Falling for the Playboy Millionaire

Available in stores

Mills & Boon Medical Romance

December 2009

ISBN: 9780263868852

 

Playboy heart surgeon takes a bride!

Hot-shot cardiac surgeon James Alexander has come to Penhally Bay for a fresh start, leaving his jet-set London lifestyle - and his playboy reputation - behind. Along with the fresh sea air and a sprinkling of small-town community magic, this gorgeous doctor finds beautiful but wary and fragile registrar Charlotte Walker...

Charlotte knows first-hand that a handsome face doesn't guarantee an honourable soul, so she fights her attraction to James every step of the way. Until James's twinkling eyes and incorrigible smile give Charlotte the courage to put her past behind her and believe that James really is a man she can trust with her life - and her heart!

Also released as:

  • UK hardback, October 2009, ISBN: 09780263209471
  • UK large print hardback (date and ISBN tbc)
  • Australian paperback, January 2010, ISBN: 9780733598296

 


Behind the Book

I was delighted when my editor offered me the opportunity to work on the second series of Penhally Bay. My book is the third in the series, starring a posh doc and a woman who's really been through the mill. There's also a storyline with the Nick/Kate continuity that was a bit of a challenge for me - dealing with breast cancer, around the anniversary of my mother's death. But it isn't that dark...

Charlotte, the heroine, is a cardiologist. She hasn't told anyone in Cornwall why she's reluctant to get involved again - they think that she's setting up a rape crisis centre because it happened to someone close to her.

James, the hero, is a hotshot heart surgeon. He's part of a rich family and is used to being in the media spotlight - but he discovers that Cornwall can give him the home he's always wanted but never had.

But when he falls for Charlotte and they're besieged by the paparazzi, can they overcome their pasts to make it work?

Margaret McDonagh and I decided that Bramble (Dragan's dog from the last series) would have puppies. We had enormous fun deciding on them; and thanks to my friend Brigid Coady for lending me the name of her cat for the puppy that James ends up with.

Then I hit a snag, as Charlotte decided that she had a cat. I'm, um, nervous of cats (with good reason, which I won't explain here as it's hideously embarrassing and my kids think it's hilarious), so I had to grill friends who have cats. Thanks to lovely Jan Jones for the cat's backstory, Brigid Coady for the image, and Margaret McDonagh for the cat's name.

It's dedicated to my mum, for obvious reasons; and also to my fellow Penhally authors, Caroline Anderson, Anne Fraser and Margaret McDonagh.

Read a Bit

CHAPTER ONE

'Isn't that Sophia over there?' The blonde indicated the far side of the room with her champagne glass.

James knew he ought to change the subject or just walk away, but he couldn't help himself. He looked.

And there she was. Sophia Alexander, society's favourite party girl. Draped over yet another good-looking man, laughing as if she didn't have a care in the world.

Which, to be fair, she probably didn't.

'Mmm,' James replied, trying to sound non-committal.

'She's not with that Italian model any more, then.'

The one she'd been photographed with on his father's yacht, a mere six months after their wedding. The pictures of his topless wife and her lover had been splashed across newspapers around the globe.

Though that was old news. Very old news. After the Italian, Sophia had had an affair with a Spanish actor: lover number two on his divorce papers. And then a Brazilian footballer, who'd been squiring her around in the week before what should've been her first wedding anniversary with James.

'I hear he's a French chef,' the blonde added.

Indeed. No doubt the guy would be cooking Sophia a 'happy divorce' meal tonight. Among other things.

Ha. And to think James had come out tonight to celebrate his freedom - the sheer relief that his marriage was legally over. He should've guessed that his ex-wife would be partying even harder. Showing him in the best way she knew that she didn't give a damn, and she was going to enjoy every penny of her extremely generous settlement.

'What do you think it'll be next? A Greek restaurateur?' the blonde asked.

If this was the woman's way of trying to find out if he really was over his ex-wife, she could've found a more tactful way to ask. James was about to say something extremely cutting - and then he saw something in the woman's eyes. Something that told him she wasn't merely a guest, or just supremely tactless. The blonde was a journalist, after a story, and she knew very well what today was for him.

Decree absolute day.

The day he'd hoped that Sophia would change her surname back to Carvell-Jones, and the press would stop tormenting him.

How naive he'd been.

'I really have no idea. I don't keep tabs on my ex-wife,' James drawled, with emphasis on the ex. 'Excuse me. There's someone I need to see by the bar.'

It was a lie, and they both knew it. But she let him go without further question, and he made his escape from the party as soon as he could.

No doubt the tabloids would all be full of the story tomorrow. How poor, heartbroken surgeon James Alexander had been forced to watch his ex-wife celebrating with yet another of her lovers on the day their divorce was finalised. And then there would be speculation about who would mend the heart surgeon's heart.

You couldn't get much further from the truth. James was hardly poor, despite the settlement, and he was very far from heartbroken. He'd stopped caring about Sophia a long time ago. It was just a pity that he'd been too smitten with her to see her for what she was before he married her: a spoiled socialite who didn't think any further ahead than the next party.

'What was I supposed to do, James? You never paid me any attention. You practically pushed me into his arms.' The words echoed in his head: words she'd flung at him when he'd confronted her about the yacht episode and demanded to know what the hell she was playing at.

But she'd married a surgeon, not a socialite. James had never made a secret of the fact that his career was important to him. Cardiothoracic surgery was the most competitive specialty going, and he'd excelled at it - taking all his exams early and coming top in every single one. He loved what he did. He loved making a difference, giving someone their future back. Surely Sophia had been able to understand that he couldn't leave a patient halfway through an operation just because she didn't want to be late for a party? For pity's sake, he wouldn't leave the hospital until his patient was out of the recovery room and had been settled for at least an hour. He was a surgeon, and he believed in living up to the responsibilities that went with it.

Or maybe she'd thought that he would change, for her. That he'd switch specialties, go into plastics or something similar, and have a high-profile clinic on Harley Street. A job where he'd work nine to five at most, where all his surgical cases were elective rather than emergency, where he'd earn obscene amount of money from pandering to the vanity of celebrities.

Just as he'd been naive enough to think that Sophia would understand the demands of his job as a children's heart surgeon and make allowances for them, instead of flouncing off in pique, straight into the arms of the first gorgeous hunk who smiled at her.

Their marriage had crashed as spectacularly and publicly as it had begun. And the only reason James hadn't served Sophia with divorce papers, the week she'd been cavorting with her Italian and the paparazzi had taken snap after snap after snap, was because the law said you couldn't get a divorce until you'd been married for a year. He'd had to wait for six excruciating months before he could apply for a divorce. Six months where he'd been forced to endure his wife flaunting a string of lovers in the gossip magazines.

At least Sophia hadn't contested his grounds. Then again, with the amount of evidence in the press, she could hardly have denied adultery.

James let the front door click to behind him and deadlocked it. Right at that moment, he was sick of London. Sick of parties. Sick of everything - even the glittery charity fundraisers he'd once loved doing for his hospital. He could really do with some time away. Sure, he could call his father and go to one of the family's private resorts, but he knew he'd still have to face the same old thing. Parties like tonight's, full of debs and celebs.

What he really wanted was to chill out, somewhere quiet and peaceful. Somewhere where there weren't any supermodels or society party girls who did nothing but shopping and looking for rich husbands they were going to cheat on within months of their flamboyant and expensive weddings.

Not that such a place existed.

Or did it?

He'd trained with Jack Tremayne in London. Jack had known how to party with the best of them; but then he'd moved back to Cornwall, to where he'd grown up. James hadn't gone to Jack's wedding in Penhally, simply because he hadn't been able to face the happy couple while his own marriage was collapsing around his ears. He'd sent an expensive present and a feeble excuse.

Though he'd also wondered why on earth Jack had been mad enough to bury himself in such a backwater. Why go back to a little seaside town when he could've had so many more opportunities in London?

But maybe Jack had the right idea.

Maybe in Cornwall, miles away from London, James could find some peace.

From the book Falling for the Playboy Millionaire by Kate Hardy.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance
Publication Date: December 2009
ISBN: 9780263868852
Copyright © 2009 by Halrequin Books S.A.
® 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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Reviews

From cataromance: 4.5 stars

Falling for the Playboy Millionaire is another slice of sheer romantic perfection from the dazzling pen of outstanding Mills and Boon author Kate Hardy! Written with plenty of sensitivity, warmth and heart, Falling for the Playboy Millionaire is a poignant, dramatic and wonderfully written and terrifically rendered tale of starting over and having the courage to take chances that made me cry buckets and had me reaching for the tissues. In Falling for the Playboy Millionaire, Kate Hardy expertly combines wonderful characterization, tender romance and a heart wrenching conflict to create a mesmerizing contemporary romance which has winner stamped all over it!

From Pink Heart Society:

PHS review Falling for the Playboy Millionaire is a spellbinding romance set in the beautiful picturesque town of Penhally Bay from outstanding award-winning author Kate Hardy! . . . Kate Hardy never fails to deliver poignant, dramatic, realistic and heartwarming romantic fiction and Falling for the Playboy Millionaire certainly does not disappoint. With its cast of wonderfully believable and fantastic characters and plenty of powerful emotion and dramatic intensity, Falling for the Playboy Millionaire is another dazzling keeper from one of the finest writers of high quality romantic fiction: Kate Hardy!

What they're saying on e-Harlequin

  • This book needs to come with three-hanky warning label, at least if you are a mom of a child that has a congenital heart defect. I was right there with Charlotte as she waited for James to call and let her know if her patient it had moved out of the OR and to recovery. It brought up all the old feelings I had as I waited eight hours - yes, eight hours for the doctor to call us following our six-month-olds open heart surgery happened 21 and a half years ago. Her writing is so dead on (spot on) that it dredged up something that happened so long ago. Hardy handles broken, hurting souls so well and this story is a shining example of the power of a healing love.
  • Falling for the Playboy Millionaire is one of the new Penhally Bay series and another charmer from the wonderful Kate Hardy. Hot shot cardiac surgeon James Alexander has come to Penhally Bay for a fresh start where he can give himself totally to his work. He is immediately captivated by registrar Charlotte Walker, but she is not impressed by his charm. Fragile and wary, she knows better than to trust charm and good looks in a man. James is just so utterly gorgeous. He is wonderful with the small patients and Charlotte finds herself drawn to him despite all her reservations. And then he teaches her to dance... Gorgeous, heartwarming and there are puppies, too. Wonderful.
  • A neat blend of medical with some glamour and drama . . . and of course with Kate you can expect to be hungry and this time she added ballroom dancing to the mix . . . lovely!
  • Stories by Kate Hardy with GP (family doctor) settings

 

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