Neurosurgeon...and Mum!

Available in stores

Mills & Boon Medical Romance

July 2010

ISBN: 9780263879049

 

Harlequin Medical Romance

(probably) Sept 2010

ISBN: tbc

Her motherhood dream-come-true!

When Amy Rivers' dreams of a family were shattered by her ex=fiance, she dedicated herself to neurosurgery, where she's kept her head - and her heart - ever since.

Now, with her career in shreds, Amy needs a lifeline. She escapes to the one place she's always called home - to find the new village doctor, Tom Ashby, and his motherless little daughter Perdy sharing her retreat. Amy tries to keep her longings locked up tight, but enchanted by the sad little girl... and captivated by Tom's heart-melting smile... she finds her shattered dreams come flooding back. Life has been tough for all of them, but together cam they make each other whole?

Also released as:

  • UK hardback (July 2009, ISBN: 9780263213881)
  • UK large print hardback (date and ISBN tbc)
  • Also released in Australian paperback (August 2010, ISBN: 9781742551739).

 


Behind the Book

I'm fascinated by neurosurgery. Especially the gamma knife elements... so I couldn't resist using it as a setting for half the book (the hero is a GP).

I've also been slightly naughty and set it in my favourite place in the world - the North Norfolk coast. I've been deliberately vague about the village, and the house is an amalgam of three on my 'if we ever win the lottery' list. But the coast is glorious, and the seals are just irresistible.

When the man Amy was going to marry changed his mind, she changed her specialty and threw herself into neurosurgery. But when events make her doubt herself, she ends up taking a sabbatical to work out what she wants from life. Enter the worst person she could fall in love with: Tom, and his daughter Perdy.

Both Tom and Perdy are guarded, but they can't resist Amy - and Amy can't resist them. Can they heal each other, or will their pasts get in the way?

Perdy just so happens to be the same age as my daughter, and she likes doing the same things - baking, beachcombing and singing a lot. (I guess she's a shy version of my booky but streetwise child!)

Oh, yes - and the dog. A chocolate Labrador. OK, I admit, Buster is actually my English Springer Spaniel masquerading as a Labrador. But he asked nicely for a walk-on part...

And the other thing I love is the history of medicine. I've been begging my ed for years to let me do a Regency doctor. This is the next best thing: Amy's great-great(etc)-grandfather. He doesn't overshadow the romance, but I loved doing the research for the little bit I managed to sneak in!

The book's recipe is a favourite summer pudding in this house rhubarb and strawberry crumble.

Read a Bit

CHAPTER ONE

Tom finally found Perdy curled up in a chair with a book in the corner of the room; her face was wary, and she was clearly trying to be quiet and keep out of the way. Not for the first time, his heart burned in his chest. It wasn't supposed to be like this. Eloise should have been here beside him, making a proper family: the two of them and their precious daughter. And Perdy should have been a normal child, messy and laughing and seeing rainbows in every corner instead of shadows.

He clenched his jaw for a second, willing the anger to die down. Stop being an idiot, he told himself. You know it's irrational, being angry with Eloise. Just stop blaming her for getting that tropical fever and dying.

But he couldn't.

On my own, he thought, am I making a complete mess of bringing up Perdy? Eloise hadn't exactly been a hands-on mother, but at least he'd been able to talk to her and come to a joint decision; on his own, he had nobody to bounce ideas off, nobody to warn him that he was doing the wrong thing.

He smiled at his daughter, but she didn't smile back. Had he made the wrong decision, bringing her here, away from London? Maybe he should've toughed it out instead of dragging his daughter off in the middle of the school year to make a new start in a place where nobody knew them. But London hadn't really been healthy for Perdy, either. All that pity for the poor motherless child had made Perdy withdraw further and further inside herself.

And he hadn't been able to reach her.

Seeing the ad for a locum GP in a coastal town in Norfolk had seemed like the answer to his problems. Three months. Long enough to give Perdy a chance to settle and give them both the new start they so badly needed. He could rent out their little terraced house for three months; if it worked out in Norfolk, he could find a permanent job there and they could sell up, but if Perdy missed the bustle of the city too much they could still move back. Doing it this way kept all their options open. And Joe and Cassie Rivers had been so warm, so welcoming, even offering him somewhere to stay; the way they'd put it, they needed someone to house-sit while they were in Australia, so he and Perdy would be doing them a favour.

But although they'd been here for almost two weeks now, Perdy was still quiet. She'd been perfectly polite to everyone, but it seemed she'd put up this huge glass wall.

And Tom didn't have anyone to ask to help him break it down.

His own parents were old, growing fragile; he couldn't lean on them. And Eloise's parents… well, they were the reason why his wife had been the way she was, why she'd never been satisfied with her achievements but had always striven to do more. No way was he going to let them do the same thing to his daughter.

'Hey.' He sat on the arm of her chair and ruffled her hair. 'You OK?'

She looked up from her book. 'Yes, Daddy.'

'Good book?'

'Yes, Daddy.'

He tried again. 'What's it about?'

She shrugged. A boy who has to dig holes.'

He could've guessed that from the title and the picture on the front cover. Clearly she didn't want to discuss it; she kept glancing back at the page, as if wanting to be polite to her father but desperate to get back to her story.

Hell, hell, hell. He didn't want polite. He wanted to her to love him, the way he loved her. He wanted a normal child, one who was noisy and messy and cheeky... and secure.

He reached down to hug her, breathing in the scent of her hair. His little girl. She'd been the light of his life for the last eight years. Even now he looked at her and marvelled that she was his. 'OK, honey. I'll let you get back to your reading.' Though he wasn't going to stop trying to get through to her. He'd push just a little, each day. To let her know that he was there, that he'd still be there when she was finally ready to talk. He swallowed hard. 'You do know I love you very, very much, don't you?'

'Yes, Daddy. I love you, too.'

They were the words he wanted to hear but her voice was quiet, colourless, and he didn't quite believe them. The loss of Eloise had broken his little girl's heart, and all the love inside her had seemed to drain away. And he didn't know how to begin to fix things.

Should he try to find her a new mother, maybe?

No. It wouldn't help Perdy and it certainly wouldn't help him. Eloise had broken his heart, too, and he never wanted to get involved with anyone again. Though that wasn't because he thought he'd be in love with his wife for the rest of his days; at times, he really hated Eloise. And then he felt guilty for resenting her so much, and the cycle of hurt began all over again.

'Don't read too late. You've got school tomorrow. Jammies, teeth and bed in twenty minutes, OK?'

'Yes, Daddy.'

A nasty thought struck him. Perdy was quiet and booky. A bully's dream. Was she...? 'Is school all right?' Please, God, let her have made friends. Children who could make a better job of protecting her against the world than he had.

She nodded, and Tom had the distinct feeling that, if anything, his little girl was trying to protect him. Maybe he'd call her teacher tomorrow after morning surgery, have a quiet word with her and find out how Perdy had really settled. 'OK, honey. I'll let you get on with your book. And in half an hour I'll come upstairs to tuck you in.'

This time her smile was pure gratitude.

And it broke the pieces of his heart into even smaller fragments.

From the book Neurosurgeon . . . and Mum! by Kate Hardy.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance
Publication Date: July 2010
ISBN: 9780263213881
Copyright © 2010 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 Cataromance: 4.5 stars

A poignant tale that will pluck at your heartstrings and have you reaching for the tissues Neurosurgeon...and Mum! is another stellar romance from Kate Hardy’s talented pen. Featuring a heroine women can relate to, a realistic, honorable and admirable hero, a wonderfully rendered setting, authentic medical detail, heart-wrenching pathos and stirring romance, Neurosurgeon…and Mum! is spellbinding tearjerker readers will want to read again and again. Written with plenty of sensitivity, understanding and heart, Neurosurgeon...and Mum! is the latest winner by this outstanding storyteller!

What they’re saying on e-Harlequin/M&B

Up to author's usual high standard. This captured the interest right from the start with two warmly human and loveable leads in Tom and Amy neither of whom was really looking for a second chance at love but deserving of it. There was a nice blend of romance/medical detail and I appreciated the willingness to compromise.

Kate Hardy is a long time fave. She makes me cry in a good way. Read it.

What they're saying on e-Harlequin

  • I really enjoyed this book. This is a story of second chances and relearning trust. Even though the heroine, neurosurgeon Amy Rivers is a very strong, caring individual, she feels that she has failed in her job as well as her love life. While the handsome, caring Dr. Tom Ashby feels that he's failed both his wife and daughter. Then there is Tom's daughter, Perdy who feels unloved by her deceased mother. All of them need a second chance at happiness. Is it possible?
  • As always, KH provides an enjoyable read. A bit of heartache without unnecessary angst. Another excellent Medical.
  • Hardy comes through with another great story. She gives her readers a yummy, caring, sympathetic hero and an emotionally depleted, normally strong heroine. Then she throws a child into the mix.
  • This is a story of second chances. Both the hero and heroine need a second chance and get it. I really enjoyed this book.

Stories by Kate Hardy with GP (family doctor) settings

 

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