Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

New Year. New Beginnings. New Books!

It’s Hannah, here. I’m Mills & Boon Medical Romance’s Assistant Editor and delighted to be back on Love is the Best Medicine. I hope that you have had a wonderful start to 2022! Do you have any New Year traditions? I do! My favourite way to say hello to January is to pore over bookseller and book bloggers’ ‘The Books You Need to Read This Year’ lists.

So, I would love to share my New Year tradition with you! During the first three weeks of January, I have been busy creating a list of great miniseries to read at the start of 2022 from Mills & Boon Medical Romance. From new families to new jobs, the miniseries I’m about the mention offer the ultimate in that ‘New Year, New Beginnings’ feeling!

Nashville ER

After a busy shift at Nashville’s Saint Dolores Hospital, AKA St Dolly’s, Avery Whittacker and Lia Costa love nothing more than meeting up for gossip, guacamole and a pitcher of Margarita. The friends agree on almost everything, including that neither have room in their lives for romance…But the New Year brings two new doctors to their busy ER, who make waves in the department and set the friends’ hearts fluttering!

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Miracle Medics

Now celebrating its fifteenth anniversary, Dr David Kennedy’s GDK Foundation organises a classic car rally through the UK countryside to raise funds and awareness for transplant surgeries. It will also give David a chance to spend some quality time with his adopted son, Dr Josh Kennedy, a transplant specialist, as they work together as navigator and driver. Or, at least, that was the plan…

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Two Tails Animal Refuge

Welcome to Two Tails Animal Refuge, in Australia’s beautiful Blue Mountains! Vets Hazel and Kiara have one goal: to rescue and re-home vulnerable animals. The refuge staff work around the clock. So, there’s no time for Hazel and Kiara to think about love. Until a vet and a surgeon lead them to ask: “Is it time for my Happily-Ever-After?”

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What miniseries are you excited to read first in 2022? I would love to know!

Lots of Love,

Hannah

x

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

January New Releases

Happy New Year!

We made it to 2022 and with the start of 2022 we have some brand new releases to share with you.

Also, huge congrats to Annie O’Neil and Susan Carlisle who both have their 30th book out this month!

Their Reunion to Remember by Tina Beckett

Then: an almost happily-ever-after
Now: a second chance?
Surgeon Lia Costa has spent a lifetime trying to blend into the background. So when Dr. Micah Corday picks her out of a busy concert crowd on Valentine’s Day, she can’t believe it! Micah was her first love…and the man she thought she would never see again. Is Lia ready to remember the powerful love that she had tried so hard to forget? 

Nashville ER duet
Book 1 – New Year Kiss with His Cinderella by Annie O’Neil
Book 2 – Their Reunion to Remember by Tina Beckett

Taking a Chance on the Best Man by Fiona McArthur

Love was off-limits
Then she met the best man!
Former midwife Isabel is always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Yet she doesn’t count on best man Dr. Domenico bursting into her life! Years ago, Isabel firmly shut the door to love. Now Dom is starting to break down her barriers…one heart-stopping smile at a time. But it’s Dom’s ability to see the real Isabel that has her asking if she is ready to risk it all on their unexpected connection.

Secret from Their LA Night by Julie Danvers

It started with one night…
…and led to a nine-month secret!
Dr. Emily Archer would rather be anywhere than Los Angeles! Arriving to offer her sports medicine expertise to an international dance team, she’s immediately confronted by the memories of her turbulent childhood in the spotlight. Fortunately, on her first night, she finds the perfect distraction—charismatic Dr. Daniel Labarr. Neither can resist when instant passion takes over… And neither realize that their passion has been life changing

New Year Kiss with His Cinderella by Annie O’Neil

From a midnight kiss…
…to a reunion in the ER!
When Dr. Carter shares a New Year’s kiss with a captivating stranger, he doesn’t expect a reunion. Then he walks into Saint Dolores’s ER the very next day…and discovers she’s his new colleague! Awkwardly, their smoking-hot attraction hasn’t gone away! But for Carter, life has meant staying mobile, and he can’t simply lay down roots. Yet there’s something about Nurse Avery and Nashville that’s starting to really feel like home…
 
Nashville ER duet
Book 1 – New Year Kiss with His Cinderella by Annie O’Neil
Book 2 – Their Reunion to Remember by Tina Beckett

Marriage Miracle in Emergency by Scarlet Wilson

Is this a marriage…
…That’s meant to be?
The last person Iris expected as the new temporary consultant in her Dublin ER was her ex-husband, Lachlan! It’s been eight years since their whirlwind marriage ended after the heartbreaking discovery they couldn’t have children. Iris knows they should focus on being colleagues, but Lachlan is impossible to resist! Older and wiser now, they’ve been given one last chance to find their way back to each other… Are they ready to take it?

From Florida Fling to Forever by Susan Carlisle

Rule number one? Forget their fling
If only it was that easy!
Pioneering transplant surgeon Lily Evans is always cool under pressure. So why does the idea of working with ex-fling Max James have her so hot under the collar? Max is just passing through Florida, after all, and maintaining a professional relationship is top of their agenda. Yet Lily’s sensible head is being overruled by her unusually reckless heart as she begins to fall for more than just Max’s roguish charms…

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Travels Around the World

How to Have a Never-Ending Holiday!

Hello! It’s Hannah here. I’m the Assistant Editor for the Mills and Boon Medical Romance team. I’m so excited to be back on Love is the Best Medicine and to talk all things Medical Romance.

First things first! How was your summer? It’s been a busy – but exciting! – time at True Love Towers. From the Love to Write competition in search of romance writers from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds (the deadline is Monday 4th October so, aspiring authors , you still have time to submit!) to the Mills and Boon team’s return to the office, we were hit (as we always are!) by just how lucky we are to work in the world of romance.

So, as we soak-up the last of the late-September sun (after the soggiest summer ever in the UK!), we thought now was the perfect time to show that just because Autumn in fast approaching, it doesn’t mean that the chance to travel the world (through Mills and Boon Medical Romance’s latest books!) – has. Here’s your ticket to unlimited armchair travel!

Island Fling with the Surgeon by Ann McIntosh

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From fake to forever?

When Dr Genevieve convinces nurse Zach to enter a fake relationship to help keep her meddling mum at bay, she’s confident there’s no danger of it turning into more. But is their ‘fake affair’ at risk of becoming all too real?

Hawaiian Medic to Rescue His Heart by Annie O’Neil

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Tempting the single dad!

Firefighter and paramedic Zach is looking forward to a quieter life in Hawaii and building a brighter future for himself and his son. But his beautiful, kind, vibrant new colleague, Lulu, has the potential to derail all of his plans…

 

Reawakened at the South Pole by Juliette Hyland

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A reunion of a lifetime!

ER Nurse Helena wants to break free from her parent’s perception of the fragile premature baby she once was. Her new, South Pole-based job is the perfect solution. But, Dr Carter’s arrival proves you can’t erase the past. He once disappeared from her life, leaving no trace, but he never left her heart…

 

Costa Rican Fling with the Doc by Traci Douglass

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Temptation in paradise!

For single mum Sara, life has been all about raising her now adult son. But, volunteering for a medical charity in Costa Rica, it’s finally the nurse’s chance to focus on her passions. Only her guarded new boss, Gabe, sends all her senses into overdrive, for once, sensible Sara can’t help wondering – what if they didn’t resist temptation?

 

What destination is #1 on your bucket list? We’d love to know!

With love,

Hannah

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

September New Releases

Happy September! I love the return to routine for me. As much as I love summer, the routine of the fall is great.

We have some brand new releases for you!

And huge congratulations to Kate Hardy on her 95th book!

Unlocking the Doctor’s Secrets by Carol Marinelli

A secret to break them…

… or make them?

Paramedic Lina Edwards feels instant sparks with deliciously brooding consultant Garth Hughes–only, she’s learned not to trust her instincts. Yet Garth makes her feel seen in a way she’s never been before. The sadness in his eyes shows he has secrets, but when Lina discovers that, shockingly, she’s bound up in his past, she must decide: Is their passionate connection too good to be true, or too good to let go?

Tempted by Her Convient Husband by Charlotte Hawkes

Can this emergency marriage…

…last a lifetime?

Dr. Octavia Hendlington–aka Lady Octavia–only agreed to marry handsome, iron-willed billionaire Lukas Woods to help her brother. The inconvenient attraction sizzles between them is disconcerting…And then Lukas discovers his wife is not the “it” girl he thought, but a doctor who volunteers in the Sudan. As he accompanies her to Africa, Octavia also discovers the “real” Lukas Woods–and suddenly her “convenient” husband is just too hard to resist!

Second Chance with Her Guarded GP by Kate Hardy

A fresh chance at happiness…

with the new doctor in town?

Nurse practitioner Gemma Baxter’s sunny disposition hides a heart broken by the cracks left in her family after the loss of her sister. She escapes by focusing on charity fundraising and plans on hustling new, sexy GP Ollie Langley for a donation! The reserved doc is the opposite to daredevil Gemma, who soon realizes Ollie’s hiding a heartbreak of his own…Perhaps the only way to heal themselves is together?

A Twin Docs’ Perfect Match novels

Book 1–Second Chance with Her Guarded GP

Book 2–Baby Miracle for the ER Doc

Healing Her Brooding Island Hero by Marion Lennox

Has this wounded doc…

met his match?

Doctor Hugh Duncan might be determined to hide behind his scars on Sandpiper Island, but his new neighbour, nurse practitioner Gina, is having none of it. He’s a doctor, and she needs his help to take care of the islanders. But Gina, also understands how life-changing tragedy can be, and she wants to help mend this gorgeous hero’s heart–even if that means losing her own to him in the process!

Hawaiian Medic to Rescue His Heart by Annie O’Neil

Can she tempt this single dad…

To take a risk in paradise?

Divorced New York firefighter and paramedic Zach Murphy is looking forward to the more relaxed pace of Hawaiian life and building a brighter future for himself and his son. But his stunning new search and rescue colleague Lulu Kahale has the potential to derail his dreams of a quiet existence! Falling in love was never part of the plan, but Lulu tempts Zach to break all his own rules…

Baby Miracle for the ER Doc by Kate Hardy

One passionate night…

One surprising consequence.

Dr. Florence Jacobs can’t believe she was unable to resist her explosive chemistry with temporary doc Robert Langley even for one night! Rob’s charm is a salve to Florence’s damaged heart, but they’re looking for different lives: she wants a family…he craves adventure. The shocking revelation that she’s pregnant hands Florence the future she’s dreamed of. Dare she hope that Rob will want to stay and share it with her and their baby?

A Twin Docs’ Perfect Match novel

Book 1–Second Chance with Her Guarded GP

Book 2–Baby Miracle for the ER Doc

New Releases

August New Releases

Happy August! I can’t believe this summer is almost over for us in the northern hemisphere.

Congratulations to Ann McIntosh on her 10th book with Medicals!

It’s shaping up to be a whirl wind year and to that end we have some great new releases for you:

The Princess and the Pediatrician by Annie O’Neil

One Caribbean night together
One pregnant princess!
When Dr. Lia Trelleburg—aka Princess Amelia of Karolinska—meets hot pediatrician Oliver Bainbridge at a fundraiser, she decides to break the habit of a carefully controlled lifetime and indulge in a breathtaking night of passion. Only, Lia falls pregnant, and Oliver stuns her by agreeing with palace protocol—yes, they must marry! Despite the odds, could they really find the happiness they desire together…as a family?
The Island Clinic novel
 
The Island Clinic quartet
Book 1 – How to Win the Surgeon’s Heart by Tina Beckett
Book 2 – Caribbean Paradise, Miracle Family by Julie Danvers
Book 3 – The Princess and the Pediatrician by Annie O’Neil
Book 4 – Reunited with His Long-Lost Nurse by Charlotte Hawkes
 

Taming the Hot-Shot Doc by Susan Carlisle

He’s lost everything…
Dare he risk his heart?
When renowned Chicago surgeon Matt Chapman agreed to testify against a notorious crime family, he lost his family, his fiancée and his career. Now he hopes to start again in an idyllic Mississippi town. But his efforts to keep to himself are threatened by his new boss, Dr. Shay Lunsford, who seems just as alone as he is. Dare Matt get closer to Shay and risk his heart again?

Reunited with His Long-Lost Nurse by Charlotte Hawkes

An unexpected reunion…
…in paradise!
Leading heart surgeon Liam Miller has come to St. Victoria to perform lifesaving surgery. He never imagined the distraction of bumping into the woman who loved him and then left him without a word! Avoiding nurse Talia Johnson is far harder than he thought—especially when their inconvenient but still-burning attraction keeps boiling over! As their painful secrets come tumbling out, are they ready to finally confront the truth?
The Island Clinic novel
 
The Island Clinic quartet
Book 1 – How to Win the Surgeon’s Heart by Tina Beckett
Book 2 – Caribbean Paradise, Miracle Family by Julie Danvers
Book 3 – The Princess and the Pediatrician by Annie O’Neil
Book 4 – Reunited with His Long-Lost Nurse by Charlotte Hawkes

Island Fling with the Surgeon by Ann McIntosh

Make-believe?
Or more than she bargained for?
When Dr. Genevieve Broussard convinces nurse Zach Lewin to enter a fake relationship to help keep her meddling mom off her back, she’s confident there’s no danger of it turning into anything more. Her first priority has to be her surgical career, and both Gen and Zach are still reeling from recent betrayals. But as the summer heat in the Caribbean loosens inhibitions, their fake “affair” is at risk of becoming all too real…

Falling for the Billionaire Doc by Amy Ruttan

Two polar opposites…
…a once-in-a-lifetime connection!
Dr. Kiera is on a mission: to save her hospital! She simply can’t let this lifeline for the local community vanish. There’s just one problem—surgeon Henry. He’s certain that a new, bigger hospital is the key to saving lives, not Kiera’s small hospital, which is just like the clinic where his fiancée tragically passed away. But it’s when Henry suddenly finds himself in need of a temporary fiancée that their worlds truly collide!

A Single Dad to Rescue Her by Sue MacKay

A tempting paramedic…
His second chance at love?
Called out to an avalanche, firefighting chief Jamie comes to strong-willed Kayla’s rescue. He’ll never forget the way Kayla gripped his hand. Or how the gutsy paramedic instructed him on how to save her! But he’s vowed not to pursue a relationship until his boys are grown. None of them can suffer another heartbreak. Yet Jamie feels an unrelenting pull toward Kayla. Might it be her turn next to save him?
Queenstown Search & Rescue novel
 
Queenstown Search & Rescue trilogy
Book 1 – Captivated by Her Runaway Doc
Book 2 – A Single Dad to Rescue Her
Book 3 – From Best Friends to I Do?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

May New Releases!

Happy May and Cinco de Mayo!

We have some brand new releases this month and a milestone!

Congrats to Deanne Anders on her 5th book with Medicals.

Now on to some great medicals to sink your teeth into.

Unlocking the Rebel’s Heart by Alison Roberts

When a temporary fling…
Turns into a lifetime together!
Paramedic Benjamin is the beating heart of Cutler’s Creek, and it’s no secret settling down is off his agenda. Yet when locum doctor Joy literally crashes into his life, the attraction between them is electric. Finding themselves working together, they do everything to ignore the growing temptation. But when Joy sees the real man behind the bachelor, she knows she’s lost to him forever!

The Neurosurgeon’s Unexpected Family by Deanne Anders

From single surgeon…
…to family man?
Dr. William Cooper has been truly thrown in at the deep end… His eleven-month-old half sister has been placed into his care and he needs to figure out how to be a surrogate father—quick! So when nurse Hannah Reeves offers to help, William couldn’t be more thankful. He just didn’t imagine that the minute Hannah entered his life, he’d find himself wanting her to be the final piece in his unexpected family!

Reunited with Doctor Devereaux by Allie Kincheloe

An unexpected reunion…
A second chance at love?
Years ago, trauma surgeon Danny Owens broke his promise and broke GP Camilla Devereaux’s heart. Now Danny is back. The terms of his late father’s will mean Danny and Camilla have to work together for the next six months. They loved each other once, and it’s clear there’s still something burning between them. Can they leave the past behind and embrace the bright future they deserve…together?

Reawakened by the Italian Surgeon by Scarlet Wilson

Top surgeon, devoted single dad…
the doctor to open her heart?
Flying to Rome to separate conjoined twins is just the fresh start that Autumn needs. Her latest breakup has proved that her heart belongs only to surgery. But lead surgeon and widower Giovanni Lombardi has her pulse racing, and his adorable daughter awakens a longing for a family Autumn never thought she wanted—until now…
Double Miracle at St Nicolino’s Hospital novel
 
Double Miracle at St Nicolino’s Hospital duet
Book 1 – A Family Made in Rome by Annie O’Neil
Book 2 – Reawakened by the Italian Surgeon by Scarlet Wilson

Nurse’s One Night Baby Surprise by Louisa George

Doctor Off-Limits:
The father of her baby!
Doctor Fraser is the last man nurse Briana should be attracted to—she’s kept her feelings for him under wraps for years. When he moves to her Lake District village with his troubled teenage daughter, Bri wants desperately to help them. But after her chemistry with Fraser flares out of control, Bri must tell him the most shocking news of all…

A Family Made in Rome by Annie O’Neil

Can one last night in New York
Lead to a new beginning in Rome?
When Leon Cassanetti is called on to perform pioneering surgery on conjoined twins, he knows who he wants by his side—his ex, Lizzy Beckley. Their history is complicated…but Lizzy is honored to join Leon in Rome to save these babies. Only first she must deliver a baby bombshell of her own to this career-driven bachelor!
Double Miracle at St Nicolino’s Hospital novel

Double Miracle at St Nicolino’s Hospital duet
Book 1 – A Family Made in Rome by Annie O’Neil
Book 2 – Reawakened by the Italian Surgeon by Scarlet Wilson

Happy Reading!

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Welcoming Emma Marnell, from the Medical Romance Editorial Team

Emma photoHello everyone!

I’m Emma, the new Editorial Assistant for the Harlequin Medical Romance team.

As I have just started with the team, I thought I would share some fun facts about myself with you. I have been living in the UK for over two years now, however, I am originally from Galway, Ireland – a beautiful part of the world where I encourage you all to visit, at least once! I have also lived in New York prior to my move to the UK.

Since moving to the UK, I have completed an MA in Publishing Media from Oxford Brookes University. During my time there, I met some wonderful authors and lecturers and gained an enormous amount of knowledge about the book industry and of what it takes to take a book from an idea into the hands of a reader.

I am a huge Grey’s Anatomy fan, and this naturally translates into the books I choose to read. Over this past year, especially, I have found myself turning to books to escape the world we are currently living in. Just some of the ones I’ve enjoyed include, getting caught up in the drama of the ER at Seattle General Hospital, in Falling for the Secret Prince by Alison Roberts or getting whisked away to the Isle of Bourtree, off the coast of Scotland, in Annie O’Neil’s latest novel, Christmas Under the Northern Lights. I feel we all need a little bit of magic in our lives, particularly this year, and what better way to experience that magic than diving into a new Harlequin Medical Romance.

We have an exciting line up of books to continue with that magic in 2021, so keep your eyes peeled! I would love to hear about some of your favourite books/places to escape to, leave me a comment below.

Emma x

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Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

December New Releases

Wow. I can’t believe it’s December. It feels like 2020 has lasted a MILLION years, but here we are at the end of a very tough year.

And we have some brand spanking new releases to finish off 2020 and what a way to make things brighter!

Also congrats to Charlotte Hawkes on her 15th book and Louisa George on her 20th book!

The Princess’s Christmas Baby by Louisa George

A pregnant princess…

…and her knight in shining scrubs?

When a forbidden and oh so passionate weekend together leads to a veryunexpected consequence, Dr. Lucas Beaufort and Princess Gigi Baresi find their lives turned upside down. So when a car crash leaves Gigi’s father—the king!—with his life hanging in the balance, she’ll have to decide: duty to the crown, or claim the family, and love, she’s always wanted…

From Harlequin Medical: Life and love in the world of modern medicine.

Royal Christmas at Seattle General

Book 1: Falling for the Secret Prince by Alison Roberts

Book 2: Neurosurgeon’s Christmas to Remember by Traci Douglass

Book 3: The Bodyguard’s Christmas Proposal by Charlotte Hawkes

Book 4: The Princess’s Christmas Baby by Louisa George

The Bodyguard’s Christmas Proposal by Charlotte Hawkes

The top of her Christmas list?

A family!

Nurse Kat Steel always wanted a big family, but a childhood accident and her ex’s departure ended that dream—she’s not about to lay her heart on the line again. Until Logan Connors—ex-bodyguard and new trauma surgeon—and his adorable son arrive! Logan’s complicated past means he’s not looking for happily-ever-after, either. Could a little mistletoe magic change that for them all?

From Harlequin Medical: Life and love in the world of modern medicine.

Royal Christmas at Seattle General

Book 1: Falling for the Secret Prince by Alison Roberts

Book 2: Neurosurgeon’s Christmas to Remember by Traci Douglass

Book 3: The Bodyguard’s Christmas Proposal by Charlotte Hawkes

Book 4: The Princess’s Christmas Baby by Louisa George

Mistletoe Kiss with the Heart Doctor by Marion Lennox

Can just one kiss…

…really change her life—forever?

When Dr. Elsa McCrae rescues a mortified Dr. Marcus Pierce from a fall into an underground cave, planning the usual Christmas party for her local community has to take a back seat! As she’s forced to accept Marc’s offer of help during the busy holiday season, the charming cardiologist soon has Elsa fighting to protect her heart, knowing he’ll return to the city as soon as the festivities are over…

Forever Family for the Midwife by Kate Hardy

Can he risk his heart…

…on the single mom?

Midwife Nathaniel has been wary of love ever since his girlfriend walked out after his accident. Until he meets obstetrician Rebecca! Their chemistry is undeniable. Only, she’s a widowed single mom with no interest in a relationship. As Nathaniel gradually breaks down her walls, and their spark becomes a flame, he knows they have something special…but are they ready to take a leap of faith for a chance at forever?

Christmas Under the Northern Lights by Annie O’Neil

One Christmas on a Scottish island…

A lifetime together?

After her fiancé’s shocking betrayal, district nurse Audrey Walsh hopes to escape Christmas on remote Bourtree Island! Instead, she’s met by a gorgeous man in a Santa suit—Dr. Cooper MacAskill! They’re stuck working—and living—together till New Year, both with their demons to face. Except their inconvenient attraction and the warmth of this island community offer them healing and happiness—if they have the courage to take it!

A Nurse, a Surgeon, a Christmas Engagement by Allie Kincheloe

From emergency wedding date…

To happily-ever-after?

Nurse Lena has serious doubts about playboy surgeon Dex’s request that she be his emergency date to his brother’s wedding… But when he offers to be her fake boyfriend in return to meet her family obligation, she reluctantly agrees. Maybe it’s the heady spirit of the season—or a Christmas miracle!—but Dex surprises Lena at every turn. Could he be the man she swore she never wanted?

Have a Happy Holiday Season! Happy Reading! xo

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Our 1,000th Blog Post!

It doesn’t seem ten minutes, since we were talking about names and sorting through images for our blog.  After weeks of preparation, Love is the Best Medicine went live in February 2012. 

Since then we’ve posted 999 blogs (this is the magic 1,000th) and written over half a million words (577,805, if anyone’s counting).  And we’ve posted so many photos that we almost broke the site at one point! 

We can’t thank you enough for being with us on this journey, we’ve had thousands of comments and countless views, and each one of them is important to us.  Those views have come from 170 different countries, and so what better way to celebrate our 1,000th post than to ask our authors to send a postcard from places they’ve visited in their books.  

Emilypostcard

Susancard  .

Amypostcard

Anniepost

Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

The Amazing Adventures of Two Annies, A Dog and a Tennis Ball

I guess we’re all getting used to video conferencing these days.  How not enough light can make you look as if you’re speaking from a dungeon, and too much light can turn you into a shadow puppet.  The very lovely Annie O’Neil and I put all of our skills to good use the other day when we were asked to do a Facebook Live chat with Vic Britton, the Commissioning Editor for Mills and Boon.  Did we have an amazing time?  Yes, we did! 

We had a few hiccups, of course, because that’s what live chats are for 🙂  Those of you who wear varifocal glasses will recognise my rather faraway look in the first few frames, which comes from trying to find the right part of the lens to read something on my screen.  Annie had a special guest with her – Skye the border collie – who almost caused a disaster by sitting on her computer cable.  When my connection dropped suddenly, Vic and Annie valiantly kept going until the internet fairies flew to my rescue.  Oh, and if you want to know about the tennis ball, you’ll have to watch the video… 

 

A huge thank you to the ladies at Mills and Boon, who invited us and made this possible, and to Vic who was our wonderful host.  And, of course, wild appreciation for Annie O’Neil who is always a star in any given situation.

To round off Annie’s and my trip to Dolphin Cove, I’ll end with a short excerpt.  Drew has been recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident, but is keen to get back to work.  He’s taken his new puppy Phoenix to scout out the Veterinary Centre, early one morning, before anyone’s due to arrive for work…

***

The deserted reception area smelled of wax polish and hope. The consulting rooms were still the same, one of them filled with a mass of photographs of Ellie’s canine patients, and another with a more restrained set of framed photographs that belonged to Lucas. Drew’s was…empty. Neat and tidy, without a speck of dust. Drew smiled. It was ready and waiting for him.

‘Drew! What the blazes are you doing here?’

Ellie’s tone generally became firmer, in proportion to the size and momentum of the animal she was dealing with. This must be the one she reserved for charging rhinos.

Drew did the only thing possible and let go of Phoenix’s lead. When he turned, he saw the puppy barrelling along the corridor, the lead trailing behind her, and Ellie fell to her knees, scooping Phoenix up into her arms. Worked every time.

Or… Every time apart from this one.

‘Come on. What are you doing here?’ Ellie stood to face him, trying not to smile as the puppy licked her neck.

‘I could ask you the same question. Shouldn’t you and Lucas be staring into each other’s eyes over your cornflakes? You are technically still on your honeymoon, even if you are at work.

Ellie flushed slightly, presumably at the mention of Lucas’s eyes. ‘You do know what you’re doing, don’t you? Deflecting one question with another. It so happens that I didn’t have cornflakes for breakfast, and Lucas isn’t here. He’s doing the school run this morning.’

‘So you’re letting him in gently to the joys of parenthood.’ Drew grinned. He imagined that the other parents at the school gate were more of a challenge to Lucas than the whole six years he’d spent as TV’s favourite vet.

‘He said that yesterday was a bit like running a gauntlet of meerkats.’ Ellie shrugged. ‘He doesn’t mind, really.’

‘He loves it. You know that.’

Ellie nodded, smiling. She’d been in love with Lucas ever since the three of them had studied together at veterinary school. Lucas had left to become a celebrity vet, and Ellie had returned to Cornwall, where she and Drew had set up in practice together in Dolphin Cove. When Ellie and Lucas’s son, Mav, had been born, he had been so like his father, and a constant reminder that something was missing in all their lives.

But now Lucas was back. Ellie had never loved anyone else, and Drew was happy for them both.

‘You still haven’t answered my question.’

He hadn’t counted on springing this on Ellie today, but since she’d asked, he may as well grasp the nettle. ‘Why don’t we go and sit down in my office.’

‘I’m really getting worried now. You’re trying to butter me up by sitting down, aren’t you?’

Drew chuckled. ‘Yep. And I don’t want Phoenix running around here until she’s had her second set of vaccinations.’

He let Ellie tuck his hand into the crook of her elbow, but Drew was careful not to lean on her as they walked. He’d leaned on Ellie far too much already and he appreciated her support, but it had to stop. Leaning on the people around him was beginning to weaken him.

Ellie plumped herself down into a chair, keeping Phoenix on her lap for more cuddles, and Lucas lowered himself into the seat behind his desk. The surface looked as if it had been polished every day while he’d been away.

‘I’m coming back to work, Ellie.’

Ellie’s eyebrows shot up, but she took a moment to moderate her reaction. ‘We weren’t expecting you till the end of the month. Are you sure you’re well enough? What does your physiotherapist say?’

‘She says that if I think I can manage it I should give it a try, just for a couple of days a week for starters. She told me to take things slowly and stop if anything gets too much.’

Relief showed in Ellie’s eyes. ‘That…doesn’t sound so bad.’

‘You know I’ve been going crazy at home, Ells. I really need this and I’m going to need your support. I know you and Lucas can do with a helping hand here.’

‘Yes, we could.’ Ellie’s gaze softened suddenly. ‘Lucas isn’t replacing you, Drew. You know that’s never going to happen.’

It might. The complex animal surgery Drew excelled at took stamina and strength, and no amount of concentrating on the positive could tell him for sure that he’d ever be able to do that again. But he still had a lot to give, and if anyone was going to replace him, he wanted it to be Lucas. And if anyone was going to replace cool Uncle Drew in Mav’s affections, he wanted that to be Lucas too.

But the late-night fears about being of no more use to anyone were just paranoia. They weren’t what Ellie needed to hear from him at the moment.

‘You’re not the only one who’s pleased to see Lucas back, you know. We were all friends, and I’ve missed him too.’

‘You never said…’

Drew rolled his eyes. ‘Of course I didn’t, not while you were missing him on a completely different level. And being remarkably tight-lipped about it.’

Ellie heaved a sigh. ‘Okay. You have my support, just as long as you don’t overdo things. If you do, I won’t hesitate to escort you off the premises.’

‘It’s a deal.’

‘I suppose…the accounts need signing off.’ Ellie shot him a mischievous look. No doubt it had crossed her mind that checking them through involved sitting down.

‘I can do that.’ Drew called her bluff. ‘Although I haven’t forgotten that it’s your turn this year. Or maybe we should give them to Lucas, since he’s our newest partner in the practice.’

Ellie didn’t take the bait. ‘We’ll both owe you one, then. Mrs Cartwright’s coming in this morning, with Tabatha…’

‘Okay. You take Tabatha, and I’ll take Mrs Cartwright.’ It was well known that whenever Mrs Cartwright made an appointment for someone to look at her cat, she really wanted to sit in the waiting room and chat for an hour. The vets at the Dolphin Cove Clinic always made sure that she got a cup of tea and that someone was available to listen to her.

‘You’re a darling.’ Ellie frowned. ‘I suppose you’re not allowed to drink welcome-back champagne…?’

‘At eight in the morning, and with painkillers, probably not. We’ll do that another time.’

‘Welcome-back coffee, then? Your mug’s in your top drawer….’ Ellie gave Phoenix one last hug and got to her feet.

‘You go and get on. I’ll make the coffee.’ Drew opened the drawer of his desk, finding pens and his coffee mug stacked neatly inside. He was going to have to do something about all this tidiness.

‘All right.’ Ellie planted her hands on his desk, leaning over to kiss his cheek. ‘I’m so glad you’re back, Drew.’

‘Don’t get sloppy on me Ells…’ Drew could feel a lump forming in his throat.

‘Tough guy, eh?’ Ellie shot him a speculative look.

‘Not really. I just don’t want you to get me started.’

‘That might not be such a bad idea, Drew. You’ve always been there for me, and now Lucas and I both want to be there for you.’

‘You are. And I appreciate it.’ He just didn’t want to talk about it. ‘White no sugar?’

Ellie rolled her eyes. ‘That’s right. Glad to see you haven’t forgotten.’

When Ellie left, he took a moment to soak in the feeling. He was here, sitting behind his desk, and already had a few things to do with his day. Looking at the accounts, making the coffee and chatting to Mrs Cartwright might not be quite at the cutting edge of veterinary practice, but it was a start.