Surviving a plane crash in the alpine forests of Australia sparks the beginning of a real connection between Dr. Will Cameron and nurse Meg Watson. A connection they delight in strengthening when Will finds himself helping Meg in her understaffed outback nursing center.
But Meg knows that she has no chance of a future with Will. He wants what she is unable to give him--children. Then after one passionate night together...a miracle happens.
Why I Wrote the Book
There is certainmagic about the Victorian high country in southern Australia. The towering Mountain Ash trees soar straight to the sky, the Southern Cross constellation sparkles in a clear starry night, craggy snow-lined winter peaks stand proud, and all of this is overlaid by the romance of the bush horsemen in The Man From Snowy River.
I'm a keen skier and have been visiting the Australian Alps for many years. Each year someone gets lost and rescuers go into the rugged terrain to hopefully safely escort the person out.
This got me thinking about a book which included an alpine rescue and I imagined my hero and heroine being part of the rescue team. But then a dear writing friend, Judith Lyons, turned that idea on its head by saying, 'What if the hero and heroine needed rescuing?'
I took that idea and pushed it a bit further. What if you had just met someone and you experienced a life and death situation. How would that impact on the relationship?
In everyday circumstances Will and Meg were unlikely to meet. She is a country girl through and through and he is a member of society's A list. Both had battered hearts from a previous relationship and neither were looking for love. But the high country knew better and it wove its magic over Will and Meg. I hope you enjoy their story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Her Miracle Baby
Excerpt From Chapter One
'Is he always late?'
'He's a doctor, Meg.' The pilot gave her a wry smile.
'Now you tell me, Tom!' She tried to laugh but her frustration strangled it. Standing on the tarmac with icy wind whipping her, she shielded her eyes and peered into the late afternoon, winter sun, willing the other passenger they were waiting for to appear from behind the hangar.
She wanted to get home. She'd had her full of Melbourne, five days in the "big smoke" was long enough. Now she couldn't wait to get back to the farm nestled in the Australian Alps, back to her job at the bush-nursing centre, and back to check on her mother.
'There he is.' Tom pointed in the distance and moved toward a tall man who had slung a ski bag casually over one broad shoulder, and a travel bag on the other. An irrational irritation zipped through her at the sight of the skis. She reminded herself that not all skiers were rich and obnoxious. Not all skiers were Graeme.
She watched with the sun blurring their features as the two men shook hands, and Tom relieved the doctor of the travel bag. They walked toward her.
To her horror she felt herself giving the passenger "the once over." His impressive height she'd noticed immediately but now he was closer she saw his chestnut hair streaked with blond kicking up behind his ears. To match that dishevelled look he wore a two-day stubble cum beard and moustache that outlined firm lips. Lips which suddenly curved upwards, along with his dark brows.
Hell, she'd been caught scoping him out.
'Meg, this is Doctor Cameron,' Tom called out over his shoulder as he walked past to stow the skis into the wing lockers and the luggage into the back of the light plane. He secured it all with a mesh safety harness.
'Call me Will.' His deep voice wrapped around her like hot chocolate on caramel. He smiled and stuck out his hand.
His large, warm hand enveloped her cooler one, his heat transferring onto her palm. But it didn't stop there; it wove up her arm and deep into her body. Heat and tingles. Heat and quivers.
The delicious sensations unnerved her. It was the end of a long week, she was tired and cold, so of course she'd shiver. Her body was too tired to know what it was doing and was getting all its signals wrong. 'Pleased to meet you, Will. I'm Meg Watson.'
'Sorry to have kept you waiting in the cold, Meg.'
She looked up into hazel-green eyes ringed by thick, long, black lashes, lashes most women would kill to have. Kind eyes. Eyes that gazed into your soul.
'Right you two, get on board.' Tom called them over.
'Guess we better do as we're told.' Will grinned and released her hand. 'After you.'
Her hand suddenly felt colder than before she'd met him, and she resisted the urge to shove it into her pocket. She stepped up onto the metal disc that was the 'step' into the light plane and holding onto the side of the doorway she ducked her head, hauling herself into the familiar eight-seater plane. Except today there were only two seats for passengers, the rest of the space was taken up with brown boxes. She sat down and immediately buckled her seat belt.
Tom did freight and passenger runs between the high country and Melbourne and had done for the last thirty years. Meg had known him all her life, and when Tom had insisted on flying her home from the nursing conference, she'd been happy to accept. The flight was a lot quicker than seven hours on the bus and she was desperate to get home.
Will's height and bulk filled the plane as he brushed past and swung into the opposite seat, his long legs seeming to concertina into the cramped space. He smiled at her, his eyes crinkling at the edges. 'I think they design these things for people less then six feet.'
She ignored the fluttering sensation that skipped along her veins at his smile. 'She's small but sturdy.'
'Yep, Tom loves this plane, that's for sure.' Long, tanned fingers dexterously snapped his seatbelt into place across his lap, their actions mesmerising Meg.
'Tom's been flying me to Mt. Hume since I was a kid.' He gave a sharp tug and tightened the belt. He turned slightly to face her. 'So the snow report is looking fantastic. We're in for a great weekend with all that soft powder in the back country.' Enthusiasm and anticipation wove through his voice.
Meg swallowed a sigh. If Will Cameron had been flying to Mt. Hume since he was a kid then he'd been some rich kid. And it seemed the tradition continued; now he was a rich skiing adult. He represented the demographic Meg's hometown needed yet disliked. Laurelton depended on the money skiers brought into the town but too often they used and abused the hospitality. Used and abused the fragile alpine environment.
Used and abused the locals. Meg knew the story personally. Graeme had taught her well and left a legacy to permanently remind her. Chlamydia's detritus; infertility.
Meg's smile felt tight and forced across her cheeks. 'I'm sure you'll have a great weekend.' She turned slightly and rummaged in her handbag for some peppermints hoping Will would take the hint and end the conversation. Skiers belonged to a different world from her. A world she'd once tried to visit. A world she knew she didn't fit in. She belonged at the base of the mountain where the air wasn't quite as rarefied.
'You're not skiing then?' Curiosity moved across his handsome face, trailing down high cheekbones and along a strong jaw.
'No.' She knew she was verging on rudeness but she didn't want to talk to this man who made her heart hammer. A man from the world she vowed she'd never enter again.
'Ah, you're a snowboarder.' He grinned. 'Sorry, of course a young woman like yourself wouldn't do anything as boring as skiing.'
His grin was infectious and she laughed. 'It's nothing to do with the snow boarding - ski rivalry. I live in Laurelton. I'm going home.' Her voice softened on the last word.
He smiled knowingly. 'A place you love. How long have you lived there?'
'All my life, with the exception of the five years I spent in Melbourne getting enough work-experience so I could return.'
He nodded. 'I can understand why you're keen to get back to Laurelton. I've always loved the town. The post office clock stands like a beacon when you round the final bend and cross the old wooden bridge.' He laughed. 'Of course the wonky neon sign at Nick's hamburger joint tends to be the night beacon. It never seems to be able to flash "NICK" all at once.'
Surprise rushed into Meg and she looked into his face, stunned to see an expression of fondness for her town. 'That sign's never worked properly.'
'Yeah, I remember when it went up I was about fourteen. Occasionally Dad would drive up the mountain, usually to test out the latest four-wheel-drive and I loved those trips.' He smiled at the memory. 'Having dad's undivided attention was a rarity. Anyway, we'd stop for a snack on the way. I can still taste Nick's hamburger with the lot…pineapple, egg, beetroot…' His voice trailed off and he licked his lips.
Her gaze riveted itself to his mouth as his red tongue rolled over the apex of his top lip. Her breathing stalled. What are you doing? Sanity prevailed and she dragged her gaze away, staring out the window, thankful Tom had fired up the propellers.
The noise of the engines drowned out any conversation without the aid of headsets. She noticed out of the corner of her eye Will putting his headset on but she held back, leaving hers in her lap.
He was a doctor heading away for the weekend, excited and chatty. Nothing more nothing less. Once they landed he would head further up the mountain and she would head down, back to her real life, which was a world away from his.
Will took a surreptitious look at Meg who wound her headset through her hands in a rolling motion. He wanted her to put the headset on over her riot of strawberry blonde curls so he could keep talking to her. Except she didn't seem too keen to talk to him.
It wasn't often he had to work hard to get a conversation going, usually he was the one trying to be polite but cool. Generally, just the mention of his name sparked recognition in the eyes of the person he was being introduced to, and the men pumped his hand extra hard and the women began flirting. The Cameron wealth did that to people. But Meg Watson's luminous baby-blue eyes hadn't glinted at the words "Will Cameron." And as for flirting, hell, she'd hardly looked at him since their introduction. But when she had it was as if she'd shot a bolt of lightning out of her eyes, stunning him.
Suddenly this trip to the mountain had taken on a new dimension. Meeting Meg had immediately lightened his mood about this work trip. He'd hoped she might be on the mountain this week because spending time skiing with a gorgeous woman like Meg; a woman who didn't know about him would give him, some welcome anonymity. It would make up for the rest of the week.
The week he'd spend convincing Tom Peters to commit $100,000 to St. Jude's Hospital building fund. Will sighed. Sometimes the old school tie came in handy. But it came at a cost. He knew the type of people who would be the other guests at Tom's ski-in, ski-out apartment.
The sort of people he'd grown up surrounded by - wealthy, pampered and insular. Funny, he'd always had a better rapport with his patients that came from all walks of life than most of his parents' friends and their children. But for the sake of his patients he'd use his childhood connections.
Tom's voice came through the headset. 'Estimated flight time is fifty minutes. The weather's predicted to change but based on the radar, we should get in well before that happens.'
The small plane charged down the runway, its nose rising quickly under Tom's experienced hand. Will leaned back and relaxed. He'd done this flight four to five times a year since he was five and he always got a kick out of the different cargos Tom carried. This time of year it was usually other skiers but today it was fresh fruit and vegetables, caviar and champagne. Someone on the mountain was throwing a party.
Meg popped a Camerons mint into her cherry-red mouth, her plump lips closing behind it. Desire flared, leaving stunned surprise in its wake. Since Taylor's betrayal six years ago he'd doggedly avoided women, although they didn't avoid him. Just like Taylor, the women he met generally had dollar signs in their eyes. Amazing how money could produce a declaration of love.
Wealth reduced marriage to a business contract. Despite numerous women having other ideas, he had no plans to be part of any relationship. Instead, in Cameron tradition, he threw himself into work even though it wasn't exactly the job of his heart. At least the Cameron wealth was being put to good use raising money for medical facilities and research.
'Would you like a mint?' Meg's melodic voice came through his headset.
He turned to find her fine tapered fingers holding a familiar container of mints toward him. The plane hit an air pocket. Her hand moved with the jolt, colliding with his thigh, sending waves of hot sensation down his leg and mints cascading into his lap.
She laughed, a tinkling, infectious laugh. 'Sorry.' In a typical "I can fix it" action, she reached for the mints, her fingers lightly caressing his lap as she scooped up the lollies.
Colours exploded in his head and he breathed in deeply, reciting the monotonous eight times table, something he hadn't needed to do since he was sixteen.
'It's fine, really, I'll fix it.' He heard an unfamiliar huskiness in his voice.
Her hand paused, hovering above his lap and then it shot back to her own. Her gasp of realisation sounded in his headset. Her cheeks burned red. 'Sorry.' This time embarrassment clung to the word.
She pivoted away and stared resolutely out the window, her discomposure evident. He bagged the remaining offending mints and wished he was out on the slopes, in the cold. His libido, which had been dormant for some time, needed some alpine air to cool it down.
From "HER MIRACLE BABY" by Fiona Lowe
Mills and Boon Medical Romance September 2006
ISBN: 1106-0263847683 Copyright: © 2006 Fiona Lowe
® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher. The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
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