St. Piran's: Italian Surgeon, Forbidden Bride [NOOK Book]

Overview


Who can resist St. Piran's deliciously sexy new Italian surgeon?

Talented neurosurgeon Gio Corezzi's deliciously dark good looks turn the heads of every female at St. Piran's Hospital—except quiet beauty Jessica Carmichael's. And Gio can't help but notice that Jess flinches away from anyone getting too close.

With no one to turn to…and nowhere for Jess and her bundle of kittens to live while her dilapidated ...

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St. Piran's: Italian Surgeon, Forbidden Bride

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Overview


Who can resist St. Piran's deliciously sexy new Italian surgeon?

Talented neurosurgeon Gio Corezzi's deliciously dark good looks turn the heads of every female at St. Piran's Hospital—except quiet beauty Jessica Carmichael's. And Gio can't help but notice that Jess flinches away from anyone getting too close.

With no one to turn to…and nowhere for Jess and her bundle of kittens to live while her dilapidated cottage is being patched up…she knows Gio's offer of a roof over her head is one she can't refuse.

Now the devastatingly charming Italian has a week to claim the vulnerable Jess's heart….

St. Piran's Hospital
Where every drama has a dreamy doctor…and a happy ending.


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459245501
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 11/1/2012
  • Series: St. Piran's Hospital , #559
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 505,060
  • File size: 232 KB

Meet the Author


Margaret McDonagh can’t remember a time when her nose wasn't buried in a book. She read avidly, but always knew that she had to write. In 2005, after twenty years of writing novellas for My Weekly Story Collection and Linford large print, plus serials and magazine short stories for The People's Friend, her manuscript was accepted by Mills & Boon. She has been writing novels ever since! You can contact Margaret via her website: www.margaretmcdonagh.com


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Read an Excerpt




'You need Jessica Carmichael.'

He didn't need anyone…not any more.

Giovanni Corezzi bit back his instant denial of the suggestion made by paediatric registrar Dr Megan Phillips. It was his first day as consultant neurosurgeon at St Piran's Hospital in Cornwall and although his primary focus was always on doing his best for his patients, he also hoped to make a good impression and to form a friendly working relationship with his new colleagues.

'Jessica Carmichael?'

He frowned, disturbed at the way the unknown woman's name flowed from his tongue. As if it were a caress. And somehow important. What nonsense was he thinking? With an impatient shake of his head, he refocused on Megan.

'Jess is a hospital counsellor. She's very knowledgeable and good with patients and their relatives,' the paediatric registrar explained with obvious admiration. 'Unfortunately we don't have extra time for everyone. Jess fills that gap.'

'I'll bear it in mind,' Gio replied, knowing the involvement of a counsellor was often helpful to his patients but reluctant to bring one in now.

'It's your decision.' Megan's disappointment and disagreement were apparent. 'I think you'd find Jess useful in Cody Rowland's case.'

Gio bit back irritation as the young registrar questioned his judgement. Instead of an instant retort, however, he considered whether he had missed anything regarding the young boy admitted to his care. Three-year-old Cody had fallen from a climbing frame two weeks previously, but had not shown any symptoms at the time. Recently he had become increasingly listless, complaining of a headache, going off his food and feeling nauseous. His frightened parents had brought him to the hospital that morning.

A and E consultant Josh O'Hara had examined Cody and called the neurology team. Busy in Theatre, Gio had sent his registrar to do an assessment. The subsequent tests, including a CT scan, had revealed the presence of a chronic subdural haematoma. As the bleed had continued and the clot had increased in size, it had caused a rise in pressure and the swelling brain to press on the skull, causing bruising and a restriction in blood flow.

Cody was now on the children's ward and awaiting surgery. Unless he carried out the operation soon, Gio feared the boy's condition would deteriorate and, if the clot and pressure continued to grow, there was a possibility of irreversible brain damage.

It was after noon and his first day was proving to be a hectic one. That morning he had undertaken three minor and routine operations—as minor and routine as any brain surgery procedures could be—and his first neurological clinic was scheduled later that afternoon. Before that, he needed to return to the operating theatre with Cody.

'I'm sure this woman is good at her job,' he commented, 'but Cody—'

'Cody might need Jess at some point. Right now I'm thinking of his parents.'

Gio hated to admit it, but she was right. He did have concerns about the Rowlands and that Megan had picked up on the same signs was something he should find pleasing, not irritating.

'They aren't coping well,' he conceded with frustration. 'And their anxiety is distressing Cody. I need him to be settled for surgery—and for his parents to be calm and understand why we need to operate. I wish to press on them the urgency without further panicking them. They are listening but not hearing, you know?'

'I know,' Megan agreed. 'They're in denial.Mrs Rowland particularly.'

'Exactly so. Which is understandable. I'm not unsympathetic but I don't know how much time we have to play with.'

Megan hesitated, as if unsure of her ground. 'That's why I suggested Jess. I'm sorry to keep on about her, and I'm not questioning your skills,' she added hastily as his eyebrows snapped together. 'But I know how helpful she is in these situations. Everyone in the hospital likes Jess. She's a wonderful listener…and it isn't just the patients and their relatives who benefit. The staff frequently offload their problems on her, too. She's definitely your woman.'

Gio's frown returned in earnest, both at Megan's phraseology and the implication of her words. 'I don't know…'

Was he being too hasty? It was uncharacteristic of him not to listen to the suggestions of others, even if they were his juniors. He considered his reluctance to follow Megan's advice. Was it because he didn't want his new colleagues to think he couldn't do his job? Here he was, halfway through his first day and already needing to call in someone else to help with a case! He shook his head. What mattered was the well-being of his patients, not his own status.

Checking his watch, aware that he was now the one wasting precious time, he wondered how long it would take for Ms Carmichael to arrive. Once she was there, he would need to bring her up to date on the case and, as yet, he had no idea how much she understood of medical issues.

'Won't she be tied up with existing appointments?' he asked Megan. 'Cody can't afford to wait much longer.'

'Jess doesn't work like that, Mr Corezzi. She's on call and responds to whichever department or ward has need of her. It's just a matter of paging her—she usually comes right away,' the paediatric registrar explained, jotting a note on the front of Cody's file.

'Call me Gio.' He made the invitation with a distracted smile as he considered his options. He needed Cody in Theatre without further delay. If this counsellor could help facilitate that, then so be it. 'All right, Megan, please call her,' he invited, decision made, adding a word of caution. 'However, if she's not here soon, we may have to move without her.'

Megan's smile was swift. 'You won't be sorry, Gio,' she assured him, and he could only hope she was right.

'I'll ensure the operating theatre and my team are ready. And I'll arrange for the anaesthetist to assess Cody,' he informed her. 'Everything will be in place and we can move quickly—when we have the Rowlands' consent.'

As Megan went to the ward office to organise the page, an inexplicable shiver of apprehension and anticipation rippled down Gio's spine. He had done the right thing for Cody. So why did he feel unsettled? And why did he have the disturbing notion that in bringing Jessica Carmichael on board he would be taking on much more than he had bargained for? * * *

'Consultants don't spend time taking histories or chatting to patients and their relatives. That's why they have registrars and juniors,' Jess protested with a mix of wry cynicism and surprise.

Megan chuckled. 'This consultant does. He's pretty amazing, Jess, and very hands on.'

The news that Mr Corezzi remained on the ward was disturbing enough, but knowing Megan was so taken with their new consultant neurosurgeon left Jess feeling more unsettled. A sense of premonition refused to be banished. On edge, she opened her notebook and balanced it on top of the other items she carried, jotting down a few pointers as her friend gave a brief summation of Cody's case.

'Mr Corezzi… Gio…will give you more detail,' Megan added, the prospect making Jess feel more nervous.

'And Cody is three,' she mused, considering how best to help. 'I'll get Charlie.'

'Who is Charlie?'

The question came from behind her and the deep, throaty voice with its distinctive Italian accent not only identified its owner but set every nerveending tingling. Jess knew it was his first day there, and within moments of his arrival the overactive grapevine had been buzzing about the gorgeous new consultant. Female staff the length and breadth of the hospital had been preening themselves, eager to meet him and make an impression on him.

She had not been one of them.

Jess tensed, her knuckles whitening as her fingers tightened their grip on her files. Clutching them like a protective shield, and feeling suddenly scared in a way she didn't understand, she turned around and saw Giovanni Corezzi for the first time.

Oh, my!

For once the rumourmill had been right. The new Italian surgeon was something special to look at and even she, who had sworn off men a long time ago, could appreciate the view. A bit like window-shopping, she thought, smothering an inappropriate smile. You could admire the goods even though you had no intention of buying. But her inner humour vanished in the face of her body's im-possible-to-ignore reaction.

She hated the breathless feeling that made it difficult to fill her lungs, the ache that knotted her stomach, the too-fast beat of her heart, and jelly-like knees that felt unable to support her. The instinctive responses were unnerving and unwanted. She had not been attracted to any man for a long time—had not expected or wished to be. Not since her life had taken an abrupt change of direction four years ago, turning her world upside down and having an irrevocable impact on her future, forcing her not only to abandon her hopes and dreams but to reinvent herself to survive. The Jess Car-michael of today was a very different person from the one then…one who could no longer indulge in many things, including uncharacteristic flights of fancy over a good-looking man, even if he did stir her blood in ways it had never been stirred before.

Trying to shrug off the disturbing feelings, she allowed herself a quick inspection of the imposing man who stood before her looking relaxed and at ease. His dark hair was short, thick and well groomed. In his early thirties, and topping six feet, he had an olive-toned complexion and the kind of chiselled jawline that would make him sought after in Hollywood or gracing the pages of fashion magazines. Not that he was fashionable at the moment, dressed as he was in hospital scrubs, suggesting he had come to the ward from the operating theatre.

The shapeless trousers and short-sleeved tunic should have been unflattering but they failed to mask the strength and lean athleticism of his body, while their colour emphasised the intense blueness of his eyes. Under straight, dark brows and fringed by long, dusky lashes, they were the shade of the rarest tanzanite. They regarded her with a wariness she shared, a suspicion that had her shifting uncomfortably, and the kind of masculine interest and sensual awareness that frightened her witless.

Aware that Megan was making the introductions, Jess struggled to pull herself together.

'Ms Carmichael.'

The throaty rumble of his voice made her pulse race and ruined her attempt at sangfroid. 'Hello, Mr Corezzi.'

Jess dragged her gaze free and focused on the leanly muscled forearms crossed over his broad chest. As he moved, she juggled the files and assorted items she carried around the hospital, anxious to avoid shaking hands. Instead, she fished out one of her cards, careful to ensure she didn't touch him. His fingers closed around the card and she couldn't help but notice that he had nice hands. Surgeon's hands…capable, cared for and with short, well-manicured nails. There was no wedding ring and no tell-tale sign to suggest he had recently worn one. His only accessory was the watch on his left wrist with its mesh strap and midnight-blue dial.

The sound of Megan's pager made Jess jump but the distraction helped cut the growing tension.

'I'm needed in A and E,' Megan told them with evident reluctance, her cheeks pale and lines of strain around her mouth.

'Are you OK?' Jess asked, knowing her friend's reluctance stemmed from some unexplained issues she had with Josh O'Hara, the charismatic consultant who had joined St Piran's trauma team in the spring.

'I'll be fine.'

The words lacked conviction and Jess was concerned. Tall and slender, Megan appeared delicate, but although she possessed an inner strength, she had seemed more fragile than usual these last few weeks. Instinct made Jess want to give her friend a hug, but she hung back, keeping the physical distance she had maintained between herself and everyone else these last four years.

'I'm here if you need me,' she offered instead, conscious of the disturbing nearness of Giovanni Corezzi, whose presence prevented her saying more.

'Thanks.' Megan squared her shoulders, determination mixing with anxiety and inner hurt that shadowed her green eyes. 'I'll see you later. Good luck with the Rowlands. And Cody's surgery.'

Alone with Giovanni Corezzi, Jess felt a return of the tension and awareness that surged between them. Determined to focus on work, and needing to put distance between herself and the disturbing new surgeon, Jess murmured an apology and escaped to the ward office to track down Charlie.

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