Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Excerpt – English Rose for the Sicilian Doc by Annie Claydon

9781474051507 This book almost didn’t get written!  I so loved doing the research that I would have quite happily spent all my time on that 🙂  But – as you can see – I did manage to tear myself away, and start to write.  And I was glad I did, because my archaeologist heroine gets to explore the beautiful island of Sicily, and solve a mystery.  And, to complete my writing bliss, she does so with the help of a handsome doctor!

Chapter One

The building shone white in the sunshine, a line of tall palm trees announcing that this was a place of some importance. Rose Palmer gripped her son’s hand, walking through the wide entrance doors and into a spacious reception area, refreshingly cool after the heat of the afternoon.

A building like this showed intent. Any archaeologist would tell you that buildings gave an insight into what a community thought was important, and Rose was no exception. The high ceilings and clean lines were a clear statement that the work that went on here was both vital and serious.

She hung on tight to William’s hand, for fear of losing him in amongst the melee of people who criss-crossed the space. She couldn’t see a reception desk, and she supposed the best thing to do was to ask someone. Easier said than done. Everyone seemed too intent on getting wherever they were going to stop and give directions.

‘Scusi…’ A woman in a white top that bore the insignia of the hospital stopped, and smilingly asked her something in Italian. Hopefully she wasn’t in need of directions too.

‘Inglese.’ Rose proffered the piece of paper that her friend Elena had given her, with details of William’s appointment, written in Italian.

‘Ah. Sì…’ The woman scanned the paper and shot a brilliant smile at William. Rose was getting used to the way that Sicilians always reserved their brightest smiles for young children, and so was her son. William reached up, and the woman took his small hand in hers.

‘Terzo piano…’ The woman gestured towards the lift and then thought better of it. Taking a pen from her pocket, she walked over to a water dispenser, leaning on the side of it to draw on the paper, smiling at William as she did so. Then she proffered the hand-drawn map, holding up her thumb and two fingers and pointing to the lift to indicate that Rose should go to the third floor.

Third floor, turn right and then the second on the left. She got it. Rose nodded and smiled and thanked the woman falteringly in Italian. William waved goodbye, and the woman responded cheerily, watching her all the way to the lift.

Upstairs, the corridors were less grand and more utilitarian. Rose followed her map, and found herself in a small, comfortable waiting room. A receptionist scanned her written directions and waved her towards the rows of chairs, before picking up her phone.

Rose made her way to the far corner, and sat down. She would rather have flown back to England to do this, but Elena and her husband would have none of it. All of the visiting archaeologists working at the dig were covered by private health insurance and this hospital was one of the best in the world. They would make the appointment for her and request a translator, and William would be in good hands. She was a guest on the island, and anything less would be considered as a lapse in hospitality.

And the one thing that Rose had learned very quickly was that you faulted Sicilian hospitality at your peril. So she’d accepted the offer and driven here, privately deciding that if the language barrier turned out to be more than she or William could cope with, she’d find an excuse to be on the first plane back home for a couple of days.

Someone laughed, and Rose looked up to see a man chatting with the receptionist. Her face was animated, smiling up at him in the way that women did when someone they liked also happened to be breath-catchingly handsome.

And even by the rigorous standards of the island this man was handsome. Straight, dark hair, grazing his collar. Smooth olive skin, high cheekbones and lips that were meant to smile. Rose couldn’t see his eyes, but she imagined them chocolate brown.

Only a man so immaculate could have got away with that jacket. Dark cream, obviously linen—on anyone less perfect it would have looked rumpled. But on him it seemed as if every crease had been carefully chosen and styled, to make the most of his broad shoulders and the slim lines of his hips.

Suddenly he turned, looking straight at her. His eyes were brown. Dark, seventy per cent cocoa, with a hint of bite. Rose dropped her gaze, embarrassed to be caught staring.

‘Mrs Palmer?’ He’d walked over and dropped into a chair opposite her. His voice was like chocolate, too.

‘Ms Palmer.’ It was a convenient halfway house for a single woman with a child. ‘Um… Parla Inglese?’

He grinned and Rose felt her ears start to burn. ‘Yes, I speak English. I’m Matteo Di Salvo, and I’m here to translate for Dr Garfagnini. He’s the paediatric specialist who’ll be seeing William today.’

Perfect. His English was clear and almost unaccented, although the slight difference in tempo made it sound seductive. Or perhaps that was just the way he spoke. Seductive just about summed him up.

Rose took a breath, trying to concentrate on the practicalities. ‘Thank you. You’re the interpreter here?’

‘No, I’m a doctor. Our interpreter is busy with some English tourists in the emergency department…’ He gave a shrug, which indicated that the matter shouldn’t be given a second thought. ‘Dr Garfagnini is running a few minutes late, and I wondered if I might take the opportunity to get to know William a little.’

Handsome and kind. And he spoke English. This man was a bit too good to be true.

‘Thank you so much, Dr Di Salvo. I appreciate it.’ Rose remembered that a handshake was usual in these circumstances and held out her hand.

‘Matteo, please…’ The caress of his fingers was just as alluring as the rest of him.

‘Rose.’ She snatched her hand from his, feeling her cheeks burn, and curled her arm around her son.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Together and Out Loud

Many years ago now, when I was studying English Literature, I arrived at the door of a tutor’s office with a friend.  We could hear the sound of a raised voice inside, and the scrape of a chair indicated that someone had leapt to their feet.

Reckoning that the tutorial had already started, and preparing ourselves for the embarrassment of being late, we knocked on the door.  But when we were called inside, we found our tutor alone.  In response to our puzzled looks (Had he just pushed someone out of the window??  The question was of some concern, since we were on the 14th floor…) he told us that when he was alone he often read aloud to himself, and with actions if possible.

The idea sounded a little outlandish to my inexperienced mind.  But when I tried it out, a lifelong love of reading aloud was born.

Reading aloud isn’t necessarily a solitary pursuit.  I used to read to an elderly lady, who shared my love of whodunits.  Together we worked our way through the exploits of Miss Marple and Sherlock Holmes, stopping from time to time to compare notes on who we thought might have committed the horrible crime in question, or to discuss some of the finer points of the plot.  Sharing these stories made us firm friends.

I find it a different experience from audio books.  Don’t get me wrong – I love audio books – but having someone in the room with you, maybe stumbling over a few sentences or adding gestures to the mix, is more personal.  Re-capping together on the story so far.  Watching someone’s face, as they read or are read to.

So when a friend asked whether I might read one of my books to her mother, whose failing sight means she can’t read for herself, I agreed willingly.  Little did I know what a merry-go-round of emotion I’d let myself in for!

I read for about an hour each week and have a very vocal audience.  I love the way my friend and her Mum have a tendency to shout You go girl! whenever the heroine sticks up for herself, or Noooo! when the hero decides he must leave.  They spur me on by telling me which parts of the book they liked best, and by sending up a resounding cheer when we get to the happy ending.

But it’s not all plain sailing.  I always read my manuscripts aloud to myself, but reading the finished book to an audience is an entirely different prospect!  The writer in me always comes across a few bits that I’d change if I had the chance, and I have a tendency to laugh in all the wrong places, and to grimace during the more light-hearted parts of the story, because I know what’s coming next.  Watching their faces gives me line-by-line feedback, which is always a little scary!

It’s their kindness that keeps me going.  When my friend and her Mum say that they feel good after hearing the latest episode of the story, it makes the work that went into writing it pale into insignificance, next to the rewards.  And the feedback they give me helps me in the writer’s constant quest, to make the next book better than the last.

So – writers, am I alone in finding reading my own books aloud both a scary and rewarding process? And readers, do you prefer the professionalism of audio books, or the flawed warmth of an amateur?

And finally – let me share the covers of my latest release, out this month.  I’ve long wanted to write an archaeologist hero, but I find that whatever a hero can do, a heroine can do just as well!

9781474051507  31231  medical6

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

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

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

May New Releases!

May releases are on shelf and landing on Kindles everywhere! And what a gorgeous selection we have for you this month including a cover hero in a wheelchair!

 

Miracle for the Neurosurgeon by Lynne Marshall.

medical1

From doctor…to daddy?

Neurosurgeon Wes Van Allen is used to being at the top of his game, so when an accident puts him in a wheelchair, he’ll push himself to the limit to regain his strength—he just needs a physical therapist who can keep up!

Enter Mary Harris, whose sweet kisses he’s never forgotten! She’ll help Wes achieve his dream, if he helps her achieve hers—a baby! Captivated by Mary’s sunny optimism, dare Wes hope for the ultimate miracle—a family, with Mary by his side?

 

 

 

 

Mommy, Nurse…Duchess? by Kate Hardy (Paddington Children’s Hospital)

The duke and the single mom! medical3

Nurse Rosie Hobbes knows charming men cannot be trusted. Visiting pediatrician and sexy Italian duke Dr. Leo Marchetti is surely no exception! Her toddler twins are now the center of her life, and she expects Leo to run a mile when he meets them. Instead his warmth leaves her breathless!

Leo never expected to find joy as part of a family after his cold, aristocratic upbringing, but Rosie and her twins bring him to life. Can he prove to her he would make them the best husband and father—ever!

 

 

 

Falling for the Foster Mom by Karin Baine (Paddington Children’s Hospital)

medical4A family for the bachelor doc?

Burns specialist Dr. Matthew McGrory is finally living the bachelor life after years of responsibility raising his siblings alone. But he can’t ignore the pull he feels toward beautiful Quinn Grady, foster mom to his favorite young patient.

Having learned the hard way that you can’t rely on other people, Quinn is überprotective of little Simon, and her heart. But as Matthew’s hero status grows in the eyes of her young charge, she just might find he’s the hero she’s dreamed of, too…

 

 

 

Engaged to the Doctor Sheik by Meredith Webber (The Halliday Family)

medical5

Exile or marriage, the choice is hers…

Sheikh Tariq al Askeba knows Lila Halliday is trouble… From the moment the Australian pediatric doctor arrives wearing an ancient amulet stolen from his family years before, scandal precedes her.

Lila is stunned to discover the sordid history of her birth mother’s pendant. She came to Karuba to discover her true heritage, not set the whole palace in uproar!Knowing there’s no other way to quell the upheaval, Tariq gives her a shocking ultimatum: leave…or become his desert bride!

 

 

 

The Doctor and the Princess by Scarlet Wilson

medcial2Her very own Mr. Darcy

As a rule, Gabrielle Cartier prefers the title “Dr.” to “Princess.” And when sexy surgeon Sullivan Darcy joins her humanitarian mission in the jungle, she’s desperate to explore their chemistry. Until sudden news of her brother’s abdication means Gabrielle must return home to rule!

Sullivan longs to offer Gabrielle the support she needs but the pain of loss haunts him. Yet she stirs long-dormant feelings in him, feelings that give him the courage to confront his demons…and the determination to win his princess!

 

 

English Rose for the Scilian Doc by Annie Claydon

Uncovering a sizzling attraction… medical6

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

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

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Quit while you’re still winning?

I was reminded the other day of a friend of mine.  When asked why he was moving on from a great job that he loved, his answer was, ‘I want to quit while I’m still winning’.

So what brought this particular piece of wisdom to mind?  I’d just finished my latest manuscript ( 🙂 ).  I was happy with the plot ( 🙂 ).  And I had a warm feeling in my heart for both the hero and the heroine ( 🙂 ).  Oh… and the manuscript was 63,000 words long  (Gulp!)

A few days later, after having some very stern words with myself and wielding a freshly sharpened red pencil like a sabre,  I was back down to 50,000 words – give or take a few.  And, although I’d just edited out quite a few of my darlings, I had to admit to myself that I was a lot happier with the finished product.

And that’s the thing, isn’t it.  You can have not enough of a good thing, but you can also have too much.  (Chocolate springs to mind.)  We’ve all watched TV shows that we loved for the first two or three seasons, but by Season 5 the magic had vanished.  I’ve never actually been on holiday for too long, but I’m told it’s possible 🙂  And I’ve come out of more than one film, wishing that it had been half an hour shorter.

[EDIT… and with my apologies for not making myself clear:  Some things in life are just too precious to quit, though.  For me, writing Medical Romance is one of them 🙂   ]

It’s a fine art.  Knowing when there’s still more to do and you need to keep going, balanced with knowing when this is the best something’s going to get and it’s downhill all the way from here.  And it takes nerve to quit while you’re still winning.  Last week I was very grateful for that 50,000 word limit, because it dragged me back into line and made me submit a better manuscript than if I’d been given free rein to ramble on for another 13,000 words.

So I’m starting to come around to the idea of quitting while you’re winning.  Not too soon – my optimism tells me that there’s always something good waiting around the next corner.  But maybe there are a few things which are better done in smaller measures.  What do you think?

I don’t have any new English language covers to show you this time around, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to show off a few recent covers from around the world, because it’s always such a thrill for me to see them.  Right to left, the French translation of my duo ‘Rescued by Dr Rafe’ and ‘Saved by the Single Dad’, the Italian translation of ‘Discovering Dr Riley, and the Polish translation of ‘Discovering Dr Riley’.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

January Releases

Welcome one and all to a brand new sparkly year and 6 brand new sparkly titles for lovers of medical romance. We hope everyone has a wonderful 2017 and we’ll be doing our best to help bring it a little extra sparkle!

 

Falling For Her Wounded Hero by Marion Lennox

medical1

A debt repaid…with love?

Tom Blake helped Tasha Raymond through a heartbreaking loss eighteen months ago—so when she learns he’s been devastatingly injured she’s determined to repay the debt by helping him in return.

Working with the handsome GP stirs up a storm of emotions, but Tasha has no intention of truly getting close. The playboy’s devil-may-care attitude is the last thing she needs! But then the wounded doc’s kindness proves too much temptation for her heart to resist…

 

medical2

 

Alejandro’s Sexy Secret by Amy Ruttan

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…

If only that were true! Surgeon Kiri Bhardwaj never expected to see sexy exotic dancer Alejandro Valentino again after their fantasy life-changing night together. But now they’re face-to-face, and he’s a specialist in her pediatric department!

Working with Kiri proves to Alejandro that they haven’t finished what they started all those years ago. But to claim what he’s lost he’ll have to lay his heart on the line and prove to Kiri their chemistry is for keeps!

 

Santiago’s Convenient Fiancee by Annie O’Neil

medical3

Can a convenient arrangement last forever?

Saoirse Murphy came to Miami to bury herself in work, determined to forget the canceled wedding she left behind her, and she wants to stay… But only a green card will do!

Enter former combat doc Santiago Valentino. Having reluctantly returned to face his dark past, he’s only too happy to be distracted by his paramedic partner and her shocking proposal.

But when their “convenient” engagement tips into a very inconvenient passion, Santiago wonders…will she be his forever wife?

 

 

The Doctor’s Diamond Proposal by Annie Claydon

Falling for the celebrity doc. medical6

Physiotherapist Alexandra Jackson never thought she’d see Leo Cross again after an accident changed her life. But when she’s thrown back together with Leo she sees a hint of the boy she once met underneath the celebrity doctor’s charming smile…

Leo knows he can’t give Alex the commitment she deserves—he’s fighting too many demons of his own. But will their connection and Alex’s positive approach to life inspire Leo to make her a proposal neither will ever forget?

 

 

Weekend With The Best Man by Leah Martyn

medical5Best man to daddy!

Nurse Lindsey Stewart knows that dancing with new, enigmatic Casualty doctor Dante Rossi is asking for trouble…but when he takes her hand at a wedding she’s powerless to resist. As their night turns into a weekend she learns there’s more to this charming best man than meets the eye.

After returning to work, neither can escape their undeniable chemistry—even when trying to remain professional! Until Lindsey discovers she’s pregnant, and realizes she might hold the key to healing Dante’s damaged heart…

 

 

The Surgeon’s Baby Surprise by Charlotte Hawkes

Discovering his secret child! medical4

For committed surgeon Max Van Berg, career has always come first. He’s only ever risked distraction once—during his whirlwind affair with stunning psychiatrist Evangeline Parker…

But now Evie’s unexpected reappearance has turned Max’s world upside down. Not only is Evie battling illness, but she’s been forced to keep an even bigger secret from the surgeon! Against all odds Max is a father, and suddenly his sole focus is fighting for Evie, for baby Imogen and for the family he never knew he wanted until now…

 

 

 

 

Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Excerpt – The Doctor’s Diamond Proposal by Annie Claydon

Some time ago now, I had a conversation via Facebook with the very lovely Lynne Marshall and the equally lovely Kate Hardy.  Lynne had managed to include Zombies into her latest Medical Romance, and we were reminded of Kate’s venture into the world of Plague Squirrels.  In an attempt to keep up, I mentioned that I’d included a little Space Opera in my latest work-in-progress 🙂

I had enormous fun with this first chapter of The Doctor’s Diamond Proposal which is available from all the usual outlets from 1st January.  (And for those of you who aren’t fans of space opera – may I reassure you that my hero and heroine come back down to earth with a bump in Chapter Two!)

9781474051262CHAPTER ONE

Ten years ago…

The party had got off to a slow start, but by eleven o’clock the house was packed with people and Leo Cross was beginning to feel hot and uncomfortable in his costume.

It had seemed like a good idea at the time. Orion Shift was less of a TV show to the six medical students who shared the sprawling house in West London and more of a Friday evening ritual. The one hour in the week that didn’t belong to study, girlfriends or the urgent need for sleep. So what better way to celebrate their third year exam results than decorate the living room with as much tinfoil as they could get their hands on and suspend inflatable planets from the ceiling?

Dressing up as the crew of the interstellar spacecraft Orion Shift had been the next logical step. But a hot summer’s evening wasn’t really the time to be wearing a heavy jacket with a high collar, and Leo was beginning to wish that personal temperature regulation fields really had been invented.

A girl in blue body paint and a leotard sidled up to him. ‘Captain Boone! You look particularly delicious tonight.’

‘Maddie. How are you doing?’

‘You want a Tellurian cocktail?’ Maddie draped her arms around Leo’s shoulders. Clearly she and Pete had been arguing again. It was only a matter of time before the inevitable reconciliation, but at the moment Pete was on the other side of the room taking a great deal of interest in a red-haired girl dressed as a Fractalian hydra and Maddie had clearly decided that she was going to give him a taste of his own medicine.

Leo disentangled himself from Maddie’s grip. ‘No. Thanks, but…’ Just no. If Pete and Maddie wanted to play games that was fine, but Leo knew better than to get involved.

‘Leo…!’ Maddie stuck out her lower lip in a disappointed pout as he retreated quickly through the press of people.

He pushed his way to the kitchen, avoiding the usual group around the beer keg, and slipped outside into the back garden, sighing with relief as the warm breeze brushed his face. The paved space at the back of the house was packed with people, drinking and talking, and Leo made good his escape, dodging across the grass and into the pool of darkness that lay beneath the trees at the end of the garden.

He bumped into something soft and sweet-smelling and saw a flash of silvery-green luminescence. A shadow detached itself from the other shadows and stumbled into a pool of moonlight. It was Lieutenant Tara Xhu to a T.

‘Another fugitive?’ A smile played around her lips.

‘You could say that. So how did you manage to make it out of there?’

Tara—or whatever her real name was—shrugged. ‘I’m not sure. I’ve only watched one episode, and that was to get the costume right, so I don’t really know what Tara’s strategy might be.’ Her mouth twitched suddenly into a flirtatious smile. ‘So you’re Captain Boone?’

Leo’s eyes were beginning to adjust to the darkness and the more they did so, the more he liked what he saw. She was dressed all in black, thick leggings, boots and an off the shoulder top that followed her slim curves and displayed the green scales which spread across Tara’s shoulder. A fair replica of an immobility gun was strapped to her thigh and twisted metallic strands ran round her fingers and across the back of her hands. Her dark hair was streaked with green and anchored in a spiky arrangement on the top of her head with Tara’s silver dagger pins.

Leo had been in love at first sight before, but suddenly the other times didn’t seem anything like the real thing. She raised one jewelled eyebrow and Leo realised that his gaze had been following the path of the scales that ran down the side of her face and neck and disappeared beneath her top.

‘Um… Great costume. Your scales look…really lifelike.’ Captain Thomas Boone would undoubtedly have managed something a bit more urbane, but then he had more experience of the galaxy than Leo.

‘Thanks. Iridescent body paint. I felt a bit of an idiot on the bus, on my way here.’ She grinned at him and moved back towards the old picnic bench which stood under the trees. ‘So are you really escaping something, or do you just want some fresh air?’

‘A bit of both.’ Leo sat down next to her, stretching his legs out in front of him. This replica Tara had a lightness about her movements, a kind of joy about her, which broke through the warlike quality of the real Tara’s appearance. Even though she was sitting a good two feet away from him, Leo could almost feel her warmth.

‘You live here?’

‘Yes.’

‘Then you must be a medical student.’

‘That’s right. Starting year four in a couple of weeks, so this’ll probably be the last party we have for a while.’

‘I hear it’s a tough year. An interesting one, though…’

That was exactly how Leo felt about it. He knew that his clinical attachment was going to be hard work, but he couldn’t wait to start putting all that he’d learned into practice. ‘What do you do?’

She shrugged. ‘Nothing at the moment. I’m just back from a year in Australia.’

‘Yeah? What’s it like?’ All Leo wanted to do right now was sit here in the darkness and listen to her talk.

She laughed. ‘Bit too big to describe in one sentence. I loved it, though.’

Leo imagined that she’d taken every moment of the last year and squeezed the very most out of it, in the same way that she seemed to be draining every drop of potential from these moments. It was infectious.

She was fiddling thoughtfully with the bright silver strands across the back of her hand. ‘Did you always want to do medicine?’

‘Yeah. My uncle’s a doctor, and when I was nine I saw him save someone’s life. That settled it for me, and there’s never been anything else I wanted to do.’

She nodded quietly. ‘So you have a calling. A mission in life.’

Sometimes, poring over his books late at night, it didn’t seem so. But Tara made it all sound like something special.

‘Yeah. Guess I do.’

‘I’m still looking for mine. There are so many possibilities and I don’t think I can settle on just one. So I’m going to be helping out on my dad’s farm for the next year while I think about putting in my university applications.’

‘You’ll find the right thing.’ Leo applied all of the weight of his twenty-one years to the problem. And all of the certainty from the last five minutes, that whatever she decided to do she’d do it wholeheartedly.

‘I suppose I will.’ She seemed to ponder the idea for a moment, then smiled suddenly. ‘Nothing like mucking out to concentrate the mind on your aspirations for the future.’

‘Would you like me to go and get you a drink?’ Leo hoped she’d say yes. That they could continue this conversation alone, out here, rather than going back to the heat and noise of the party.

‘Thanks, but no. I tried one of those blue cocktails and it was too sweet.’ She hesitated, then seemed to come to a decision. ‘That coffee bar around the corner. Think it’ll still be open?’

‘It’s open all night.’ Sweet promise stirred in Leo’s chest.

‘You fancy making a break for it, then?’

*

Theirs weren’t the most outlandish costumes amongst the coffee bar’s customers that night, but she had still tugged awkwardly at her green hair and silver jewellery. Leo had laughingly persuaded her to stay just as she was, saying that since he was dressed as a spaceship captain, it was practically expected that his First Lieutenant should be accompanying him.

They’d talked all night, fuelled by coffee and then ham and cheese toasties at three in the morning. At six, she’d refused to allow him to see her all the way home and he’d had to content himself with walking her to the bus stop.

‘May I call you?’ Leo made a silent wish that the bus wouldn’t come just yet.

‘I was hoping you would.’ She smiled at him, reaching into her jacket for her phone and reeling off the number. Leo repeated it over in his head, his fingers shaking unaccountably as he pressed the keys. He hit dial, and her phone chimed. Even her ringtone seemed fresh and full of joy.

‘That’s it.’ She rejected the call and gratifyingly saved his number.

‘Lieutenant Tara.’ Leo grinned, spelling out the words as he typed them into his phone. ‘What’s your real name, though?’

‘Alex…’ She turned as a bus drew up at the stop. ‘This one’s mine. You will call, won’t you…?’

‘Yes.’ Leo wondered whether it would be appropriate to kiss her goodbye and decided that he’d already missed his chance. The night had been perfect as it stood, a meeting of minds that had nothing to do with any alien powers, and when he kissed her he wanted enough time to do it properly. She got onto the bus, pressing her ticket against the reader, and turned to wave at him.

The bus drew away. Calling her now would be too soon. He turned to walk back home, and his phone buzzed.

May we meet in other worlds.

Her text mimicked Tara’s habitual farewell.

And get some sleep.

Leo grinned, texting back his reply, watching until the bus turned a corner and disappeared.

*

He called that evening and she didn’t reply. Perhaps she’d decided to have an early night. The next day she didn’t reply either.

Leo counted the number of calls he made, knowing that each one would show up on her phone. Half a dozen was beginning to look a little stalkerish, so he sent a text instead.

No answer. He left it a week and called again, leaving a carefully scripted voicemail and resolving that if she didn’t reply this time he’d take the hint and give up. Clearly, the gorgeous, vivacious Lieutenant Tara had decided that, of all the glittering possibilities she saw ahead of her, he wasn’t one of them. It was time to retreat gracefully and get on with the next chapter of his life.

CHAPTER TWO

Time warp to the present day…

 

FAQs, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

You asked… we answer!

Last week, we invited questions for the Medical Romance team.  We’d like to send a huge thank you to everyone who responded with their queries, all of which gave us food for thought!

If you’d like to ask us something, there’s still time and you can find the form here.  We’ll be answering all of your questions over the coming months, and today we’re getting started with the first.

Have all the writers worked in medicine?

The short answer to that is no – although many of us have.  And by way of a longer answer, we’ve asked some of our writers to give the low-down on their ‘other’ careers…

Amy Andrews
I was a nurse for 27 years and loved it from the very moment I first pulled my uniform on. Back when I first started we were still doing hospital based training and I went in as a fresh-faced 17 year old! I’ve worked both in the UK and Australia in the ICU setting and, until retiring in 2015, I’d worked in PICU for 21 years. Aside from my family, friends and writing, nursing has been my one great love.  (Amy’s photos are from the first day of her training and the last day of her training.)

nursey

Emily Forbes
Depending on which day of the week it is Emily Forbes can be found at her writing desk or at her other job as a physiotherapist. She works part-time in a large private practice with physios, doctors, nurses, psychologists, audiologists and exercise physiologists which is great for checking facts but it’s her patients that provide some of the best ideas for medical drama. She usually warns them that anything they say may end up in a book 🙂

Annie O’Neil
My history is more of a ….contributor to the need for health professionals. A lifetime of clutziness ensured many a doctor, nurse and emergency medical professional were kept gainfully employed. That, and the lion taming of course.

Fiona Lowe
fiona
When Fiona Lowe started her career as a nurse she wore a white starched apron, collar and cuffs. By the time she hung up her registration, she’d been a midwife, a maternal and child health nurse, a family planning nurse practitioner, a community health promotion officer and a teenage sexual health counsellor, and there wasn’t a starched anything in sight! A diverse career under the umbrella of nursing, it’s given her lots of ideas for books!

 

 

 

Annie Claydon
Before turning my hand to writing I worked in IT, where I brought databases into the world, undertook emergency surgery on them, and tried to make digital technologies sound like fun (the last with varying degrees of success).  Writing medical romance has its challenges in terms of getting all the medical details right, but the research is a fascinating part of the process for me, involving libraries, the internet, and most importantly talking to people and asking questions about the practical things.  I’m lucky to have had two careers which I love, and if anyone finds me chatting quietly to my computer screen, then put it down to nostalgia.

Louisa George
louisa

I worked for 22 years as a Registered Nurse in England and New Zealand, on wards, in research and in the community. It was a brilliant career, very varied and challenging, but I absolutely loved it and was very torn when the time came for me to focus on my writing. Oh, and I’m living proof that Mills and Boon Medicals are not all fantasy, as I met my husband (a doctor) on a ward where we were both working.

 

 

 

Louisa Heaton
Louisa Heaton has worked a variety of jobs in medicine, including time as a healthcare assistant in a large NHS hospital, a nurse in a private hospital where she got to assist in minor operations removing facial cancers and four years spent volunteering as a First Responder, answering 999 calls and providing emergency life support on scene.

Sue Mackay
Sue MacKay trained as a medical laboratoy technician, specialising in haematology. She loved the science and especially the diagnostic side of her work staring down a microscope. Boring for many people which might say something about her!! But she also trained as an ambulance officer so does also enjoy the cutting edge of medicine.

Susan Carlisle
susan
I was a homemaker for 10 years until my youngest son started school. Then I became a substitute teacher and did that for 20 years. I have no real medical training outside of raising four children. One of them does have a heart transplant so I learned a lot of cardiac care.