Her Special Child

Available in stores

Mills & Boon Medical Romance

July 2003

ISBN: 0263834581

 

Harlequin Medical Romance

October 2003

ISBN: 0373064306

Finally - a family?

One look at the new locum GP Tina Lawson and Dr Alex Bowen is instantly smitten! Sparks fly whenever they meet - surely Tina must feel the same?

She certainly does, but she can't risk getting involved in a steamy relationship with Alex - her son, Josh, needs all the love and attention she can give. Only, Tina is finding Alex quite simply irresistible... and Alex is determined to prove that their passion will last - and that two is even better than one when it comes to caring for such a special little boy.

Also released in the UK as a hardback (May 2003, ISBN: 026317705X). Also released in Australia in paperback (Aug 2003, ISBN: 0733546110).

 


Behind the Book

This one was inspired by the 'mad hair day' at my son's school when he was five - and he insisted on having purple hair.

Tina's another untidy heroine. Looking at my office, I can see where that came from...

It's dedicated to Chris, who's immensely endearing and very funny. Living at his pace can be a bit tiring, but that's ADHD for you.

The hero was originally called Anthony and was rather reserved. By chapter six the book wasn't working and I was too close to see what the problem was. Dot, my brilliant agent, told me to change the hero's name because it would change his personality and get me out of the hole. As usual, she was right.

Tina's choc-chip cookies are based on a recipe my best friend Fi found on the Internet and cooked for me - one mouthful and I begged for the recipe! The original asks you to chop the chocolate with a meat axe (something to do on PMT days!) but I'm lazy and use ready-done choc chips.

Read a Bit

CHAPTER ONE

'Come in!'

Alex opened the door to the locum's room, ready to give his welcoming speech, and his chin virtually hit the floor.

Purple hair. She had purple hair!

That aside, she was stunning. Huge violet-blue eyes in a heart-shaped face that just begged to be cupped between his hands, a smile that made the base of his spine tingle, a mouth that promised sensuality and made him want to lower his own to it and kiss her until -

Oh, great. Just what he needed. A goddess in the spare consulting room. Why couldn't she have been middle-aged, the sort who was like everyone's favourite aunt? But no. Maggie, his practice manager, had landed him with the most gorgeous woman he'd ever seen. The sort who could easily tempt him away from his vow of celibacy, even first thing on a Monday morning when his mind was focused completely on work.

Except for one fact. He'd seen her hopping up the hill towards the local primary school twenty minutes earlier with an equally purple-haired small child, so she was obviously married - that made her very firmly off limits. Unlike Vivi, he respected marriage vows.

She smiled again and his heart stopped.

This really, really wasn't fair.

'You must be Alex Bowen. I'm Tina Lawson, the locum,' she said, standing up and holding out her hand. 'Welcome back.'

He shook her hand, noting the firmness of her grip. It was reassuring and professional and very doctor-like – but the touch of her skin also did something else to him. Every nerve-end that touched her was tingling. Worse, he could clearly imagine what other parts of her skin would feel like against his fingertips, soft and warm and smooth and tempting. What she'd feel like beneath his mouth, how she'd taste...

Stop it, his common sense commanded. She’s a colleague. Be professional.

But the words that came out weren’t exactly professional. 'You're not what I expected.'

She chuckled as she released his hand. 'The hair, you mean?' She gestured to her bright purple fringe as she sat down again. 'I guess I've overdone it just a tad.'

Beautiful, clever and funny. Resisting her was going to be like the seven labours of Hercules, multiplied a thousandfold.

Tough. You have to. So meet lightness with lightness, he told himself. 'Just cross your fingers that you don't get certain people on your list this morning.'

'Or I'll be in for a lecture, you mean?' She grinned back. 'Nah. The younger ones will love it - and the older ones have known me so long they'll either tease me about it or mutter darkly that they always knew young Tina'd come to a bad end.'

Eh? She wasn't local, surely? He'd lived in Ellingthorpe for nearly six years now and he’d never met her. And Tina Lawson, even without the purple hair, wasn't someone he'd forget in a hurry.

She rattled a collecting tin at him. 'Anyone who comments about my hair can give some money to school funds. Starting with you.'

He gave in with good grace and emptied the change from his pockets into her tin. 'The school talked you into this, did they?'

'Not exactly. The children each paid a pound to be out of uniform and have mad hair for a day. It's a fundraiser for some sports equipment. Josh decided he wanted his hair purple, so we sprayed it this morning; and then he started panicking that people would laugh at him. So I kept him company.' She gestured to her fringe again. 'It'll wash out. Tomorrow morning, I'll be back to sober Dr Lawson, but today I'm doing this for my little boy. It's important to him. I'm sure the patients will understand.'

Putting her child before her job. Again, Alex felt that weird clenching in his stomach and pushed the thought away. He knew not everyone was like Amanda, who had always put her job first and rushed family time so she could get back to whatever important research she was doing. Or like Vivienne, who -

Stop right there. It was nobody's fault. Not Vivi's, not yours. Remember where you are. Work.

But he still couldn't concentrate. The way she'd said 'my little boy', her face filled with love and pride, had knocked his composure for six. He couldn't help glancing at her left hand.

No ring. No tell-tale pale band of skin to report a recently removed ring, either. Divorced, or never married? And where was Josh's father? Was he still around, or...?

None of your business, he reminded himself.

'The colour of my hair doesn't affect the way I do my job,' she added, a shade defensively this time.

'Of course not. Have you settled in OK?' Daft question. Of course she had. She was local, wasn’t she? And what was he going to do next – leer at her and ask her if he could, ahem, help her settle in a little better, young lady? Oh, puh-leese. He had to work with the woman for the next couple of weeks. The only relationship they could possibly have was a working one. End of story. Even if she wasn’t married with kids, she was a colleague and that made her off limits.

Though a tiny imp was sitting just above his left ear, whispering suggestions. Supposing she isn't married? No ring, remember. And she's only a temporary colleague. Ask her out to lunch.

No. I've already been there, done that and picked up the smithereens afterwards, shard by painful shard.

She's different.

That’s not the point.

She's gorgeous.

Also not the point.

But wouldn't you like to...?

Whoa. Stop right there.

Because yes, he would like to. Very much. Alex surreptitiously raked his fingers through his hair and flicked the imp off his perch. Then he concentrated on what Tina was saying.

From the book Her Special Child by Kate Hardy.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance
Publication Date: July 2003
ISBN: 0263834417
Copyright © 2003 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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Reviews

What they're saying on e-harl:

  • Hardy is another of my 'must read' authors. Right now I am working through a box of older medicals that I have on loan and this book was in the group. I'm glad it was. Tina Lawson arrives at work with purple streaks in her hair. Despite the surprising hair color Dr. Alex Bowen is smitten on first sight. Sparks fly between the two, but Tina does not believe she can get involved. How does she get past the barrier she believes her son creates in all relationships?

Stories by Kate Hardy with GP (family doctor) settings

 

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