The Brooding Doctor's Redemption

Available in stores

Mills & Boon Medical Romance

Feb 2013

ISBN: 9780263898767

 

Harlequin Medical Romance

Feb 2013

ISBN: 9780373068715

A new job should be the fresh start Dr Marc Bailey needs in order to accept that he wasn't to blame for the loss of his wife and unborn child. But spending time with Laurie Grant and her daughter Izzy is a joy and a heartache. He should walk way - except Laurie and Izzy are showing Marc that everyone deserves a second chance at happiness...

Also released as:

  • UK hardback (Feb 2013, ISBN 9780263234251)
  • UK large print hardback (Aug 2013, ISBN tbc)
  • Also released in Australian paperback (Feb 2013, ISBN tbc)

 


Behind the Book

In summer 2012, I started writing a book where two GPs worked together on a project that was basically preventative medicine - aimed at middle-aged patients who struggle with their weight. (Yup. That one's verrrry close to home. And I ended up joining a local gym and loving every second of the Kate Unlardy project - which really surprised me!)

Marc has lost everything, and he moved from London to a Norfolk village to make a new start. Laurie's a single mum who's trying a little bit too hard to be both parents to her daughter. And neither of them has the space in their life for a relationship. . .

Except, as they work together, they fall in love with each other. Laurie's a fixer and she tries to be a good friend to Marc, taking him to see the bluebells (= research trip for me to the bluebell woods, and I lent her my fabulous wellies) and taking him to the beach (= another research trip messing about in rock pools and eating ice cream - well, someone has to do it).

It's one of my weepies. And I've set it up so they both have to face their issues head on. Can Marc cope better this time round, and can Laurie trust him not to let her down?

My spaniel has a walk-on part, except I've turned him into a Labrador. Luckily he doesn't mind me taking liberties, as long as he gets to snooze by my desk in the daytime, shares my salmon/chicken/prawns at lunch, and gets a fuss made of him.

I've dedicated it to two very dear medical author friends who passed away in 2012 and are very much missed - Maggie Kingsley and Margaret McDonagh.

The book's soundtrack

My working title for the book was 'A Little Patience' - and yes, we are talking about the Take That song. My playlist for this book included:

  • Take That, Patience
  • Coldplay, Fix You
  • Sheryl Crow, The First Cut is the Deepest
  • REM, Everybody Hurts
  • Suzanne Vega, Caramel (it's the yearning nature of the song and that last chord)
  • Kathryn Williams and Niall McColl, Come With Me

Read a bit

This was ridiculous. Anyone would think that Marc was five years old and about to start his first day at school, not thirty-five and about to start his first day as a GP at Pond Lane Surgery.

He shook himself. There was absolutely no reason for him to be nervous. If Sam, the senior partner at the practice, hadn’t thought that Marc would fit into the team, he wouldn’t have offered him the job. Marc had spent ten years working in a busy practice in London. Working in a sleepy country town would be different, but he’d wanted different. Something to help him leave the memories behind.

He took a deep breath and pushed the door open.

The middle-aged woman at the reception desk smiled at him. ‘It’s a bit early for appointments, I’m afraid. We’re not quite open yet.’

‘I’m not actually here for an appointment,’ he explained. ‘My name’s Marc Bailey.’

‘Oh, our new GP! Welcome to the practice.’ She shook his hand. ‘I’m Phyllis – well, obviously I’m the receptionist. Sam’s expecting you. I’ll take you through to his office.’ A friendly face on Reception was a good start. Hopefully the rest of the day would match up to it.

Phyllis rapped on the open door. ‘Sam? Marc Bailey’s here.’ She smiled at Marc. ‘I’ll leave you to it. If there’s anything you need, just let me know.’

‘Thank you.’

Sam shook his hand warmly. ‘Welcome to Pond Lane. I hope you don’t mind, Marc, but I’d like you to work with Dr Grant for the first half of the morning. I know you’re perfectly capable of settling in by yourself, but it always helps to have someone teach you the horrible little quirks of a computer system that’s new to you.’

‘Uh-huh.’ Marc wondered where this was leading. Was having someone shadowing him his new boss’s way of making sure that he’d made the right decision in offering Marc the job?

‘And you’ll be helping her at the same time. Laurie works part time at the surgery. She’s halfway through qualifying as a GP trainer, and it’ll be useful for her to sit in on consultations with someone she hasn’t worked with before.’

Marc gave him a wry smile. ‘It’s been a while since someone observed me in a consultation.’

‘Laurie won’t bite. She’s a sweetie, and she makes the best lemon cake ever,’ Sam said with a chuckle.

‘Right.’ Marc imagined a doctor in her mid-forties, the motherly type, who wanted to enrich her career by teaching new doctors.

‘Oh, and I should, warn you – she has this pet project. Given your experience in sports medicine, she might ask you to help out.’

Marc wasn’t sure whether to be more intrigued or concerned. ‘Noted,’ he said.

‘I’ll take you through to Laurie.’ Sam shepherded him through to Laurie’s room. ‘Marc, this is Laurie Grant. Laurie, this is Marc Bailey, our new GP.’ He patted Marc’s shoulder. ‘I’ll leave you to sort things out between you.’

‘OK.’

Laurie was nothing like Marc had expected. She was in her early thirties, a couple of years younger than himself, he’d guess, but what he really noticed were the dark corkscrew curls she’d pulled back in a scrunchie, her piercing blue eyes, and the sweetest-looking mouth he’d ever seen.

Which was terrible. He shouldn’t even be noticing this sort of thing about her. She was his new colleague, and for all he knew she could be married.

Worse still, he found himself actually glancing at her left hand, to check.

No ring. Not that that meant anything.

She didn’t seem to notice, and simply held out her hand to shake his. ‘Welcome to Pond Lane, Marc.’

When his palm touched hers, it felt like an electric shock.

This really couldn’t be happening.

But either it wasn’t the same for her, or she was a bit better than he was at ignoring the zing of attraction, because she said, ‘It’s really good of you to let me sit in on consultations with you this morning, especially as it’s your first day here. Leigh, the practice manager, is off today, but she left me all the details so I can set you up on the computer.’ She laughed. ‘Sam has this mad idea that because I’m the youngest doctor in the practice, it means I’m the one who’s best with computers.’

‘Are you?’ Marc asked.

‘Only because my brother’s a computer consultant and taught me a lot, to stop me ringing him up and wailing down the phone to him every time I got stuck when I was a student,’ she said cheerfully. ‘Shall we grab a coffee, then go to your room and make a start?’

‘Sure.’ Marc found himself warming to her. She was efficient and bubbly, with an overlay of common sense: it was a good combination, and he’d just bet her patients adored her.

They headed for the staff kitchen, and Laurie switched the kettle on. ‘Do you prefer tea or coffee?’

‘Coffee’s great, thanks.’ Instant coffee, he noticed. A couple of years ago, he would’ve been a bit sniffy and insisted on bringing in a cafétière and a special blend of ground beans; and his suit for work would’ve been a designer label, his shirts hand-made. Nowadays, he knew there were more important things in life. And how he wished he’d been less shallow when he was younger. That he’d appreciated what he’d had.

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