Where the Heart Is

Available in stores

Shortlisted for the RNA Romance Prize 2006

 

Mills & Boon Medical Romance

August 2005

ISBN: 0263843238

 

Harlequin Medical Romance

October 2005

ISBN: 0373065213

Home...

The stunning glacial peaks of Patagonia seem the perfect place for Dr Rowena Thompson to heal her fragile emotions. When she meets consultant Luke MacKenzie she learns that hers isn't the only heart in need of help.

Is where the heart is...

Their journey is full of saving lives and challenging emotions, and through it they find a love that neither has experienced before. A love that is tested when Rowena faces a life-changing diagnosis that is familiar to them both. Only if they confront their fears than they face anything, anywhere, as long as they are together

24:7 Feel the heat - every hour... every minute... every heartbeat...

 


Behind the Book

One of my best friends went on a trek through Chile, to raise money for The Children's Society. She was showing me the pictures and telling me all about her trip, and it suddenly struck me that this would be a fabulous setting for a book. Wild, dramatic, glaciers and condors... my kind of place. So I talked to my editor about it in August 2003 - she liked the idea. I would have written it earlier, except a few books decided to barge their way in between.

My ed had also asked me for a weepie. I was in the right frame of mind - in Spring 2004 we lost my stepbrother, James, to Sudden Adult Death Syndrome at the tragically young age of 31. I still miss my mum. And I'd had some very sad news about a friend's health. So I decided to write the kind of book where you need a couple of boxes of tissues. Something deeply, deeply emotional.

So we have Luke, who's lost his twin brother and can't cope with his emotions. And Rowena, who's lost the nearest she ever had to a mother. Luke is the doctor on a Chilean trek, and Rowena is raising funds for leukaemia research. They have a wild fling in Chile - and although both of them want it to go further, they're too stubborn (and haven't worked through their issues enough yet) to take that next step.

Back in Manchester, their paths collide again. Shockingly. The affair's back on - until Rowena has a health scare of her own.

I was in tears a lot of the time while writing the second half of the book. (My editor and CP both went through a lot of tissues, too.) So it's dedicated to my dearly loved, much-missed mother.

My dog Ben had a walk-on part in this one. Unlike Rowena's dog, he wasn't a rescue dog.

Luke cooks pollo con arroz for Rowena - perfect for winter weather.

Read a Bit

CHAPTER ONE

His hair was the first thing she noticed. Down to his shoulders, dark and with the tiniest wave to hint that, when short, it curled. Antonio Banderas as El Mariachi, Rowena thought. Beautiful. Her fingers itched to touch it.

As if he'd felt her staring, he turned round. Glanced her way, just for a moment - but enough for her to note that his dark eyes held shadows. Shadows even deeper than her own.

She shook herself. He was a stranger. Though admittedly he was the most gorgeous man she'd ever seen - the most gorgeous man any of the other women in the airport had seen, too, judging by the looks he was attracting. Tall, dark and dangerous, with a mouth that promised paradise, dressed in black, he was every woman's fantasy.

Then she realised his gaze had returned to her. There was a faint question in his eyes; she gave the tiniest shake of her head. The attraction might be mutual, but nothing was going to come of it. She'd bet serious money that he had a wife and kids at home. Despite that faint air of danger, Rowena thought, he was the type. A family man.

And she most definitely wasn't a family woman.

She hauled the backpack onto her shoulders, ready to join the rest of the group. Carly, the woman she'd sat next to on the flight out, smiled nervously at her. 'I can hardly believe we're here in Santiago, over seven thousand miles away from London.'

'Well, it's what we've been waiting for. Training for,' Rowena reminded her, returning her smile. 'Though there's still a four-hour flight to go.'

'And then the coach trip. Six hours, the information pack said.' Carly grimaced. 'I hate coach travel. It always makes me sick.'

Rowena was just about to ask if Carly had bought some travel sickness tablets before she left England, when she remembered. Right here, right now, she wasn't Dr Thompson, registrar in the emergency department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Manchester. She was just plain Rowena Thompson, in Chile with a group of people who were doing a one-hundred-kilometre trek through the Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia to raise money for leukaemia research. If she admitted to medical knowledge, either she'd get annexed as one of the trip's medical officers - which wasn't what she wanted - or she'd have people sidling up to her, wondering if she could just give them a bit of advice about a long-standing health niggle, or 'just take a quick look at' yada, yada, yada.

In another time, another place, she'd have obliged. But not now. The next ten days were for Peggy. And nothing, but nothing, was going to distract Rowena from raising an obscene amount of money. Money that still wouldn't be enough to find an instant cure for leukaemia. Money that wouldn't bring Peggy back. But she had to believe it would help. That it would stop someone else feeling as if part of the sun had gone out, when someone they loved died from the disease. Because maybe, just maybe, if enough people raised enough money, researchers would finally find a cure.

She shook herself. No doom, no gloom. Peggy had been like sunshine, even towards the end. In the last week, she'd admitted to 'not feeling myself today'. Everyone had known what she'd really meant. She'd known she was dying. They'd smiled in front of their friend and colleague, then left the ward, leaned against the wall in the corridor and wept. Raged at the injustice - that the best emergency nurse they'd ever known had been dying from a disease that couldn't be cured. And then they'd gone back to the emergency department and got on with their jobs. True professionals who ignored the fact that they were bleeding inside and concentrated on their patients.

'Sit near the front, try to get a window open if you can, and keep your eyes straight ahead,' Rowena offered.

'And don't think about the way the coach lurches round the bends,' Carly said with a grimace. 'Yeah.' Then her eyes widened. 'Wow. Is he with us? How did I miss him in London?'

Rowena knew exactly who she'd see, even before she glanced briefly over her shoulder. 'He's probably one of the guides.' He looked Chilean - those deep dark eyes, that olive skin - as did the people he was talking to; she could hear the odd Spanish word she recognised in their conversation. QED: he was a native.

'Mmm. Well, that'll keep my mind off the coach journey. Maybe I'll end up sitting next to him,' Carly said hopefully.

'Maybe.'

Rowena had intended to catnap on the four-hour flight, but the view from the window was too good to be missed - a spectacular view of the Andes, and then the dramatic ice fields. Strange to think that when she'd left home yesterday, it was the middle of an August heat wave, at almost thirty degrees centigrade. Where she was heading, she'd be lucky if it got above two degrees. She smiled to herself. Everyone had said she was mad, planning to trek through Chile. And when the heat wave had started three days ago, they'd added she was raving mad, to give up on a rare English summer.

At Punta Arenas, the group boarded an elderly coach to take them to Puerto Natales. She was the last to take her seat - and, to her shock, the only space left was next to Mr Gorgeous.

Hadn't Carly been dying to sit next to him? And, anyway, why wasn't he sitting with the other trek organisers? Stifling the tingle of panic in her stomach, she sat down.

A six-hour trip. Next to a man whose smile had turned every female knee in the vicinity to jelly. Including her own.

Oh, boy.

'Buenas dias, senora.'

Rowena didn't bother correcting him to senorita; she simply smiled back. 'Good afternoon.'

'Good afternoon. My name is Luke,' he said, in perfect, unaccented English.

Not what she'd expected. But, then, if he'd been a guide for a reasonable length of time, of course he'd speak perfect English. Probably French, German and Italian as well. 'Luke' was probably the Anglicised version of his name.

'Luke MacKenzie.'

MacKenzie? No way was that a Chilean surname. The surprise made her meet his eyes - and then she wished she hadn't, because awareness of him turned her stomach to water. Hell and double hell. This wasn't supposed to happen.

And now he was waiting for her to tell her his name. She could be rude and just ignore him - but she'd still have to sit next to him for the next six hours. He'd probably guess why she was ignoring him, too: that she was trying to suppress the spark of attraction towards him. She decided to play it safe, be polite and throw a much-needed barrier between them. 'Rowena Thompson.'

Then she made a second mistake. She took his outstretched hand. A brief clasp, a polite shake - the English way - and yet it felt as if the contact had been much, much more intimate. As if he'd drawn her hand up to his lips, kissed the back of her hand, then turned her palm over and licked the pulse at the base of her wrist.

She felt a muscle work in her jaw. This wasn't good. She didn't want to react to him like this. Didn't want anyone in her life. Not now, not in the future. Not ever.

'Welcome to Chile,' he said softly.

From the book Where the Heart Is by Kate Hardy.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance
Publication Date: August 2005
ISBN: 0263843238
Copyright © 2005 by Pamela Brooks
® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher.
The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
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Reviews

From Cataromance: an intensely emotional tearjerker which will make you cry bucket loads. Written with depth and sensitivity - 4.5 stars

Kate Hardy has outdone herself with her latest release! Passionate, intense and emotional, she aims straight for the heart and she will have her readers crying on more than one occasion! She is a master at creating characters which are human and believable and which the readers can't help but love and care for. Your heart will go out to Rowena. She is a vulnerable yet strong woman whom you just can't help but cheer for. Luke is another of Kate Hardy's wonderful heroes whom you just cannot resist. Where The Heart Is is a spellbinding romantic story about hopes and second chances which you will not be able to put down. Kate Hardy's books just keep on getting better and better!

What they're saying on e-Harlequin:

  • perhaps the most emotional Medical Romance I've read yet... Kate Hardy does a fantastic job at capturing the emotions of her characters. She shows how love can and does persevere even through pain and anguish.
  • Stories by Kate Hardy with emergency department settings

     

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