Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

December New Releases

I can’t believe we’ve come to the end of another a year! And we have some great new releases to end off 2019. Enjoy and tell us what’s on your TBR pile! 🙂

DecemberMedical1

 

A Puppy and a Christmas Proposal by Louisa George

Her ex-fiancé…

…is giving her paws for thought!

Alex Norton devastated Beth Masters when he told her he could no longer marry her. The last thing she wants this Christmas is to come face-to-face with him, clutching an adorable puppy! Warm-hearted vet Beth can’t say no to a four-legged patient in need, but she’ll need to guard her damaged heart from delicious doc Alex. Which becomes impossible when he finally reveals the reason why he left…

 

DecemberMedical2

 

Making Christmas Special Again by Annie O’Neil

Can the magic of Christmas…

…teach them to love again?

In this Pups that Make Miracles story, vet Esme Ross-Wylde simply wants to offer A&E consultant Max Kirkpatrick the proceeds from her charity ball to keep his Plants and Paws therapy unit open. Until this lone-wolf doc reawakens all her senses! Dangerous ground for Esme, who’s vowed never to love again… Can a week together at her castle this Christmas heal their wounded hearts?

Pups that Make Miracles quartet

Book 1 – Highland Doc’s Christmas Rescue
Book 2 – Festive Fling with the Single Dad
Book 3 – Making Christmas Special Again
Book 4 – Their One-Night Christmas Gift

 

DecemberMedical3

 

Mistletoe Proposal on the Children’s Ward by Kate Hardy

From Santa…

…with love!

Children’s doctor Anna Maskell loves Christmas. But Muswell Hill Memorial’s new locum surgeon, Jamie Thurston, hates it! So Anna makes him a deal—if she teaches him to embrace Christmas again, he’ll play Santa to their little patients! But as Anna tempts him with the joys of the season, they also discover a connection neither expected. Can Jamie find the courage to give Anna what she truly needs this Christmas—his love?

 

DecemberMedical4

 

Single Dad in Her Stocking by Alison Roberts

The greatest gift he could give her?

A family…

After losing her baby, and sacrificing her pediatric career, Emma spends every Christmas as an emergency locum—and this year she’ll be covering A&E consultant Max Cunningham. Their one kiss years ago was unforgettable, and now that this ex-playboy is daddy to three orphaned children, he’s dangerously tempting! But as Max welcomes Emma into his home, she soon wishes her family for Christmas could be forever…

 

DecemberMedical5

 

Taming Her Hollywood Playboy by Emily Forbes

Redeemed…

…by his fake fiancée!

Hired as the on-set paramedic on Hollywood actor Oliver Harding’s latest film, Kat Angelis finds herself equally as charmed by his off-screen persona. And when his playboy reputation threatens his hard-earned career, she’s the first person Oliver turns to—to pose as his fiancée! Kat’s warm personality and commitment to her family open Oliver up to something he’s never had. Is this girl from the outback the key to unlocking his heart?

 

DecemberMedical6

 

Their One-Night Christmas Gift by Karin Baine

An unexpected Christmas arrival…

…on his doorstep!

In this Pups that Make Miracles story, twelve years ago neurologist Charles ended his engagement to orthopedic surgeon Harriet to fulfill his duty to his family—he couldn’t let Harriet sacrifice her surgical dreams for him. But a recent chance reunion at a medical conference led to one more unforgettable night… And what should’ve been the perfect goodbye is now just the beginning… Harriet’s arrived at Heatherglen Castle Clinic—pregnant!

Pups that Make Miracles quartet

Book 1 – Highland Doc’s Christmas Rescue
Book 2 – Festive Fling with the Single Dad
Book 3 – Making Christmas Special Again
Book 4 – Their One-Night Christmas Gift

 

Happy Reading! ❤

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

A Mills and Boon puppy isn’t just for Christmas…

…it’s for all year round! Because here at True Love Towers we’ve been working on our Christmas titles since the Summer. But it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas in the heights of romantic real estate. And, though we may not quite have the decorations up, there’s no pink Christmas trees topped with our very own hot heroes (yet!), with the office secret Santa organised and the Christmas lunch all booked, we thought it would be a great time to delve into our 2019 festive offerings. And let’s just say, this year we’re obsessed with our furry, four-legged friends!

Across November and December, we’re treating you to some wonderfully festive Medical Romances with the added bonus of adorable dogs and puppies to steal your hearts and fill you with warm, fluffy feelings too! While, of course, it’s still all about our fabulous medical heroes and heroines finding love at Christmas, this year we also get to see the lovable companions who help bring them together (or cheekily get under their feet ;)). But which ones will be on your Christmas list this year…

 

In November and December:

Puppy Name: Dougal
Where you can find him:
Pups that Make Miracles, including books by Susan Carlisle, Annie Claydon, Annie O’Neil and Karin Baine
Pawrents: Too many to name!

Say hello to Dougal! You get to see this fabulously mischievous pup in not one but four stories this Christmas. As a recurring character of the Pups that Make Miracles series this young canine is in the business of causing chaos and igniting romance magic (repeatedly!) as he helps the medical professionals of Heatherglen Castle Clinic find their happy-ever-afters!

In December:

Puppy name: Pirate
Where you can find him:
Single Dad in Her Stocking by Alison Roberts
Adoptive pawrents:
Max Cunningham and Emma Moretti

Named for the jet-black spot covering his eye and ear, Pirate is wily by name and wily by nature. He’s taken an instant like to doctor Emma and is determined to keep hot-shot consultant Max on his toes. And he won’t rest until his pawrents have found an everlasting bond this holiday season…

Puppy name: Boy
Where you can find him:
A Puppy and a Christmas Proposal by Louisa George
Pawrents:
Alex Norton and Beth Masters

You can’t not instantly fall in love with adorable little lost puppy Boy. And he won’t be lost for long! He’s about to find his forever home with gorgeous doc Alex and fabulous vet Beth – first he just has to convince them that a future together is worth fighting to overcome their shared past for.

 

Add to this all the wonderful, therapeutic joy and healing the many doggy characters we meet in the other stories across November and December bring and this Christmas is set to be a truly Puptastic wonderland!

And we’d love to hear from you! Who are the four-legged friends that you’ll be snuggling up with by the fire this Christmas?

Merry Christmas!
The Mills & Boon Medical Romance Editors

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

July New Releases!

Happy July! We have some brand spanking new releases for you this month. Perfect for the beach or to snuggle up under a blanket with, depending on which part of the world you’re from!

JulyRelease1The Army Doc’s Baby Secret by Charlotte Hawkes

His wife is back…

…with his secret son!

Since losing his leg on a mission, soldier Zeke Jackson has worked hard and come a long way; now a multi-millionaire he’s also committed to helping others. Yet nothing can prepare him for the moment his wife, army doctor Tia Farringdale, walks back into his life and reminds him just how powerful their connection still is… And Tia isn’t alone — she’s brought his son with her!

 

JulyRelease2Saved by Their One-Night Baby by Louisa George

Can a shock baby…

…redeem this damaged doctor?

In this SOS Docs story, the last person pediatrician Ethan Reid expects to see on board the rescue boat during his latest humanitarian mission is nurse Claire Durand. The woman he shared an electrifying, anonymous encounter with is now his newest colleague! Life’s taught Ethan to keep everyone at arm’s length, but Claire’s bombshell changes everything. Because Ethan’s no longer alone — Claire’s pregnant, with his baby!

SOS Docs duet

Book 1 — Saved by Their One-Night Baby

Book 2 — Redeeming Her Brooding Surgeon

 

JulyRelease3Redeeming Her Brooding Surgeon by Sue MacKay

He couldn’t save his friend…

Can she save his bruised heart?

In this SOS Docs story, haunted by the fact he couldn’t save his best friend, brooding surgeon Chase Barrington dedicates himself to saving lives. He won’t get close to anyone again, but is blindsided by a passionate kiss with stunning ex-army doc Kristina Morton. Suddenly Chase is on a rollercoaster of emotions, but can he leave the past behind and embrace a future with Kristina?

SOS Docs duet

Book 1 — Saved by Their One-Night Baby

Book 2 — Redeeming Her Brooding Surgeon

 

JulyREelase4Pregnant by the Single Dad Doc by Louisa Heaton

Working with her ex…

…leads to unexpected consequences!

Turning her life around after a crushing loss, medical student Ellie Jones is shocked to discover her new mentor is Dr. Logan Riley—who broke her heart years earlier! Single dad Logan’s hands are full raising his autistic daughter, but Ellie finds herself more drawn to him than ever. And when the family losses they’ve both experienced bring them closer, reigniting their old flame, it leads to an unplanned surprise…

 

JulyRelease5A Nurse to Tame the ER Doc by Janice Lynn

Their connection is undeniable…

Will it last forever?

Nurse Taylor Hall is finally putting her life back together post-divorce. And a fling with sexy playboy Dr. Jack Morgan, when they’re both working at a music festival, is the perfect way to move on. Their chemistry is electric, but Taylor isn’t looking for commitment and besides Jack’s leaving town soon… Unless their deep unexpected bond can convince Taylor to fight for a second chance at forever…

 

JulyRelease6A Nurse and a Pup to Heal Him by Kate Hardy

A nurse, her puppy…

And the family he never thought he’d have?

After losing his wife and baby to his best friend, guarded GP Ben Mitchell’s sworn off love. But nurse Toni Butler and her adorable therapy dog Archie are drawing him out of his shell. When a romantic weekend in Vienna leads to an unexpected pregnancy, Ben’s painfully reminded of the family he lost. What will it take for Ben to believe this family’s for keeps?

 

Happy Reading! xo

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

A Summer of Mills & Boon Love

Spring has most definitely sprung here in the UK. We’ve had April showers, an Easter heatwave and now May is upon us there is sun. There’s no mistaking that we’re heading full speed into summer. A time when love (and hay fever!) are in the air! And while a British summer wouldn’t be complete without the threat of rain, here at True Love Towers we know that can only be a good thing… Because true love can’t shine until it’s weathered at least one storm!

The arrival of summer this year brings about a whole new collection of Medical Romance pairings. As usual our heroes and heroines are finding their very own HEAs, but we also have four brand-new duets. From the classic to the unique. Homages to British summertime and escapes to far flung exotic locations. All that’s left now is for you to decide which ones you want on your ‘Must Read’ list this year…

In June:

London Heroes by Annie Claydon
Doctors Gabriel DeMarco and Alistair Duvall founded The Watchlight Trust to help people get their lives back on track after they’ve been through life-changing trauma. And they work tirelessly to ensure their research can reach out to as many people as possible! But when their own lives are knocked off course, they find themselves in need of a little help of their own…

Summer sun level – 6/10
London can be rather unpredictable at this time of year, but Gabriel’s story does include a trip to sun-drenched Italy…

In July:

SOS Docs by Louisa George and Sue MacKay
Chase Barrington and Ethan Reid share a tragic past. Now working tirelessly to save as many lives as they can, these heroic docs are thrown together on their latest humanitarian mission. But this time, they won’t only be helping others… As Chase and Ethan meet and fall for two very different women, could this trip be their chance to find their own opportunity to heal?

Summer sun level – 8/10
These two stories are set on a ship offering medical treatment to refugees, located in the Mediterranean Sea. With stops in the UK, Marseilles and Naples you’re bound to see some European sun.

In August:

Cinderellas to Royal Brides by Ann McIntosh and Amy Ruttan
With the King taking a step back, the island Kingdom of Kalyana in the Indian Ocean needs Princes Farhan and Maazin to do their duty. But it won’t be an easy ride for these skilled royal medics. Especially when they meet the two women who will shape their country’s legacy, and their own futures!

Summer sun level – 9/10
Fictional kingdom Kalyana is right in the middle on the Indian Ocean and boasts a sunny climate all year around. With highs of 30 degrees and without a cloud in sight, you’re guaranteed to top up your tan.

In September:

The Good Luck Hospital by Scarlet Wilson
The May Mắn Hospital is the heart of Hanoi, offering humanitarian care to those who need it most – and healing even the most broken of hearts that walk through its doors. May Mắn means good luck, and while many of the hospital’s dedicated lifesavers might have been unlucky in love, their fortunes are about to change…

Summer sun level – 7/10
This duet’s setting is enchanting and exotic Vietnam, but beware, in September all that wonderful heat comes with a lot of rain!

 

We’d love to hear from you! What are you favourite summer story locations to read about?

Happy summer reading!
The Mills & Boon Medical Romance Editors

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

January New Releases

Happy New Year to all our lovely readers! We hope your break was restful and that you’re ready for a whole new year of fabulous medical romances.

6 bright and sparkly books for January AND a discount code to use on the Harlequin website for today, Jan 4th. Did you know you can buy digital copies direct from the Harlequin website as well as print? (If you click on the image below it will take you directly to the medical romance page!)

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A Nurse to Heal His Heart by Louisa George

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She makes him feel alive again

But can he heal her heart too?

Single dad GP Joe Thompson’s priorities are his daughter and his patients. It might’ve earned him a brooding reputation, but since losing his wife romance has been off-limits…until he meets locum nurse Rose McIntyre! Her warm smile and live-for-the-moment attitude soothe a pain Joe believed would never fade. But can Joe stop Rose running from her own secrets…and find comfort in his arms?

Resisting Her English Doc by Annie Claydon (Single Dad Docs)med1

Running from her past…

Towards a future together?

In this Single Dad Docs story, recovering from career-ending injuries, dancer Fleur Miller is impatient to get off Maple Island. But handsome new arrival, English doctor Rick Fleming seems determined to push her buttons! The island Fleur once called home now only holds painful memories, but her intense connection with single dad Rick soon challenges Fleur to reimagine life on the island — with a family of her own.

med2Tempted By Her Single Dad Boss by Annie O’Neil (Single Dad Docs)

Her off-limits boss…

Is worth breaking the rules for!

In this Single Dad Docs story, physiotherapist Maggie Green’s instant attraction to her buttoned-up new boss Dr. Alex Kirkland might be against the rules, but since becoming an amputee she’s determined to live life to the fullest—including embarking on a fling! As their chemistry intensifies, Alex and his adorable son’s acceptance of Maggie for who she is makes her long for something she never thought possible: a family.

The Surgeon’s One Night to Forever by Ann McIntoshmed3

He’ll settle for nothing less

After years of watching her mother’s gullible heart drive her from one man to the next, Laurel has decided to marry for sensible reasons. She doesn’t believe in fairy tales, knights in shining armour or happy endings.

So, when her ‘safe’ fiancée breaks up with her on the night of their engagement party, she’s surprised to be rescued by her own knight, Reece Harrington. Laurel has always avoided the attraction between her and Reece. He wants way more than Laurel can give—total possession…!

med4Twins On Her Doorstep by Alison Roberts

A knock at the door…

Will change her life!

After the heartbreak of losing her husband and baby, GP Sophie Bradford donated her eggs hoping to bring happiness to another couple, instead. Then Dr. Finn Connelly arrives on her doorstep with his orphaned nieces — and her biological twin girls! Sophie had vowed never to risk creating another family, but Finn and her adorable little daughters start to melt the ice around her heart…

Their Unexpected Babies by Louisa Heatonmed5

From irresistible attraction…

To ready-made family!

After her best friend agrees to be her surrogate, Dr. Leah Hudson’s dream of being a mom is finally coming true! But throwing caution to the wind for one night with sexy Dr. Ben Willoughby has shocking consequences…Leah’s pregnant! Now, with two babies depending on her, Leah must push her feelings for committed bachelor Ben aside, unless he proves that Leah and the babies can depend on him.

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

Tune out…Switch On… by Louise George

Tune out…switch on

Do you ever just switch off?

 

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In my last blog post here I told you about the amazing trip I was taking with my husband, which took in 10 countries in 9 weeks. We had a fabulous time; we ate, drank, walked…boy, did we walk! And we switched off.

Lots of people have asked us what the highlight of the adventure was for us and I unequivocally say it was the walk. Also known as The Way or The Camino de Santiago de Compostela, it spans the top of north western Spain. We covered 220kms in 10 consecutive days. Our feet hurt and our legs ached, but we pretty much smiled all the way (although that had a lot to do with how lucky we were with the weather!)

Picture2We met some amazing people, some of whom were walking the full 800kms on their own (although you can’t possibly be alone the whole time; there are far too many people to chat to along the way). On the day we completed our 220kms we were two of about 35 people who finished the walk that day. The numbers rise steadily through the summer to somewhere in the hundreds each day.

At the beginning we decided to document our walk on Facebook so our friends/relatives etc knew we were safe/uninjured etc. and because that’s what we do, right? But as the walk progressed we became less and less inclined to spend our down time in a new village/town searching for a decent WIFI connection (in the middle of rural northern Spain, this was a challenge) and then uploading photos etc…when we could be connecting with people and places we’d never seen before. In person. For real. And so eventually we decided to switch off. Completely.

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It was so lovely to spend time together just walking, chatting and exploring, not checking Facebook, not snapping photos because we thought they’d make an impression on Instagram. Not wondering who had ‘liked’ our posts etc… It was liberating and refreshing to talk to people and look around us in our little bubble; to notice things like how the snow crunched under our feet, how the wind felt on our faces, how free we were, and very lucky, to be able to do this. And it was so good not to know what was happening on the other side of the world/all the crappy things going on. It’s amazing how social media permeates everything we do these days.

Add to this the fact that a couple of weeks later I dropped my phone down a Russian toilet and couldn’t communicate with anyone digitally at all, my tuning out was now not deliberate but forced!! Having no phone was weird, (I use it mainly to take photos anyway)…but it was genuinely interesting to sit at a café or on a train and people watch. Mainly, to see people glued to their devices!! Also, to see people trip up, fall over or bump into others because they were staring down at their screens as they walked!!!

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So now I’m home I’m trying to take weekends off social media. Switching off and breathing, chatting, exploring…is that something you do? Ever had a digital detox? What do you think?

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.
Her most recent medical romance is, Reunited By Their Secret Son  Mills and Boon  Amazon US Amazon UK

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Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Excerpt – Reunited By Their Secret Son

Hello! Bonjour! Hola! Ciao! Sdrazvouchez!

This blog is coming to you from my big trip that has visited Canada, UK, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy…where I am now. I have another few days here then a two week tour in Russia and a stopover in Shanghai. I am so very, very lucky…although it will be nice to sleep in my own bed! My husband had a well-earned sabbatical, so we took advantage, but it does mean I have sporadic access to the internet so, forgive me, I have uploaded this early and may not get to answer all your comments immediately.

I wanted to share with you my new medical romance REUNITED BY THEIR SECRET SON which is now available on wide release. The eagle-eyed ones amongst you will recognise Finn as Callum Baird’s brother in THE NURSE’S SPECIAL DELIVERY (released December 2017). So, if you remember reading about Finn’s accident that claimed his leg and almost his life and you got to wondering how he was doing, well…here’s your chance to find out.

Reunited By Their Secret Son

It started with one night…

Will it end with them becoming a family?

Sophie can never forget her sizzling encounter with gorgeous stranger Finn. How can she, when her beloved little boy’s a daily reminder? And she can’t forgive Finn for disappearing without a trace afterwards. But she’s shocked to come face-to-face with him at her son’s physio appointment, and sees how much he’s changed… Could this be their chance to finally become a family?

EXCERPT BEGINS:

CHAPTER ONE

He was late.

Finn Baird was never late—not any more. These days he always gave himself extra time to navigate the traffic, negotiate the car park and be in his clinic with plenty of minutes to spare. Mainly so he could both impress the boss and be mentally prepared for the day. But also so he could make readjustments to his leg before he started work.

He just hadn’t anticipated the readjustments would take so long today. Or hurt so damned much.

Which was more than a little irritating because now he was rushing, and the more he rushed the slower he seemed to get, not to mention the more frustrated.

Two months into his new job as paediatric physiotherapist at St Margaret’s Children’s Hospital—Maggie’s to the locals—and he’d made sure he had a reputation for having all the time in the world for his patients. Hell, they deserved it. A lot of them had challenges worse than his and most of them grinned their way through treatment. Through all the pulling and pushing and straightening and bending he made them do, through all the pain, through all the mind-numbingly repetitive exercises, he tried to make them laugh. Tried to make them believe they could achieve anything if they tried.

He definitely needed to take a leaf out of their books.

Trying to smile and hurry along the corridor while gritting his teeth against the pain, he reached the reception area at the same time his boss did. Neither of them looked at their watches. Neither of them acknowledged Finn was late.

And hell, if that was preferential treatment he didn’t want it. ‘Sorry I’m late, Ross. Won’t happen again.’

‘Good morning, Finn. Don’t worry; I know you’ll make it up.’ Ross Andrews, Head of Physiotherapy, threw a pile of paper folders onto the reception desk and looked up. ‘You always stay later than everyone else anyway.’

Because he needed to stay on top of everything. Needed this job to work out, and everything took longer these days. ‘Just want to get the job done properly.’

‘And you do. So you’re forgiven for being a few minutes behind. Great run yesterday. Feeling it a bit today? I certainly am. I think I twinged my back.’ Ross put his palms on the small of his back and stretched backwards. ‘I’ve got to fix that overpronation.’

‘You want me to take a look?’

‘Later, if we get a chance. One of the perks of being a physio, eh? Treatment on tap. I’m so impressed with your race time, Finn—you did great. Really great.’

The minutes were ticking by but Finn could hardly snap at the boss and head off to his first patient, so he took a deep breath and promised himself he’d be doubly efficient today without hurrying the littlies.

‘Let’s be honest—I ran a woeful time. I’m just glad I made it to the finish line.’ There had been a time when he’d completed the ten-mile Great Edinburgh Run in under an hour; this time he’d been lucky—and utterly exhausted and hurting on both his good leg and his gone one—to finish half the distance in the same time. He rubbed his left thigh, still sore and tight, but nowhere near as painful as just below his knee where the stitches had been and where the friction was always most intense. ‘Still, I stayed upright—that was a bonus. I’m aiming for a faster time next year.’

‘Don’t push yourself too hard—you’ll get there. You just need a little incentive…if you know what I mean. Someone to run towards.’ Ross’s eyes grew wider as he nodded.

Finn grinned, remembering seeing Ross overtake him on the home straight, having run twice the distance, right into the arms of his new wife. She’d been so proud of him even Finn hadn’t been able to stop smiling as she cheered and screamed her husband’s name as he went over the finishing line. And then there’d been the kisses; the poor man had barely been able to catch breath.

‘A special someone to cheer me on at the end, right? I’m going to be running a long, long way before that ever happens.’

His boss laughed. ‘Well, you’ll never have it if you don’t even ask a lassie out. Greta’s sister said to drop a huge hint about a double date. She’s single too—?’

Ugh. Not another date set-up. He was starting to regret getting to know his boss a little better out of work. Seemed Finn was surrounded by loved-up couples these days who wanted him to have a piece of the happiness they had. If it wasn’t Ross and Greta it was his brother Callum and his new family down in New Zealand dropping hints at every available opportunity about seeing him paired up. The thing none of them understood—or downright ignored—was the issue of his leg. Or lack of it. If he’d struggled to come to terms with it, then what chance did any woman have? How could he give them what they wanted? ‘Thanks, but no. Really, no.’

Ross shook his head, undeterred as a matchmaker. ‘I never understood why you turned down lovely Julia, the Pilates instructor. Or Molly-Rae from the café…she was definitely dropping big hints to go for a drink. Even I could see that.’

Finn dug deep to keep polite. He dredged up a smile. ‘I mean it, boss. No.’

‘Or there’s the speed dating night every Thursday at the Tavern?’ Ross shrugged. ‘A bit lame, I know. But it’s always a laugh. I went there a few times before I met Greta. As you know, we met at salsa night—oh. Well…Yes…’ He glanced at Finn’s leg and shrugged again. ‘If you can run, you can dance.’

Dancing was a whole lot more than just moving forward in a straight line. ‘Really. I’m fine. Thanks. I’m not looking for anyone. Please tell the lovely Greta I’m fine on my own.’

Even as he said it he knew it sounded hollow. But there it was. Before the accident, Finn had taken his looks and raw physicality for granted and enjoyed them, celebrated them with the best and the most beautiful women he could find. He’d paraded around like a prize chump, all cocky and sure of himself, a peacock on show. He’d had a host of women who’d wanted what he’d wanted: a night of fun and drink and mindless sex. Then his charmed life had started to unravel and the last thing he’d wanted was to attempt dating again. Couldn’t do it, but it didn’t stop them asking. Or his friends trying to set him up.

Most of those women were a blur to him now. All except one…the one who’d not got away, not exactly. The one he’d purposefully let go after he’d fallen from grace, fallen from a great bloody height and broken both his dreams and his body.

Now? He didn’t need anyone. Didn’t want anyone. Didn’t want anyone to see him like this, not after who he’d been before. Not after he’d changed so damned much he was barely recognisable inside or out. ‘If I change my mind, Ross, you’ll be the first to know.’

‘Aye, well, I was like you once—thought I was better off being a lad—but there comes a time in every man’s life when he has to settle down. Get serious.’

‘I’ve a long way before I go to those extremes.’ Finn laughed. ‘I’m pretty serious about myself these days and that’s about all I can manage for now.’ He’d had to relearn how to do pretty much everything and was still learning. He changed the subject, jumping into work as always. Because work made him focus on the possible, not the impossible, like having a woman who even liked the look of him, let alone could fall for him and see a future. ‘I’m going to be running very late, so I need to get on. Who’ve we got today?’

‘Some regular follow-ups from your predecessor and a couple of new referrals. Nothing too taxing. You’re doing just fine. Don’t rush. They’ll understand.’ Ross looked meaningfully again at Finn’s left leg.

‘I prefer it if the leg doesn’t come up in conversation.’ Finn whipped round to peer at the computer for details of his first client, twisting his leg in the prosthetic. A searing pain ran up his knee. He inhaled sharply, clenched his teeth and waited for the pain to subside. ‘Okay. Okay. Let’s go.’

‘You all right? You need a seat?’ Reaching out to steady Finn, Ross peered at him, all concern and questions.

Damn. The last thing he needed was a father figure…scratch that, a brother figure. He already had one of those and even twelve thousand miles away he still managed to be overbearing and overly concerned about Finn’s welfare. All. The. Time.

The whole point of taking this job and being this new person in a new city, putting the past well and truly behind him, was to live a normal life. He didn’t want people to keep asking if he was all right. And yes, he knew they cared and were just being nice. But he didn’t want to be treated any differently to everyone else.

He counted to ten under his breath as the pain faded. ‘Yep. I’m fine. But even after more than two years I keep forgetting.’ And it wasn’t just the physical pain that assailed him, sometimes out of nowhere. ‘Still, I’m good to go. And now I’m really late.’

 

Four hours later and his leg was no better, neither was his mood, although the kids always made him smile. A missed appointment meant he could catch up. All he had to do now was finish these notes and then he could lock his door, slip off his prosthesis and the silicone liner and relax for a few minutes.

As he sat in his office—the closest to Reception so he wouldn’t have to walk far, apparently—he heard a kerfuffle in the waiting area.

A woman’s voice, soft and apologetic. Breathless. ‘I’m so, so late. I’m sorry. Really sorry. Lachie had a meltdown at home which delayed things a bit…you know what it’s like…he’s hit the terrible twos six months early. Then I couldn’t get a parking space and then there was something wrong with the pushchair—I think it might be one of the front wheels; it’s wanting to go in the opposite direction to all the others.’

The talking stopped. Finn assumed it was for the woman to draw breath. He heard the receptionist sigh. Then that soft voice again. ‘I know you’re all busy. I’m so sorry. Please, if anyone could see us I’m happy to wait as long as it takes.’

Their receptionist was renowned for running a tight ship. ‘I’m sorry but we have a full list today and there’s no wriggle room to fit you in. I can make another appointment for Lachie?’

‘He really needs to be seen today. I know it’s not relevant, or shouldn’t be, but I’ve taken the day off work as holiday just so we could get here. I’m fast running out of holiday days…’ Desperation laced her words. ‘It’s his boots, you see—they’re rubbing and he hates wearing them. That was the trouble this morning—when I took them off after he’d worn them all night he threw them across the room.’ A pause. ‘Please.’

Finn stretched his left knee. Yeah, he knew all about rubbing. About the tension before you put the damned thing on because you just knew it was going to be sore. He knew how hard that was for a grown man to get his head round, never mind a…what did she say?…eighteen-month-old. He sent an urgent message to the receptionist’s screen.

I’ll see them. Just give me a few minutes to finish these notes.

A message flicked back: Thanks. The good karma fairy is looking down on you.

‘Okay. One of the physiotherapists will miss his lunch for you. Please take a seat.’

The softly spoken woman’s voice wavered. ‘Oh. That’s very kind. Thank you. Thank you. Lachie? The nice man will see you soon.’

Finn walked through to the waiting room and was just about to call out the boy’s name when he was struck completely dumb. His heart thudded against his ribcage as he watched the woman reading a story to her child. Her voice quiet and sing-song, dark hair tumbling over one shoulder, ivory skin. A gentle manner. Soft.

His brain rewound, flickering like an old film reel: dark curls on the pillow. Warm caramel eyes. A mouth that tasted so sweet. Laughter in the face of grief. One night.

That night…

A lifetime ago.

He snapped back to reality. He wasn’t that man any more; he’d do well to remember that. He cleared his throat and glanced down at the notes file in his hand to remind himself of the name. ‘Lachlan Harding?’

‘Yes. Yes—oh?’ She froze, completely taken aback. For a second he saw fear flicker across her eyes then she stood up. Fear? Why? Because he’d never called as he’d promised? ‘Finn? Is it you? It’s Finn, yes?’

There was little warmth there; her mouth was taut in a straight line. No laughter. Not at all. She was still startlingly pretty. Not a trace of make-up, but she didn’t need anything to make her any more beautiful. His gut clenched as he remembered more of that night and how good she’d made him feel.

Too bad, matey.

The fear gone, she smiled hesitantly and tugged the boy closer to her leg, her voice a little wobbly and a little less soft. ‘Wow. Finn, this is a surprise—’

‘Sophie. Hello. Yes, I’m Finn. Long time, no see.’ Glib, he knew, when there was so much he should say to explain what had happened, why he hadn’t called, but telling her his excuses during a professional consultation wasn’t the right time. Besides, she had a child now; she’d moved on from their one night together, clearly. He glanced at her left hand, the one that held her boy so close—no wedding ring. But that didn’t mean a thing these days; she could be happily unmarried and in a relationship.

And why her marital status pinged into his head he just didn’t know. He had no right to wonder after the silence he’d held for well over two years.

They were just two people who’d shared one night a long time ago. There was no professional line to cross here. He was doing her a favour by seeing her son. If things felt awkward he could always assign her to a different physiotherapist for the next appointment.

‘Yes. Wow. It’s a small world.’ He infused his manner with professionalism, choosing not to go down Memory Lane. He was a different man now. Although he couldn’t help but notice as he turned that his left leg was shaking a little more than usual. In fact, all of him was. It was surprise, that was all. His past life clashing with his present. He concentrated hard on being steady and not limping in front of her, because for some reason it mattered that she saw him as whole. ‘Right, then, so this is Lachie? Come on through.’

Good karma? No chance. Judging by the way Sophie was looking at him, the good karma fairy had gone on her lunch break.

EXCERPT ENDS