Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.
For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.
Day one in Paramatta's E.R. and surgical director Jennifer Thorngate's head is spinningshe's just met gorgeous surgeon Jasper Edwards! Simply being near him makes her sizzle. But Jennifer is determined not to allow her personal and professional worlds to collide.
Her resolve is tested to the limit when she meets Jasper's little girls! Watching the loving single dad with his twins puts the smile back on Jennifer's face a smile that brings Jasper's heart back to life.
Jasper is left with only one option: he must convince Jennifer that together they can all have the most wonderful life.
About the Author
Lucy Clark began writing romance in her early teens and immediately knew she'd found her calling in life. After working as a secretary in a busy teaching hospital, she turned her hand to writing medical romance. She currently lives in Adelaide, Australia, and has the desire to travel the world with her husband and children. Lucy largely credits her writing success to the support of her husband, family and friends.
She was born in England in the Lake District, but at the age of two, her parents decided to move to Australia and thankfully took her with them. Lucy loves the sunburst country, the land of sweeping plains, with its rugged mountain ranges and droughts and flooding rains! She recalls only happiness during her childhood, even when her two older sisters and older brother used to tease and manipulate her (like all older siblings).
She first discovered a passion for the written word when receiving excellent grades in her comprehension and English lessons and rather appalling grades for everything else. A "late bloomer" in the reading department, she would sit up until all ours of the night (or early morning) devouring one romance novel after the other. At the age of seventeen, she decided she could write one.
Lucy wrote her first manuscript, sent it over the wide, blue ocean to the offices of Mills & Boon in London and received a very nice rejection letter. The devastation set in. Dreams of becoming a well-known romance writer, of travelling the world, of book-signing tours, of international recognition...were blown away with the wind.
After meeting the man of her dreams and marrying him, Lucy decided to once more try her hand at writing a romance. While working full time in a hospital as a medical secretary for two busy orthopaedic surgeons, she typed up a fresh story and submitted it for publication. Rejection again. Although by this time, she'd called for reinforcements--her romance writing group. They provided counselling (lunches) and support (dinners). Then one day she had an idea! Lucy decided to try and write a Medical Romance book. This she did and broke through the barriers into the publishing world. Elation! Excitement! Euphoria! When she floated down from the clouds, she now realized the enormous task that lay ahead in producing further work. Planning books is now a necessity, editing is an appalling process that unfortunately must be done. Ideas, medical research, characters, situations and settings now fill most of her time...along with her family, of course.
Lucy looks forward to a long and happy association with her characters, her editors and her readers with only one eternal wish. That the dry sense of humor she and her husband share doesn't get her into trouble, as it often has in the past!
Read an Excerpt
Jasper Edwards quickly packed his briefcase with a huge pile of papers, glad the amount would be drastically decreased after today. It was almost six-thirty in the morning and he needed to be leaving soon. He'd been up for at least an hour because Lola had been sneezing and coughing during the night. With the weather being so cold, it wasn't uncommon. The problem was that when one child got sick, the other usually followed suit. He made a mental note to watch Lilly for the first signs of the cold during the next few days.
'Feeling better, buttercup?' he asked as he brushed a hand over her blonde ringlets and kissed her cheek, glad her eyes didn't look so glassy this morning. At her nod, he scooped her up. 'Come on. Let's go wake Grandma and Grandpa. Daddy's got to be at the hospital early this morning.'
'Why?' Lola asked.
'Because the new boss is starting today.'
'Why?' Lilly chimed in, holding out her hands for her father to pick her up as well.
'Because she is.' Jasper balanced them.
'Why?' Lola asked.
'Because Daddy didn't want the job.'
'Why?' It was Lilly's turn again and Jasper couldn't keep his lips from twitching at their tag-team act.
'Because Daddy wants to spend more time with his gorgeous girls, that's why.'
'Why?' both of them asked together.
'Because Daddy loves you both.' He tickled their tummies and was rewarded with giggles from both, followed by coughing from Lola. They wrapped their arms about his neck and held on as he carried them through the ground floor of his house.
'Be the giant, Daddy. Be the giant.' Lilly demanded.
'Yeah. I love the giant,' Lola agreed.
'I love him, too,' Lilly added.
Knowing it would speed things up to acquiesce rather than argue, Jasper hunched his shoulders a little, maintaining his firm hold on each child. 'Grrroooowwwlll. I'm the great big giant from the land of Giganticor.' Jasper's voice was deeper than usual, making both girls giggle again, their arms tightening with excitement about his neck as he crashed his way noisily up the stairs. 'I'm here to give yummy little girls a ride to the land of Grandparents. Are you both comfortable?'
'Yes,' they said in unison, their voices radiating utter glee.
'Grrroooowwwlll. Off we go, then.' Walking with big steps and swaying from side to side, Jasper carefully made his way upstairs to his mother's kitchen. The house was the perfect arrangement for all concerned. He and the girls lived on the lower level and his parents lived upstairs. They had their own bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen and living areas, giving privacy where privacy was needed and security for the girls when Jasper was called to the hospital in the middle of the night. They communicated via an intercom so if he was called out, he could buzz through to his parents and they knew to check on the girls, who had a child monitor situated in their perfectly pink bedroom.
His mother was in the kitchen, making coffee, as he crashed towards her, still growling. 'The granddaughter express from the land of Giganticor is here,' he announced, and Iris, his mother, came over and took the girls from him, one at a time.
'Oh, thank you, Mr Giant. You are so kind to deliver such beautiful girls to me.' When the girls were seated at the kitchen table, Jasper kissed his mother's cheek then poured himself a cup of coffee.
'Mmm. Just what the doctor ordered.'
Both girls giggled. 'You say that every morning, Daddy.' Lilly grinned up at him. 'Can I have some coffee?'
'I want some too,' Lola added, 'Ah. I believe Grandma has some yummy milk for you to have.'
'I want the coffee one.'
'I want it, too.'
Iris rolled her eyes. 'And you say that every morning,' she told her granddaughters. 'Kiss Daddy goodbye or he'll be late for work.'
Both girls puckered up and Jasper spent the next five minutes being smothered in kisses. 'I think I need another shower,' he remarked as he took the lunchbox Iris handed him.
'Make sure you eat that breakfast muffin sooner rather than later, Jasper Edwards, or there'll be trouble,' his mother warned.
'Yes, Mum,' he replied with mock meekness, then winked at his daughters. 'See you all tonight. Love you,' he called as he headed back down the stairs.
'Love you, too, Daddy,' the girls yelled, loud enough to wake up their grandpa, which only made Jasper smile even more.
Jennifer walked through the hospital just before eight o'clock, eager to start work. The past week she'd spent at Sara's, trying to finding a suitable apartment, had been busy but very much the calm before the storm. The problem was, she hadn't found an apartment near the hospital and most of her belongings were still in Melbourne. If she didn't find a place soon, she'd have to put everything into storage and that was the last thing she wanted to do.
Anyway, she reminded herself, she would be spending most of her time here at the hospital, keeping busy. Work, work, work. She'd been thinking for some time that she needed to find a life outside work, but she was beginning to wonder if she ever would. Her one and only opportunity to have it allto be a doctor, a wife and a motherhad been cruelly taken away from her when Arturo had died. Now that she'd achieved what she'd wanted to achieve professionally, she was beginning to realise how monocular her world was. For the past eight years she'd lived and breathed work, and it had been fine for the first few years. After that she'd simply fallen into a bad routine where she'd spent more hours than necessary at the hospital, too many hours studying for her doctorate and declining every social invitation that came her way.
In fact, for the past two years she'd barely received any social invitations, and while she tried not to let that bother her, telling herself it was just as well because she'd have had to turn them down anyway, quietly she was upset at the way her life was turning out. She knew Arturo wouldn't be happy for her to be all alone and it was for that reason alone that she'd jumped at the chance to move back home to Parramatta. Here, at least, she had the hope of finding more depth to her life, mainly because when she reflected on her past, Parramatta was the one place she could remember being truly happy.
On the drive to the hospital that morning, she'd passed the high school she'd attended with Sara. She'd passed the medical school where she'd met Arturo on her first day. She'd passed the gardens where Arturo had kissed her for the first time, and she'd passed the small hospital chapel where his memorial service had been held.
The hospital itself had changed a great deal since she'd been a lowly medical student but she was able to navigate her way to the orthopaedic department where her new office was situated. She walked up to the reception desk and was met by a smiling woman she guessed to be in her fifties.
'Welcome. I'm Martha. Come through. Dr Edwardshe's been acting head of departmentis in your office ready to give you a quick run down on things before ward round.'
'Thank you.' Jennifer followed Martha into a large office at the end of the corridor, feeling pleased and excited and ready to get to work. She'd really made it to the top. It all still seemed a little surreal. As she passed the door, she paused to glance at the name plaque. Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma. Head of Unit. DrJennifer Thorngate. She d done it!
'Dr Thorngate,' Martha said, breaking into her thoughts. 'This is Dr Edwards.'
Jennifer turned her attention away from the door to look at the man sitting behind her new desk, in her new chair. He took his time standing, as though he didn't care he'd been found riffling through her papers. There was confidence about him and she liked that. He wore dark trousers, a crisp white shirt and a colourful tie. The shirt, however, pulled slightly across his arms as he pushed on the desk with both hands as he stood. The fabric outlined two very firm and well-toned arms and she couldn't help but note how broad his shoulders were.
His hair was dark brown and his eyes were a smoky grey, filled with politeness as he came over and held out his hand. 'Dr Thorngate. Welcome to Parramatta Hospital, although I understand from your file that you actually trained here.'
'Medical school, yes.' Why did she feel as though he was the boss and she was the new recruit? 'Thank you for the welcome, Dr Edwards.'
'Please. Call me Eddie. Most of the staff do.'
'All right, Eddie. I understand you've been keeping the seat warmliterally.' She pointed to the chair he'd just vacated.
He smiled at that and the effect made her do a double-take. Nice. Very nice. She swallowed and forced herself to look away. 'That's right.' He turned to the secretary. 'Martha, would you mind getting refreshments? I'm sure Dr Thorngate could do with a quick cuppa before ward round.'
'Oh, I'm fine. I've already had two cups of coffee this morning.' Jennifer quickly waved his words away, wanting to get control over her equilibrium. It wasn't a common occurrence for her to be knocked off guard by a simple smile but that's exactly what Dr Edwards Eddie, she corrected herself had done. With firm strides, she headed around the desk.
He leaned forward a little and raised his eyebrows ques-tioningly. 'Nerves?'
'Uh ' For a whole second Jennifer's mind went blank. The man really was extremely good-looking and highly personable. If everyone in her new department was like him, she wasn't going to have any trouble settling in. 'Something like that.'
Dr Edwards smiled again. 'Well, you're probably going to need to top up at some point because you have an extremely busy day ahead of you.' He didn't move. Didn't shift to the other side of the desk, as she'd expected him to. Instead, he stood there, his tall, firm body now close to hers. Close enough that she could feel the heat radiating from him and smell the fresh scent of his aftershave. Spicy and woodsy. Nice. Very nice.
Jennifer closed her eyes for a brief moment, forcing herself to shift into professional gear. Dr Edwards was just another colleague and while he was her equal when it came to qualifications, he wasn't head of unit, which, in context of the hospital's protocols, made her his new boss.
When she next looked at him, it was to find him studying her with a degree of confusion. 'Something wrong? Caffeine headache?'
'No. No. Not at all.'
Jennifer fingered a pile of neat papers stacked on the desk as Martha left, closing the door behind her. 'Is this the usual inheritance?'
Eddie laughed. 'I've tried to clear as much of the backlog as I could but there are things I thought it better for you to deal with.'
'Then why don't you take a seat ' she indicated the one on the opposite side of her desk ' and let me know what requires my urgent attention?'
Thankfully, Eddie took the hint and moved, pulling the chair up to the edge of the desk. He was still close, still crowding her a little, but thankfully now there was a large slab of wood between them rather than just a few inches of carpet. The man radiated charm, manners and had an abundance of sex appeal. As he pointed to a piece of paper, she checked his hands. Both ringlessalthough that meant nothing. Was he married? Engaged? Attached in some way?
She sat there, looking at him, and realised he was expecting an answer. Clearing her throat as well as her mind from distracting thoughts of her new colleague, Jennifer forced herself to concentrate.
'I'm sorry. Would you mind repeating that?'
'Is anything wrong? You seem a little I don't know preoccupied, distracted.' Now he was looking at her as if she couldn't handle the job. Well, she knew she could and she was determined to show him just how well she could do it.
'No. Let's get things sorted.' When she didn't elaborate any further, Eddie repeated his initial question, which she answered knowledgeably and without vacillation.
'Right, then. The next thing that requires your immediate attention is the new research grant. It's due in on Thursday so there are only a few more days to finalise all matters.'
'Who's the supervisor on the project?'
'Me? I've inherited a research project already?'
Eddie smiled again and once more Jennifer couldn't believe how it changed his face. Where his initial smile had been polite and welcoming, even mildly humourous, this one made his eyes sparkle, his white, straight teeth bright and inviting. Laughter lines creased at the corners of his eyes and to top off the effect, he pushed a stray lock of hair back from his forehead and shrugged his firm, broad shoulders. 'Nothing says "Welcome to the department" like inheriting a research project.'
Jennifer couldn't help but return his smile. It was so very rare that she took an instant liking to people but Dr Edwards was proving himself to be one of them. 'I guess you're right. Who's the assistant supervisor?'
'I am. As you can see, most of the details are in place. I've had Martha schedule some time for you to come across to the laboratory tomorrow afternoon so we can go over things together. That way you won't be making your decision based only on the theory and hard-copy explanations.'
'Good. Thanks for organising that.' She put the research papers in a pile. 'I'll read this tonight.'
They continued working and half an hour later, when Martha knocked on the door to say the eight-thirty ward round would start in five minutes, Jennifer looked at the large pile of papers she would be working her way through that night.
Eddie pointed to the pile. 'I'm so glad that's yours and not mine any more.'
'You don't like administration work?'
'Not my favourite thing to be doing of an evening.'
'Cuts into your social life?' She'd said the comment in an offhanded manner and when he didn't answer immediately, she looked up, surprised to find him almost frowning at her. It was on the tip of her tongue to apologise but he merely shrugged, the frown instantly disappearing.
'Something like that.'
'Dr Edwards. If you don't mind me asking, why didn't you simply take on the position of head of unit yourself? Surely it wasn't because of the amount of paperwork because, from what I've seen during the past half an hour, you're a man who knows what he's doing, knows how to run a department and is obviously very comfortable working here. I guess I'm at a loss as to why they didn't simply promote you rather than sourcing from outside the hospital.'
'Worried you think you're stepping on my toes?' His good humour was back and she wondered whether she'd imagined that little frown that had previously pierced his brow.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews