The single father's Outback bride...
Single father Dr Baden Tremont moved to the Outback for a fresh start, and is focusing on raising his young daughter and his job as a flying doctor.
But working together side by side with new flight nurse Kate Lawson, Baden realises that there's more to life than his work. They have both loved and lost in the past, and it will take courage now if they are to be a family together. Baden decides that he's going to make that happen. Somehow, some way, he's going to make Kate his Outback bride...
Join Fiona Lowe for a visit to the small Outback town of Warragurra, where there's always a warm welcome!
To my cousin, Annie, for her whole-hearted enthusiasm,
unwavering support and shelf-arranging skills.
A woman going places in her own life.
Why I Wrote the Book
I live in a town where you're only 1-2 handshakes away from everyone. At times, this has its disadvantages but one of the overwhelming advantages is a sense of community. With that in mind I created outback Warragurra. This town has its problems but it also has its strengths and when one of its own is under threat, it draws together as a community, united in purpose.
My hero, Baden and his daughter, Sasha, are rebuilding their lives after losing a loved one. Kate is rebuilding her life and filling it with her work at the Flying Doctor's Base. Neither Kate nor Baden believes in "happy-ever-afters" and they closely guard their hearts. But the outback heat shimmers between them, and the township of Warragurra pushes them together until they finally realise that to risk loving is what life is all about.
I hope you enjoy a visit to Warragurra and that you join me again later in the year for another Warragurra adventure this time featuring Emily and Linton's story.
Harlequin Medical Romance
Wedding in Warragurra
Excerpt from Chapter One
'But it isn't pink.'
Kate Lawson heard the disappointment in the young girl's voice as she browsed in the limited clothing section of Warragurra's answer to Urban Angel. She glanced up and just caught the woebegone expression that matched the voice, before a set of very broad shoulders partially blocked her view.
'Not everything in life is pink or purple, Sasha.' The deep, melodious voice carried a smile.
Kate grinned, wishing she could see the man's face. Did he have a clue what he was up against? Shopping with Tweens was a minefield. She knew only too well. She had a niece much the same age and a Girl Guide troop that kept her on her toes.
Sasha tossed her head and stuck a hand on her hip. 'I do know that, Dad.'
'So, perhaps it's time to branch out and explore green and blue now that you're twelve.' Patience threaded through the words. He picked up a cute striped tank top. 'What about this?'
Kate watched fascinated, forgetting she was supposed to be finding a gift for her niece. That she was supposed to be ironing her nurse's uniform and polishing her shoes for her first day back at work. Not to mention the million other things that needed doing in preparation for her return to the real world of Warragurra. She'd been gone six months, but she couldn't hide forever.
Sasha wrinkled her nose at the top that lay across her father's arm.
Long masculine fingers trailed across the material. 'It's green but it has a fine pink stripe.' He paused for a beat. 'It matches your beautiful eyes. They're green just like mum's.'
His words wove magic. Sasha's face transformed from sceptical to delighted. 'I'll try it on. And these shorts too.' Sasha took the hanger from her father's hand, grabbed the matching shorts and marched toward the change room.
Laughter bubbled up inside Kate at the exchange between father and daughter. He was good! Wiley, but good. Sasha had no idea she'd just been outplayed. Usually dads lost the fashion battles, which was why mothers took on that role.
He turned toward the change rooms and caught her gaze, giving her a conspiratorial grin. 'Let's hope that saves me from a trip to Dubbo.'
Kate forgot to breath.
Azure eyes, flecked with myriad shades of blue sparkled at her, along with a slightly crooked smile. A smile that belonged to a pirate. A smile formed by a mouth that promised all things deliciously wicked.
Where on earth had that thought come from?
She gave herself a mental shake. She wasn't shopping for a man. She wasn't even window-shopping. Shane had cured her of every romantic notion she'd ever held.
Besides this man was a husband and a father. He had a wife with beautiful eyes. Perhaps that's why the errant thought had played across her mind. He was an unavailable man and her radar had relaxed. She returned his smile. 'I think your days are numbered and it won't be Dubbo she'll be demanding, but the shopping delights of Sydney.'
'You're probably right.' His grin faded, chased away by a shadow, which flickered across his face, as he shoved his large hands into the pockets of his chinos.
'Dad, what do you think?' Sasha reappeared and did a twirl in her matching outfit, her eyes anxiously seeking his approval.
'You look gorgeous, sweetheart.'
Sasha rolled her eyes. 'You always say that, Dad, even when I'm splattered in mud after soccer.'
'Well, you do.' The love in his voice radiated around the shop.
Kate tried to ignore the slug of loss that turned over inside her like a lead weight. What would it be like to be loved like that?
'Um, excuse me, but do you think this colour suits me?' Sasha directed her question to Kate.
She took in the tanned healthy glow of the child, her shiny chestnut hair and large, green eyes. 'Your dad's right. That green does suit you.' A streak of mischief shot through her. 'And you know what would look really great with it? One of those new belts and a matching bracelet and necklace. They've got a rack of accessories to match each outfit.' She pointed toward the display.
Sasha's eyes widened as she caught sight of the trinkets. 'Oohh and bags too.'
The pirate groaned and shook his dark head; his thick curls shaking in resignation. 'Thanks for that.'
His sarcasm wasn't lost on Kate and she laughed. 'My pleasure, I'm happy to help. Have fun.' She picked up the same tank top for her niece and walked toward the check out, a sense of lightness dancing through her. It had been a long time since she'd felt so carefree in Warragurra.
For the first time she realised she was ready to go back to work. At work she'd be surrounded by the security of familiar faces and colleagues who understood. Armed with support like that, of course she could cope with the town.
A shimmer of anxiety skated along her veins, which she promptly squashed. After all, how bad could coming back to Warragurra really be?
'I need to talk to you.' Jen, the office manager of the Warragurra Flying Doctor's Base called to Baden as he walked briskly past her desk.
'Sorry, Jen. Can't do it now, I'm late. Sasha had an excursion and somewhere between home and school the permission slip vanished. I've just debased myself totally, begging the vice-principal to bend the rules and allow her to go,' Baden Tremont called over his shoulder as he quickly checked the contents of his medical bag.
'I'm sure you charmed her with that smile of yours but I need to talk to you about---'
Baden briskly snapped the clasps of his large black bag closed. 'Email me.' He strode toward the door, knowing he was cutting his departure way too fine.
Jen jogged behind him trying to keep up. 'I already did but it bounced back as undeliverable and I've had to change--'
'Did you tell Emily? She can fill me in on the plane.' His hand connected with the door handle.
'Yes, but…' Jen's words disappeared, captured by the hot wind and drowned out by the engine noise that surged inside when Baden opened the door.
Hell, he really was late. The early morning flight from Broken Hill was touching down. The smell of burning rubber seared his nostrils as he stepped out onto the already steaming tarmac.
Jen continued talking despite the noise. '…Emily…Kate …flight…'
He only caught a few fragments of the words over the din but he had no time to stop. 'Is Emily late?'
Jen shook her head and threw her hands up in frustration.
He gave her a grin, one that usually got him out of trouble, waved and mouthed 'tell me at three.' His last glance was Jen muttering as she stomped back inside. He hated being late. But the balancing act of fulltime doctor and fulltime single-father meant he was frequently late both professionally and personally. Five months ago when he'd moved to Warragurra from Adelaide, he'd thought the move to the country would give him more time. He'd got that wrong. Remote areas were medically under-resourced.
He took the plane's steps two at a time as a familiar thrill zipped through him. Life might not be how he'd imagined it four years ago but being part of the Flying Doctors' team went a long way toward providing him with professional satisfaction. He'd accepted that was how things had to be. His life offered professional satisfaction. He didn't expect anything more.
The plane door closed behind and he signalled to Glen Jacobs, the pilot, that he'd checked the lock. 'Morning, Emily.' He caught sight of his flight nurse's legs as she leaned into a storage compartment.
Funny, he'd only ever seen Emily wear long trousers. Somehow he hadn't imagined her legs to be quite so shapely. Or as long. Come to think of it he'd never imagined anything about Emily. She barely made it to five foot four and her uniform always seemed to hang off her giving her a shapeless look. The only thing he regularly noticed was how her hair changed colour every third week.
He and Emily had been a team since he'd arrived in Warragurra. Steady and reliable, she had a no-nonsense approach and got the job done. Home was often chaotic and sadness crept around the edges but Emily made work easy. She was like one of the boys. Happy to talk cricket, tennis and car engines, she was often found at the pub on a Friday night beating anyone brave enough to take her on at the pool table.
He heard her muffled greeting and kept talking, his back to her as he stowed his bag. 'What's Jen in a flap about? I thought she was telling me you were late.'
'I think perhaps she was telling you I was Kate.'
He turned abruptly at the rich and throaty yet vaguely familiar voice.
From "A Wedding In Warragurra" by Fiona Lowe
Mills and Boon Medical Romance March 2008
ISBN: 9780263198553 Copyright: © 2008 Fiona Lowe
® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher. The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
For more romance information surf to: www.millsandboon.com.au