Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Hot Docs!, New Releases

Excerpt from Forbidden to the Playboy Surgeon by Fiona Lowe

London

Being invited to be part of the Paddington Children’s Hospital series was an honour and it was great to work closely with a group of medical romance authors. Forbidden to the Playboy Surgeon is the second book in the series and there’s a nice twist. I have an uptight Australian female surgeon matched against a laid-back British neurosurgeon. Claire and Alistair are chalk and cheese but they have valid reasons for their different approaches to life, but that doesn’t stop them from rubbing each other up the wrong way.  I hope you enjoy getting to know the two of them. Here is an excerpt from Chapter Three.

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Alistair high-fived Tristan Lewis-Smith. ‘Way to go, Tris,’ he said with a grin.

The kid had just whooped him at virtual tennis— twice— but he didn’t care. He was too busy rejoicing in the fact that the ten-year-old had been seizure free for a week. That hadn’t happened in two years and it was moments like these that reminded him that what he did each day mattered. Hell, it reinforced his mantra that each day mattered and life should be lived to the full.

He’d almost lost the opportunity to do that and when he’d woken up in the coronary care unit, he’d vowed never to forget how life could change in a heartbeat— or the lack of one as the case may be— and how close he’d come to death. He’d been blessed with a second chance and he never took it for granted. He was thrilled to be able to give Tristan a second chance at a normal life.

‘Right-oh, mate.’ He pulled down the sheet and patted the centre of the bed. ‘Time to tuck in and pretend to read or the night sister will have my guts for garters.’

Full of beans and far from quiet, Tristan bounced onto the bed. ‘You’re just saying that because you’re scared if you play another game I’ll beat you. Again.’

‘There is that,’ Alistair said with a grin. ‘Hurry up, I’ve got somewhere I need to be.’

Tristan scrambled under the covers. ‘Nurse Saunders said you couldn’t stay long because you’ve got a hot date.’

‘Did she now?’ Funny that Lindsay appeared to know more about this hot date than he did. He found himself automatically tucking the sheet around the little boy only this time an odd feeling of something akin to emptiness accompanied it.

He immediately shook off the feeling. He had no reason what so ever to feel empty or lonely. Life was good. He had a job he loved and a spacious and light-filled apartment just off the Portobello Road that he’d filled with curios from his world travels. Three years ago, he’d added to his property portfolio and bought a pretty stone cottage surrounded by fields of lavender in Provence. When he was there, he revelled in the sensory delights of sunshine, hearty Mediterranean food and great wine. He visited at least once a month either alone or with companionship depending on whether or not the woman he was dating was still focussed on having fun. The moment a woman started dropping hints about “taking things to the next level” she was no longer welcome in France. Or in Notting Hill for that matter.

He loved women but he didn’t do next levels. It was better to break a heart in the early days, well before things got serious, than to risk shattering a life, or worse, lives. His childhood was a case in point and on top of that devastation no one ever knew precisely the duration of a second chance.

Surprised by the unexpected direction his musings had taken him— he didn’t do dark thoughts and he certainly wasn’t known for them— he left Tristan’s room and contemplated the hour. It wasn’t quite eight. As it was a Thursday night there’d be a sizeable hospital crowd at the Frog and Peach and he’d be welcomed with open arms for his dart skills. Oddly, the thought didn’t entice. He had an overwhelming urge to do something completely different. Something wild that would make him feel alive.

Parkouring in the dark?

    Alive not dead, thank you very much.

    Still, parkouring in daylight this coming weekend was worth investigating. He pulled out his phone and had just brought up a browser when he heard, ‘G’day, Alistair.’

Astonished, he spun around at the sound of the broad Australian accent. Although he’d heard Claire Mitchell use the informal Aussie greeting with other people, she’d always been far more circumspect with him. Well, with the exception of one or two lapses. In general, he knew she tried to be polite with him and that she found it a struggle. Did it make him a bad person that he enjoyed watching her keep herself in check? The woman was always buttoned up so tightly it wasn’t surprising she cracked every now and then.

Now she stood in front of him with her hands pressed deep into the pockets of her once starched, but now very end-of-day limp, doctor’s coat. Her hair was pulled back into its functional ponytail and a hot pink stethoscope was slung around her neck. A tiny koala clung to her security lanyard along with a small pen on retractable elastic. Her utilitarian white blouse and medium length black skirt were unremarkable except that the skirt revealed those long shapely legs that taunted him.

Her feet were tucked into bright red shoes with a wide strap that crossed her instep just below her ankle and culminated in a large red button that drew the eye. He suddenly understood completely why Victorian Gentlemen had waxed lyrical over a fleeting glimpse of a fine ankle.

He scanned her face, looking for clues as to why she was suddenly attempting a colloquial greeting with him. ‘G’day, yourself,’ he intoned back with a fair crack at an Aussie accent.

Behind her sexy-librarian style glasses, her eyes did that milk and dark chocolate swirly thing he always enjoyed and— Good Lord. Was she blushing?

‘Do you have a minute?’ she asked, quickly pushing her glasses up her nose as they continued walking toward the lifts.

‘Always. Problem?’

‘Um,’ she surreptitiously glanced along the corridor taking in the nurses’ station that was teaming with staff. She suddenly veered left into the treatment room.

Utterly intrigued by this uncharacteristic behaviour, he followed. ‘Shall I close the door?’

She tugged hard at some stray strands of her hair before pushing them behind her ears. ‘Thanks.’

He closed the door and flicked the blinds to the closed position before leaning back against the wide bench. Claire stood a metre or more away, her plump lips deliciously red. He shifted his gaze and— Damn it! His eyes caught on a fluttering pulse beating at the base of her throat. She really had the most gloriously long, smooth neck that just begged to be explored.

That as may be, but remember most of the time she’s a pain in the ass. Not to mention, she’s your trainee.

‘Alistair,’ she started purposefully and then stopped.

‘Claire.’ He couldn’t help teasing back. He’d never seen her at a loss before and it was deliciously refreshing.

She took in such a deep breath that her breasts rose, stressing the button he was pretty certain sat just above her bra line. Was it delicate sheer lace or plainly utilitarian? It was his experience plain women often wore the sexiest underwear.

With that mouth, she’s hardly plain.

As if on cue, the tip of her tongue peeked out, flicking the bow of her top lip.

His blood leapt.

She cleared her throat. ‘I hope you won’t take this the wrong way but…’

Trying to look utterly unaffected by her, he cocked one brow and reminded himself of the times she’d been critical of him. ‘My sensibilities haven’t stopped you from giving me your opinion before.’

This time she definitely blushed but somehow she managed to wrestle her embarrassment under control with dignity. ‘True, but that was work. This doesn’t exactly fall into that category. Although I suppose it does technically if you—’

‘You’re babbling,’ he said hoping it would force her to focus. At the same time, he had an absurd and unexpected need to rescue her from herself.

Her head jerked up so fast he was worried her neck might snap but then she hit him with a gimlet stare. He forced himself not to squirm as an unsettling feeling trickled through him. Did she see straight through the man he liked to show the world? Had she glimpsed the corner edge of the bubbling mess he kept securely sealed away?

‘As the head of the department of neurosurgery,’ she said tightly, ‘I think it’s important you lead by example and attend the Spring Fling.’

The Spring Fling? Surely he’d misheard. ‘You mean the neurosurgery spring symposium?’

She shook her head and once again the blush bloomed on her cheeks. She swallowed and that damn tongue of hers darted out to moisten her lips. This time as the zip of heat hit him, he pushed off the bench to try and shake it off.

‘I mean the fundraising ball,’ she said slowly as if the words were being reluctantly pulled out of her.

He couldn’t resist. ‘Are you inviting me to the ball?’

Her eyes widened in consternation. ‘No!’ For a moment, indignation spun around her before fading with a sigh and a fall of her shoulders. ‘I mean perhaps. Yes. In a manner of speaking.’

His mouth twitched. ‘It’s good to know you’re so decisive.’

Her chin shot up jabbing the air. ‘You can tease me all you like, Mr— Alistair, but you know as well as I do that at the bare minimum there should a neurosurgery staff table at the ball.’

Damn it to hell. She was absolutely right but how had she found out he wasn’t going? He’d been keeping that bit of information on the down low more out of embarrassment than anything else. A couple of months ago, just before Claire had arrived, he’d had a particularly tough day. He’d lost a patient— a two year-old boy with a brainstem glioma— and for some reason he’d avoided the sympathetic eyes of his staff at the Frog and Peach. He’d hit a trendy bar in Soho instead and in retrospect, he’d consumed one whiskey too many.

It had been enough to scramble his usually accurate crazy-woman detector. As a result, he’d allowed himself to be tempted by the Amazonian features of Lela. The thirty year-old was a fitness instructor as well as being a part-time security guard. They’d had a lot of fun together until he’d realised her possessive streak wasn’t limited to bedroom games.

He knew the ball committee had flagged the idea of auctioning off the chairs next to eligible bachelors. Usually he’d have been fine with the concept and embraced it, but he’d been worried Lela might turn up and cause a nasty public spectacle. Or worse, buy the ticket. To save himself and the hospital embarrassment he’d decided not to attend the ball but to make a sizeable donation to the cause instead. The only person he’d mentioned this plan to was Dominic.

Stupid! Stupid, Stupid. The paediatric trauma surgeon had obviously broken the bro-code and told Victoria. What was it about a man in love that made him prepared to throw his mate under the bus just to stay in sweet with his lady? Now the i-dotting and t-crossing Claire Mitchell was calling him out on a perceived lack of social etiquette.

He ploughed his hand through his hair. God, he’d been raised on etiquette and the irony that an Australian with their supposedly class-less society was reminding him of his social responsibilities almost made him laugh. Perhaps he could turn this whole Lela-and-the-ball mess around and use it to his advantage.

‘Let me get this straight,’ he said with a lazy smile. ‘You’re prepared to spend an evening with me just to make sure I do the right thing?’

This time she was the one to raise an eyebrow. ‘As your 2IC, I can’t expect you to attend the ball if I’m not prepared to attend.’

‘Ah, yes, that sucker duty gets you every time.’

She stiffened. ‘But it seems you’re often immune.’

Ouch. Her words tried to scratch him like the sharp tip of a knife but he didn’t need to justify himself to her. He was very well aware of his duty. Ironically, duty had arrived in a rush just after he’d vowed to make the most of every new day that had been gifted to him. It was the juxtaposition of his life.

‘None of us are immune, Claire. It’s just I try to have a bit of fun with duty and not take it too seriously.’

She narrowed her eyes, ‘And you’re inferring that I don’t have fun?’

Not that I’ve seen. ‘Have you had any fun since arriving in London?’

She looked momentarily nonplussed. ‘I…um…yes. Of course.’

Liar. But he was planning on having some fun with her right now and killing two birds with one stone. ‘Excellent. I can certainly promise you fun at the ball. Especially considering how you’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty and bought the seat next to me.’

‘What?’ She paled, her expression momentarily aghast and then she rallied. ‘I don’t get paid enough for that.’

‘Brutal.’ He exaggeratedly slapped his chest in the general area of his heart, his long fingers grazing the lower edge of his pacemaker. ‘And here I was thinking I was your date. I tell you what. I’ll pay for both of our tickets.’

‘That won’t be necess—’

‘It’s the least I can do,’ he interrupted, waving away her protest. ‘I imagine it was Victoria who dropped you right in it.’

She grimaced. ‘You’re not wrong there.’

He made a huffing sound more at the absent Dominic than her. ‘The good thing is you’ll be saving me from having to play nice all evening.’

Effrontery streaked across her face. ‘Well, when you put it like that, I can hardly wait,’ she said drily.

Her sarcasm was unexpected and delightfully refreshing and he heard himself laugh. He wasn’t used to a woman viewing an evening with him as a trial. The women he dated erred on the appreciative side and often went to great lengths to make him happy. Not Claire Mitchell.

A streak of anticipation shot threw him. Without realizing, she’d just thrown down a challenge. He wasn’t totally convinced she was capable of having fun and he had a sudden urge to know what she looked like when she was in the midst of a good time.

She’d smile like she did when you let her operate solo. Remember how you felt then?

    He disregarded the warning that it was probably unwise to be looking forward to the ball quite this much.

‘So will you be picking me—’ His phone rang with the ICU ringtone and as he pulled it from his pocket, Claire’s pager beeped.

‘North,’ he said answering the call just as Claire mouthed to him ‘ICU?’

Listening to the nurse on the other end of the line, he nodded at Claire and opened the treatment room door. As she walked quickly past him, her crisp scent of the sea drifted back to him and he was suddenly back on Bondi Beach when his life had been simpler and with few restraints placed upon it.

‘We’re on our way,’ he told the worried nurse. Stepping out into the corridor, he followed Claire down the fire escape, taking the fastest way to ICU.

****

You can buy Forbidden to the Playboy Surgeon and all the other books in the series at Mills & Boon UK, Harelquin USA and Mills & Boon Australia

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Happy April!

I was going to say something witty about the fact April showers bring May flowers, but it’s April 7th and there’s snow on the ground where I live. Boo!

I love April, even though it’s usually a rainy month. April is my birthday month. It means, ice cream cake! WOOT!

Although, since starting Weight Watchers in January I might opt for some frozen yogurt. *little woot*

April is also a very busy month for me. Ever since I sold to Harlequin, I always seem to have a deadline around or right before my birthday. I’m not complaining, because I love the work. And honestly, I never really noticed before until my husband started building my office in the basement.

See, I had this great office in the spare bedroom in the basement, but then my daughter became a teenager and wanted her own space (and bathroom), so I gave up that room so she could get away from her brothers. The boys each had their own room upstairs and I worked in the living room, with stuff scattered in boxes in the unfinished part of the basement.

Then, my boys missed being together. So they took their bunk beds and moved back into a room together. I took the other upstairs room. I loved it. I loved having that office again where I could close a door and work. I wrote One Night in New York and my Sealed with a Valentine’s Kiss duet in that room.

Ahh. It was heaven. That lasted about a year. Then, the fighting and bickering started as they got older.

I went back to my boxes in the basement and have been working in the living room. I escape to hotel rooms near my deadline to work, because it’s hard once the kids come home to write in the living room. Since I dropped Diet Coke for good, I can’t pull all nighters and with working out …I don’t want too. I’m tired.

My husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I said a small room where I can shut you all out. I love my family, but for my sanity and career, I need a door between us.

So, he went to work. Everything is done (as of writing this blog post) but the door.

The first thing up was my new wardrobe. It’s massive and I was finally able to take all the copious author copies from 14 books (currently out) and store them somewhere safe. This picture isn’t even the foreign translations. I keep one copy of foreign translation books and I’m shipping out a bunch to different libraries.

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14 books released so far, 3 books per shelves. All the hard covers are on the bottom. It’s a lot of books!

Then after the walls were up I got bookshelves! They’re pretty bare, but it’s a work in progress. Nice to have all my books together. Something to look at.

The table I work at is one my Mom made when she was moving into her first apartment, or rather she was going to move into her first apartment alone and then met my Dad. LOL

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Yep, that’s a Mountie Bear and the painting is one I did.

I can’t wait to finish unpacking, but I’m headed to Toronto this weekend for an all day workshop with the Toronto Romance Writers. Since it starts bright and early Saturday, I’m spending the night in my old hometown by myself in a hotel room to write.

And I’m taking the train. I love taking the train, especially business class because I can work on the train. It’s a 3 hr train ride (roughly) to downtown T.O.

It’s only one night away, since I’m catching the late night train back to London, Ontario Saturday night, but I’m planning on enjoying the silence and cranking up the word count.

Maybe, just maybe there will be door to my office on my return.

Oh and in March, I had 2 releases! Check them out.

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His Pregnant Royal Bride (Royal Spring Babies Book 1)

Pregnant with the prince’s baby

Nurse Shay Labadie’s one exquisite night of passion with Dr. Dante Affini was meant to be a beautiful memory. But now Shay’s expecting…and Dante is expecting her to take his hand in marriage!

Dante’s proposal is shocking enough, but then he drops an even bigger bombshell—he’s not just a doctor, he’s a prince! Now to win his child and the woman he loves, Dante will have to prove he can master his most important role yet—as the husband Shay deserves…

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The Omega Team: Biochemical Reaction

An attraction like no other…

Former Navy Seal Jack Crane walked away after a chemical attack wiped out his platoon and scarred him, forcing him out of the military–the hardest thing he ever had to do…Until Omega Team contacted him to protect an undercover agent at a secret lab.

Lisa Morgan had nothing to lose when she took on the assignment to uncover Bio-Tek’s dark secrets concerning the deadly chemical agent that killed her brother and cost her the only man she ever loved a decade ago when he walked away.

When the man hired to protect her turns out to be Jack, she’s forced to trust with her life the man she couldn’t trust with her heart, and make sure the antidote for that terrible chemical gets into the right hands before it’s too late.

 

You can find out more about Amy here:

Website: www.amyruttan.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmyRuttanAuthor?ref=hl

TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/ruttanamy

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/amyruttan/

Newsletter: http://www.amyruttan.com/contact.html#newsletter

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, The Writing Life

Life in Limbo

Hello! It’s my turn to blog and I’m sitting here thinking a lot of cool stuff is about to happen but none of it has happened yet so I am in information limbo!

dscf4598I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to show you my cover for my novel Daughter of Mine, which is out March 1st but it’s not quite ready. There’s been a lot of back and forth getting the design ‘just right’ and I’ve enjoyed the process. I flew up to Sydney last week to meet with the sales and marketing people at Harper Collins/Harlequin Mira, which was exciting. An added extra treat was Kandy Shepherd, a Mills & Boon Romance author, popped across the Sydney Harbour Bridge and met me for breakfast! How lovely was that?

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Boy Wonder is now in full-on exam mode. Many of his mates have finished but as he chose to do the International Baccalaureate, his exams started a bit later. The house has been in limbo for three weeks now while he studies and we are all ready for that to be over. Roll on November 21st! Mind you, it’s going to be odd next year when I don’t have to do a school book list, organise uniform, pack lunch…. New era coming. See? still in limbo…48354afebb7bf0f3d782b349d7cd460a

20081027-igobblenyOn November 22nd we fly out to New York City, baby!! We’re having 10 days there in an apartment and then ten days touring around New Mexico. I’m calling it the “New” tour. Dear friends are flying from Virginia to spend Thanksgiving with us there and we have shows booked and so much fun planned, but, can’t tell you about it cos it hasn’t happened yet!  Right now, I’m in the yucky bit of trying to get all the Christmas cards written, the cake baked and a few other things done before I leave. I also have to write a “How the house works” guide for The Lad, who is staying at home to work and mind the house. And don’t mention packing…I am also the worst procrastinator for packing so gah! I have to start thinking about that. All top tips for packing light appreciated!

Right now are you treading water waiting for things to happen OR are you in the thick of things?

Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Excerpt – Waking up to Dr Gorgeous

Welcome to the Christmas Swap!

I’m really excited to introduce my new release, Waking up to Dr Gorgeous, which is book one in The Christmas Swap duo which I wrote with Amy Andrews. Above are just some of the different covers!

Our brief was simply to write two stories where our characters swapped houses; the rest was up to us. Working out our characters and our stories and how we were going to fit them together was great fun. We took one character from the country and sent her to the city and moved a hero in the other direction; one country girl, one city boy, both out of their depth.

Luci and Flick are best friends and Seb and Callum Hollingsworth are gorgeous, smart, sexy brothers who happen to both be brooding loners in need of a bit of loving J.

My book, Waking up to Dr Gorgeous, tells Luci and Seb’s story and is set in Sydney. Here’s a little taste and check back later in the month for an excerpt from Amy from her book, Swept Away by the Seductive Stranger. And if you want to see all of the excerpts we’ve posted so far, please click the ‘Excerpts’ link on the Menu.

***

Luci hung her bath towel on the rail and slid naked between her bed sheets. She kept the window blinds up and the window slightly open. From the bed she could see the stars in the sky and the sound of the ocean carried to her on the warm spring air. The ocean murmured to itself as it lapped the shore. It was gentle tonight and she could imagine the waves kissing the sand, teasing gently before retreating, only to come back for more.

She dozed off to the sound of the sea.

It felt like only moments later that she woke to an unfamiliar sound. A slamming door.

She was still getting used to the different sounds and rhythms of the city. She could sleep through the early morning crowing of a rooster and the deep rumble of a tractor but the slightest noise in the middle of suburbia disturbed her. Rubbish trucks, the tooting of ferry horns, slamming of car doors and the loud conversations of late night commuters or drinking buddies on their way home from the pub all intruded on her dreams but this noise was louder than all of those. This noise was close.

She heard footsteps on the wooden floor boards and saw light streaming under her bedroom door as the passage light flicked on.

Shit, there was someone in the house.

What should she do?

Call out?

No, that would only draw attention to herself.

Find a weapon of some sort? She’d seen a set of golf clubs but they were in a cupboard near the front door. She couldn’t get to them and there was nothing in the bedroom. Maybe a shot of hairspray to the face would work – if only she used hairspray.

Should she call the police? But how quickly would they get here? Not fast enough she assumed.

She had no idea what to do. She’d never had to fend for herself.

She sat up in bed and scrabbled for her phone in the dark. She was too afraid to turn on the light, worried it would draw the wrong attention. She clutched the bed sheet to her chest to cover her nakedness. Perhaps she should find some clothes first. She didn’t want to confront a burglar while naked.

She could hear him crossing the living room. The tread of the steps were heavy. Man heavy. She could hear boots. The steps weren’t light and delicate. Nor was he making any attempt to be quiet. There was a loud thump as something soft but weighty hit the floor. It didn’t sound like a person. A bag maybe? A bag of stolen goods?

Her heart was racing and the hurried thumping almost drowned out the sound of the footsteps. Which made her pause. This had to be the world’s noisiest burglar. She hadn’t had much experience with burglars but surely they would generally try to be quiet? This one was making absolutely no attempt to be silent. Plus he had turned the lights on. Definitely not stealthy.

He was a terrible burglar, possibly one of the worst ever.

But maybe he thought the house was empty? Perhaps she should make some noise? Enough noise for two people.

She heard the soft pop as the seal on the fridge door was broken. She frowned. Now he was looking in the fridge? Making himself at home. She was positive it wasn’t Callum. Luci had spoken to Flick earlier in the day. Callum had well and truly arrived in Vicker’s Hill and according to her friend he was creating a bit of a stir. Luci hoped he wasn’t going to prove difficult – he was supposed to making things easier for her dad, not harder, but Luci couldn’t do much about it. All it meant to her was that it wasn’t Callum in the apartment. And she was pretty sure by now that it wasn’t a burglar either but that still meant a stranger was in the house.

She needed to get dressed.

She switched on the bedside light and was half way out of bed when she heard the footsteps moving along the passage. While she was debating her options she saw the bedroom door handle moving.

Shit. They were coming in.

‘You’d better get out of here. I’ve called the police.’ She yelled, not knowing what else to do.

The door handle continued to turn and a voice said,  ‘You’ve done what?’

When it became obvious that the person who belonged to the voice was intent on entering her room she jumped back into bed and pulled the covers up to her chin, grabbing her phone just in case she did need to call the cops.

‘I’ll scream,’ she added for good measure.

But the door continued to open and a vision appeared. Luci wondered briefly if she was dreaming. Her heart was racing at a million miles an hour but she had no clue as to whether it was due to nerves, fear, panic or simple lust. This intruder might just be the most gorgeous man she’d ever laid eyes on. Surely someone this gorgeous couldn’t be evil?

But then Ted Bundy sprang to mind. He was a good-looking, charming, educated man who just happened to be a serial killer. ‘Don’t come any closer,’ she said.

He stopped and held his hands out to his sides. ‘I’m not going to hurt you but who the hell are you and what are you doing in my room?’ he said.

Your room?’

Was this Callum? She was certain she’d chosen the guest bedroom but anyway, what was he doing here? He couldn’t have got back to Sydney that quickly. He was supposed to be a thousand miles away, staying in her house. That was how a house-swap worked.  ‘Why aren’t you in Vicker’s Hill?’

‘What the heck is Vicker’s Hill?’

Luci frowned. ‘Who are you?’

He couldn’t be Callum. So whose room was she in exactly?

‘Seb. Seb Hollingsworth.’

Seb.

‘You’re not Callum?’

A creased appeared between his superb blue eyes as he frowned. ‘No. I’m his brother.’

Luci almost missed his answer, distracted as she was by the thick, dark eyelashes that framed his eyes.

‘Brother!’ Why hadn’t Callum warned her? She sat up in the bed taking care to make sure the sheets stopped her from any sort of indecent exposure. ‘Callum didn’t mention you.’

‘So you do know Cal then?’

‘Sort of.’

He lifted one eyebrow but said nothing.

Luci could play that game too. And she used the silent seconds to examine the vision a little more closely.

He really was gorgeous. Tall, really tall, with thick dark hair, chestnut she’d call it. He had eyebrows to match that shaded piercing blue eyes and a nose that may or may not have been broken once upon a time. His lips were full and pink but the two-day growth of beard that darkened his jaw prevented them from looking feminine.

His torso was bare but he held what appeared to be a black t-shirt in his hand. Just what had he been planning on doing? she wondered before she was distracted again by his broad shoulders and smooth chest. He reminded her of someone she thought as her eyes roamed over his body.

The Statue of David she thought.

Brought to life. He was made of warm flesh instead of cool marble but with the same, startling, level of perfection.

Her heart was still beating a rapid tattoo. Adrenalin was still coursing through her system but not out of fear. Now it was a simple chemical, or maybe, hormonal reaction.

‘I think you have some explaining to do,’ said the living, breathing statue.

In Luci’s opinion so did Callum, Seb’s absent brother, and she was blowed if she was going to explain herself while she lay in bed naked. She clutched the sheet a little more tightly across her breasts. ‘Let me get dressed and then we can talk.’

The corner of Seb’s mouth lifted in a wry smile and there was a wicked gleam in his blue eyes. Luci felt a burst of heat explode in her belly and she knew that the heat would taint her body with a blush of pink. She could feel the warmth spreading up over her chest and neck as Seb continued to stand in the doorway. Did he know the effect he was having on her? She had to get rid of him.

‘Can you give me a minute?’ she asked.

‘Sure, sorry,’ he replied, looking anything but sorry. ‘And while you’re at it,’ he added, glancing at the phone that was still clutched in her hand along with the bed sheet, ‘do you think you could ring the police and tell them it was just a misunderstanding?  I don’t want the neighbours getting the wrong idea.’

‘I didn’t actually ring the police,’ Luci admitted.

He turned and left the room, pulling the door closed behind him and she could hear him laughing, a deep, cheerful sound that lifted her spirits.

Luci waited to hear his footsteps retreating before she was brave enough to throw off the sheets once more. She climbed out of bed on shaky legs and pulled on a t-shirt and a pair of shorts. She padded down the hallway to the open plan lounge and kitchen to find Seb with his head in the fridge giving her a very nice view of a tidy rear covered in denim. His bare feet poked out of the bottom of his jeans.

She stepped around a pile of luggage had been dumped beside the couch. A brown leather jacket was draped over a duffel bag and a motorbike helmet sat on the floor beside a pair of sturdy boots, the boots that had been stomping down the passage. There was a thick layer of reddish brown dust covering everything. Maybe he did live here.

She ducked through the kitchen and into the dining room where she stood on the far side of the table, putting some distance between them.  Despite the fact that he looked like something created by Michelangelo and appeared to be related to the owner of the house she wasn’t prepared to take his word for it just yet. Until she’d decided he wasn’t Ted Bundy she wasn’t taking any chances.

He stood up and tuned to face her. His chest was now covered by his black t-shirt – that was a pity – and he had two small bottles of beer in his hand.

‘Beer?’ he asked as he raised his hand.

Luci shook her head.

He put one bottle back in the fridge, closed the door and then twisted the top off the other bottle and took a swig. He watched her as she watched him but he didn’t seem as nervous as her. Not nearly.

He stepped over to the table, pulled out a chair and sat down. He pushed the chair back and stretched his legs out. He was tall. His legs were long. He was fiddling with the beer bottle and she couldn’t help but notice that his fingers were long and slender too.

He lifted his blue eyes up to meet her gaze. ‘So, sleeping beauty, do you have a name?’

‘Luci.’

‘Luci,’ he repeated, stretching out the two syllables, and the way the ‘u’ rolled off his tongue did funny things to her insides.

‘So where’s my big brother? And why were you in my bed?’

***

Click on the links to be taken to the bookstores

http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=67746

http://www.millsandboon.com.au/product/9781489200303

https://www.millsandboon.co.uk/p51741/waking-up-to-dr-gorgeous.htm

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

vinegar

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

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

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

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

BOOK NEWS!

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

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

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

Happy Reading!

Fiona x

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

September releases

Six lovely new releases this month to get your romance on. There’s a mix of Aussie and US covers for your viewing pleasure! Babies, reunions, runaway brides and some red heads!

 

A Daddy For Her Daughter by Tina Beckett

A family to heal them… medcover1

After losing his little girl five years ago, Dr. Kaleb McBride has kept himself to himself. He can’t face losing anyone ever again. Then beautiful Madeleine Grimes enters his world…

Maddy’s priority is her young daughter. So she’s just as determined to ignore her burning attraction to Kaleb! But when stolen kisses turn into something more, Maddy wonders if she and Chloe can heal Kaleb’s heart…and make the perfect family!

 

 

Reunited With His Runaway Bride by Robin Gianna

Brought bmedcover6ack together by a baby

It broke Dr. Bree Donovan’s heart to end things with family-orientated surgeon Sean Latham, but marriage and kids are not for her. Only, now Sean is asking her to help care for his newborn nephew while his sister is in hospital, and Bree can’t say no.

It’s temporary, but as Bree experiences how rewarding family life can be—and gives in to the passion she and Sean have always shared—is it possible for her to believe that this time around they really could have it all?

 

 

Sizzling Nights With Dr Off-Limits by Janice Lynn

A date with her past! medcover4

When nurse Emily Stewart puts herself up for a hospital charity auction, she never expects the winning bidder to be Lucas Cain—her new boss…and ex-husband!

Since their marriage crumbled, Emily hasn’t wanted to experience such tempestuous passion again. And she’s still hiding a heartbreaking secret from Lucas… Yet he’s changed during their years apart, and soon a red-hot fling is impossible to resist! Dare she finally open up to Lucas and give their love a second chance?

 

 

Rescued By Dr Rafe by Annie Claydon (Stranded in his Arms duo)

medcover5Her unexpected rescuer

When newly qualified paramedic Mimi Sawyer is separated from her colleague in a flash flood, the last person she wants to come to her rescue is Dr. Rafe Chapman—the man who broke her heart when he walked out five years ago…

Talking about his feelings has never been easy for Rafe. But their forced reunion means confronting the truth of the past. It’s suddenly clear that Mimi has always been the one for him, yet to win her back he’ll need to convince Mimi that he’s the one for her!

 

 

 

Saved By The Single Dad by Annie Claydon (Stranded in his Arms duo)  medcover2

When paramedic Jack Halliday is saved from a flood by red-haired beauty Cassandra Clarke, the chemistry between them explodes. And while he’ll always put his daughter, Ellie, first, Jack can’t help longing to save Cass in return…

Meeting single dad Jack awakens too many cravings in firefighter Cass, who’s accepted that she’ll never have a baby of her own. But when this man—and his adorable daughter—invite her to share their house, Cass begins to feel she’s found her home!

 

 

Seven Nights With Her Ex by Louisa Heaton

medcover3One week to win her back!

For neurologist Beau Judd, a medical survival course in Yellowstone Park is her chance to experience something completely different. But her trip halfway around the world only brings her closer to her past—the man who left her at the altar!

Twelve years ago Dr. Gray McGregor made the most difficult decision of his life. Now, brought back together with Beau as they head into the wild, he realises what a mistake it was. Can he win back the woman he loves in just seven days?

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Seven Nights With Her Ex!

Hello and welcome! Can you believe it’s nearly the end of August? I’ve already started planning Christmas! It’s shocking.

Well, my next book is about to be out, depending on where you live and whether you want to purchase a Kindle version or the paperback – Seven Nights With Her Ex.

It’s set in Yellowstone Park and I had great fun writing this story (*read moments of sheer terror that I no longer had the ability to write a book/should never have set it outdoors/must have been having an out of body experience/occasional moments of joy)

516YRfywusL._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_But by the time I had my first draft done, I was beginning to feel calmer. Beau and Gray, the hero and heroine of my story were beginning to cooperate and by the time I’d redrafted once or twice (maybe even three or four times) with the help of my editor, Nic, I finally had a story that I was really happy with. When I read it now, I cannot find the chapters that haunted me, the chapters that I struggled with or the chapters that made me want to run screaming into the streets.

So I thought today, I’d share with you a little snippet from Chapter One. Hopefully to whet your appetite! Beau has just arrived at the ranger station in Yellowstone Park and has discovered that the man who left her at the altar twelve years ago, is also going to be sharing the next seven days with her! But here we start with Gray’s POV.

But here there was peace. And quiet. And–

The door swung open with a loud creak and suddenly she was there. Alone. Before him. Those ice-blue eyes of hers were staring him down. Cold. Unfeeling.

He got to his feet, his mouth suddenly dry.

‘I think it’s time I made some rules about the next week.’ she crossed her arms, waiting for his response.

‘Beau, I–‘

‘First of all,’ she interrupted, holding up her hand for silence, ‘I think we should agree not to speak to each other. I appreciate that circumstances may not always allow for that, so if you do speak to me, then I’d prefer it was only about the course. Nothing else. Nothing personal.’

‘But I need to–‘

‘Second of all, you are to tell no-one here what happened between us. I will not become the subject of idle gossip. And thirdly, when this is over, you will not contact me, you will not call. You will maintain the silence that you have been so expert at keeping for the last eleven years. Do you understand?’

He did understand. All too keenly. She wanted nothing to do with him. Which was fair enough. Except that he felt that now she was here, right in front of him, this week might be his chance to explain everything. Forget a pathetic phone call or a scrappy little email. That had never been his style anyway. He had seven days in which to lower her walls, get her to accept his white flag of truce and ask her to listen to him.

So! Hope you guys enjoyed that. Seven Nights With her Ex is available from the Mills and Boon website, Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, plus Barnes and Noble and Kobo. (Click on any of the blue highlighted text to take you straight through to a buy link)

Enjoy what’s left of August! (School starts soon. Eek!)

Louisa xxx

http://www.louisaheaton.com

Twitter – @louisaheaton