Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Reading

Let’s have Bookclub! Books I’ve Read Recently by Fiona Lowe

I read books all sorts of ways…hardback, paperback, ebook and audio. Some people argue with me that listening to an audio book isn’t reading but I say pish to that. I tell you, I’d get no housework done if I didn’t have audio books to see me through the drudgery of it. Also, what’s not to love about being read a story.

You may or may not have read the last four books I’ve read but if you have please join in the discussion and if you haven’t, please tell me the last four books YOU have read.

3-wishesThe first two books I read are by Australian authors. Three Wishes was Liane Moriarty’s debut novel, written I think about six years ago. It’s about triplets in their 30s and it has the signature Moriarty style. I can see the roots that her writing has grown from. Although not my favourite of her all her books…What Alice Forgot currently holds that title for me…  I did enjoy this one.

dryThe Dry is a debut novel by Australian journalist, Jane Harper. It’s set in my home state in a small country town during a vicious drought. The heat and dust rise off the page. I am not a ‘who dunnit’ fan and this book is not usually my type of read but I enjoyed it. Easy to read with well drawn characters and plenty of secrets and lies. I gave it to my dad for his post-operative recovery and he read it in two days. If you like crime fiction, check this one out.

The next two books I listened to on audio books and were random picks for me from the Borrow Box app based on two separate criteria. The Donor was borrowed because it was instantly available and it sounded interesting. Vinegar Girl was a new release.


Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler is a modern re-telling of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. I have been told for years, ‘you must read Anne Tyler’ but I am not sure this book was the one I should have started with. Although entertaining, it strayed a lot from The Taming of the Shrew and the caustic wit and repartee from that play were missing. Perhaps it is a tale that would suffer from a modern telling, which is why Tyler had the proposed husband  “release” Kate from her father and why Kate ran rings around the two men who were written as buffoons.

The Donor was a book I borrowed for the premise. Twin daughters both in kidney failure
and requiring a transplant. One father and a moral dilemma. Also no likeable donorcharacters in the book at all. I listened with increasing incredulity  to the antics of the cast and I should have put it down but I kept listening, because I was waiting for … I don’t know what I was waiting for except to tell you it didn’t come. My medical knowledge was a disadvantage in this book as I wasn’t able to suspend disbelief. I kept saying, ‘that wouldn’t happen.’

Right now I am reading The Lovely Bones, which I never got around to reading when it was a big hit back in the day.

I always post the books I read on Goodreads. So what are you reading?


I’ve just done the final proofs on Forbidden to the Playboy Surgeon, which is book 2 in the Paddington Children’s Hospital series out next year 🙂 Today I start the final proofs on my women’s fiction/family saga, Daughter of Mine, out March 2017.

img_1662Right now in Australia, there is reprinting of Career Girl in The Country, my female surgeon fighting sexism in the outback. I love this cover. Of course,  if you don’t live in Australia, the book is available everywhere as an eBook 

I have 28 back-list books, so if you’ve missed any there is a printable list here.

Happy Reading!

Fiona x


Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

What’s special about small country hospitals…

We’re thrilled to have Meredith Appleyard join us, at Love is the Best Medicine, today.  Welcome Meredith!

Meredith Appleyard1When I started writing I knew I wanted to write novels and I knew my stories would be set against the backdrop of rural Australia. Accepting the advice commonly given to aspiring writers – to write about what they know, my novels are about country communities, their hospitals, and the people that work in them. And the country communities I’m referring to have populations in the hundreds not the thousands. Places boasting a small hospital that generally doubles up as a residential aged care facility and employs the required cohort of skilled nurses and support staff. There is one, or perhaps two locally based GPs, and maybe a small contingent of allied health professionals, either visiting or resident. Choice of service providers is limited, non-existent, or a very long drive away.

What’s unique about these small country hospitals is that they’re ‘owned’ by their community. Governments might provide a considerable chunk of the funding to keep them afloat but the community’s commitment to their hospital is constantly demonstrated through volunteering and tireless fund raising. Refurbished patient rooms, new hospital beds, state of the art emergency equipment, volunteer drivers and delivered meals all reflect this ongoing community support and wouldn’t exist without it. Occasionally, a bequest from a deceased estate has contributed to the building of a new hospital ward or similar facility.

Through buying locally the hospital supports local business and industry. And the hospital is often the largest employer in the district. Many farming families have made it through drought and hard times because of employment opportunities at their community hospital.

From a practical point of view, the hospital buildings provide a place for community groups to meet, for example, the local weight watchers group or a mental health support group. A Day Care Centre is often associated with the hospital, facilitating events and activities for the community’s independently ageing citizens and those in residential care. The hospital is a safe place for people to go when their circumstances change for the worse – in a domestic violence or abuse situation. While many small rural hospitals don’t provide surgical or obstetric services anymore, they are a welcome place to recuperate after an operation or having a baby.

If you think I’m passionate about small country hospitals and their role in the communities they serve, you’re damn right! During a long career as a registered nurse/midwife I’ve had the privilege of working in hospitals at Coober Pedy in Outback SA, Katherine in the NT, Texas in remote south-western QLD, and Lameroo in SA’s Mallee region. I believe my life has been richer and my nursing experience greater as a result. And I reckon it’s qualified me to write contemporary Australian rural romance with a medical flavour!

Meredith Appleyard2