The Spanish Consultant's Baby

Available in stores

Mills & Boon Medical Romance

July 2004

ISBN: 0263839125

 

Harlequin Medical Romance

September 2004

ISBN: 0373064772

 

Harlequin Promotional Presents

May 2005

ISBN: 0373820097

His pregnant nurse!

When sexy doctor Ramón Martínez starts his new job, nurse Jennifer Jacobs can't help being attracted to him. But after an unhappy marriage she's vowed never to wed again. She's determined not to fall for Ramón's dark good looks.

Easier said than done. Ramón makes no secret of his passion for Jennifer, and as they're forced to work closely together on the busy paediatric ward Jennifer gives in to temptation. But desire soon has life-changing consequences: Jennifer is pregnant!

Also released in the UK as a large print hardback (January 2005, ISBN: 0263184463). Also released in Australia in paperback (August 2004, ISBN: 0733554202). Winner of the Cataromance Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Medical 2004.

 


Behind the Book

This was another book that wrote itself at top speed. I was actually planning to write a GP story. Then this gorgeous Spaniard called Ramón walked in and insisted that I stopped what I was doing and told his story instead. As in right now. (Ramón's a bit of an Alpha male. But in a nice way.) So what could I do? (And I had to go and bone up on some Spanish. Thanks to Susan and Liz for helping out there.)

It's set in a paediatric unit in a fictional West Midlands hospital.

It's dedicated to my friend Pat.

Ramón makes Jennifer some proper Spanish hot chocolate.

Jennifer's hobby is something I would love to be able to do - she draws. Beautifully. As I can barely draw a straight line with a ruler, this was wish fulfilment!

As usual, there's a soundtrack. Ramón plays the guitar, so I've included some of my favourite Spanish classical music - oh, and a version of It Had To Be You. Partly because I love the Harry Connick version, and partly because Sting singing Fragile in Spanish puts shivers down my spine. Add the two together and. . . let's just say that Jennifer's reaction is pretty much what mine would have been!

Read a Bit

CHAPTER ONE

'He's gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous,' Meg said. 'Tall, dark and handsome - and a smile to die for! When he looks at you, he makes you feel as if you're the only one in the room. And his voice . . . ooh, it's like melted chocolate.'

Jennifer smiled wryly. Anyone would think Meg was a teenager, not a mum of three and just about to become a grandma for the second time. 'So you liked him, then?' she deadpanned.

'You wait till you meet him, JJ. He'll melt your heart.'

Jennifer doubted that. She'd spent too many years insulating it - and with good reason. The only male who melted her heart was her cat, Spider. And she intended it to stay that way. 'As long as he knows his stuff,' she said. 'We can't afford to carry a lightweight who spends all his time charming the nurses.'

Meg blinked in surprise. 'Wow. Who's rattled your cage this morning?'

'No one,' Jennifer said lightly. 'But you're supposed to be off duty in three minutes and we still need to do the handover.'

'Yeah, of course.' Meg smiled and started going through the list of patients with her.

Jennifer forced herself to concentrate on the handover, though a part of her mind couldn't help wandering. Panicking. Don't be so silly, Jennifer Jacobs, she told herself sternly. You haven't even met Ramón Martínez yet. Meg likes him. He's probably really nice.

And yet she couldn't help herself. Even ten years after Andrew, she found herself on the defensive whenever she met someone new - correction, someone new who happened to be male. And every time she had to remind herself that not all men were like Andrew, that she knew plenty of nice men. It was a gut reaction that she couldn't quite overcome, despite the counselling she'd had.

'Earth to JJ,' Meg said, waving a file at her.

'Sorry. I was miles away.'

'Dreaming about our hunky Spaniard?'

Jennifer scoffed. 'I've only got your word for it on the hunkiness issue.'

Meg grinned. 'Believe me, any woman under ninety would get palpitations just from looking at him.'

'Better alert the cardiac ward, then.' Jennifer smiled to take the sting from her words and gave Meg her full attention while they finished the handover. 'Right - you have a good couple of days off, Meg. See you on Friday.'

'I will. Oh, and Ramón will be with Stephen Knights,' Meg said, referring to the baby who'd come in for an operation on a cleft palate. 'He should be back from Theatre any minute now.'

'I'll keep an eye out for him,' Jennifer said. Time to move on, she told herself as the other sister left the ward. It's just another day. Another ordinary day. Ramón Martínez is nothing to worry about. And he's only here for four months. Nothing that bad can happen in four short months.

She was steeling herself, ready to meet him, when Lizzy Bowers pushed past her in the corridor, in floods of tears.

Jennifer picked up the couple of files she'd dropped, then followed in Lizzy's wake to the toilets. Lizzy was leaning against the sink, sobbing. Jennifer balanced her files on top of the wastebin and put her arms round the student nurse. 'Hey. It's OK.' Clearly it wasn't - she would have said Lizzy was the least likely of her staff to burst into tears. But it wasn't necessarily something to do with work. She knew Lizzy was going through a rough time at home; maybe she'd had the news she was waiting for but praying not to hear. 'What's happened?' Jennifer asked gently.

'Dr Martínez . . . he was so angry with me. I didn't mean...' Lizzy hiccupped her way through a garbled explanation.

Jennifer squeezed her hand. 'It's just a simple misunderstanding. We'll sort it out.' Though her expression hardened. So much for her thinking she'd been unfair to Ramón Martínez. He'd just bawled out her best student in front of her patient's parents. Whatever Lizzy had done, a public telling-off was completely unprofessional. And it was Jennifer's job, as the senior sister on the paediatric ward, to make him understand that bullies would not be tolerated. Under any circumstances.

'I' Lizzy was still shaking, still incoherent.

'It's OK. I'll handle it,' Jennifer said quietly. 'Wash your face and take ten minutes out in the restroom. Have a cup of tea - then if you're ready to come back on the ward, that's fine.' She gave Lizzy a hug. 'If you need some time off, just let me know and I'll get a bank nurse in.'

'Thanks, JJ.' Lizzy gave her a watery smile. 'I feel so stupid...'

'You're not stupid. You're doing really well. You're a final-year student, you still have things to learn, and you're already worried sick about your aunt.'

'I won't let the team down.'

'I know you won't. And that's what teams are for - to support each other.' Jennifer gave her a wink. 'Go get that cup of tea.' She gathered her files together again and headed for the side room they'd allocated to Stephen Knights.

Standing next to the parents was the most gorgeous man she'd ever seen. Meg's description had hardly done him justice. Ramón Martínez was seven or eight inches taller than her own five feet six, Jennifer guessed. His white coat was a perfect foil to his olive skin and blue-black hair; he had broad shoulders, narrow hips and very long legs. He used his hands a lot when he spoke, she noticed. His eyes were dark and expressive.

But his mouth was the real killer. Generous and full, promising warmth and passion. Meg had been absolutely right about that smile - a smile to die for. For one intensely scary second, Jennifer even found herself wondering what it would be like to be kissed by that mouth. And then she stopped herself. No. She didn't do kisses. She didn't do dates. She didn't do anything of the kind any more. Besides, this man had just reduced one of her staff to tears. He might be gorgeous to look at, but he was also arrogant and in dire need of a lesson in good manners.

'Hello, Mandy. Hello, Paul,' she said, walking into the room. 'Hello, gorgeous.' She ruffled the sleeping baby's hair, then turned to Ramón Martínez. 'Good afternoon, Dr Martínez. I'm Sister Jacobs. I'm sorry I wasn't on duty when you joined us.'

***

Cool, controlled and terribly English, Ramón thought. And he hadn't been prepared for her in the slightest. She was a completely ordinary woman - average height, average shape, light brown hair cut in an unassuming short style, grey-blue eyes. No make-up, dressed in a dark blue sister's uniform and flat black shoes. She was nothing out of the everyday. So why had his heart rate just speeded up a notch?

Ridiculous, he told himself. He was here at the Bradley Memorial Hospital for a four-month secondment. A relationship of any kind would be short-term and pointless. And even if he was prepared to think about it, it couldn't be with someone he worked with. There would be too many difficulties. And then there was Sofía . . . No, it was all too complicated.

He'd expected the ward's senior sister to be older than Meg - Meg herself had given him that impression - and this woman didn't look much older than her mid-twenties. Clearly she had to be older, or she wouldn't have the experience to do the job.

Automatically, his glance slid to her left hand. There was a slim band of gold on her ring finger. So she was spoken for. He was aware of the stab of regret for an instant before he banished it. 'Good afternoon, Sister.' He shook her proffered hand and lightning coursed through him. Hell. This was a complication he really, really didn't need - especially as it was clearly one-sided. She didn't look as if his touch had remotely affected her. He only hoped that this cool, calm nurse couldn't read minds. If she could, he had a feeling she'd slap his face. Hard.

From the book The Spanish Consultant's Baby by Kate Hardy.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance
Publication Date: July 2004
ISBN: 0263839125
Copyright © 2004 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

Kate Hardy will make her readers smile, cry and care for her characters and with vivid medical scenarios, a page-turning premise and characters which leap off the pages, the least you can do is cancel all engagements, put your feet up and get ready to lose yourself in this irresistible romantic tale.

Stories by Kate Hardy with paediatric settings

 

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