Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Excerpt – Falling for his Best Friend

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by Emily Forbes

They’ve been friends forever…

When nurse Kitty Nelson becomes a surrogate for her sister, her best friend, paramedic Joe Harkness, is right there for her. But as Kitty’s pregnancy blossoms, Joe begins to see her in a very different light! Finally admitting a connection he’s never felt with anyone else, is it too late to convince Kitty they’re meant to be?

This is my current release and it is also one of the books on our  VALENTINE’S DAY GIVEAWAY! Don’t miss out, it is running until the 13th February 2018. If you haven’t entered yet here is the link ….

Valentines day giveaway 2018

Good luck and Happy Reading!

If you do miss out here are the buy links for my book:

Mills & Boon UK

Mills & Boon Australia

Harlequin

Other bookstores

And you can keep up to date at my website https://www.emily-forbesauthor.com/

 

 Falling for His Best Friend

Kitty was starting to feel more like her normal self. Her morning sickness was abating and, at twenty-two weeks, she was now feeling like she thought she was supposed to – a glowing, pregnant woman. She hadn’t gained much weight yet except for in her breasts but she felt voluptuous for the first time in her life and it was making her feel very feminine. She knew it was hormonal but she was constantly thinking about sex. She hadn’t had sex in six months, nearly seven, and she was beginning to think she might go crazy unless she did something about it.

And it seemed she wasn’t the only one as she sat with Lisa and a couple of other nurses at the Manly Pier Hotel and the talk turned, inevitably, to men and the lack of good ones.

Kitty was enjoying the evening. It was good to be out and nice to have the focus off the pregnancy for a little while. At home it had become the number one topic of conversation and she was looking forward to talking about the things she used to discuss with her girlfriends. The pub was busy, the line at the bar a couple of people deep. It was her turn to buy the drinks but she didn’t feel like fighting her way through the crowd. Like a knight in shining armour Joe appeared and offered to place their order.

‘You and Joe aren’t an item?’ one of the nurses asked, continuing the conversation as she watched Joe walk to the bar.

‘No. Just friends,’ Kitty replied.

‘With benefits?’ Victoria asked.

‘No.’ She shook her head.

‘He’s hot.’

He did look good tonight she thought although she had to pretend she hadn’t noticed. He wore his favourite jeans, they were her favourites on him too, they hugged his arse and highlighted what she considered to be one of his best features. A white t-shirt hugged his chest. It was a simple outfit but it showcased his body to perfection. He was fit and muscular with just the right amount of confident swagger she thought as she watched him leaning on the bar. His dark hair was casually perfect, he looked like he hadn’t made a huge amount of effort, as if he got out of bed looking like this – relaxed and gorgeous with a cheeky grin for whichever female he was talking to.

She had to agree with Victoria. Joe was hot but she’d long ago taught herself to ignore it. They were friends, first and foremost, and she was too afraid of ruining the status quo to ever test the boundaries of that friendship. She needed him as a friend and she wasn’t going to risk their relationship by blurring the lines.

‘Is he single?’ Victoria asked as they watched Joe return to their table.

‘He’s single,’ she admitted.

He delivered their drinks with a smile, making the dimple in his chin flash and Kitty noticed that Victoria couldn’t take her eyes of him. He didn’t stay, choosing instead to go out to the deck where some of his mates were drinking, and Victoria’s gaze followed his path through the crowd.

All the talk about men and, more specifically, Joe, had Kitty flustered. She couldn’t think about him and sex in the same conversation. She’d trained herself not to and besides, he’d never even hinted that he’d be willing to cross that line in the sand.

But what if he did? What would she do?

She shook her head.

She’d be crazy to even consider it. She wasn’t prepared to risk the friendship of a lifetime for a brief encounter between the sheets. Even if her hormones were going crazy there were others ways to scratch that itch. Kitty drained her water glass and stood up as the DJ played his first track. The pub was full of good-looking young men, Joe was not the only eligible bachelor here, she thought as she dragged Lisa onto the dance floor.

 

 

 

Joe could see Kitty on the dance floor from his vantage point on the deck. She looked particularly beautiful tonight. He knew she was suffering a little from morning sickness but she had a pregnancy glow and by the evening she was obviously feeling, and looking, better. Her hair was thick and glossy and her skin was luminous. She moved well, she was the epitome of someone who danced as if no one was watching and he took advantage of that fact to watch her.

She was normally slight but the pregnancy had added some curves to her bust and her hips he thought as he watched her hips move to the music. She let herself go to the rhythm of the song and Joe let his eyes follow her movements. There was something hypnotic, almost sensual, about her dancing.

He shook his head and turned away. He felt awkward and exposed now, he wasn’t used to thinking about Kitty in that sense. Of course he’d noticed little things about her before, the depth of her brown eyes, the curve of her lips, the twin dimples in her cheeks, but he’d never let himself entertain an image of her as a sexual being before. He’d always kept her firmly in the friend zone.

He turned his gaze to Lisa instead as he tried to get the image of Kitty’s hips out of his head and watched as the girls were joined by a couple of guys – strangers – or at least they were strangers to him. Not that who Kitty danced with was any of his business but Joe felt his hackles rise anyway as his protective, or should that be territorial, instincts came to the fore.

Kitty danced for a few more minutes but when Lisa’s boyfriend arrived she excused herself and headed to the bar, followed by one of the guys. Joe’s protective instincts kicked up another notch.  If this guy wanted a chance with Kitty he’d have to go through him first.

He pushed his way through the crowd and arrived at Kitty’s side just as the guy asked. ‘What can I get you?’

‘She’ll have a water,’ Joe answered.

The guy looked from Kitty to Joe. ‘I wasn’t asking you.’

‘And yet, I’m answering.’ His protective instincts were on high alert now, Kitty didn’t need a stranger buying her drinks, and as the guy half-turned away from Joe to face Kitty, obviously not about to listen to Joe, he couldn’t resist adding, ‘She’s pregnant, she’ll have a water.’

He saw the guy glance down at Kitty’s stomach. There were no visible signs of her pregnancy yet, not unless you knew her. Joe knew that her breasts were bigger and she was a little softer, a little more rounded, more voluptuous, but she was wearing a loose sleeveless top and jeans. All anyone else would notice was the size of her breasts. And Joe didn’t want other guys noticing that.

Her skin glowed. She looked beautiful. And cross.

She was glaring at Joe but he pretended not to notice.

The guy looked back at Joe. He looked irritated too but Joe didn’t care. ‘Are you the father?’ he asked.

‘No.’

‘Then what business is it of yours?’

‘It’s her brother-in-law’s baby,’ Joe stated flatly.

The look on the stranger’s face was priceless. If Kitty wasn’t still glaring at him Joe would have laughed. The guy looked completely horrified and he disappeared fast. Just as Joe had hoped.

‘What are you doing?’ Kitty turned on him.

‘What are you doing?’ he countered.

‘I was talking. He was cute.’ She was watching him walk away. ‘And now he thinks I’m a complete crazy.’

‘He wasn’t cute,’ Joe said. ‘And he looked about eighteen. No wonder he ran.’ He couldn’t help the smile that broke out on his face but Kitty was still cross.

‘Shit, Joe, I haven’t had sex in almost seven months, my hormones are going wild and I’m about to burst with frustration. I wasn’t going to marry the guy. It’s just sex.’

Just sex.

Joe saw red. He’d never understood that expression until now. Blackness encroached onto the edges of his vision as a red haze washed over the centre. His scientific background told him that the visual disturbance was due to a rush of blood through his body, and he would swear he could feel his blood pressure building, but he had a burning desire to punch something.

He didn’t want to think about Kitty having sex and certainly not with strangers. The very idea horrified him.

He was aware of other men looking at her with interest and listening to their conversation. He took a deep breath and tried to clear his vision as he gripped her elbow and steered her out to the relative quiet of the deck before any other strangers offered to help her out.

‘I was only talking to him,’ she argued, not prepared to let the discussion drop. ‘What’s the matter with you?’

‘You were talking to him but thinking about sex,’ he replied. ‘You don’t know anything about him.’ He knew he sounded like an irrational fool, Kitty was an adult and could make her own decisions, but he really didn’t want her thinking about having sex with strangers.

Kitty rolled her eyes. ‘If you hadn’t scared him off I might have found out more about him. That’s how meeting people works, Joe. You meet, you talk, you decide if you like each other.’

‘And then you have sex.’

‘That was my plan.’

‘But you’re pregnant.’

‘So? You think people don’t have sex when they’re pregnant?’

He didn’t want to think about her having sex, pregnant or otherwise, and not with strangers, that was for damn sure.

She was grinning at him now, the little dimples in her cheeks twinkling. He didn’t want her to think he was being funny, he was deadly serious. And he wanted her to take him seriously.

He was sorely tempted to offer his services but bit his tongue just in time. There was no way in hell that was a good idea.

She was waiting for his answer. Looking up at him with her big brown eyes, making it difficult to remember just why taking her in his arms and taking her to bed would be so terrible.

‘I don’t want to talk about you having pregnant sex,’ he said as he tried futilely not to imagine what her lips would taste like. Tried not to imagine how her breasts would feel under his fingers.

‘Why not?’

They were standing very close now and the noise from the bar receded into the distance as Kitty continued to look up at him, a challenge in her dark eyes.

Why not what? He couldn’t remember what he’d said. He couldn’t think straight when she looked at him like that. She was all lips and eyes and breasts and he was a mess.

Their conversation was forgotten as he stared at her lips. He thought about kissing her soundly, showing her what it was like to be kissed by someone who knew her well. Who cared about her. Showing her how much better that was than kissing a complete stranger. Why had he never kissed her before. He couldn’t remember.

Everything receded, the noise, the crowd, until there was just the two of them.

He searched for a good reason not to kiss her now and couldn’t think of one. The urge to kiss her was overpowering and he didn’t know if he could resist.

He bent his head.

She lifted her chin and tilted her head up to him.

***

 

 

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Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Excerpt and Giveaway from Emily Forbes

The Doctor Next Door, emilyforbes-72dpi-1500x2000I’m celebrating the end of winter in Oz with a free book for Kindle readers in the USA and Canada. The Doctor Next Door  ebook will be available to download for free from August 31 to September 4.

One Night that Changed her Life, USAA Sept 2017 I’m also really pleased to share an excerpt from my current Harlequin release,  One Night That Changed Her Life  Click the link for availability. It is also available through Mills&Boon , Harlequin and  Mills&Boon UK

 

CHAPTER ONE

Brighde hid behind a conference banner as she stabbed her finger at the screen of her phone. Her hand was shaking as she tried to end the call and it took her two attempts to press the right spot. She took a deep breath, fighting to remember her yoga breathing as she fought back the tears that threatened to spill from her eyes.

She was happy for Nick, really she was, but her brother’s phone call had confirmed her worst fears.

Good news for him could only mean bad news for her.

She struggled with the clasp of her bag, eventually managing to open it and shoved her phone inside before snapping the clasp shut. She needed a drink. A strong one.

There were plenty of free drinks on offer in the hotel ballroom where one of the major pharmaceutical drug companies was hosting the end of conference party but Brighde didn’t feel like going back into the crowd. She needed space almost as much as she needed a drink.

The ballroom was on the hotel’s mezzanine floor but on the floor below she knew there was a bar adjoining the lobby. She looked at the staircase, the expanse of carpet between her and the stairs looked immense and she wasn’t sure if she’d make it. Her knees wobbled as she took the first step and she focussed on putting one foot in front of the other until she could reach for the banister. She clutched it tightly, steadying herself for the descent. The simple task of negotiating a staircase suddenly seemed to require enormous effort. Was that a sign? She knew difficulty with motor skills was often one of the first obvious symptoms of the disease, impaired voluntary movements like gait and balance were hard to ignore, but surely that would be too much of a coincidence.

Get a hold of yourself, Brighde, she admonished herself, you’re only twenty-eight, you’re not about to fall apart yet.

She hoped she was right but it was hard to discount the feeling of mounting panic. Her chest was tight and she was finding it hard to breathe. She was surprised by her reaction to Nick’s phone call. She’d always suspected that she would be dealt the bad hand and she hadn’t expected to be so shocked.

This was what she’d always dreaded. It wasn’t exactly a surprise but, at the end of the day, it obviously didn’t matter how prepared she thought she was, the truth of it was no one wanted to know they were going to an early grave.

Somehow she managed to get down the stairs and into the bar on her wobbly legs without taking a tumble. She perched on a stool and ordered a vodka martini. She had no idea if she liked martinis, she drank vodka but she felt she needed something more potent. Something that would numb the pain and a martini sounded like it might do the trick. She didn’t want to ask the bartender for suggestions, she just wanted to anaesthetise herself.

She plucked the olive from the toothpick as she drained her glass.

Martinis weren’t too bad she decided as she ordered another.

‘Brighde! What are you doing down here?’

Brighde turned at the sound of her name and found Sarah, her best friend, colleague and room-mate all rolled into one, making a bee line for her across the room.

‘Just collecting my thoughts.’

‘Looks like you’re collecting more than thoughts,’ Sarah said as the bartender put a fresh cocktail on the bar.

Sarah was watching her closely as she pulled out another bar stool and sat down.

‘Who was on the phone?’ she asked. She’d been standing next to Brighde when she’d taken the call.

‘Nick.’

‘Is everything ok?’

‘He got his test results back.’

‘At nine o’clock at night?’

Brighde shook her head. ‘No. But it took him a while to figure out how to tell me.’

‘Was it bad news?’

‘Not for him.’ Sarah and Brighde had been friends for ten years since meeting at university where they both studied nursing. Brighde had no secrets from Sarah.  ‘He had ten repeats.’

‘He tested negative?’

Brighde nodded.

‘That’s great news.’

‘Yes. It is,’ she said, fighting to speak past the lump in her throat. She still felt like crying even though nothing she’d heard in the phone call should make any difference. Nothing had really changed. She had her reasons for not getting tested and those reasons hadn’t altered. She could go on just as before. Nick’s results didn’t affect her future plans but she knew they solidified her fears. His results didn’t confirm her suspicions but they definitely strengthened them.

‘You don’t seem happy,’ Sarah said.

‘We each had a fifty-fifty chance of inheriting a faulty gene. There’s only two of us,’ Brighde explained. ‘What do you think the chances are of both of us dodging a bullet?’

‘You know the answer to that. It’s still fifty-fifty. Just because Nick is clear doesn’t mean you won’t be. The chance of you inheriting the gene or not hasn’t changed. Nick’s results have no bearing on you.’

Brighde knew Sarah’s facts were correct. The reality was her chances of inheriting the mutated gene hadn’t changed but she still felt the odds were not in her favour. She’d always felt that. Which was why she never intended to get tested. Who wanted to know that you were going to an early grave? Who wanted that fear confirmed?

Not her.

‘I know you’re right. In theory. But I’ve always felt that I was going to draw the short straw and knowing Nick is ok just reinforces all those feelings. Huntington’s Disease is dominantly inherited and I can’t believe we’d both dodge the bullet. I don’t think we could both be that lucky.’

‘And I don’t think there’s anything you can do about it tonight,’ Sarah said as she shook her head at the bartender who was clearing Brighde’s glass and asking if she wanted another. ‘Come and dance, have some fun. You know Nick’s results have no bearing on you. The band’s playing some good music, dancing will take your mind off it.’

Brighde let Sarah convince her to vacate the bar in favour of the dance floor. She didn’t really feel like dancing but she felt less like going back to the hotel room and staring at the walls. She was feeling miserable enough already.

*

Xavier nursed his beer as he watched the dance floor. It was taking him a little while to get back into beer drinking. He hadn’t realised he’d acquired such a taste for whisky in his years of living in Scotland but when in Rome…. Or Edinburgh.

What he was getting accustomed to far more quickly was the plethora of attractive young women at the conference. The band had been playing for some time and the dance floor was full. His eyes were drawn to a petite blonde in a sapphire dress. He’d been watching her for a while now, she’d been late onto the dance floor but even among the crowd she’d stood out. He’d tried to look elsewhere but his gaze continued to return to her. He believed you could tell exactly what a woman was like in bed by the way she moved on the dance floor. The blonde had rhythm and energy. Her dress shimmered under the lights and her hair shone, contrasting brightly against all the black outfits in the room.  She was striking to look at. She wasn’t smiling, she looked focussed, but she danced like she enjoyed it and he’d put money on her enjoying sex too. She looked fit and flexible and carefree, all admirable traits in his opinion, and he was hooked.

He waited until she left the dance floor. He wasn’t going anywhere until he’d spoken to her. He could dance but he wasn’t about to dance in front of hundreds of his fellow medicos. He’d rather dance a deux and so he waited.

*

The band were playing a love song that was impossible to dance too without a partner. She needed pop music. Something she could lose herself in. She gestured to Sarah – she was going to grab a drink – and made her way to the bar at the side of the ballroom.

She had intended to get a water, dancing had taken her mind off the earlier phone call, but once she stopped dancing and reached the bar all her doubts returned. She’d have a water later.  She needed another drink to numb the pain.

‘Can I buy you a drink?’

Brighde’s skin tingled as she felt, rather than saw, someone behind her. His voice was deep and quiet and although she couldn’t see him she knew he was addressing her. She closed her eyes, imagining a face to go with the voice, before she turned around, hoping she wasn’t going to be disappointed.

She wasn’t.

She turned to find the most gorgeous man she’d seen in a long time at her side. How had she not noticed him in the room? Okay there were hundreds of people at the conference but seriously, he was magnificent. She must have been more distracted than she’d realised.

He watched her as he waited for her answer. His dark eyes studied her, captivating her in his gaze.

‘The drinks are free, you know,’ she replied.

‘In that case, I’ll get you two.’ He grinned at her, lightening the seriousness of his dark stare and Brighde lost the last remnants of her composure.

He looked like European royalty. No, He wasn’t clean cut enough for royalty. His dark hair was slightly too long, exploding around his oval face into soft curls that just begged her to reach out and touch them. His jaw was covered in designer stubble, his eyes were dark and his forehead was strong. He was dark and swarthy and sexy as hell. Confidence oozed from him. He was impeccably dressed, his dark navy suit hung from his shoulders and fitted his frame, the pants were slim, encasing powerful thighs. He looked like a European polo player. Something out of a Jilly Cooper novel. He looked rich and successful, although of course she had no idea if that was the case, and he wanted to buy her a drink. If there was a downside to his offer she couldn’t think of one.

‘What are you having?’ he asked. He didn’t wait for her to accept his offer. He just assumed she wouldn’t refuse. Was that confidence or was it simply an assumption based on the fact it was an open bar? She didn’t know but she also didn’t care. She wasn’t going anywhere. Not now.

She shouldn’t mix her drinks but the bar wasn’t offering martinis and she knew she needed more than water if she was going to be brave enough to keep up her side of the conversation with this gorgeous man. ‘I’ll have a white wine,’ she said as she perched on a bar stool. She didn’t need to sit down but she needed to take a step back. He was standing close to her, that wasn’t a problem but she wanted to get a good, second look at him and she needed a bit of distance to do that.

He ordered and handed her a glass. His fingers brushed hers and a spark arced between them, setting her already nervous heart racing. It had been several months since she’d shared a drink with a man but she knew it wasn’t the length of time making her react this way.

Was the touch accidental? She wondered as he tapped his beer glass against her wine and made a toast. ‘To new experiences.’

He held her gaze a fraction longer than was polite and her stomach flipped and she knew his touch had been deliberate. Her body was responding to him in a way it never had before. She’d never felt such immediate attraction or, if she was honest, such blatant lust before. He made her think of naked bodies and tangled sheets and raw, amazing sex and and she knew exactly how this night would end. ‘Indeed,’ she replied as a sense of delicious anticipation flooded through her. She smiled and added, ‘I’m Brighde.’

‘Xavier.’

She didn’t need to know any more than that.

‘Have you enjoyed the conference?’ he asked her.

So he was part of the conference and hadn’t just snuck in for the free drinks.

‘It’s been really good,’ she said as she put her glass on the bar and crossed her legs, pleased that she’d had a little bit of free time to lie by the hotel pool and work on her tan. ‘But I could do with a few days off to recover before I go back to work. I’m heading home tomorrow, back to work on Monday.’

‘That’s a pity. I’ll be here for a few more days.’

‘Work or pleasure?’ she asked.

‘Purely pleasure.’ He kept his dark eyes fixed on her as he reached past her shoulder, picking up a napkin from the bar. His arm brushed against her skin and she could feel his words on her cheek, soft little puffs of air. She knew he didn’t need the napkin, she knew it had just been an excuse to lean in but she wasn’t complaining. She could feel the electricity surging between them. They could power the room with the heat that was being generated between them. She wasn’t aware of the music, the dancing, of anything that was going on around them. She was lost in the sensation he was evoking in her. She could feel his charisma wrapping itself around her as his pheromones enveloped her. Her nipples hardened and she squirmed in her seat. She pressed her thighs together as heat pooled low in her belly.

‘I’ve been working in Scotland,’ he told her, ‘but the conference seemed like a good way to keep the tax man happy and visit my family.’

‘Family?’

‘My parents live here.’

‘You’re travelling alone? No partner? No wife?’ She played with the ends of her hair, feigning casualness. She had to know the answer. She had rules and standards. She knew she would have sex with this gorgeous stranger, having sex would be a far healthier, and much more entertaining, distraction than drowning her worries with alcohol, but first she needed to establish some ground rules. She didn’t want to make any mistakes.

‘No wife. No girlfriend. No significant other.’

Now it was her turn to smile. ‘Good to know.’ She kept her gaze fixed on him now, wanting him to know where she stood. What she wanted. She didn’t need to know anything else about him. She knew she wouldn’t see him again. He was only visiting; she was leaving tomorrow. She hadn’t had sex for ages and a one-night stand with this gorgeous man was a good option all round. No commitment, just a bit of fun and a good way to keep her mind busy. She didn’t want time to think about her brother’s phone call. She wanted something to take her mind off her situation. This was perfect.

She wanted Xavier.

And she wanted him to know that.

But Xavier was looking to his right.

Sarah had joined them.

Brighde watched her friend looking from her to Xavier and she knew she was taking in the distance, or lack of, between them. She watched as Sarah, quite blatantly, checked him out.

‘I’m off,’ Sarah said when she’d finished her inspection. ‘Are you coming?’

Brighde thought about it for a second, okay to be honest, a millisecond, she didn’t need any longer than that when Xavier was looking at her with his come to bed eyes. ‘No, I think I’m going to stay here for a bit.’

She knew Sarah’s question had been rhetorical. She knew her plans for the rest of the evening were written all over her face but she didn’t care. She wasn’t even looking at Sarah as she answered, she couldn’t make herself tear her eyes away from Xavier. He oozed sex appeal and she knew it was only a matter of time before she would be in his bed. She could feel it. She knew he wanted it too. She could feel the desire coming off him in waves and he was just what she needed to take her mind off the phone call she’d had earlier. Taking gorgeous men to bed ticked all the right boxes and it was a habit she had no intention of breaking. Okay, so she didn’t do it all that often, she could barely remember the last time she’d even had sex, but a one-night stand was the perfect way to scratch an itch.

She needed sex but she didn’t need a relationship. One night was enough. There was no need to go into details, no need to reveal anything personal about herself. She didn’t consider sex to be personal, sex with a stranger couldn’t hurt her, not as much as revealing her fears. She could happily share her body but not her mind. Her body was going to let her down one day, she owed it nothing.

Sarah nodded and smiled. She lent forwards and kissed Brighde’s cheek. ‘Have fun,’ she whispered into Brighde’s ear.

Brighde watched her go and when she turned back to Xavier she found he’d moved closer to her. His thigh pressed against her knee. She shifted forward on the bar stool, sliding her knee against the inside of his thigh. Their intentions were perfectly clear.

She looked up at him to find his dark eyes watching her. Her reaction was immediate and primal and she could feel her nipples jutting against the cool silk of her dress. She saw his gaze drop lower, saw him take in the peak of her nipples against the fabric of her dress. When he looked back at her his gaze was so intense and full of heat she thought she might melt into a pool of desire at his feet.

‘Can I offer you a night cap upstairs?’ he asked as he lifted her empty glass from her hand. He reached across her to put her half-finished drink on the bar and the back of his hand brushed across her chest, grazing her nipple. Brighde felt like she might climax on the spot.

She swallowed and nodded as she licked her lips. Despite everything she’d had to drink her throat was suddenly dry and she was having difficulty breathing, let alone speaking. She was experienced in the art of seduction but not in relationships. She didn’t communicate with words. She sought the comfort of sex when she needed it, emotionally or physically. Tonight she needed it to distract herself. It had worked in the past and, looking at Xavier, she was sure it would work again today.

He took her hand and helped her off the stool. Once again her legs had turned to jelly but she barely noticed this time. She was too aware of the tingling in her belly and the intense weight of expectation and excitement in her groin.

Xavier held the door for her as she stepped into the lift.

He reached out one hand and his fingers rested on her waist. She could feel his heat through the thin silk fabric of her dress. He pulled her closer until she was pressed against him. She could feel his desire now, a thick, hard bulge pressing into her. She tipped her head back and looked up at him as the lift stopped and the doors slid open.

***

 

One Night That Changed Her Life  is also available through Mills&Boon , Harlequin and  Mills&Boon UK

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Website: http://www.emily-forbesauthor.com/

 

The Writing Life

Make Mine Plucky! The book winner is Alisha!

Congratulations to Alisha Woods.  You won a copy of my book – The Medic’s Homecoming.

The Pert and Plucky Heroines of Romance by Lynne Marshall

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Who they are

  • If you’ve read one or a hundred romances, you’ve probably already been introduced to a particular character type presented by Tami Cowden and      cohorts named The Spunky Kid in their Sixteen Master Archetypes book Heroes & Heroines. This spirited underdog not only has to sort out her messy life, but win the guy along the way.
  • These characters are the unsinkable Molly Browns of the world where “I ain’t down yet” is their mantra, and they are my favorite kind of character.

Who does them best?

  • My absolute favorite author of these types of characters is Susan Elizabeth      Phillips. She manages to strip her plucky heroines down to the bare bones in the beginning of her stories, force them to lose everything, and leave them dangling over a cliff without a foothold. Yet she still manages to bring them back to life…one step at a time, until they conquer all, including the hero, before the end of the book.
  • Isabel Favor watches her self-help empire come crashing down around her in the opening pages of Breathing Room.
  • Blue Bailey begins her journey wearing a beaver suit in Natural Born Charmer.
  • Meg Koranda is down to her last few bucks and, as Maid of Honor, manages to ruin a perfectly planned wedding before the end of chapter one in Call Me Irresistible.

Hmm, this makes me think of a certain young woman dressed for her wedding, standing in a strange American town in Wisconsin holding her decomposing wedding cake.  Fiona Lowe wrote a splendid plucky heroine in BOOMERANG BRIDE.  🙂  Which just happens to now be available in mass market paperback at Harlequin website.

Why do we love these spunky heroines?

  • Because we can relate to them.
  • From where they’re standing, there is only one way to go – UP! These plucky,      pert, minxes pick themselves up, dust themselves off, head into battle, and conquer both their lives and the most unlikely heroes. As readers, we believe every step of their paths. We cheer as they rebuild their lives and themselves into the women they were meant to be.
  • When these pert and saucy underdogs conquer obstacle after obstacle, we believe we can do the same in our own lives. If they can come back from “there” (whatever major fix or disappointment they must overcome) so can we!

I like to think Polly Seymour, the character I wrote for this year’s NYC Angels continuity, in Making the Surgeon Smile, is also a good example of the spunky kid.

Who is a favorite spunky heroine in a book you’ve recently read?  What did you like about her?

 If anyone is interested, I’d like to give away a copy of The Medic’s Homecoming, to one commenter.  This book is my July 2013 Special Edition, and I like to think Jocelyn Howard is one such plucky chick.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Hot Docs!, The Writing Life

Foreign Covers are the Tops! by Lynne Marshall

I have to admit that I get more excited about receiving copies of my foreign book covers than I do about my actual books sometimes.  Odd, right?  I can’t explain it, but there is something about seeing my stories translated into other languages—going out to stores in other countries—that sends me over the moon.

I guess that makes me feel like I’ve got fingers around the globe without leaving my office computer chair.  I don’t have a clue if the foreign editors have done my books justice with their translations or not, but the thing that strikes me the most is the fact they found something about my story they felt was worth sharing.  Wow.  This is the blessing above all blessings in the writer’s world.  Not to sound like the actress Sally Fields at the Academy Awards when she won best actress for Norma Jean, but – they must like my story, really like my story to go to the trouble of translating it into French, Finnish, Italian, Polish, etc.  It’s funny, but sometimes the only way I can identify my foreign editions is when I see the character’s names in the back cover blurb.Scan0004

Recently I receive two beautiful book covers of foreign releases.  This first one is for the Finnish Laakariromaani line. It is a story near and dear to my heart, but the topic is such a delicate one—a young woman gives up a child for adoption in her teens, only to confront the real father thirteen years later—that I feared it wouldn’t go over well with a lot of readers.  The original title was, Temporary Doctor, Surprise Father, and it came out in 2009.  (I’m also lucky enough to share this “Tupla” book with Joanna Neil.  >waves to Joanna<

This book never made it to the North American audience, and I keep hoping it will find a way across the pond in e-book form at least.

The Finnish editor re-titled this book:  Erikoismies.  The Google translator calls it:   Special Male, which I think is cute and that is exactly the kind of guy Beck Braxton is.

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The second gorgeous book cover is the French version of my debut Harlequin Special Edition – original title – Courting His Favorite Nurse – the new title for the Passions line is: Soupirs interdits.  Translations: (which really stumps me) Sighs Prohibited.

 

Most recently, I discovered this Australian (or is it the New Zealand version?  Do they have separate covers too?) book cover for my soon-to-be-released book #7 in the NYC Angels continuity – Making the Surgeon Smile.  What do you think about my silver fox?  (Amy Andrews, any thoughts?)

9781743551783

 

 

If you or anyone you know can speak Finnish, French, Italian or Danish, I have a book for you!  Leave a comment – that’s all you have to do.  I’ll choose a name and you send a book in whichever language you or your friend speaks.

 

For the rest of you – Do too many book covers confuse or delight you?

I’m thrilled to say that Making the Surgeon Smile has gone live on the Mills&Boon website, and is also available for preorder at Amazon.com.

All the best, Lynne www.lynnemarshall.com 71Df2-EMNfL__SL1500_978-0-263-89896-5

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Hot Docs!, Pets, Quirky Stories

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie + Giveaway

Cartoon mouse baker.By Lynne Marshall

The other day I took my puppy to the pet store where he’d gone through obedience training to buy more food.  We ran into his trainer, and it was like a puppy love reunion.  Milo!  Dustin said, bending down for some puppy lovin’.  Milo’s tail wagged like it might fly off his bottom.  Before we left, Dustin gave Milo a cookie—a dog cookie that looked like a real cookie to me, like an Oreo with cream filling but pink outer cookie wafers instead of chocolate.  Dustin promised it was indeed for dogs, that it had peanut butter filling and practically zero sugar.

I wondered why a dog needed a cookie when they had biscuits, but maybe I’m old school.  It’s part of my aversion to anthropomorphism of our pets.  Though our beloved pets have distinct personalities, they are not human.  But I digress…bigstock-Let-S-See-What-Aisle-Is-It-On--920167

The way Milo went after that cookie, I had to smile and enjoy it along with him.  No, I didn’t try it, but Dustin swore he’d eaten one to see how it tasted.

A side note:  We have discovered that Milo loves small bits of apple, carrot, and cantaloupe.  I’d rather reward him with stuff like that, but I’m not one to be rude and refuse a gift obviously given with affection for my dog.

I let Milo have about half of the cookie and put the other half in a plastic bag on the counter for another treat time.

Flash forward to eight o’clock that night.  I took Milo out back for a potty break and left the sliding door on our patio open.  Later, while my husband and I were watching TV, we heard some scurrying.  Bill followed the sound into the kitchen and discovered mouse droppings on our counter and a mouse hiding behind our microwave.

EEEEK a mouse!  I cannot participate in such events and covered my eyes. Lalalalala.

The mouse—let’s call him Merlin—had his disappearing act down to perfection, and as we cleaned our counters with disinfectant I noticed that Merlin had eaten through the plastic bag with Milo’s future treat, and had gotten the top wafer of the cookie halfway across our counter before dropping it on the windowsill once the chase was on.

Hmm, for a dog cookie that wasn’t supposed to be sugary, it sure got the attention of a backyard mouse in record time.

At the time of writing this blog post, the ongoing saga of man versus mouse continues.  Droppings, droppings everywhere, but ne’er a mouse to find.

*update at publishing date:  Husband – 1:Merlin – RIP.

The moral of this story is – Never leave the back sliding door open when peeing your dog at night, especially when you’ve left dog cookies on the counter.

How about you, do you give your dog treats that look like human cookies?  Do you have any fun mice stories to share?41ZG+0yBhmL__SS500_

I’d like to give a copy of Dr. Tall, Dark…and Dangerous? My last Medical Romance, and which recently received the Cataromance Reviewer’s Choice Award, to one commenter.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Winners of our Prize Packs!

Thank you so much, Everyone !  You made our Blog Warming Party such huge fun!  We had a fabulous time and hope to see a lot more of you in our regular Monday and Thursday blog-clinics!

And now it’s time to announce the winners of our prize packs!

This was done incredibly scientifically with pieces of scrunched up paper in a bucket!  So without further ado… :::except for a small drum roll please:::  our winners are:

  • Michele Stegman
  • Tammy  Stoneman Yenalavitch
  • Booksaver – Linda
  • Lissakerry

Congratulations!  Can you please contact me on sharon (at) sharon-archer (dot) com to organise an address for the postage of your books and we’ll get them speeding on their way to you!

 

Coloured parcels – http://www.wpclipart.com

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Blog Warming Party!!

Welcome to our new cyber clinic! Today is the official launch of our new blog so we’re having a blog-warming party and you’re all invited!

New posts will be up in Love Is the Best Medicine clinic on Mondays and Thursdays and we’ll be cruising by to consult with you!

So, what can you expect when you pop in for an appointment?
We’ll be talking about love and hunky heroes and their wonderful heroines! Doctors… specialists… nurses… paramedics… surgeons… midwives… naturopaths… but most of all – romance!

Join us for news and interviews, slice-of-life articles and celebrations!

We want you to

  • come with us on our travels,
  • visit our kitchens to test our favourite recipes and maybe share yours too,
  • learn new skills with us,
  • share tips and suggestions and stories
  • laugh with us and
  • maybe, occasionally, cry with us.

We want you to enjoy your visits here and feel at home with us!

So today we’d like to introduce ourselves! We’ve collected photos and made slide shows of some of our Specialists On-Call

Meet Amy and Fiona Lowe and Kate and Lynnehow to make gifs

And Fiona McArthur and Louisa and Sharonmake animated gif

And Tina and Annie and Scarletcreate an animated gif

And Susan and Anne and Conniecreate an animated gif

And we’ve saved even more fun until last… to celebrate our launch today, we have prizes! Lots and lots of books donated by our Specialists On-Call and our Locums!

We have 4 prize packs so we’ll have more winners!

We’d love you to choose to “Follow” us but all you have to do to be in the draw to win is leave a comment before Sunday evening (4 March 2012)! Just say hello or tell us what sorts of things you’d like to read when you visit!

with love

The Medical Romance Authors

The Prize Packs!

Graphics:
Champagne bucket – http://www.webweaver.nu
Coloured parcels – http://www.wpclipart.com