One Night, One Baby

Available in stores

Waldenbooks top 10 series romance bestseller

Mills & Boon Modern Extra

December 2007

ISBN: 9780263854022

 

Harlequin Presents

August 2008

ISBN: 9780373127535

Pregnant - after one hot night!

Everyone seems to have forgotten her birthday- but meeting handsome brooding stranger Mitch Holland gives Jane good reason to celebrate. . . The attraction between them is intense, but Mitch puts a strict limit on their time together - he can offer her one night only.

Jane can't resist the opportunity to spend a night with this magnificent man! After all, she's not looking for a relationship. But a few weeks later Jane is still struggling to forget gorgeous Mitch - and their unforgettably sexy night together. Then she discovers she's pregnant. . .

Also in Australia in paperback (February 2008, ISBN: tbc).

 


Behind the Book

I've always had a real thing about storms. I love sitting watching them, especially at night - and I'm very lucky because my part of the world is known for its huge open skies. So the idea of writing about a stormchaser hero really, really appealed to me. (Mitch is a qualified meteorologist, so I did a lot of research on clouds. And my editor sent me a very sweet email along the lines of, 'Don't fill this book with nerdy cloud stuff, because you know I'm going to make you take it out. . .' I managed to sneak some in, although I lost the microwave grape racing. I'm storing that up for later. She has been warned.)

My heroine's job is also wish fulfilment: if I couldn't be a writer, I'd want to be an archivist like Jane. (A lot of my nonfiction nowadays is to do with local history, and I spend every possible minute I can in the archives.)

And as for what started it all off... I'd noticed this theme in several of my daughter's storybooks, where the main character spends the whole day thinking 'everyone's forgotten my birthday' but there's a surprise party at the end which supposedly makes everything all right again. Actually, I think this is a HORRIBLE thing to do. By all means have the surprise party, but don't make someone spend their special day thinking everyone's forgotten about it. This is what happens to my heroine. . . and the result is an unforgettable night!

It's dedicated to Fi and Phil, my oldest friends from university (who also happen to be godmothers to my children), because they made my 21st very special - an evening at the theatre followed by champagne in my student house, and Phil made me a birthday cake I really hadn't expected.

Mitch cooks Jane Spanish chicken - one of my favourite meals.

The Book's Soundtrack

This one owes a lot to my fellow M&B authors Kate Walker and Margaret McDonagh, who introduced me to Josh Groban. (I was writing this at more or less the same time as The Doctor's Royal Love-Child.) And I also caught a song on the radio that had my husband horrified: 'Please tell me you're not going to buy this. . .' Too late. I'd been shopping with my daughter. :o) These three tracks sum up the hero and heroine:

  • Josh Groban - In Her Eyes
  • Josh Groban - Un Giorno per Noi
  • Take That - Patience

Read a Bit

CHAPTER ONE

Perfect.

Absolutely perfect.

He was leaning against the stone pillar outside the office block, with his head tipped back slightly and his hands clasped just above his head, looking broodingly out onto the Thames. His right knee was bent and his foot was flat against the wall. His dark, slightly curly hair looked as if he'd been running his fingers through it. And with that white shirt and dark suit trousers - no tie, no jacket, and the top button of his shirt undone - he looked tall, dark, handsome... and dangerous.

Exactly what Jane was looking for.

So why was she hanging back? Why wasn't she marching up to him and...?

'Because you're a wimp,' she told herself ruefully.

Charlie, her flatmate, would've done it. Kissed him, then smiled and wished him a nice day before sauntering off. Then again, Charlie had panache. She could have got away with it. Jane knew she couldn't.

It was a daft idea anyway. Whoever walked up to a tall, dark handsome man - a complete stranger - and kissed him?

All the same, he was gorgeous.

On impulse, she took her mobile phone from her bag; OK, so she wasn't brave enough to kiss him, but she'd take a photo. Show her housemates the man who really fitted her list - the one she wished she'd been brave enough to kiss. The camera zoom wasn't quite good enough, so she casually strolled closer. Close enough to get him right in the frame.

And just as she pressed the button to take the picture, he glanced her way and saw what she was doing.

'Hey!'

Oh, no. Oh, no, no, no.

She backed away, but not fast enough, and the fingers of his right hand whipped down to encircle her wrist, hard as steel, trapping her where she stood. 'What's all this about?'

'Nothing.'

'You just took my photograph!'

This was so embarrassing. It would be good if the earth could open up and swallow her.

Preferably if time rewound first and she was swallowed up the very second before she'd taken that first step towards him. But, given that time travel wasn't possible, now would do very nicely.

He stared at her. He had the most beautiful greeny-grey eyes she'd ever seen, but right at that moment there wasn't a hint of softness or sweetness in them. 'Well?' he asked.

She shook her head. 'Look, I apologise.'

This was so not how it was meant to have happened.

'Would you mind letting me go, now?' She twisted her wrist in his grasp.

'Go...?' Then his gaze dropped to her wrist. 'You still haven't explained what that was all about.'

'I'm sorry. It was an impulse. A stupid impulse.' She switched the phone off and stuffed it back into her handbag. 'And right now I would very much like to go and hide behind that huge potted palm over there before anyone else stares at me,' she added, the last words uttered through gritted teeth.

To her surprise, he actually smiled.

It transformed his whole face. Turned him from the Heathcliff type into someone much more accessible. She was glad he was still holding on to her wrist, because she didn't think her legs were going to hold her up for much longer. The tall, dark, handsome and brooding stranger had morphed into someone who was knee-bucklingly beautiful.

Not to mention way, way out of her league.

'I have a better idea,' he said. 'Coffee.'

'Coffee?' she repeated, nonplussed. Had she just missed something?

'I have a feeling that this is going to be a long story. And it'd be much more civilised to hear it over coffee.'

'But -' she frowned, puzzled '- weren't you taking a break from a meeting or something? At least, that's what it looked like.'

'It was an excruciatingly boring meeting.' He lifted one shoulder in the most elegant shrug she'd ever seen. 'My agent can deal with it for me.'

Agent? Was he famous, then? Or very important?

Of all the men outside all the buildings in all the world, she had to pick this one to photograph.

'Um - don't you need your jacket?'

'I wasn't wearing one in the first place.' He strode off, giving her no choice but to match her pace to his. 'But if it makes you feel better, I'll call Harry.'

'Harry?'

'My agent. Actually, you're right. It's only polite to let them know I'm not going back. Excuse me a moment.' He took a small, slim mobile phone from his pocket with his free hand and speed-dialled a number. 'Harry? Yes. No. Sorry.' He did at least sound genuinely contrite. 'Call you later, OK? Yes. Thanks.'

And by the time he'd slid the phone back into his pocket, they were in a café. Standing by the counter, ready to order.

'Espresso? Cappuccino?' he asked her.

'Skinny latte, please.'

'Make that two, please,' he said to the barista with a smile.

She coughed and looked pointedly at his fingers.

He inclined his head slightly and freed her wrist, paid for the coffees before she even had a chance to offer to buy them or at least pay her share, and then shepherded her over to a table overlooking the Thames.

'So. First things first. Your name?' he asked.

'Jane.'

'Jane what?'

'Redmond.'

He inclined his head in acknowledgement, but didn't extend his hand. 'Mitch Holland.'

Mitch. Short for Mitchell, perhaps? Though that wasn't a particularly English name, and his accent was most definitely English. Slightly on the posh side.

He took a sip of coffee and leaned back in his chair. 'So what was that all about?'

'I'm sorry. It was just. . .' She sighed. 'Thank you for the latte, Mr Holland.'

'Mitch,' he corrected. Then looked at her. Waiting for his answer.

Clearly he wasn't going to let her off. She'd have to explain. 'All right.' She turned the mug of coffee round and round in her hands. 'This is going to sound...' She blew out a breath. 'Ridiculous. Childish. Stupid.'

'Tell me anyway.'

'I'm twenty-five today.'

'Happy birthday. And?'

God, he was relentless. The type who'd never let anything go. 'I...' She squirmed. Even saying it made her feel whiny. Which just wasn't her. So she let the words go out in a rush. 'Nobody remembered. My parents, my brother, my housemates - even my colleagues at work.' Then she lifted her chin and stared him straight in the eye. Just so he knew she wasn't whinging. 'I'd already booked today as a holiday. Which left me with two choices: have a pity party and mope around the house, feeling sorry for myself, or spend the day doing things I've always wanted to do and never got round to doing. So I chose to enjoy my day.'

'Doing things you've always wanted to do.'

She could feel her skin heating. 'Things most women have done by the age of twenty-five.' And since she could guess what he was thinking, she threw the words at him. 'If you must know, top of the list was kissing a tall, dark, handsome stranger. But I was too chicken and took your photo instead.'

The corner of his mouth quirked. 'You were going to kiss me?'

She glared at him. Talk about maximum humiliation.

'Interesting.'

Before she realised his intentions, he'd pulled her onto his lap, slid one hand across the nape of her neck, and his mouth was moving against hers. Teasing her. Tasting her. Tiny, nibbling kisses along her lower lip that incited her to open her mouth, let him deepen the kiss.

When she did, the tip of his tongue slid against hers. Probing softly, subtly, skilfully. Telling her he wanted her. Showing her how much she wanted him.

London faded. The noise in the café - people chattering, the clatter of cups against saucers, the thudding bass from someone's earphones - just vanished. No sound. No light, because her eyes were firmly closed. And her remaining senses were focused entirely on Mitch: the feel of his mouth against hers. The light, citrussy scent of whatever shower gel he'd used that morning. The taste of his mouth, coffee mingled with pure male.

It wasn't until the kiss ended that she realised that his other hand was flat against her back, holding her close, and her own hands were tangled in his hair. Soft, sexy, rumpled hair.

Oh, hell.

She didn't do things like this.

She'd never, ever been kissed so thoroughly that she'd actually forgotten where she was.

And by a complete stranger, to boot.

From the book One Night, One Baby by Kate Hardy.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance
Publication Date: December 2007
ISBN: 9780263854022
Copyright © 2007 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 Romantic Times: a terrific attraction at first sight story - 4.5 stars

Since neither friends nor family remembered her birthday, Jane Redmond decides to complete a list of "dares" to break out of her ordinary life. First up is kissing a tall, dark and handsome stranger. She spots the perfect candidate but loses her nerve and decides to just take a picture. Mitch Holland catches her in action and demands to know what she's doing. When she tells him, he quickly takes care of the kiss and surprises Jane by asking to go along on her adventure. After their fantasy-filled day and night has ended Jane finds out she's pregnant. Kate Hardy's One Night, One Baby (4.5) is a terrific attraction-at-first-sight story. He's hot, sexy and vulnerable, and she's patient because, in the end, she knows he'll be worth it.

From Cataromance: irresistible, uplifting and wonderfully romantic - 4.5 stars

Romantic fiction does not get any better than this! Fresh, funny, heartwarming and absolutely unputdownable, One Night, One Baby is vintage Kate Hardy! Featuring a lovely heroine, a gorgeous hero, sizzling sexual tension, an adorable cast of secondary characters and steamy romance, One Night, One Baby is the perfect book to curl up with on a cold winter night!

From Amazon: tearful, sweet, sensitive romance - 5 stars

This is a story of so many dimensions, Jane's "interesting" upbringing, her warm, loving and caring friends and housemates, Mitch's occupation of being a "storm chaser", just the whole dynamics makes for a truly enjoyable read.

What they're saying on e-Harlequin:

  • An amazing tale - very upbeat and modern... The story was the typical accidental baby, but was handled way differently from your usual Presents. I very much enjoyed how tightly the characters and plot were intertwined.
  • It had plenty of tear jerking moments and also some great heated moments!
  • I enjoyed reading it so much more because Mitch is so real. You see his confusion and how torn he is before he does the right thing.
  • The hero has an interesting career, he's not just a rich tycoon, and that shows in the way the H/h relate and deal with where to live and all the practical stuff. He can cook and do laundry... can I have him? The hero is a guy you can see yourself living with, this is a very realistic couple.
  • A wonderful light but emotional story. It will have you wiping a tear from your eye and cheering the ending.
  • Following Mitch's struggle to deal with Jane's pregnancy was heart wrenching at times. Hardy did a fantastic job of letting us see both Jane's and Mitch's struggle to find happiness. This was a delightful find.
  • I really enjoyed this book. The characters were really good and enjoyable.
  • Loved what Mitch did toward the end of the book to show Jane how much he loved her and wanted to be a family with their child.

 

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