he was?

No. That could wait. She still hadn’t told him what she was doing here. She’d said she wasn’t publicity but she could be a journalist. He didn’t need more reporters telling stories about him. But if that was the case, surely she would recognise him.

Unless she was a better actor than he was, he was certain she wasn’t a reporter.

He settled for vague. ‘I am,’ he said as the door opened again and George entered the trailer.

‘Kat! Welcome.’ He was beaming. Oliver was surprised; George never looked this pleased to see anyone. George was a little rotund, always in a hurry, and seemed to have a permanent scowl creasing his forehead. Seeing him so delighted to see another person was somewhat disconcerting.

He crossed the room as the woman stood. Kat or Kate, Oliver thought George had said, but he wasn’t quite sure. Oliver stood too; manners that had been instilled in him, growing up as the son of a strict military man, remained automatic.

George greeted her with a kiss and Oliver was more intrigued. There was obviously some history here that he wasn’t privy to. Who was she?

‘I see you’ve met our star, Oliver Harding.’

‘Not formally.’ She turned to him and extended her hand. ‘I’m Katarina Angelis, but call me Kat.’ Her handshake was firm but it was the softness of her skin and the laughter in her eyes that caught Oliver off guard. ‘It’s a pleasure to meet you.’

He realised she’d known exactly who he was. Which put him at a disadvantage. He still knew nothing about her. But he did know her name seemed to suit her perfectly. He was sure Katarina meant ‘pure’, and Angelis had to mean ‘heavenly’.

‘The pleasure is all mine,’ he said.

George cleared his throat and Oliver realised he hadn’t let go of Kat’s hand. He also realised he didn’t want to. Beautiful women were everywhere in his world, but there was something more to Kat. Something intriguing. Something different.

Her skin was soft and cool. Flawless. She looked like a desert rose, a surprising beauty in the harshness of the outback, and he found himself transfixed by her scarlet mouth. Her lips brought to mind ripe summer cherries, dark red and juicy. He wondered how they’d taste.

‘If I might give you some advice, my dear,’ George said to Kat as Oliver finally let her hand drop, ‘you should stay away from Oliver.’

‘Hey!’ he protested.

‘You don’t have to worry about me, George,’ Kat replied, ‘I can handle myself.’

George shook his head. ‘You’ve never met anyone like Oliver.’

Kat was looking at him now. Studying him, as if sizing him up and comparing him to George’s assessment. Oliver smiled and shrugged and spread his hands wide, proclaiming his innocence. He had to take it on the chin; he couldn’t remonstrate with George in front of Kat—it would be better to laugh it off. He couldn’t afford to show how she’d affected him. It was safer to return to his usual persona of charm and confidence, of not taking himself or anyone too seriously. She had floored him and he needed to gather his wits and work out what to do about it. About her. But, for now, he’d play along. ‘George is right, Kat, I’m the man your father warned you about.’

She laughed. ‘Don’t go thinking that makes you special. My father is always warning me about men.’

He cocked his head and quirked one eyebrow. This was even better. He had never been one to back away from a challenge.

‘Don’t make me regret hiring you.’ George eyeballed them both. ‘Either of you.’

Oliver laughed; he was used to being told off, but he was surprised to see that Kat was blushing. She looked even more delightful now.

‘I mean it, Oliver— don’t mess with Kat.’ George looked him straight in the eye. ‘There aren’t too many places left for you to run to and if you hurt her you’ll want to start running, believe me.’

So now they were both going to put a challenge to him. Of course, that only served to entice him even more. George could warn him all he liked but Oliver had never been one to steer clear of a challenge. But he knew he had to tread carefully. He couldn’t afford any more scandals.

‘Go and find something to do,’ George told him. ‘I need to talk to Kat.’

Oliver left but he knew it wouldn’t be the last he saw of Kat Angelis. He was glad now that she hadn’t admitted that she recognised him, that she hadn’t said his reputation preceded him. Perhaps she’d have no preconceived ideas about him and he could try to impress her without any rumours or innuendo getting in the way.

He was still none the wiser as to her actual reason for being on set but, if George was hiring her, he’d make sure their paths crossed again. If he was going to be stuck in this town for the next few weeks he might as well have some fun. He knew it was his choice, almost, to be here—George had made him an offer that his publicist thought was too good to refuse—and timing was everything. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t enjoy himself. He wouldn’t misbehave, but even if he did he doubted anyone would ever hear about what went on out here. Coober Pedy and the Australian outback seemed to exist in its own little time capsule. It really was a whole other world.

 

 

 

Kat watched on as George shooed Oliver out of his office. Of course she’d recognised him—Oliver Harding was a star of multiple Hollywood blockbusters. He had been the lead actor in several recent box office hits and he played action heroes just as well as he carried romantic leads. He was in the news regularly, if not for his movies then for his off-screen exploits with his leading ladies or other Hollywood ‘It’ girls. Kat may be a small-town girl, living out in the desert in the middle of nowhere, but she had television, magazines, the internet and the local drive-in movie theatre, which showed new movies every Saturday night. Oliver Harding was famous and she would have to be living under a rock not to know who he was. The thought made her smile. She did actually live underground, like so many of the local residents, but that didn’t mean she didn’t know what went on in the rest of the world. Oliver Harding appeared in a new movie every six months, and with a new woman far more frequently. Having met him now, she could understand why. He was handsome on the silver screen but incredibly gorgeous in real life. He had charm, charisma and a twinkle in his bright blue eyes that had made her lose her train of thought on more than one occasion already.

‘I’m serious, Kat,’ George cautioned her again. Had he mistaken her smile to mean she wasn’t paying attention to his warning? ‘I’ve seen that look in his eye before. You really don’t want him to set his sights on you. Stronger women than you have fallen for his charms. He loves the thrill of the chase and he hates to let a pretty girl go unappreciated, but he has a tendency to leave a trail of broken hearts behind him.’

He had a cheeky appeal and amazing eyes and his smile made her stomach tumble, but Kat wasn’t about to succumb to his charm. She’d met charming men before and didn’t intend to be another notch on his bedpost. And she hadn’t been kidding when she’d said she knew how to handle herself. There was no denying Oliver Harding was gorgeous and charming but she was not the type to fall for charming and handsome. Well, that wasn’t technically true but she wasn’t the type to have flings with famous men who were just visiting. That was something irresponsible people did. Spontaneous people. And she’d learnt not to be either of those.

‘Don’t worry about me, George. I really can handle myself. Now, why don’t you explain more about what you need from me?’

She listened as George ran through his ideas. When he finished they made arrangements going forwards before Kat took her copy of the filming schedule and stepped out of the trailer and found Oliver waiting for her.

‘Now are you going to tell me what you’re doing here?’ he asked as he fell into step beside her. His voice was deep and pleasant, his accent neutral. She’d expected more of an American flavour. Had he been taught to tone it down?

‘I live here.’

‘Really? Here?’

She could hear the unspoken question, the one every visitor asked until they got to know Coober Pedy. Why?

She never knew where to start. How did one begin to explain the beauty, the peace, the wildness, the attraction? She loved it here. That didn’t mean she never entertained the idea of travelling the world and seeing other places, but this was home. This was where her family lived. And family was everything.

She had no idea how to explain all of that, so she simply said, ‘Yes, really.’

‘And why do you have a copy of the filming schedule?’

She stopped walking and turned to look at him. She had to look up. She wasn’t short—she was five feet nine inches tall—but still he was several inches taller. ‘Are you always this nosy?’

‘Yes.’ He was smiling.

‘I’m going to be working on the film,’ she said, hoping to surprise him.

‘Doing what?’

‘Keeping you out of trouble,’ she said as she continued towards her car.

‘Trouble is my middle name,’ he laughed.

She didn’t doubt that. She’d only known him for a few minutes and regardless of George’s warning she already had the sense that he was trouble. But she couldn’t help smiling as she said, ‘So I hear.’

Kat reached her car and stretched her hand out to open the door, which she hadn’t bothered locking, but Oliver was faster than she was. He rested his hand on the door frame, preventing her from opening it.

‘And just how exactly do you plan to keep me out of trouble?’ His voice was deep and sexy, perfect for a leading man.

She turned to face him. He was standing close. Her eyes were level with his chest. He was solid—muscular without being beefy, gym-toned. He didn’t look as if he’d done a hard day’s work in his life, and he probably hadn’t, but that didn’t stop him from being handsome. With his chiselled good looks, he could have come straight from the pages of a men’s fashion magazine.

He smelt good. He looked even better.

His blue eyes were piercing, his square jaw clean-shaven. His thick brown hair was cut in a short back and sides, slightly longer on top, like a military-style haircut that had been on holiday for a couple of weeks. She wondered if it was to fit the movie script or if it was how he chose to cut his hair. It suited him. It emphasised his bone structure.

‘I’m your insurance policy,’ she said.

He frowned and raised one eyebrow. She wondered if that came naturally or if he’d cultivated that move. Was it possible to learn how to do that?

‘I’m a paramedic,’ she continued. ‘I’m going to be on set for the stunt work. Just in case.’

She’d expected him to object but he took it in his stride.

‘Good,’ he said simply before he grinned widely. ‘I’ll be seeing plenty of you, then.’

He was so confident, so comfortable. She wondered if he’d ever been told he couldn’t do something. She imagined that if he had he would have chosen to ignore the instruction.

His arm was still outstretched, passing beside her head as he leant against her car. ‘So, Kat, tell me your story.’

‘Why do you want to know?’

She was caught between his chest and the car. She could step out, away from the boundaries he’d imposed, but she didn’t want to. She didn’t feel threatened. He was smiling at her. He looked genuine, friendly, but she needed to remember he was an actor. He was probably trained to smile in a hundred different ways. She remembered George’s warning but she chose to ignore it. Just for a moment. She wanted to see what would happen next. She felt as if she was in a movie moment of her own.

His smile widened, showcasing teeth that were white, even and perfect. His blue eyes sparkled. ‘Because I want to make sure I’m not overstepping any lines when I ask you out.’

He looked like a man who was used to getting his own way and she didn’t doubt that; with women, at least, he probably did. But she did doubt that she was the type of woman he was used to meeting. ‘And what makes you think I’d go out with you?’

‘I didn’t say you would, I’m just letting you know I will ask you to. The choice is completely yours.’

‘What did you have in mind?’ She shouldn’t ask but she wanted to know. She should heed George’s warning and get in her car and drive away but it had been a long time since she’d been asked on a date and she was interested to hear his thoughts. She was interested full stop.

He smiled. ‘I don’t know yet but I’ll think of something.’

There weren’t a lot of options in Coober Pedy and Oliver, not being a local, would know even fewer.

Kat couldn’t remember the last time someone had flirted with her or the last time she’d met anyone she wanted to flirt with. She couldn’t deny she was flattered by the attention. She’d need to be careful. She’d been hurt before; a monumental break-up had left her questioning her own judgement and she’d avoided getting romantically involved ever since. She wanted her own happily-ever-after but she’d been scared to go out to find it. She’d focused instead on her career and her family and it had been a while since she’d even thought about going on a date. George’s warning repeated in her head again but she had no idea if she was going to be able to heed it.

The touch of Oliver’s hand had set her pulse racing and the look in his eye had made her wish, just momentarily, that she was the sort of girl who would take a risk, take a chance.

But that wasn’t her. She’d learnt that taking risks was asking for trouble, and Oliver Harding had trouble written all over him.

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

October New Releases!

Happy October! This year is just slipping by and we have some brand new releases, including some Christmas themed books to get you in that festive spirit!

BOOKOct1 A Mistletoe Kiss for the Single Dad by Traci Douglass

Second Chance…

…under the mistletoe!

GP Nick Marlowe returned to his hometown to focus on raising his young son. The last person he expects to see in Bayside is high-flying Beverly Hills surgeon Belle! The childhood sweetheart he let go so she could pursue her dream of attending medical school. Only working side-by-side to reopen her late aunt’s free Christmas Eve clinic their magical connection returns… Could a mistletoe kiss spark another chance—just in time for Christmas?

 

BOOKOct2

 

From Heartache to Forever by Caroline Anderson

Passion, pregnancy, heartbreak…

Can they find their happy-ever-after?

Fresh out of broken relationships, trauma specialist Ryan McKenna and nurse Beth Costello’s passion-fueled fling was a welcome escape. But the shock of an unexpected pregnancy and the heartache of losing the baby they never knew they wanted was too much to bear. Now, working together again in Yoxburgh, where they first made love, can they finally get to know each other…and discover they’re meant to be together?

 

BOOKOct3

 

His Surgeon Under the Southern Lights by Robin Gianna

The lone-wolf doc…

…meets his match!

In this Doctors Under the Stars story, only when exploring the Antarctic’s freezing waters can marine biologist Dr. Zeke Edwards forget the heartache of losing his family. Until an unexpected, passionate kiss with new colleague Dr. Jordan Flynn starts to break through the barriers around his heart. Having both sworn off relationships they agree to a temporary fling. Then danger strikes…and they’re forced to realize their feelings are anything but temporary!

Doctors Under the Stars duet

Book 1 — His Surgeon Under the Southern Lights

Book 2 — Reunited in the Snow

 

BookOct4

 

Melting the Trauma Doc’s Heart by Alison Roberts

He ran away from his past…

Is she a reason to stop running?

Trauma doctor Zac Cameron escaped the horrors of the battlefield and settled in a small community hospital. He’s just about coping until an unexpected visitor—renowned surgeon Dr. Olivia Donaldson—whirls into town. She might be his boss’s estranged daughter, but their chemistry’s instant—and irresistible! Yet Zac’s emotions are completely off-limits, unless Olivia’s the one who can thaw his frozen heart…?

 

BookOct5

 

Reunited in the Snow by Amalie Berlin

Left at the altar…

…reunited under the stars!

In this Doctors Under the Stars story, Lia Monterrosa arrives at the Antarctic science station as resident staff doctor… and comes face-to-face with her ex fiancé! Working in close confines means brooding Dr. Weston MacIntyre can’t hide the painful reason he left Lia at the altar much longer. Lia knows she must guard her heart — especially as desire as bright as the Southern Lights still blazes between them!

Doctors Under the Stars duet

Book 1 — His Surgeon Under the Southern Lights

Book 2 — Reunited in the Snow

 

BookOct6

The Nurse’s Christmas Temptation by Ann McIntosh

She didn’t plan on celebrating Christmas…

Can he change her mind?

Nurse Harmony Kinkaid grabs the chance to spend Christmas working on a remote Scottish island. Without her beloved grandmother, the season won’t be the same. But her organized world is thrown off balance by her fierce attraction to daredevil Dr. Cameron MacRurie. He’s her complete opposite — she’d be foolish to fall for him. Yet as Christmas lights begin to shine, Cam becomes a temptation impossible to ignore…

 

Hope you have a great October! And are any of these new releases in your TBR pile?