The Doctor's Rescue

Available in stores

Mills & Boon Medical Romance

January 2004

ISBN: 0263838757

 

Harlequin Medical Romance

March 2004

ISBN: 0373064462

Rescuing Dr Cooper

GP Dr Will Cooper had rescued a toddler from a busy road - but ended up in hospital himself, with a broken arm and leg and a beautiful stranger, Dr Mallory Ryman, by his bed! Mallory had been climbing in the area and had been the first doctor at the scene.

Now Will was asking Mallory to be his locum - and live in his house so she could care for him until he recovered! But Mallory had no idea that her stay would force Will to confront some past traumatic events - nor that their mutual attraction would develop into an all-consuming passion...

Also released in Australia in paperback (February 2004, ISBN: 0733550525).

 


Behind the Book

This one was another of my school-run inspirations. It was a horribly wet day, and I'd just pulled on my cagoul, ready to put the rainwear on Chloë's pushchair for the trek up the hill - and then I caught my reflection in the car window. I looked like a gnome! And then the lightbulb went on - hence the (ahem) rather different opening line...

I then started reading a book about the ascent of Everest. So Mallory just had to be called Mallory. I've never actually climbed a mountain but I enjoyed learning about the mountain rescue team.

I borrowed my friend Pat's dog Charlie as the basis of Will's dog.

It's dedicated to my father.

I set myself a tough challenge with this one - because my hero is incapacitated throughout the book. So they can't actually work together... getting the romance to grow was much more difficult than if they'd been working together. I think I learned a lot from it!

Mallory's glorified cheese on toast is one of my favourite quick lunches. Best of all, it's endlessly adaptable. I suppose I could have just called it 'quick and easy pizza', but the point is that Mallory hates cooking!

Read a Bit

CHAPTER ONE

'Go 'way, Gnome,' Will slurred. 'Wan' sleep.'

'No, you don't, sunshine. You're really, really not going to sleep now. Stay awake for me.'

Bright blue eyes stared at him from under the even brighter yellow hood. Not fair, torturing him like this. His leg hurt, his head hurt, his arm hurt, and all he wanted to do was go to sleep. But the gnome was shining a light in his eyes and wouldn't let him.

'What's your name?' Her voice was gentler, this time. Like her hands, which stroked his face tenderly. Lovely hands.

'It's W-'

Then everything faded, and he sank into sweet oblivion.

Everything hurt. Absolutely everything. Will risked moving an eyelid and closed it again quickly. The light was too bright. But he couldn't go back to sleep again now - there was too much noise. People talking, clattering sounds and beeping. Sounds that were familiar somehow and yet strange at the same time. Where was he?

Resignedly, he opened his eyes. And saw her sitting cross-legged in the chair at the foot of his bed, reading a book. The gnome. Not a gnome - an elf, he decided, now she wasn't wearing that huge yellow waterproof.

She smiled and put the book down. 'Well, I suppose an elf's an improvement on a gnome.'

Oh, no. He couldn't have actually said that.

''Fraid so.'

'Wha-?'

She uncrossed her legs, stood up and came over to the bed. 'Would you like some water?'

He nodded gratefully. She wasn't an elf either, then. More like an angel.

If angels had spiky auburn hair. Weren't they supposed to be all golden and shining? And he couldn't see any sign of wings or a halo.

Though she didn't make a comment, so he clearly hadn't spoken aloud this time.

She held a plastic beaker and put the straw to his lips, and he took a sip. And another. And another. And then she took the beaker away.

'Not too much at once,' she said.

Will resented that, even though her tone was kind. Didn't she know his mouth felt as if it had been stuffed with sawdust? He needed water. Lots more water. He glowered at her and started to reach over to where she'd put the beaker on the bedside cabinet. Then he realised he had no chance of getting the water. Because his left arm was encased in plaster.

He stared at it in disbelief. He had a broken arm?

Her quiet voice cut into his thoughts. 'Can you remember what happened?'

Will's eyes widened. Oh, yes, he remembered what happened. The car coming round the corner in Darrowthwaite high street, the look of horror on the driver's face when he saw the little girl run into the road and realised he wouldn't be able to stop in time, the screech of tyres and the smell of burning rubber as he'd slammed on the brakes…

And then the impact. The bone-jarring impact when the car had thudded into him.

'Car,' he forced out.

'Anything else?'

He looked suspiciously at her. 'Are you a reporter?'

'No.' She changed tack again. 'Do you know what day it is?'

'Thursday.' He suddenly realised why she was asking. She wanted to check if he had amnesia. 'How long was I out?'

'The second time, you mean?'

So he'd been knocked out twice?

'Only for about fifteen minutes.' She gave him a rueful smile. 'You gave us all a scare.'

'I'm fine now. I'm going…' His voice faded as he tried to sit up. No, he wasn't going to swing his legs over the side of the bed. He had a nasty feeling he knew exactly why his right leg had a dressing taped over it: the car had given him more than just a bruise. A lot more.

He stared at her. 'Who are you?'

'My name's Mallory Ryman.'

It didn't ring any bells. And Mallory Ryman was definitely a woman once seen, never forgotten. Small and slender, with huge blue eyes and a mouth that…

Stop right there, Will Cooper. You're in hospital with an arm in plaster and a probably a pinned leg, you ache all over, you've probably got concussion and you're in no fit condition to start thinking like that about her, he told himself.

And then he panicked. Was it more than just concussion making him feel groggy? Did he know Mallory? Did she work with him? Was she a neighbour? Or was she the one who'd managed to melt his resolve about never getting involved again?

'Can you remember your name?'

Uh-oh. This was beginning to sound as if he did know her. So why couldn't he remember who she was? 'I'm Will Cooper.'

She smiled. 'Good. That's what your notes say, too. And what I was told in Darrowthwaite.'

He relaxed again. It was all right. He didn't have amnesia on top of everything else. Though a tiny part of him was disappointed. As if he'd been hoping that she -

No. He'd already learned the hard way that love didn't exist.

'I thought you might like an update on the little girl.'

'Little girl?' Will parroted.

'The reason you're in here,' Mallory told him kindly.

As if he'd forgotten. His mind was just working a bit more slowly than usual, that was all. 'Kelly Beswick. Is she all right?'

'Not so much as a bruise on her. You took all the impact and your body cushioned hers,' Mallory said. 'Her mum was in shock, mind. I had to prescribe some hot sweet tea.'

So his gnome - elf - angel - whatever - had a sense of humour. Because of course Will, being a GP in Darrowthwaite, should have been the one doing the prescribing. No doubt Wendy Beswick had told Mallory who he was.

'But Kelly's fine. The driver had a bit of a sore neck so they're checking him out in Casualty - it's probably minor whiplash. And Wendy's going to keep Kelly on reins in future, particularly the next time she starts chatting to her friends in the middle of the street. I think she's realised now that two-year-olds have a low boredom threshold. Especially when they see a cat on the other side of the road-'

'And step straight out in front of a car,' Will finished.

'Lucky you saw it and got her out of the way.'

Mallory didn't need to elaborate. They both knew that the impact would have killed the small child. Will had seen the toddler wander into the road, then the car come round the corner. There was only one thing he could possibly have done - and he'd done it. Rushed into the road, even though it had felt like wading through treacle at the time, and scooped her out of the way, taking the brunt of the impact himself.

The dull thud had reverberated through his body. And then he'd hit the tarmac.

'And even luckier it wasn't summer,' Mallory said.

He knew exactly what she meant. In summer, he wouldn't have been wearing a waxed thornproof jacket. He'd have been in shirtsleeves - thin material that would have been torn to shreds on the tarmac when he hit it. And as for the skin underneath… It didn't bear thinking about.

'Anyway, I told Wendy I'd come to the hospital and let you know that the little girl was all right.'

'Thanks.' She hadn't needed to do that. And he appreciated it. He gave her a half-smile, then the aches in his body made him wince again. 'Sorry I wrecked your holiday.'

'Holiday?' she tested.

OK, so the first week of January wasn't the most popular time of year for a holiday in the Lakes. But she was definitely on holiday. It was obvious, wasn't it? He gestured with his free hand. 'Proper walking boots. Bright yellow waterproof.' She wasn't wearing it but he could see it draped over the back of her chair. His gaze dropped to the floor next to the chair. 'Rucksack.' And, since her boots looked well worn and he recognised them as an expensive make, she was clearly a seasoned walker - a climber, even, though she looked too slender and fragile to have the strength for rock-climbing.

Please, don't let her be a climber.

'Nice deduction, Mr Holmes,' she teased. 'Though actually, I'm not on holiday as such.' Her smile faded. 'And, if anything, I owe you.'

'How come?'

She shook her head. 'It's not important. Anyway, you should be resting.'

'I am resting,' he pointed out wryly. He couldn't move from his bed. Not without crutches, anyway, if his leg was pinned. And a quick glance around his cubicle showed no sign of crutches. So he was definitely was stuck here. Great. He had a million and one things to do, clinics to run and lists to work through and paperwork to finish off and…

He must have spoken aloud again, because she nodded. 'And you feel as if you've been run over by a steamroller.'

'Yeah,' he admitted.

She checked his chart. 'You're due some analgesics. I'll go and tell the nurse you're ready for them.'

She'd said 'analgesics', not 'painkillers', Will noted. And then he remembered the way she'd checked his pupils, moments after the accident. Probably after he'd blacked out - that was why she'd checked his pupils in the first place. 'You're a doctor,' he said.

'Was,' she said grimly, and left the cubicle.

From the book The Doctor's Rescue by Kate Hardy.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance
Publication Date: January 2004
ISBN: 0263838757
Copyright © 2004 by Pamela Brooks
® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher.
The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
For more romance information surf to http://www.eHarlequin.com

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