Saturday, September 11, 2010

Exclusive Peek: Her Brooding Italian Surgeon by Fiona Lowe


Harlequin Medical Romance have a line called “Mediterranean Doctors” ….Greek, Spanish, French and of course, Italian.  Most of my heroes have been Australian but it’s always good to stretch writing muscles and I thought why not give this a go?  I was a bit worried as Mediterranean men are more passionate, more volatile than laconic, laid back, Australians and with all writing, so often it comes back to what you know. I didn’t know that many European men.  So, why did I choose Italian over Greek, Spanish or French?

Living in Australia we have a large Greek and Italian population and at the time, on TV, was this fabulous cooking show called, “A Gondola on the Murray.”  Stefano di Pieri had come to Australia from Italy at 20 and had been involved in politics and then he and his wife moved to Mildura which had a large Italian population who had moved there after World War 2 to grow fruit. He started cooking and this has grown into a world class restaurant, a TV show, cook books and he is on the speaker circuit. 

I’d visited Mildura a few years ago and loved it, so I could easily imagine all the citrus trees, the vine-yards, the ever-present sunshine and large Italian families.  When an image hits your head in 3D you know you have your setting and things went from there. Also, I have two writing mates who are Italian and could help me with phrases ;-) 

Leo, my hero, is the most alpha male I have written. Born in Australia, he comes from a large, Italian family who’ve been making wine for generations. The kitchen table is the heart and soul of the family. Leo is loved dearly but he’s made his life in Melbourne, a long way from Bandarra. Ask him why and he’ll charmingly tell you that as a surgeon he can’t live in a small outback town with a small hospital; his work is in the big city. If you look closely you might notice there is  tension in those jet-black eyes and across those tanned high-cheek bones, but then he’ll flash his smile and pretty much all thoughts will vanish. 

Charm has got Leo a long way in life and he has no reason to think it isn’t going to keep working for him, until he meets Abbie, and then the games truly begin. 

Exclusive Excerpt:

Abbie opened the rehab ward door. ‘Here we are.’ 

Maria’s orders starting flowing again in a combination of English and Italian and she didn’t pause until they’d settled her into the dining room. They left her happily chatting with the other residents and her final words to their retreating backs were, ‘hang my clothes.’ 

Leo strode into Nonna’s new room. Shaking his head in a combination of half laughter and half apology, he opened the wardrobe door. ‘And that was Nonna in full flight. 

‘True, she organises us mere mortals.’ Abbie passed him clothes from the suitcase, a wicked laugh twitching her plump lips. ‘But who knew that the hot-shot city surgeon is a complete push-over when it comes to his grandmother.’ 

He slid the coat hanger over the metal rail and grinned. ‘Not many people know that. It’s classified information.’ 

Sea-green eyes, devoid of any shadows or clouds twinkled brightly with teasing in their depths. ‘Classified information? How so?’

He winked at her. ‘I’ve got a reputation to protect.’ 

Her belly laugh brought a delicious pink to her cheeks. ‘Are you worried that if the information got out it might put a dent in your macho surgeon image?’ 

He hung up the last dress and turned to face her, a streak of fun pouring through him unlike anything he’d felt in months. ‘Let me put it this way -if word got out I might not be responsible for my actions.’ 

She chuckled as she leaned against the wardrobe door, her arms crossed firmly against her chest. ‘Oh, right, and if I talk what are you going to do to me? Hit me with that high wattage charm that works for you so well? I hate to tell you, Romeo, but it won’t ever work on me.’ 

Her words laid down a challenge he couldn’t refuse. Raising his left arm, he pressed it against the door, leaving plenty of space for her to duck out underneath should she choose that option. Leaning in closer, he kept his gaze fixed firmly on her face as her strawberry and liquorice scent swirled around him, filling his lungs before pouring through him and leaving a trail of banked heat.

He caught a flicker of movement - the twitch of a muscle in her cheek. A chink in her professed armour? Perhaps she wasn’t as impervious to him as she made out. Slowly he brought his right hand up to her face, twirling a tight curl around his finger as he spoke softly. ‘And what makes you so sure?’ 

She tilted her chin, the action all defiance. ‘I’ve been charmed by experts and I’m a wake up to every trick in the book.’ 

He’d expected her to spin out under his arm and stalk away but instead she stood her ground, so he edged in closer until he could feel the heat of her body radiating out to meet him and the tickle of her sweet breath on his face. ‘But you don’t know all my tricks.’ 

She swallowed hard and heat unfurled inside him so fast he thought he’d ignite. A pulse quivered against the pale skin of her throat completely undoing him and with a groan, he gave in and lowered his mouth to hers.

Plump lips of pillow softness met his with complete stillness but the hint of sweet sultana grapes and summer sunshine hovered, pleading to be tasted. He flicked his tongue stealing the tang, wanting the full taste. 

Her arms stayed crossed against her chest like an unyielding barrier and her eyes were squeezed shut as if she was battling herself. He almost pulled back but then she gave a moan-like sigh and opened her lips to him. 

His tongue tumbled over the precipice and the taste of summer fruits flooded his mouth. Their sweetness bubbled through his veins like champagne - intoxicating and demanding - and he angled his mouth seeking more.

Her tongue met his with a jolt and immediately darted away, only to return a moment later all hesitancy gone. With the experienced mouth of a temptress, she took her full taste of him and at the same time branded him with her own unique essence. 

White lights exploded in his head and his blood pounded to his groin with an urgency he hadn’t known in months. Pure lust poured through him, driving all of his actions as every cell in his body screamed to touch her, feel her, taste her, and fill her with himself. Frustratingly, her arms still stayed rigidly between them acting like a blockade and preventing him from lining his body against hers. Instead, he slid his free hand up into her hair, the silky strands caressing his palms and releasing their heady scent of floral fragrance.

She tilted her head back and her throaty groan rocked through him. The realisation that buried under those chain-store clothes lay the body and soul of an incredibly sexual woman socked him so hard it threatened to undo him on the spot in a way that hadn’t happened since he was fifteen. He gently nipped her lip and she replied in kind and the last vestiges of reason floated away. Sound vanished, light wavered and he lost himself to everything except the overwhelming need to have that amazing mouth on and in his.


Book Summary: 

Eminent surgeon Leo Costa's famous Italian charm has never failed him before--but whilst Dr Abbie McFarlane appreciates his skills as a doctor, his attention to her as a woman she can do without! Abbie doesn't do flings--if she's going to open her heart to Leo, she wants it to be for ever... 

Availabe at Book Depository (print). <-- 2 in 1 paperback


About the Author:

Always an avid reader, Fiona Lowe decided to combine her love of romance fiction with her interest in all things medical so writing for Harlequin Medical Romance was an obvious choice!  She lives in a seaside town in southern Australia where, with the support of her own real-life hero, she juggles writing, working, volunteering and raising two ‘heroes-in-the-making’.

She loves hearing from readers and you can find her at http://www.fionalowe.com, Facebook and Twitter.

3 comments:

dor said...

Wow...you just made my saturday morning even better. Thanks. :)

dorcontest at gmail dot com

Fiona Lowe said...

My pleasure, Dor. it's Sunday am here in Australia and sadly no time for reading today as it is my sons' school's athletics carnival and I am cooking sausages for a large part of the day.
Cheers
Fiona

Sara Yasmin said...

Hi Fiona, I love medical romances! I have to thank Carole for posting this today. I have to admit I like the cover that's posted here better than the other one. I went to your site and the pics are lovely...esp the hunk. *grin* Do all Italian men look like that?

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