The Italian Doctor's Proposal

Available in stores

Mills & Boon Medical Romance

October 2003

ISBN: 0263177548


Harlequin Medical Romance

December 2003

ISBN: 037306442X

A doctor with a plan...

Lucy Williams is hoping to get the new consultant post at the Cornish maternity unit where she works. But, no, the post goes to the all-male, half-Italian, drop-dead gorgeous Nic Alberici!

Immediately sparks fly between them - though the two high-flying doctors are too professional to admit their attraction. But when Lucy's former fiancé starts pestering her, Nic has an outrageous proposal - that they pretend to be an item! It's all part of Nic's plan to bring them together - whether Lucy likes it or not, his intentions are real. Who knows? It might just work!

Also released in the UK as a hardback (August 2003, ISBN: 0263177548) and in the anthology Italian Proposals (February 2007, ISBN: 0263851443). Also released in Australia in paperback (November 2003, ISBN: 0733548253).


Behind the Book

This one was all the fault of my very talented friend Marie-anne. She did these wonderful 'superheroes' invites to her son's fifth birthday party (Tom was Chris's best friend in Reception year at school). And one of the superheroes pictures was Antonio Banderas as Zorro. The minute I saw it, the lightbulb went on!

It's set in Cornwall - an area of the country I first visited in July 2002 and absolutely loved. 'Pentremain' is a combination of the beach at Padstow and the surf at Newquay, with a bit of Fowey and Polperro thrown in for good measure (though sadly the two-foot-long jellyfish's walk-on part - should that be wobble-on part? - was axed in the revisions).p>

My hero originally had slate-blue eyes. Then our gorgeous spaniel Byron joined the family, and his eyes were so beautiful that I borrowed them for Nic. (Byron also gets a walk-on part. And I've borrowed his dad's name - Bert!)

It's dedicated to my uncle and aunt, who are the best in the world. Truly.

When Lucy's miserable, she cooks. Nic has a weakness for cake. One of my e-Harlequin friends had been tantalising everyone with her cookie recipe, so I begged it for the book and had great fun making it. I've renamed them Noor's cookies in honour of her daughter - and they're scrummy.

At one point, Lucy and Nic dance to Need Your Love So Bad - this was Gerry's and my wedding song, i.e. the Fleetwood Mac (Peter Green) version.

Read a Bit


'Your money or your life?'

Lucy whirled round and stared at the highwayman. She didn't recognise the voice, or the lower half of his face not hidden by the domino mask. Or the dark hazel eyes, a curious mix of brown and grey that somehow managed to be soft and piercing at the same time.

Dangerous eyes.

Your money or your life?

Without giving her a chance to answer, he smiled at her. A smile that was even more dangerous than his eyes. A smile that started a small, slow smoulder in the pit of her stomach.

He was a walking definition of gorgeous. Dark hair that curled beneath a flat-crowned black hat; smooth olive skin; a loose white silk shirt, laced half-open to reveal a sprinkling of dark hair on his chest; tight black trousers leading down to highly polished black boots; and a silky black cloak.

Every woman's dream highwayman.

Including Lucy's.

'A kiss would do,' he said huskily, and leaned forward to claim it.

As kisses went, it was fairly chaste. And in the middle of a very public arena: the staff charity fancy-dress ball at Treverro Hospital. But the touch of his mouth against hers did something to her. Lucy's knees actually buckled. If he hadn't been supporting both her elbows, she would have fallen flat on her face.

And it got worse.

Because when he broke the kiss and pulled back just far enough to see her face, she saw it in his eyes. He knew what effect he'd had on her. He knew he'd blown just about every fuse in her body. And his eyes said that if she'd let him, he'd blow the ones she didn't even know she had.

'Catch you later, princess,' he said; then tipped his hat briefly, gave her a broad wink, and spun on his heel as he wrapped his black cloak back round him.

It was completely theatrical and over the top. She should have laughed. Except she felt too sick when she realised what had just happened. Whoever the highwayman was, that kiss had been a set-up. A very public one. She could guess just who'd put him up to it, too - even what he'd said. 'Lucy's an ice maiden. It's about time someone proved she melts.'

She gritted her teeth. If she ever - ever - came across the highwayman again, she'd roast him alive.

And as for her SHO . . . Malcolm Hobart had better hope she was in a better mood when she was back on duty tomorrow morning.

From the book The Italian Doctor's Proposal by Kate Hardy.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance
Publication Date: October 2003
ISBN: 0263834751
Copyright © 2003 by Pamela Brooks
® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher.
The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
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