June 1st, is a new release day! 😀 THE PRINCE AND THE MIDWIFE is book five of the Harlequin Medical series, The Hollywood Hills Clinic. I’m super happy to be part of such a great series with great authors.
Here’s the blurb:
Midwife Gabriella Cain doesn’t appreciate Dr. Rafael Moreno taking over he department for celebrity moms-to-be…even if he is royalty – and gorgeous! But distrust soon turns to secrets shared as irresistible Rafe proves dangerously easy to fall for. With a painful past behind her, can Gabriella dare hope for a fairytale ending with her prince?
Gabby isn’t too impressed with Rafael when she first meets him – quite the opposite, in fact! Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 1:
“She turned to Dr. Full-of-Himself and somehow kept her voice cordial. “May I speak to you privately in my office, Dr. Moreno?”
He inclined his head again, and she sensed him following her from the room and down the marble-tiled hallway, past large windows with beautiful views Gabby normally enjoyed, but not at that moment. Right then, she had only one thing on her mind, which was giving Rafael Moreno a piece of it.
She stopped in front of the open door of her office and gestured for him to go inside but he stopped with her.
“Ladies first,” he said as he mirrored her gesture.
A man with good manners was usually appealing, but this didn’t feel like good manners. It felt more like he was just being controlling again, wanting things to be the way he wanted them and not giving her respect for the fact that it was her office. Which meant she should be calling the shots at that moment, even if it was something as simple as who entered the room first.
The smile she stuck on her face was stiff and fake and she didn’t care if he saw through it. While part of her knew it wasn’t something worth arguing about, he’d irritated her so much already she found herself digging in her heels. “No, I insist. You are a guest here at the clinic, after all.” And if that didn’t give him a strong hint that he’d overstepped his bounds, she was about to tell him so much more directly.
Those silky eyebrows rose at her, and their gazes clashed for several heartbeats until he inclined his head and stepped into the room. She shut the door behind her, not wanting anyone to overhear their conversation, and when she turned to look at him she had that oxygen-sucked-from-the-room feeling again. His height and the breadth of his shoulders made the room seem to shrink, and his erect posture and the utter self-assurance of his demeanor compounded the effect until she felt she couldn’t breathe.
Except breathing was necessary to give him a piece of her mind. Her mouth suddenly dry as sandpaper, she hoped he couldn’t sense her discomfiture as she stepped behind her desk instead of having them sit in the two chairs side by side, wanting to send another message that she was in charge of the maternity wing and its midwives and he should treat her accordingly.
“Please sit,” she said as she perched herself in her swivel chair.
But of course he didn’t. He simply stared down at her, and she suddenly felt like a bug-eyed hamster being eyed by a hawk. Rafael Moreno, standing there all confident and imperious, had utterly ruined the message she’d tried to send by sitting behind the desk, so now what was she supposed to do? Sit there craning her neck up at him while giving him a dressing-down? Or bob back up like a jack-in-the-box? Either one would make her look foolish and, worse, completely lacking in power and authority.
Damn the man.
“What is it you wish to discuss with me, Ms. Cain?”
She huffed out a breath, trying hard to regain some semblance of equilibrium, and slowly stood again to look him in the eye. Or as much as that was possible, considering he still had a good six or seven inches in height on her. “I know you are James’s friend, and I’m told you are good at what you do. Also that you are part of a royal family, which is perhaps why you feel you can do as you please.”
“I can do as I please.”
The arrogance of the words wasn’t diminished by the even modulation of his deep voice. Her heartbeat upped its tempo to double time, and that burning sensation prickled her scalp again. “Maybe you can in a lot of places, but not here, Dr. Moreno. I may be a midwife and not a physician, but I assure you that I’m the person in charge of the day-to-day operation of The Hollywood Hills Clinic’s maternity ward. While I am grateful you came quickly to see Cameron when James requested you to, I don’t appreciate you walking in and just taking over. Completely ignoring the notes I made on Ms. Fontaine’s chart and utterly dismissing my medical opinion and recommendation. Even worse, you said and did it all in front of the patient. That was insulting and rude, and frankly could have very well undermined her confidence in me, my knowledge, and my skills.”
The expression on his smooth, angular features didn’t change, but in the depths of his eyes there was a sudden, dangerous glint. Her breath caught and held in her chest during the long pause that crackled between them before he finally spoke. “Anything else?”
Gabby slowly walked around from behind the desk, taking that moment to get the air moving in her lungs again, hoping to calm both her tripping heart and her frustration. For the first time in her life she wished she was taller than her five feet six inches, but was so angry she came to stand nearly toe to toe with him anyway.
“I resent you saying that room was a mess, that it was substandard, and by association that I’m substandard. Even worse that you said it in front of our patient as well. I work very hard to keep my ward immaculately clean, organized and running smoothly, to keep these rooms as luxurious and beautiful as James insists they be, and our patients expect. But as an obstetrician you should certainly know that when there’s any kind of medical emergency, like the difficult twin births I was dealing with prior to Cameron arriving, it tends to mess up a hospital room. Is it possible that you never give that a thought, though, since an OB can often run in, catch a baby, play hero, then leave the cleanup to someone else?”
“I assure you,” he said in a silky-soft voice at odds with that glint sparking in his eyes, “I am well versed in hospital room chaos, having worked in all kinds of clinics around the world. I resent your implication that I’m a spoiled and selfish man unwilling to take on any task required of me. That is an unacceptable insult. Who and what I am is a doctor who prides himself on paying attention to every detail, and the fact is that the disarray of that room was obvious evidence that I had to take control of the situation.”
The small gap between them closed, and with his narrowed gaze so close, so intense Gabby found she had to break their eye contact before she got dizzy from it. Which then had her staring at his mouth, at lips that were hard and uncompromising, and somehow at the same time so soft and sensually shaped that her stomach did a strange little flip that didn’t feel at all like the anger pumping through her veins.
“And I assure you that was a misconception, and you taking control of the situation was both unnecessary and unwelcome.” Gabby resisted the urge to stroke her hand down her throat, swiping away the sweat she was sure must be forming there. Why did it suddenly seem so hot in this room? Was it her anger making her heart quiver, and was it her imagination that all that heat seemed to be shimmering right between them, practically pouring from his big, masculine body? “If you end up coming back to see Cameron, and I frankly would prefer a different physician do so, I would appreciate you showing me respect in front of our patient, and I will continue to show you that same respect.”
“Oh, I’ll be back, Ms. Cain, have no doubt about that. Whether you like it or not. When I make a commitment to a friend like James, and to a patient, I always see it through to the end.” His eyes were still narrowed, his words still spoken in that silky, soft tone that sounded odd, coming from lips that had been firmly clamped together the whole time she’d spoken. Then, to her utter shock, he reached for her hand and lifted it to those beautiful lips, pressing them to the back of it.
Both soft and firm, he kept them there for[…]”
Excerpt From: Robin Gianna. “The Prince and the Midwife.