His Emergency Fiancée

Available in stores

Mills & Boon Medical Romance

April 2003

ISBN: 0263834417

 

Harlequin Medical Romance as Taking His Pulse

May 2003

ISBN: 0373512775

From fake fiancée... to wife for real?

Playboy A&E doctor Ben Robertson has an emergency: he needs a fiancée quick! He'd invented a fiancée to keep a certain person happy - who is now demanding to meet his bride-to-be! Ben has no choice but to beg his housemate, surgeon Kirsty Brown, to play the part.

Kirsty reluctantly agrees, but regrets her decision as soon as she discovers what's involved: she's expected to wear Ben's ring, attend engagement parties as his blushing bride and share his bed! Ben is her friend - not her lover - so why is she suddenly wishing she were his real fiancée after all?

Also released in the UK as a hardback (February 2003, ISBN: 0263176584). Also released in Australia in paperback (May 2003, ISBN: 0733543667).

 


Behind the Book

I woke up one morning with the first scene in my head.

Ben is named in honour of my late spaniel. He was inspired partly by Ben Chaplin in the film The Truth About Cats and Dogs and the Scots accent owes much to my friend Louise's lovely voice!

It's dedicated to my late mother, a cardiac specialist who taught me to love books and who encouraged me all the way with my writing. I just wish she was here to share this with me.

When Ben's trying to sweet-talk Kirsty, he cooks her a swish casserole. Actually it's dead easy to make, it's really low-fat and it's great for entertaining.

It was actually supposed to be set in a fictional south coast town and London. But Ben ran away with me. We ended up in Inverness!

Read a Bit

CHAPTER ONE

Ben stared at the letter in dismay. No. He couldn't have read it right. He scanned it again - and then for a third time.

No, there was no mistake.

He closed his eyes. Kirsty was going to kill him. She'd never agree to help, not with this.

She was his only hope of getting out of this mess, so he'd have to pull out the stops. All of them. Thankfully, he was off duty today.

He picked up the phone, dialled a familiar number, and crossed his fingers that one of the more sympathetic nurses on the surgical ward would answer.

***

Kirsty eased her shoulders as she walked down the path. Right now, all she wanted to do was have a long, deep bath, then sink in front of the sofa with some cheese on toast and an old film. Though, no doubt, Ben had already gone out, leaving the kitchen covered in crumbs, so she'd have to clear away all his mess before she could even fix herself some food. Not to mention clearing his papers from the table before she could sit down to eat.

Maybe it was time she sat down with him and hammered out a few ground rules. 'Bit late after all these years, Kirst,' she told herself wryly. Ben's habits were firmly entrenched. 'And that's the first step to madness, talking to yourself,' she added. 'What you need is a cat.' Though Ben wasn't the real reason she was angry. That dubious honour belonged to her new boss, Guy Chambers. On second thoughts, she didn't need a cat: a dog would be better. One with big teeth. And she could send him in the direction of her boss's rear and see how he liked being nipped…

She unlocked the front door and stopped dead. There was music from the kitchen - so the light in the living room wasn't just their mutually agreed burglar deterrent. Ben was home. Which meant he was entertaining.

She closed her eyes. That was all she needed - having to be polite to one of Ben's women. Kirsty hadn't met her but she already knew what the woman would be like: what all Ben's women were like. Six inches taller than Kirsty's five feet four, half a stone lighter, long blonde or red hair instead of short mouse brown, and china-blue eyes instead of ordinary brown. Not to mention drop-dead gorgeous instead of plain and little.

Lucky that she was an expert at smash-and-grab. Into kitchen, make sandwich, smile politely, grab orange juice and choc bar from fridge, head for bathroom and long, long soak in bath. She could do it in two minutes flat.

She dropped her bag at the foot of the stairs and sidled to the kitchen. She couldn't hear Ben talking to anyone. Hopefully that didn't mean he was locked in a smooch. She rolled her eyes. She had to be the only female under seventy-five in the hospital who hadn't fallen for Dr Charming. Ben had dark hair with a slight wave in it, huge cornflower blue eyes with unfairly long lashes contrasting sharply with his pale skin, fabulous bone structure and a megawatt smile. He could have been a TV doctor with those looks.

And he also happened to be her best friend as well as her housemate. So even if she wasn't so far out of his league in the looks department, he'd be off limits on two more counts. Besides, she didn't think of him in that way. He was just Ben.

Steeling herself, she sauntered into the kitchen - and stopped dead. It looked as if he was entertaining. Every surface gleamed, there was no clutter - probably all stashed under his bed and it'd be back in the morning - a Bach cello suite was playing softly, something smelled gorgeous enough to make her stomach rumble, and Ben was sitting at the table set for two.

But there was no stunning blonde or redhead opposite him.

Maybe she'd gone to the bathroom.

'Hi, Ben. I'll be out of your way in two minutes,' she said brightly.

'Don't be daft.' He smiled at her. 'Sit.'

'I've had a hell of a day. I'm not up to socialising,' she warned.

'You don't have to socialise with anyone, Kirst,' he told her soothingly.

That voice. Like warm velvet, with just the hint of a Scots burr when he rolled his 'r's. Especially when it was accompanied by the smile that made you feel you were the most important person in the world. No wonder even the most difficult patient melted at Ben Robertson's bedside manner. 'But you've got someone round, haven't you?' She gestured to the table.

'Actually, Kirst, I'm cooking for you.'

Her eyes narrowed. 'Did you forget to pay the electricity bill or something?'

He laughed. 'You're such a cynic.'

'No, I've known you since our first week at university,' she retorted. They'd hit it off so well that when they'd ended up training in the same south coast hospital they'd agreed to share a house. She put up with the constant stream of Ben's girlfriends, and he made sure she didn't spend all her time at her books. The arrangement worked perfectly.

But it didn't include Ben cooking her posh dinners.

What was he up to? A nasty thought made her stomach feel like lead. He wasn't going to tell her he was moving out and getting married, was he? No, of course not. Ben's women never lasted more than three dates - even the really nice ones. He couldn't handle commitment.

Or had he met the right one, at last?

She didn't want to think about that. The way her job was shaping up was bad enough. For her home life to fall to pieces, too, was more than she could handle right now.

From the book His Emergency Fiancée by Kate Hardy.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance
Publication Date: April 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

From Amazon: Yummy Doctors and a Happy Ending - Who Needs ER? - 5 stars

This is the first Kate Hardy book I've read, and it won't be the last - I was up till the wee small hours reading His Emergency Fiancee. Just couldn't put it down. Kirsty, the heroine, is a warm, likeable woman, hero Ben is gorgeous, and the rest of the characters are well-developed and three-dimensional characters. The 'pretend fiancee' plot is an oldy but a goody, and Hardy carries it off convincingly. The emotional and sensual tension between Kirsty and Ben is gut-wrenching at times. Add to the mix some medical drama (non-medicals readers, don't let it put you off - there's not that much), office (ward) politics and a warm-hearted grandmother, and you've got a rich story that you just don't want to end. If you haven't read Harlequin Medicals or Kate Hardy, you don't know what you are missing.

Stories by Kate Hardy with emergency department settings

 

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