Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Excerpt – Rescuing the Paramedic’s Heart, Emily Forbes

Welcome to Bondi!

As the world slowly comes out of the dreadful fog that was 2020 there is the hope that, with vaccinations, we will be able to go about our lives more normally very soon. In Australia we have been relatively lucky and domestic travel is opening up even while our international borders stay closed. As the northern hemisphere sees summer approaching a literary trip to Bondi Beach in Sydney might be something to enjoy.

My latest book is the first in my four-book Bondi Medics series about the Carlson siblings – Lily, Jet, Poppy and Daisy.  This is Poppy’s story.

Excerpt –

CHAPTER ONE

‘Easy? Keep an eye on Backpacker’s Express, I reckon we might have trouble.’

Jet Carlson’s voice came through the radio, catching Ryder’s attention as he stood beside the lifeguard buggy. Jet was up in the circular lifeguard tower that overlooked Bondi Beach, keeping watch over the one-kilometre curve of white sand, issuing updates to the lifeguards on patrol. Ryder reached into the buggy and picked up his binoculars and scanned the beach, looking towards the troublesome rip to the south. He picked out a dark-haired man swimming alone where the first waves were breaking as the Pacific Ocean rolled into the shore.

He picked up the walkie talkie, certain he was looking at the same man Jet had spotted. ‘Copy that, Central, I see him,’ he responded.

He stood by the buggy as he kept his eyes on the swimmer. The water to the man’s left was deceptively calm between two sets of rolling waves. Ryder knew the tide was turning and the calm water indicated a passage of water flowing out to sea. If the man got any closer, he’d be pulled out to sea with the tide.

It was the danger period, after lunch on a hot Sunday. It wasn’t peak season yet; it was only the middle of spring and school hadn’t finished for the year but the beach was still busy. Holiday makers, shift workers and backpackers all flocked to Bondi at any time of the year. The tide was going out and the notorious rip was going to cause grief. Most likely to an unsuspecting tourist. No matter how hard the lifeguards tried it was impossible to get all the beachgoers to swim between the flags. Ryder knew it was sometimes because they didn’t understand English or the dangers or where to swim, at other times they just chose to ignore the lifeguards and the risks, thinking their swimming ability was better than it was or that the warnings were some kind of joke or scaremongering tactics and the treacherous conditions wouldn’t affect them. It didn’t help matters that the main access point to the beach was closest to the dangerous southern end. But no matter what the reason was for swimmers ending up in the wrong place, the lifeguards’ job was to look after them all. The drunk, the ignorant, the stubborn, the unlucky.

Life was precious and Ryder felt a strong sense of responsibility and, at the end of the day, a strong sense of satisfaction in a job well done whether that had been saving a life or just preventing a disaster. Not every day brought an emergency although there was always some excitement but a quiet day on the beach was preferable to one filled with drama. Either way he enjoyed the work. It was interesting and varied and he met people from all over the world and from all walks of life and he reckoned that would hold him in good stead for his future career as a psychologist. If he could cope with the Bondi beachgoers, he could cope with anything.

He hadn’t worked at Bondi for long. It had only been a couple of months since he’d been offered a position and had become one of several lifeguards employed by the local council to patrol the popular beach three hundred and sixty-five days of the year. It was a highly coveted job and usually went to qualified Sydneysiders who had grown up surfing the waves at the local beaches and had years of experience of the conditions. He’d had years of experience as a surfer and as a lifeguard at Cottesloe Beach in Western Australia but that was on the opposite side of the country, on the shores of the Indian Ocean. But the Pacific Ocean was familiar to him – he’d spent his childhood surfing the breaks at Byron Bay on the coast north of Bondi. The ocean on Australia’s east coast had been home to him until one fateful day, just before his eighteenth birthday, when he’d been uprooted from everything that was special to him and moved thousands of kilometres away to the other side of the continent.  

Eventually he’d settled in his new home and when he’d arrived in Bondi, part way through his transcontinental road trip, he hadn’t planned on staying but he’d been offered a temporary position and it had been too good to refuse.

He was happy with temporary, he knew he couldn’t stay forever, he was needed back west, but for the moment this was good. Casual work would allow him to extend his break and make sure he was refreshed and energised when he went home.

It was a perfect situation, he thought as he had a quick glance along the beach, trying to figure out if there was anyone else keeping an eye on the man he had under watch. Was anyone else aware of his position? In situations like this it could be helpful to speak to someone who knew the swimmer. It could help determine how competent they were in the water. But he didn’t really need confirmation, he’d bet his next pay check on the fact that this guy wasn’t a strong swimmer. He could see him pushing off the bottom, not wanting to get out of his depth, but the outgoing tide was already taking him further from the beach and the minute he got washed off the sandbar he’d be in deep water.

As Ryder watched a wave broke over the man’s head, submerging him. That second or two when he went under was long enough to make him lose his footing. As he surfaced, he was swept into the channel and away from the beach.

He was in trouble.

‘Easy?’ Jet’s voice came through the radio, using Ryder’s nick name.

‘I’m on it.’ Ryder leapt out of the buggy, whipped off his distinctive blue lifeguard shirt, grabbed the rescue board from the rack on the side of the all-terrain vehicle and sprinted into the surf. He threw his board in front of him and dived onto it. He paddled strongly out past the small waves that were crashing onto the shore, past the swimmers who were oblivious to the drama unfolding a few metres off the beach, past the break.

He scanned the sea as pulled his board through the water and caught a brief glimpse of the man’s head as it appeared behind a wave before he lost sight of him again. He dug deep, paddling harder, knowing time was of the essence. His shoulder muscles bunched and already he could feel the burn but he was used to that. He was breathing deeply, his lungs straining and he could feel his heart racing but he wouldn’t stop. He was getting close now.

He crested a small wave just in time to see the man go under again.

Two more strokes.

He reached over the side of the board, plunging his arm into the water up to his elbow. He scooped his arm through the water but came up empty. He could see the man’s dark hair. He leaned over further, plunging his whole arm into the ocean, the sea reaching to his armpit, and this time his fingers grabbed hold of the man’s head. He pulled him to the surface by a fistful of hair. He knew it would hurt but having your hair pulled was a small price to pay in exchange for your life.

He dragged the man from the water, holding him by one arm. He wasn’t breathing. Ryder needed to get him securely onto the rescue board and back to shore. The man was of slight build and probably weighed no more than seventy kilograms. Ryder was six foot three inches tall, fit and strong, a muscular ninety kilograms with no excess weight but even so, he strained with the effort of pulling a dead weight out of the water. He grabbed his patient under his armpits and hauled him up, draping him across the board. He pulled his legs out of the ocean and waited to see if he would start breathing on his own.

The man coughed twice, expelling sea water, and began breathing. Now Ryder just had to get him back to the beach.

He got the man balanced, getting him to lie on his stomach in front of him. It was a long paddle back to shore and he didn’t want the board tipping. He didn’t want to lose his patient and have to go through the process of getting him out of the water a second time.

*

Poppy changed into her swimming costume, shorts and a t-shirt as Lily left for work. She’d go to the beach for a quick swim she decided, say hi to her brother and then come back and make a start on dinner.

 She checked her phone for what felt like the hundredth time as she slid her feet into her flip flops. Still nothing. She tossed it back on the bed. She wouldn’t take it to the beach, she wasn’t planning to be gone for long, if Craig called while she was out she’d call him back later.

She left her car parked on the road in front of the house and walked down Edward Street towards the beach. After consecutive six-hour days in the car driving from Brisbane to Sydney she needed to stretch her legs and the fifteen-minute walk to Campbell Parade would help to clear the cobwebs.

She turned onto the pedestrian path and walked along the Promenade past the skate park and the mural wall towards the Lifeguard Tower.

She stopped before she reached the tower and lent on the railing and looked out over the beach. The sun was behind her and the sea shone in the afternoon light. The sand was crisp and white and, despite the fact that it was not yet the summer holidays the beach was busy. She took a deep breath, filling her lungs with the sea air and stood for a moment enjoying the feeling of warm sun on her skin as she watched the water.

The waves were small but she could spot the rips, the deceptive smooth waters between breaking waves. She had years of experience as a surfer, growing up in Byron Bay she and her siblings had learned to surf almost before they could walk, but she could see why the tourists and the locals who weren’t familiar with the ocean could be fooled into thinking the rips were safe spots to swim.

She turned to the south to see if she could pick out Lily’s house perched on the cliff before she spun on her heels and headed for the circular lifeguard tower. She knocked on the blue door and waited, if Jet wasn’t in there someone would be able to tell her where he was.

‘Poppy! You’re here.’ Jet grinned as he swung the door open. His welcoming smile was wide, his perfect teeth white and even in his tanned face. His blonde hair was pulled back into a messy man bun but that was all Poppy had time to absorb before he stepped out of the tower and wrapped her up in a tight hug. He stood well over six feet tall, and even with his slim but muscular athlete’s build he managed to make her feel small. She was five feet seven inches, not short for a girl, but Jet made her feel petite.

He released her and dragged her into the tower where he introduced her to the other lifeguards.

‘Guys, this is my little sister, Poppy. Poppy met the guys – Gibbo, Bluey and Dutchy.’

Poppy smiled at Jet’s use of the guys’ nicknames.

‘Are you going to hang around here for a while?’ he asked as Poppy finished saying hello.

 ‘No, I just wanted to say hi. I’m going to have a swim and then head home. I hear you’re coming for dinner.’

Jet nodded and looked as if he was about to say something else when the radio on the desk crackled into life.

‘Central, this is Easy, we’ve got a problem down here, south of the flags.’

He held up one hand in Poppy’s direction, asking her to wait as he grabbed the radio. ‘Go ahead, Ryder.’

‘The tourist I pulled from Backpacker’s, he’s not looking great. I’m bringing him back to the tower for an assessment.’

Poppy’s ears pricked up as she listened to the exchange. Ryder was an unusual name. She’d only ever known one and he had been Jet’s best friend when they were at high school. He’d also been her first crush. But the Ryder she knew had moved away when he was seventeen, breaking her young, impressionable heart in the process – although she’d kept that to herself – and she hadn’t seen him since.

It couldn’t be him though, could it? Surely Jet would have said something.

‘Ryder?’ she said as Jet put the radio down.

‘Yeah, Ryder Evans, you remember him?’

Of course, she remembered him.

She could feel herself colouring as she thought about the last time she’d seen him. She hoped Jet didn’t notice the blush she could feel creeping up her neck.

She nodded. ‘You never told me he was in Sydney.’

‘Didn’t I?’ Jet shrugged. ‘Probably figured you wouldn’t care, you haven’t seen him for the best part of twelve years,’ he said over his shoulder as he went to open the door to the tower.

He had a point. He wouldn’t think it was important. It wasn’t important really, although that didn’t stop a frisson of nervousness from shooting through her at the thought of seeing him again. She hadn’t thought about him for years, had finally let the idea of him go, yet at the mere mention of his name all the old feelings rose to the surface along with all the memories of how much he’d meant to her teenage self. She could instantly recall all her teenage fantasies and the memories made her blush.

The lifeguard buggy pulled to a stop at the bottom of the metal stairs that led from the sand to the tower and Poppy’s jaw dropped as a lifeguard jumped out. Tall and muscular, tanned and fit.

Was that Ryder?

She managed to close her mouth as she watched him help his patient out of the buggy and up the stairs.

She hung back, out of the way, as Ryder got the man into the tower and onto the treatment plinth. Jet went to assist, instructing Bluey to keep an eye on the beach. Poppy stayed near the desk by the windows, the lifeguards had a job to do and she didn’t want to be a nuisance but staying out of the way also gave her a chance to check Ryder out unobserved. She knew he hadn’t noticed her; he was too focussed on his patient.

The last time she’d seen him there had been a hint of the man he would become, of the man waiting to emerge, but he’d still been a gangly teenager.  He’d been tall but he’d yet to have a fast growth spurt or develop the muscle definition that would come with young adulthood. But all traces of adolescence had disappeared now. Now there was no hiding the man.  And no ignoring the feeling of warmth that was spreading through her belly and into her groin. Poppy leant on the desk, taking the weight off her suddenly shaky legs.

Fortunately Ryder had his back to her and wouldn’t be aware of her reaction but she was very aware of him.

He’d grown even taller and he’d definitely filled out. He’d developed muscles where he hadn’t had them before. He wore only a pair of black boardshorts with “Lifeguard” emblazoned across his hips and she had plenty of opportunity to admire the view of sculpted muscles and smooth tanned skin. His shoulders were broad, his biceps bulging, his waist narrow. He looked fit. He looked healthy.  He looked magnificent.

She ran her gaze up the length of his spine and up his neck. She could see where the knobs of his vertebrae disappeared into his hair. He’d always had amazing hair, dark blond and thick, and at almost twenty-nine years of age it seemed he’d lost none of it.

Her gaze traced the line of his jaw. It was strong and square.  He looked good, even better than she remembered, and she felt another rush of blood to her cheeks as her heart skittered in her chest.

Her hands gripped the edge of the desk as she observed him, keeping her fixed in place and she wondered at the involuntary response. Was she stopping herself from crossing the room? While her rational mind might tell her that Ryder’s unexpected appearance was of no consequence it seemed her body had other ideas. Her palms were clammy and her mouth was dry and she suddenly felt like the sixteen-year-old schoolgirl she’d been when she’d last seen him.

When she had kissed him.

And he had kissed her back.

She knew from talking to her girlfriends that first kisses often weren’t anywhere near as fabulous as they’d dreamed about but the kiss she and Ryder had shared had been everything she’d hoped for and more. It had been the biggest moment of her young life. It had changed her life. 

She’d fallen in love.

First love.

She had only been a teenager but that didn’t make it any less real, any less all encompassing, any less all consuming.

And it hadn’t made it any less painful when he’d walked out of her life.

***

Australia

In Australia this book has been released as a print duo with Meredith Webber’s 103rd (and final) book – amazing!!


UK

USA –

https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781488074899_rescuing-the-paramedics-heart.html

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Wedding anniversaries

1ST YEAR: Paper
2ND YEAR: Cotton
3RD YEAR: Leather
4TH YEAR: Fruit & Flowers, or Linen & Silk
5TH YEAR: Wood
6TH YEAR: Iron / Candy
7TH YEAR: Wool/ Copper
9TH YEAR: Pottery
10TH YEAR: Tin/ Aluminum
11TH YEAR: Steel
12TH YEAR: Silk
13TH YEAR: Lace
14TH YEAR: Ivory
15TH YEAR: Crystal
20TH YEAR: China
25TH YEAR: Silver
30TH YEAR: Pearl
35TH YEAR: Coral
40TH YEAR: Ruby
45TH YEAR: Sapphire
50TH YEAR: Gold
55TH YEAR: Emerald
60TH YEAR: Diamond

Two golden wedding rings with heart bokeh on background

Celebrations are all around at the moment! I was at a 10th wedding anniversary party last night and I know a couple celebrating 23 years on the 5th, another couple clocking up 28 years on the 13th. November seems to be a month of anniversaries for me and my friends, which is a little surprising given that when I got married (19th November) in England it was winter and cold and not necessarily a month you’d choose to celebrate your special day. But, intrepid people that we are (LOL), we decided to brave the cold and dark afternoons and 25 years ago we signed on the dotted line. Then we went to Scotland for our honeymoon. SNOW! We married on a budget so I don’t have any glossy photos, just a few snapshots from friends, but I look at them now and can’t believe how young we look!

fullsizeoutput_381aIt honestly doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, it seems like only yesterday when we were standing in that register office promising a lifetime of love

Because we had such an amazing trip to Europe earlier this year, and currently have no family with us, we won’t be having a huge celebration, so we’ve booked a couple of nights on Waiheke island (a short ferry ride from where we live), and a long lunch at our favourite vineyard. Quite fitting as, judging by this picture, I have loved not only him, but wine for many years!

 

 

fullsizeoutput_381bAnyway… call me materialistic but I’m pretty happy we’ve finally got down to the interesting gifts part of marriage. Silver sounds a lot more me than leather or steel. Iron, I have to confess, sounds too domestic and I’m really not happy about ivory. And fruit????? To celebrate 4 years? Who thought up these things?

Silver on the other hand… I really hope that after 25 years he knows me well enough that silver with a diamond always works! I’ll let you know!

Any celebrations or milestones coming up for you? Do share so we can all celebrate with you.

Talking of milestones, I never told you about Book 4 in my (not medical romance) Something Borrowed series which came out in September. It’s a standalone story, which means you don’t need to have read the other books in the series to understand the storyline. It has a divine cover, don’t you think?

something-secret

Here’s the blurb:

After being scammed by her own boyfriend Katriona Croft is big on honesty and loyalty. No way will she ever fall again for some two-bit scammer with a pretty face. But when Gabe Cassidy arrives in Portobello with a story about secrets and lies, and touting the sexiest smile she’s ever seen, all her resolve is blown apart and her loyalty to her best friend is sorely tested.

All his life Gabe’s mantra has been that being alone is better than being broken. But when he overhears a conversation in a pub his life is tipped upside down and instead of being alone he finds himself very much in the middle of a big family feud. Kat Croft seems to be the key to fixing it all, but any alone time with her makes things even more complicated… But can Gabe convince the woman who has lost all trust to take a chance on sharing a whole lot more than secrets?

Available from all good e-book stores!

Louisa George is an award winning author of books with humour and heart.
RITA finalist. Allergic to housework. Zumba addict. Visit her website for a complete list of her novels, which includes women’s fiction, contemporary romance and medical romances.
Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Excerpt – Falling for his Best Friend

 med4

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.

***

 

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Reading, The Writing Life

Hero, hero, who loves a hero?

I am getting ready to write a new book, which is always an exciting prospect! One of a quad. And I am stoked. Because I’d already written a quad with the same fabulously talented authors, under the Hot Latin Docs! umbrella. We had a blast planning those books. And we’re already having fun figuring out how we’re going to link these new books, and most importantly…our heroes–hunky firefighters and paramedics who work out of the same station house. They also shared the same foster home growing up.

Did I mention how excited I am?

So, in planning my particular hero, Deakin Patera, I am having to figure out what makes this guy tick. Who is Deakin Patera? I’m discovering him little by little. And that makes me curious about what kind of heroes readers connect with.

I write a lot of playboys, but one of my favorite types of heroes is the angsty, broody, wounded, damaged, scarred–you get the picture–hero. Sometimes I dive so deep into the angst, though, that my hero has a hard time holding his breath long enough to reach the surface and retrieve his happily-ever-after. So this time, I will plan carefully (famous last words!).

Do you like angsty heroes? Or are you more of a fan of a hero with witty comebacks? Swashbucklers? Playboys? Bad boys? What kind of hero makes you go weak in the knees? I really want to know!

In the meantime, here are the covers from our Hot Latin Docs! quad, written by Annie O’Neill, Amy Ruttan, me, and Amalie Berlin. It was hard to leave those heroes behind, but I know I’m going to love this new cast of characters just as much!

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Hot Docs!

Almost an Amnesia Story?

I am fortunate to be included in another Mills & Boon miniseries

Los Angeles at night
Skyscrapers in Los Angeles California at night

Welcome to The Hollywood Hills Clinic!

Where doctors to the stars work miracles by day—and explore their hearts’ desires by night…

Seduced by the Heart Surgeon by Carol Marinelli

Falling for the Single Dad by Emily Forbes

Tempted by Hollywood’s Top Doc by Louisa George

Perfect Rivals by Amy Ruttan

The Prince and the Midwife by Robin Gianna

My book is #6 – His Pregnant Sleeping Beauty

WATCH FOR TWO MORE TITLES NEXT MONTH FROM Amalie Berlin and Tina Beckett!

As doctors to the stars, these world-class medics are hand-picked by renowned plastic surgeon, Dr James Rothsberg, Head of the ‘Hills’. His clients expect the very best, and James delivers that and more – his team are global specialists in their field, unrivalled in their expertise and patient care.

Yet behind closed doors, when the pressure is on, sizzling passions run high – and for these dazzling docs, their biggest challenges are yet to come!

Passion, glamour, desire and drama …Hollywood_Sign_(Zuschnitt)

So where does the amnesia come in? Thankfully it doesn’t. But when I read the bible for the entire project and the story assigned to me, my first thought was – she’ll wake up with amnesia, oh no! I’ve never written an amnesia story, and to be honest, it is the trope (hook) I like least for books. All I can say is, I thanked my lucky stars when my character woke up asking “Is my baby okay?” Whew!

Here is a sampling of the International covers.  #1 is UK, #2 is Australia, #3 is US, and #4 is UK e-book version.

512HRpHFjwL__SX311_BO1,204,203,200_                                MBM4

I hope you’ll give all eight of the books a read. We had a great time working as a group to iron out little things, and to make sure we got our parts of the overall continuity arc right leading up to James and Mila’s story in book eight.

9780373011148                         9781474037402_Outside_Front_Cover

If you read any of the books, why not write a short review and make an author very happy.

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO HOLLYWOOD? SHARE A LITTLE OF YOUR TRIP IN COMMENTS. OR IF YOU’VE NEVER BEEN BUT WOULD LIKE TO, TELL US WHY. OR IF YOU’VE READ ANY OF THE BOOKS, TELL US WHICH ONES! OR, HAVE YOU EVER HAD AMNESIA? (lol – in other words comment…on anything. Thanks)

Until next time, make it a great one!

Lynne Marshall

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, The Writing Life

THE WEIRDEST THING I HAD TO DO

By Lynne Marshall

LONDON - APRIL 15: London Eye with Big Ben, on April 15, 2012 inI’ve had the good fortune to work on two Mills & Boon continuities now, the latest being 200 Harley Street. The first series was NYC Angels, and both experiences were great. I’d definitely sign on for another Medical continuity down the line. But not right away.

When authors work on continuities, they are given a bible from the editors where the characters have already been developed along with the story synopsis. The job of the authors is to make those characters and the stories come alive.

This, as you can guess, is a challenge—taking characters that you didn’t “birth” in your brain and making them yours. It’s sort of like skipping the dating part and jumping right into marriage with someone. Suddenly I was the proud owner of not one but two plastic surgeons. Way out of my comfort zone.Patient Care

As an RN for 26 years, I knew my strengths and believe me, Operating Room Nurse was not my forte. I couldn’t stand the sight of scalpel slicing through skin. And though I’ve started thousands of intravenous lines over my career, to this day, I cannot watch the lab technician draw blood from my arm. Weird, huh?

So here I was, suddenly faced with surgeons specializing in reconstructing surgery, which I knew nothing about, and I needed to describe at least one surgical scene.

You know how they say our Internet Surfing is spied on? Well can you imagine what (whoever is tracking my search enquiries) they must think of a person watching videos on really difficult to observe reconstructive surgeries one minute, and then fun videos riding the London Eye the next?

I did my best to make the surgical scene realistic without grossing out the reader, but fingers crossed no real plastic surgeons read my book. LOL – I think that’s a safe bet, don’t you?

So, dear readers (especially if you are an OR nurse) please forgive me if I didn’t get it right, grant me the grace of suspension of disbelief, because, we all do understand these stories are fiction. Right?

9781460332245paperback with Lynne

 

 

 

 

 

 

Question: When have you not been able to suspend disbelief in fiction? Any scene come to mind? Do share!

AMERICAN SURGEON IN LONDON – Book #4 200 Harley Street Series

Plastic surgeon Mitchell Cooper used to have it all.  but when his world collapsed, he and his little daughter Mia moved to London to rebuild their lives — and Mitchell sealed off his damaged heart.  Yet after one star-studded night with fellow surgeon Grace Turner, Mitchell finds himself daring to live again!  Only Grace is hiding painful secrets of her own.

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

When Real Life Makes Its Way Into A Book

I have a confession to make. Sometimes little pieces of me make their way into my books. Not my big dark secrets (which aren’t very big or very dark—I lead a surprisingly boring life), but the medical issues my family and I have dealt with over the years. After all, I write Medicals, I have to get my material from somewhere. Sorry family…your injuries will become fodder for my books.

What kinds of things make the cut? Let me count the ways and the books:

  • Doctor’s Guide to Dating in the Jungle: While taking barrel racing lessons in

    Tina and Chalana running a barrel pattern.
    Tina and Chalana running a barrel pattern.

    Brazil, my horse went into a jarring trot unexpectedly, and I felt a shooting pain in my back. Thinking I’d pulled a muscle, I put heat on the area and kept going back week after week only to have the pain get progressively worse whenever my horse did more than a slow walk. Trotting or loping literally took my breath away. I finally went to the doctor. The verdict? Compression fractures of my 6th and 9th thoracic vertebrae. From a simple trot, of all things, not even a fall. My doctor shook his head and sent me off for a bone scan. You probably guessed it. I was diagnosed with borderline osteoporosis (osteopenia), even though I’d just turned forty. Once I healed, I did go back to barrel racing without any problems. How did this get into my book? My heroine treats a woman with this exact injury. In my book, the patient switched equine disciplines and started doing Western Pleasure riding instead, which is easier on the bones.

  • The Lone Wolf’s Craving: After I was diagnosed, I was advised to take bone building drugs in the form of a once-a-month pill or a yearly shot. My family knows that I’m wary of taking medicines unless I’ve really researched them. The alternative was to add calcium and vitamin D to my diet and incorporate strength training. I’d read that percussive exercise (although it seems counterintuitive) helps builds bone by forcing the body to adjust to the demands placed on it. The reason that simple trot injured my back was because I’d led a sedentary life for several years prior—very bad for the bones. I used to run as a teenager, so I slowly got back into the routine using Couch-to-5K.  Now I’m up to three miles several times a week. In my book, my heroine is an avid runner—although she runs for the joy of it.
  • The Man Who Wouldn’t Marry: Hubby is a big do-it-yourselfer, for which I’m grateful. I’ve reaped many benefits from his talents. But he’s had his share of mishaps, including stepping through a glass coffee table and then falling on a piece of the glass. The result was a deep gash on the inside of his arm near the elbow. He wanted me to just slap a butterfly bandage on it. The kids and I begged, threatened, and I finally resorted to crying to get him to agree to go to the emergency room. It looked that bad, and I’m not a squeamish person. Brazil uses a triage-style system to evaluate patients. You see a preliminary nurse who assigns you a colored identification bracelet. The color basically determines how long you wait. No cute, colored bracelet for hubby, however. He was whisked through a back door into an exam room, and a doctor came right in. Why? Because the area he cut evidently has an abundance of nerves and tendons running through it. Cutting the wrong thing could result in a loss of function in parts of his hand. “Wifey was right,” said the mean old doctor.  So as hubby hung his head, the doctor tested motion and sensation in various parts of his hand and arm and then stitched him up. I have a similar injury in my book—the doctor steps through a glass table while hanging a light fixture and…voila, cuts his arm. Which, of course the heroine (who’s also a doctor) has to treat in her own…er…special way.

I could go on and on and bore you with all of our medical history, but I’ll stop and let you guess which events are real and which ones are made up. Hint: there’s a touch of reality in almost every one of my books. Including my March duet featuring Brazilian brothers.

How about you? Do you ever wonder if scenes in books are taken from the authors’ personal files? And writers, do you inject a bit of yourselves into your books? If so, can you give us a hint? Inquiring minds want to know! To Play with FireDangers of Dating Dr. Carvalho

The Writing Life

DO YOU LOVE ER ROMANCE?

bigstockphoto_Perspective_Of_A_Patient_1824336Lynne Marshall here.  Thanks for stopping by the Medical Romance blog.

Once in a blue moon (to go forward from Amy’s latest blog) I get an opportunity that is too good to pass up.  It happened last fall with The Mammoth Book editor Trish Telep when she asked if I’d be interested in participating in a multi-author anthology. Fortunately for me, she didn’t accept my first reply, and when she asked again I decided to join several of my fellow Medical Romance authors, and many more fabulous authors from all genres, in contributing to the book.

We were given a word limit of 12K.  Having never written short before, except for a few short stories I wrote for Woman’s World magazine at lK (only one of which ever got published) I worried I couldn’t tell a well rounded story so quickly.  As it turned out, I decided to write three acts (or chapters) each highlighting a piece of the bigger story.

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When the story begins Ellen and Adam Deed, both ER doctors, are married but separated.  My job in three chapters was to show the passion they still felt for each other, explain the reason they separated, and come up with a way to get them back together.  YIKES!

I went the dramatic route with IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE.  I tortured my characters by asking these questions: What one thing could tear a loving couple apart and make forgiving seem impossible?  What one thing could make Adam, a man devoted to his wife, family, and profession turn to drinking and lose hope?  What would it take for Ellen to finally forgive Adam and let him back into her heart?

I worried I’d bitten off more than I could chew undertaking their story, but somehow I managed to pull it off in 10K! Reading time approximately fifteen minutes or there about?

If you love the drama of the emergency room, if you want to succumb to completely addictive and highly contagious medical romances, if you like something short to read on your lunch break or before bed, then I hope you’ll check out THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF ER ROMANCE!

818IzVdPUKL__AA1500_Mills & Boon contributing authors: Wendy S. Marcus, Lucy Clark, Sue MacKay, Janice Lynn, Dianne Drake, Tina Becket, Fiona Lowe, and Lynne Marshall.

Plus an International list of contributing authors: Karen Elizabeth Brown, Cassandra Dean, Sam Bradley, Julie Rowe, Alina Adams, Jacqueline Diamond, Abbi Wilder, Cynthia D’Alba and Patti Shenberger.

Seventeen ER romances for your reading pleasure.  Check out the book in US here:

And in UK here: 

QUESTION FOR READERS: What is your favorite setting for Medical Romance?

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Lynne Marshall

Quirky Stories

Maeve Binchy and Low Impact Aerobics

220px-Binchy33by Lynne Marshall

I was saddened by Maeve Binchy’s death last year, as I had enjoyed so many of her books, I kind of felt like I knew her.

The last book I’d read of hers was Heart and Soul“Maeve Binchy tells a story of doctors and staff, patients, family, and friends at a heart clinic in a community caught between the old Ireland and the new.”  That’s what part of the book synopsis reveals, and, as a Medical Romance author, having the story take place around a cardiac clinic got my attention.

Anyone who reads Ms. Binchy knows that she likes to throw several characters together by some sudden change, then follow this one or that one off into their personal lives, then do the same for the next and the next until circling back around to the big part of the book, and where they all fit in.

Which reminded me of, and leads me to, another Maeve Binchy book that I thoroughly enjoyed called Evening Class.  “A class called Introduction to Italian. A class where people from every walk of life come together. A class where long-buried hopes come alive again.”  I loved how the diverse group of characters slowly became friends as they studied the basics of this new language, and how they eventually planned a group trip to Italy.

So you may be scratching your head about now, wondering what in the heck all this has to do with low impact aerobics, right? bigstock-Vector-Silhouette-of-a-woman-w-6054502

In typical Maeve Binchy fashion, I’ll tell my part of the overall story.  I’ve always prided myself on being physically fit and healthy, but over the last year I’ve been hit with a couple of setbacks.  I tore my retina then I broke a bone in my foot. Nothing major, but both conditions stopped my forward momentum in the exercise department for several months.

Fast forward to low impact aerobics.  When I realized I couldn’t comfortably continue my all girls’ gym workouts, I went searching for something less stressful.  A flyer came to my house for Adult Education courses, and I found the ad for low impact aerobics and quickly signed up. Then I realized the class was at the local Senior Center. I rationalized that it was a new building and probably had to utilize as many rooms as possible for financial reasons.

When I walked in on the first day of class, I almost turned around and walked right back out.  Everyone was definitely a senior citizen – 70s all the way to one 90 year old!  Yes, I’m a baby boomer, but surely I don’t belong here yet! I’m not ready for this! The class can’t possibly suit my needs.

The instructor played music from the forties and fifties while we exercised, she also had a tendency to speak to us like we were children – probably expecting most of us to be senile?  Also, the teacher engaged all of the students in conversation while we went through the stretching routines—there around sixteen of us–which gives this writer a chance to learn new things.

Being fair minded, I let all of the above roll off my back along with the age bit, and took a chair.  Yes you read right, we exercise in chairs!  Red haired girl performing fitness exercises

Well, we start out that way, anyway.  Each part of the body gets thoroughly stretched while sitting in that chair, and guess what, it doesn’t bother my still-sensitive foot (the one with the newly-healed broken bone).  Next we use balls to work our abdomens and legs, then we stand to do more stretching exercises, then free weights for our arms.  After a short break—it’s a two hour class—we come back and do mild dancing for the aerobics portion.

Notice I’ve shifted from I don’t belong here to we?  Once I dropped my pride and said, I’ll try it once, I was hooked.  The class is exactly what I need. Besides, how often can a woman my age be the youngest in the room?

Just like Maeve Binchy’s Evening Class, I’ve come to learn so much about everyone in the class. We consist of diverse cultures and life experiences. There’s a Chinese couple, a Japanese lady with a name that rhymes with taco, An African American man with early Parkinson’s, a red-headed woman named Rusty (who used to be a natural redhead, but now she’s just going for that look), and there’s the ninety year old lady who likes to sing at the end of one particular dance song and who can still do the boot scootin’ boogie be it an extremely modified version, plus another American couple who each has one bad knee and who hobbles through the dance routines but they don’t give up.  And more.

As I already mentioned, it’s kind of nice to be the “youngest” again. They miss me when I skip a class, worry about anyone who misses more than once, and we always sing happy birthday for the guilty parties. The last birthday girl floored me. This cute little peppy lady who always sits on my right and who volunteers as an usher at our local Cultural Arts Center had turned 81!  I thought for sure she was in her early seventies. You never know, right?

It got me to thinking—wouldn’t it be interesting to learn the four men and twelve women’s stories? Or as a writer worth her salt, I could make up all of their stories and write my own Maeve Binchy-styled book titled Adult School.  I’d switch back between the 1940s, 1950s and the present.  Hmm, I think I’m on to something.

I may not be emotionally ready for this class held at the senior center, but, like any good Maeve Binchy novel, the interaction suits my needs. I feel a part of the group. We do line dances, waltzes (no partners, just moving around the room – one-two-three, one-two-three) the Charleston, the cha-cha, you name it! After each dance we have to check our pulses to make sure we’re challenging our hearts. I usually am.

Though I’ll admit I enjoy the class and the diverse students, and the senior center offers excursions to all kinds of places, don’t count this baby-boomer in any time soon for taking a road trip with the old folks!

Have you ever felt like a fish out of water, and how did you work it out?

Lynne’s two current books:

978-0-263-89896-5         9780373657568

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