The Registrar's Convenient Wife
Mills & Boon Medical Romance
Single dad Eliot Slater will do anything for his son, but now Eliot is worried he could lose custody - could a marriage of convenience help him keep his son?
So he proposes to his boss!
Consultant paediatrician Claire Thurman is good friends with her registrar, and his equally cute son. In fact, she is secretly rather attracted to Eliot, even though she tries to keep a professional distance. But when he asks her to become his convenient wife she discovers it's not enough - she wants to be a wife in every way. . .
Also released in the UK as a hardback (August 2004, ISBN: 026318434X) and a large print hardback (April 2005, ISBN 0263184579). Also released in Australia in paperback (November 2004, ISBN: 0733554938).
Behind the Book
This one actually started several books ago - I knew that the hero and heroine were called Eliot and Claire, and that she was senior to him. And that he was her junior. And it started life in a cardiac unit. (Sounds familiar?) Except… the next day, I woke up and it was still a cardiac unit, she was still senior - but their names and characters were very, very different. So Eliot and Claire were sidelined.
But they continued talking in the back of my head. And when I'd finished my sexy Spaniard, they announced that they wanted to work in a neonatal unit. Oh, and he was a single parent. I've learned that if my characters want to do something, they'll do it - and if I try to change the plot they'll twist it back to how they want it. So I let them loose.
I've explored Asperger's in this - and borrowed a few things from my own special child.
It's dedicated to my friend Phil (Chloë's godmother), who's known me for half a lifetime!
Claire's lemon drizzle cake is the recipe for the cakes I made for school and nursery fundraisers (and later for school governor meetings). Word of warning: it doesn't last long once people taste it!
Read a Bit
'If I wasn't just back from honeymoon, I'd be tempted,' Tilly said with a grin. 'Eliot Slater is very easy on the eye.'
'Oh, puh-lease.' Claire rolled her eyes in response. 'Yes, he's nice enough. He's good with the parents.' And yes, he was easy on the eye - fair Celtic skin teamed with dark hair and eyes the colour of peridot. 'But at the end of the day he's like every other locum and leaves dead on the dot.'
'And so does every other medic with any sense,' Tilly pointed out. 'Don't judge him too harshly - just because you're a workaholic and spend every second you can on the ward, Claire Thurman, it doesn't mean everyone else has to. He's probably got a life, that's all.'
'I'm not a workaholic. I just happen to like my job. Anyway, I go out with the rest of you, don't I?'
'Only because you know I'd nag you if you didn't,' Tilly said. 'Seriously, I know he's a couple of years younger than you, but maybe a toyboy would do you good.'
Claire laughed. 'Tills, I know you're blissfully married, but not everyone wants the same as you do. So don't get any of your matchmaking ideas, will you?'
'Me?' the nurse practitioner deadpanned.
'Yeah, you, Tilly Mortimer. Like the last time you begged me to go to the theatre with you because Matt didn't like Shakespeare, and you'd already bought the tickets. Except when I turned up, you weren't sitting next to me.'
'It was worth a try. And Robin was a nice bloke.'
'And desperate to get married and have babies. You know that's not for me.' If Claire told the lie often enough, maybe she'd end up believing it.
'You're a paediatrician - a neonatal specialist, to be precise, so don't you dare tell me you hate babies.'
'I don't. I just don't want my own.' Another lie. But, thanks to her ex-husband Paddy kissing more than just the Blarney Stone, Claire couldn't have children of her own, something she hadn't admitted even to her closest friends. Everyone simply thought she'd divorced Padraig O'Neill for adultery and had picked up the pieces of her life, and was happy concentrating on her career. And she was happy to let them think it.
But today Claire had received a letter from Brigid, her ex-mother-in-law, who still stayed in touch. One of Brigid's warm, happy, chatty letters that usually made Claire smile and pick up the phone. Except this one had contained some news Claire really hadn't wanted to hear - that Paddy had just had a son. Padraig O'Neill junior, a beautiful bouncing nine pounds and with his father's curly dark hair and gorgeous smile.
A son that should have been hers.
A son she'd never have, thanks to her ex-husband.
Claire pushed the thought away. No point in dwelling on might-have-beens. She had to look to the future, not the past. A future with herself as consultant. Senior consultant. Professor of Neonatology. That was enough.
It had to be.
'Anyway, he's probably already spoken for.'
'You mean, you don't know?' Tilly raised an eyebrow. 'Isn't it in his file?'
'I was more interested in his work,' Claire said wryly. 'And I'm staying happily single at least until I've got a consultant's post, thank you very much.'
'Firstly, he doesn't look married. Secondly, you're practically consultant now - you're acting consultant, and that's near enough in my book. You just need to meet Mr Right. Or Dr Right.'
Claire smiled. 'Thanks, but I'm fine and dandy on my own, Tills. I don't need any complications.'
From the book The Registrar's Convenient Wife by Kate Hardy.
Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance
Publication Date: October 2004
Copyright © 2004 by Pamela Brooks
® and are trademarks of the publisher.
The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
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From Cataromance: romantic, passionate and moving, Kate Hardy's books are pure gold
Kate Hardy has once again written an outstanding story which will make you smile as well as shed a tear. In The Registrar's Convenient Wife, Kate Hardy treats sensitively the issue of having a child with Asperger's syndrome which helps the readers to realize what Eliot has to go through which in turn makes us relate to him as well as fall in love with him. In Claire, Kate Hardy has once again created a strong heroine whom we cannot help but empathize with. Add a cast of amiable supporting characters, vivid medical scenarios and heart-stopping romance and you’ve got a spellbinding tale which is impossible to resist.