Bound by a Baby

Available in stores

Mills & Boon Cherish

Jan 2014

ISBN 9780263912500

 

Harlequin Romance

Sept 2013

ISBN: 9780373742561

Winner of the RoNA Rose Award 2014

Can a baby bring them together?

Becoming guardian to her orphaned godson is a heartbreaking honour for Emmy Jacobs. The real challenge will be sharing that honour with godfather Dylan Harper! Having got off on the wrong foot with him, Emmy must now somehow get along with the brooding - and gorgeous - Dylan...

Dylan has never wanted a family, His own childhood was bad enough, so how can he ever be a father> But he promised his best friend he'd be there and he's going to be. Caring for baby Tyler with a beautiful but emotions woman will test him to the limit. However, watching Emmy with Tyler shows Dylan a new side to her - and a new side to himself...

Also released as:

  • UK hardback (Sept 2013, ISBN 9780263235456)
  • UK large print hardback (Jan 2014, ISBN tbc)
  • Also released in Australian paperback (Sept 2013, ISBN: tbc).

 


Behind the Book

What would you do if your best friend asked you to be her baby's guardian, if anything dreadful happened to her? And what if her husband asked the same of his best friend? And what if you and the other best friend really didn't like each other? And what if you weren't used to being around babies - how would you cope? That was the dilemma I set my characters. Mean of me, but they rose to the challenge!

The book's set partly in Paris. Although I didn't go to the posh restaurant in the book, I've walked in my hero and heroine's shoes - that was the day we went a little mad and walked from the Arc de Triomphe down to the Louvre, spent time in the museum, walked to Notre Dame (and all the way up those 300 stairs and down again), then to the Eiffel Tower and up to the second stage. OK - it was my bright idea and my research team rebelled at the Eiffel Tower. Especially when I confessed just how far we walked… But they've forgiven me now, and I've dedicated the book to them.

There's also a bit of the book set in Whitby. And we went beachcombing there - we found some jet, and my son found an ammonite a bit further down the coast. Oh, and I had a jet bead especially carved for my Pandora bracelet ;)

Read a bit

'I assume you know why you're both here,' the solicitor said, looking at Emmy and then at Dylan.

Of course Emmy knew. Ally and Pete had asked her to be their son Tyler's guardian, if the unthinkable should ever happen.

If. She swallowed hard. That was the whole point of her being here. Because the unthinkable had happened. And Emmy still couldn't quite believe that she'd never see her best friend again.

She lifted her chin. Obviously today was about making things all official legally. And as for Dylan Harper – the only man she'd ever met who could make wearing a T-shirt and jeans feel as if they were a formal business suit – he was obviously here because he was Pete's best friend and Pete and Ally had asked him to be the executor of their will. 'Yes,' she said.

'Yes,' Dylan echoed.

'Good.' The solicitor tapped his pen against his blotter. 'So, Miss Jacobs, Mr Harper, can you confirm that you're both prepared to be Tyler's guardians?'

Emmy froze for a moment. Both? What was the man talking about? No way would Ally and Pete have asked them both to be Tyler's guardian. There had to be some mistake.

She glanced at Dylan, to find him looking straight back at her. And his expression was just as stunned as her own must be.

Or maybe they'd misheard. Misunderstood. 'Both of us, Tyler's guardians?' she asked.

For the first time, the solicitor's face showed an expression other than smooth neutrality. 'Did you not know they'd named you as Tyler's guardian in the will, Ms Jacobs?'

Emmy blew out a breath. 'Well, yes. Ally asked me before she and Pete revised their wills.' And she'd assumed that Ally had meant just her.

'Pete asked me,' Dylan said.

Which almost made Emmy wonder if Ally and Pete hadn't spoken to each other about it. Though obviously they must've done. They'd both signed the will, so they'd clearly known that both of their best friends had agreed to be there for Tyler. They just hadn't shared that particular piece of information with either Dylan or herself, by the looks of things.

'Is there a problem?' the solicitor asked.

Apart from the fact that she and Dylan disliked each other intensely and usually avoided each other? Or the fact that Dylan was married – and Emmy was pretty sure that his wife couldn't be too pleased that her husband had been named co-guardian with another woman, one who was single? 'No,' she said quickly, and looked at Dylan. This was his cue to explain that no, he couldn't do it.

'No problem,' Dylan confirmed, to her shock.

'Good.'

Good? No, it just made everything much more complicated, Emmy thought. Or maybe it meant he intended to fight her for custody of the baby: family man versus single mum, so it was obvious who'd win. But she didn't have a chance to protest because the solicitor went on with the reading of the will. 'Now, obviously Ally and Pete left financial provisions for Tyler. I have all the details here.'

'I'll deal with it,' Dylan said.

Immediately assuming that a flaky, air-headed jewellery designer wouldn't have a clue what do. Emmy knew that was how Dylan saw her – she'd overheard him say it to Pete, on more than one occasion – and it rankled. She'd been her own boss for ten years. She was perfectly capable of dealing with things. Whereas he was so uptight and stuffy, she couldn't even begin to imagine him looking after a baby or a toddler. Given that Ally had always been diplomatic about Dylan's wife, merely saying that she worked with Pete, Emmy was pretty sure that Nadine Harper was from the same mould as Dylan. A cold workaholic who wouldn't know what fun was if it jumped out in front of him and yelled, 'Boo!' And not the sort that Ally would've wanted caring for her son.

But the solicitor was off again, going through the details of the arrangements made in the will. Emmy had to ignore her feelings and listen to what the man was telling her before she got completely lost. This was important.

And then at last it was all over.

Leaving her and Dylan to pick up the pieces. Together. Unthinkably.

She gave the solicitor a polite smile, shook his hand, and walked out of the office. On the doorstep of the building, she came to a halt and faced Dylan.

'I think,' she said, 'we need to talk. Like now.'

He nodded. 'And I could do with some coffee.'

There were shadows under his cornflower-blue eyes, and lines at the corners betraying that he hadn't slept properly since the crash; for the first time ever, Emmy thought, Dylan actually looked vulnerable – and as if he hurt as much as she did, right now. It stopped her from uttering the kind of snippy remarks they usually made to each other.

'Make that two of us,' she said. On the sleep front, as well as the need for coffee. Vulnerability, no way would she admit to. Especially not to Dylan Harper. No way was she giving him an excuse to take Tyler from her. He and Nadine were not taking her place.

'Where's Tyler?' Dylan asked.

'With my mum. She'll ring me if there's a problem.' She lifted one shoulder, daring him to criticise her. 'I didn't think the solicitor's office would be the best place for him.'

'It isn't.'

Another first: he was actually agreeing with her. Maybe, she thought, they might be able to work something out between them. Maybe he'd be reasonable. A baby wouldn't fit into his busy, workaholic lifestyle. It'd be tough for Emmy, too, but at least she'd spent time with her godson and have some clue about looking after him.

'Shall we?' she asked, indicating the café across the road.

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