Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Hot Docs!

Read all about it!

Here at Love is the Best Medicine, we always like to bring you news from the romance community. So when the ‘Six Hot Single Dads’ anthology, which includes stories from three of our Medical Romance Authors, hit the newspapers, we had to know more. And now we can bring you the inside scoop.

The trend for ‘Single Dad’ heroes was spotted by Mills and Boon earlier this year, and the six book anthology of Single Dad stories, with brand new covers, is available now in the UK from Mills and Book and Amazon.  It will be published in Australia in August, and is available for pre-order now at Amazon.  US readers can find the individual titles at Harlequin.

News coverage so far includes articles in the NY Post, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph and Glamour Magazine.

We caught up with the three medical romance authors featured in the anthology:-

Emily Forbes: ‘Falling for the Single Dad’

“It has been such a thrill to read these positive articles about our “Single Dad” books. I really love creating my heroes and I find there’s something special about my single dads so it is such a pleasure to know readers enjoy these stories too. A word of warning though – don’t believe everything you read in the media 🙂. In “Falling for the Single Dad” it is my heroine who is the army surgeon, not my hero although he is also a plastic surgeon. Abi suffers from PTSD and it is up to my hero, Damien, and his daughter, to help heal her.

My latest book, ‘A Mother to Make a Family‘ also features a single dad, Mitch, who is a cattle rancher and father of 3!”

Annie Claydon: ‘Saved by the Single Dad’

“Writing Jack and Cass’s story was such a joy, and it’s wonderful to be included in this anthology.  One of the reasons I love Medical Romance is that it gives me the opportunity to write nurturing and caring heroes like these very special Single Dads.  Being ‘on-trend’ isn’t something I’m often accused of 🙂 but in this instance it’s a real thrill!

My latest book, ‘Saving Baby Amy‘ is the story of Chloe and Jon, who take on the responsibility of caring for Chloe’s baby niece, when her mother runs away.”

Lynne Marshall: ‘Hot-Shot Doc, Secret Dad’

“When I wrote Hot-Shot Doc, Secret Dad, I never expected the story would be chosen for a “single Dad” anthology. It is actually a secret dad story, and one or more reviewers have mentioned it. However, I revealed the secret to the hero in the first chapter, and I loved how, after getting over the shock of having a pre-teen son, Trevor stepped up and expected Julie to fill him in on all the years he’d missed. Then he wisely went about getting to know his son step by step, only toward the end telling the boy who he was. My biggest kick out of being included in this wonderful group of writers is having my first ever “man-chest” book cover. 🙂

My latest book is ‘Miracle for the Neurosurgeon‘.”

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And now for the covers…

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Lynne Marshall: ‘Hot-Shot Doc, Secret Dad’

Julie Sterling hadn’t wanted to return to her hometown. She hasn’t lived there since leaving thirteen years before, heart broken and pregnant. When she loses her parents in an accident she has no choice but to go back where it all began, and try to raise and protect her son.

Trevor still remembers Julie from that summer night all those years ago. The nurse and the doctor have changed a lot from their younger selves but even after all this time they’re drawn to each other. When Julie reveals to Trevor the true consequence of that night was a son he’d never known it’s the second time she’s taking a risk with the handsome cowboy.

And maybe this time their story can have a happy ending…

Life has a way of sometimes putting two hearts exactly where they belong in this sexy-sweet single dad second-chance romance.

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Annie Claydon: ‘Saved by the Single Dad’

It’s just crisis bonding. That’s what Cass tells herself. It’s just stress and exhaustion from the floods and long nights.

She’s not falling for the gorgeous paramedic she rescued near the river. She’s not thinking about what his skin would feel like under her hands as she patches him up with the first aid kit. She’s not listening to him showering in the next stall.
She’s definitely not thinking about how when she’s around him and his young daughter Ellie she feels like she can finally let herself have the family and love she’d tried so hard to make, and lost. They both think anything they could have would only be temporary— intense and fast.

But when her house is flooded and Jack— and adorable Ellie— invite her to share their house, Cass begins to feel like she wants to stay…

51PzeYOHUFLEmily Forbes: ‘Falling for the Single Dad’

Abi isn’t really one for believing in ‘happily ever afters’. The combination of spending two years working in Afghanistan as a reconstructive and plastic surgeon, and post-traumatic stress disorder tends to do that to a person. When she takes a job at a high-end plastic surgery clinic in Hollywood, all she’s thinking about is rebuilding herself and healing. There’s no room in her life for anything but surviving. Exceedingly hot or not, Damien would only be an unnecessary complication.
Especially since he’s a single Dad.

Abi resolves to keep her distance. Unfortunately this might be little difficult since he’s her boss and neighbour…

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Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Quit while you’re still winning?

I was reminded the other day of a friend of mine.  When asked why he was moving on from a great job that he loved, his answer was, ‘I want to quit while I’m still winning’.

So what brought this particular piece of wisdom to mind?  I’d just finished my latest manuscript ( 🙂 ).  I was happy with the plot ( 🙂 ).  And I had a warm feeling in my heart for both the hero and the heroine ( 🙂 ).  Oh… and the manuscript was 63,000 words long  (Gulp!)

A few days later, after having some very stern words with myself and wielding a freshly sharpened red pencil like a sabre,  I was back down to 50,000 words – give or take a few.  And, although I’d just edited out quite a few of my darlings, I had to admit to myself that I was a lot happier with the finished product.

And that’s the thing, isn’t it.  You can have not enough of a good thing, but you can also have too much.  (Chocolate springs to mind.)  We’ve all watched TV shows that we loved for the first two or three seasons, but by Season 5 the magic had vanished.  I’ve never actually been on holiday for too long, but I’m told it’s possible 🙂  And I’ve come out of more than one film, wishing that it had been half an hour shorter.

[EDIT… and with my apologies for not making myself clear:  Some things in life are just too precious to quit, though.  For me, writing Medical Romance is one of them 🙂   ]

It’s a fine art.  Knowing when there’s still more to do and you need to keep going, balanced with knowing when this is the best something’s going to get and it’s downhill all the way from here.  And it takes nerve to quit while you’re still winning.  Last week I was very grateful for that 50,000 word limit, because it dragged me back into line and made me submit a better manuscript than if I’d been given free rein to ramble on for another 13,000 words.

So I’m starting to come around to the idea of quitting while you’re winning.  Not too soon – my optimism tells me that there’s always something good waiting around the next corner.  But maybe there are a few things which are better done in smaller measures.  What do you think?

I don’t have any new English language covers to show you this time around, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to show off a few recent covers from around the world, because it’s always such a thrill for me to see them.  Right to left, the French translation of my duo ‘Rescued by Dr Rafe’ and ‘Saved by the Single Dad’, the Italian translation of ‘Discovering Dr Riley, and the Polish translation of ‘Discovering Dr Riley’.

Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Excerpt – Rescued by Dr Rafe

This week’s excerpt is from the first book in my newly released duo ‘Rescued by Dr Rafe’. 

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!

The second book in the duo ‘Saved by the Single Dad’ is also available, and tells Jack and Cass’s story.

Before I get on to the excerpt, I’d just like to remind you that we’ll be having excerpts from Amy Andrews, Jennifer Taylor and Annie O’Neil next month.  And if you want to see all of the excerpts we’ve posted so far, please click the ‘Excerpts’ link on the Menu.

Rescued by Dr Rafe

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The rain beat down hard on the windscreen, the wipers only clearing it for a moment before water blocked visibility again. Jack was sitting next to her, watching the road ahead carefully.

‘Think we’ll make it?’

Mimi was gripping the steering wheel tight, gauging the way the heavy vehicle was responding in the wet conditions. ‘Yep. As long as the road doesn’t disappear out from under us, we’ll make it.’

The comment wasn’t as unlikely as it would have sounded when they’d last come this way, two weeks ago. It had been raining then, a fine mist that barely covered the road ahead of them. But since then, the rain hadn’t stopped. It had been a dismal summer and August had brought storms. Roads had been washed away in some areas of rural Somerset, and ambulance crews had been battling to get through to their patients.

‘Just think. In two weeks’ time you’ll be away from all of this.’ Jack leaned back in his seat. ‘Miss Miriam Sawyer. Paramedic.’

Despite herself, Mimi grinned. She’d worked hard, and the sound of her own name, spoken with the coveted qualification attached still made her smile every time Jack repeated it. ‘I’m not sure I would have made it without you.’

‘`Course you would. Although I like to think that my expertise and advice were helpful…’

‘And the incessant nagging, of course. But we don’t mention that.’

‘No, we don’t. Or my back seat driving.’

‘Especially not that.’ Two weeks seemed like a long time right now and Mimi’s promotion from ambulance driver to paramedic a long way away. Just getting to this call was about as far ahead as she was able to think, right now.

‘And I’ll be trying to get used to a new partner. Missing your unerring instinct for finding every bump in the road…’

‘Oh, put a sock in it.’ Mimi felt her shoulders relax. Jack always knew when the tension was getting too much, and always seemed to be able to wind things down a bit. ‘Anyway, you’re assuming that they’ll be able to find someone who’ll put up with you.’

‘Harsh, Mimi. Very harsh.’ Jack chuckled, leaning forward to see ahead of them, down the hill towards the river. ‘Looks as if the bridge is still there.’

‘Yeah, but I don’t think we should risk it. That bridge will only just take an ambulance at the best of times. I don’t want to get stuck in the mud on the other side.’ In the brief moments that the windscreen was clear enough to see any distance, it was apparent that the surface water, rolling down the hill on the far side of the river, had reduced the road to a slippery quagmire.

Jack nodded. ‘Looks as if we walk the rest of the way, then.’

‘We could try the A389.’ They’d been directed around this way because of reports that the main road into the village was closed. But maybe that was just a precaution and the ambulance would still be able to traverse it.

‘Nah, I checked and it’s under three feet of water. We’d never get through.’ Jack had been using his phone for updates while Mimi concentrated on the driving. ‘Right now, I think we need to just get ourselves there.’

‘And then?’ If the chances of getting the ambulance across the bridge and up to the village at the top of the hill on the other side were slim, the thought of arriving on foot didn’t appeal very much either. Bringing a pregnant woman back down that treacherous path was something that didn’t bear thinking about.

‘We can assess the situation. I’ve put a call in for a doctor to attend…’

‘Yeah. Right.’ She and Jack had delivered babies before together and, if needs must, they’d do it again. ‘I hope they’re not going to send some junior doctor who thinks he’s the one who’s going to save the world and that we should just stand back and make the tea.’

‘As a paramedic you’ll be making these kinds of decisions soon. What will you do?’ Jack smiled.

‘Oh, I think I’ll put in a call for a doctor to attend.’ Mimi grinned back at him, bringing the ambulance to a halt. She decided to stay put and not pull off the road on to the muddy verge. That was one sure way to get stuck, and a car could make it past in the other lane. Anything bigger wouldn’t be getting any further anyway.

‘Time to get your hair wet again.’

Mimi grimaced, tucking her blonde plait into the back of her shirt. Her hair had been wet so many times in the last week that she was beginning to wish that short hair suited her as well as it did Jack.

They pulled their wet weather gear on in the cabin and Mimi reached for the radio. The only response to her call signal was a burst of static. ‘Looks as if there’s a problem again…’

‘Yeah?’ Jack looked at the rain slamming into the windscreen. ‘Have you got a signal on your mobile?’

‘Probably not…’ Even in good conditions, mobile reception was patchy around here. ‘I might have to walk back up the road a bit. You go on; I’ll be right behind you.’

The ambulance rocked slightly as Jack pulled his heavy bag out of the back, slamming the rear doors closed. Mimi saw him trudge past, rain bouncing from his waterproofs, as she pulled out her phone and dialled.

Nearly… A staccato ringtone sounded on the line, but it was breaking up and then it cut out completely. Climbing out of the ambulance, she toiled back along the road, rain stinging her face. Some way ahead of her she could see an SUV travelling down the hill towards her, going as fast as the pouring rain would allow.

‘Careful, mate…’ She muttered the words to the unknown driver. ‘Any faster and you’ll be in the ditch.’

Forty feet gave her another bar on her phone, and another twenty feet one more. That should be enough. The SUV was closer now, and the driver was flashing his headlights.

‘Okay, I see you.’ Mimi stepped off the road, stumbling over the uneven, sticky ground.

Then she heard it. A distant rumbling sound that might have been thunder, but there had been no accompanying flash of lightning. Mimi turned in the direction of the noise, looking upstream, and then she saw its source.

‘Jack…!’

She shouted into the storm, at the figure on the other side of the bridge, screaming Jack’s name again when he didn’t react. It was impossible to tell whether he’d heard her this time, or the thunderous sound of water rushing downstream towards him, but he turned around.

Jack took one look at the water and dropped the heavy bag he was carrying. He seemed about to try and run, but the steep slope ahead of him was slippery with mud and water.

Mimi stared in horror, unable to do anything, and knowing that Jack had only seconds to make a decision. Run for it, or find something to hang on to. There was a large spreading tree at the side of the road and she willed him towards it. As the water crashed down, she saw him run for the shelter of the tree, clinging on to one of the four split trunks which rose up from the earth.

‘Jack… Hang on…’ She sobbed the words even though she knew he couldn’t hear them. Maybe he knew she’d be saying it, just as surely as she’d known which decision he’d make.

The noise of the water was almost deafening and, in an apocalyptic touch to the scene, the storm chose this moment to shoot a bolt of lightning through the sky, followed by a deep growl of thunder. The rush of water crashed past, taking a few chunks of the bridge with it, and Mimi kept her gaze fixed on the spot where she’d last seen Jack.

‘Hang on, hang on, hang on…’ It was as if she could repeat it enough times to somehow make his grip firmer. The water was subsiding now as it followed the course of the river, and she could see him, tangled in the framework of twisted tree trunks.

Maybe he was holding on or maybe unconscious; she couldn’t see from here. Mimi started to run for the bridge, hoping that it hadn’t been weakened too much by the impact of the water.

A voice sounded behind her but the words were whipped away in the storm. And then someone grabbed her from behind, lifting her off her feet.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

There’s always a first time… (and a giveaway)

There’s always a first time.  That was one of my Mum’s favourite sayings – usually in answer to one of my closely reasoned arguments about how such-and-such could never happen in a month of Sundays.  And it’s something that’s stayed with me and makes me smile – because one thing I’m certain of in this life, is that I don’t know what’s going to happen next, nor do I know what I’m going to make of it.  But the thought that we’re never quite done with ‘first times’ is one of the things that carries me forward.

Since I’ve become a writer there have been a lot of first times, and here’s the latest.  September brings the release of my first two-in-one, Rescued by Dr Rafe and Saved by the Single Dad.  Here’s the blurb for this duo.

Stranded in his arms. Falling in love in the face of danger!
As the water level rises in a Somerset village ambulance partners Mimi Sawyer and Jack Halliday race towards a pregnant woman fast approaching her due date.  But when a river bursts its banks this fearless team is separated, and Mimi and Jack find themselves facing the strongest challenge yet to the walls around their hearts…!

Rescued by Dr Rafe follows Mimi’s next move, and Saved by the Single Dad follows Jack’s.

There’s another unexpected first, too – my first Spot the Difference!  Can you see the difference between the images on the UK and US versions of Rescued by Dr Rafe?  (I think this is a relatively easy one, but you have to remember that I spend a very long time staring at every detail of my new covers 🙂 )

rescued 1rescued 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

savedAnd here’s the Australian cover for Saved by the Single Dad.  I wanted to show it to you, because the heroine on this cover is just as I imagined Cass.

I’d also like to introduce you to the two real-life women that these books are dedicated to, because they’ve both been there for me for many years and many, many firsts.  Rescued by Dr Rafe is dedicated to my sister Kath, who died suddenly last November.  My big sis always believed in me and encouraged me with whatever I wanted to do, and she’s one of the reasons that I’m here today, writing about my books.  Always loving and very much loved in return, it’s impossible not to include her in this special first.

Saved by the Single Dad, is dedicated to my dear friend Cass, whose name I borrowed for my heroine.  The one thing she has in common with the fictional Cass is that she has gorgeous red hair – but she would like to be six feet tall and I suspect she might also have a hankering to emulate Cass’s rather impressive fireman’s lift 🙂  I’m constantly thankful for her friendship and loving honesty over the years.

I have a copy of the two-in-one to give away to one commentator, so please leave a comment to be included in the draw!

And finally – for those who’ve been following our Perfect Hero and Perfect Heroine quizzes.  The answers are in, and every one of them is much appreciated!  Annie O’Neil will be bringing you more on this soon and so I’m not going to spoil the surprise she’s busy cooking up 🙂  So look out for her post, at the end of this month.

[EDIT – Adding a scan of the hardback cover for Laney]

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