Joanna Neil

Dr Right All Along

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       Dear Reader

      There’s something really special about college days, with young people so full of energy and sparkle, living life to the full. Everything takes on the brightest colours. Their lives are filled with music, deep, lasting friendships and the sheer joy of being alive and trying new things.

      So when the four young people in my book get together to share a house things are bound to fizz. It isn’t long before Jade and Ben find themselves drawn to one another … Things are definitely beginning to warm up but, as always, there are pitfalls along the way. Jade is cautious about getting involved—and anyway, what with all her studies, and working part-time at the café-bar in London, whenever would she find the time for a relationship?

      And what of the other two people in the house? Well, Lucy and Matt are certainly a mismatched couple … Jade and Ben are well used to observing their frequent spats. But when they have to work together as well as live together, sooner or later things are bound to change.

      I loved finding out how these young people interacted with one another. I hope you do too.

      With love


      About the Author

      When JOANNA NEIL discovered Mills & Boon, her lifelong addiction to reading crystallised into an exciting new career writing Mills & Boon® Medical™ Romance. Her characters are probably the outcome of her varied lifestyle, which includes working as a clerk, typist, nurse and infant teacher. She enjoys dressmaking and cooking at her Leicestershire home. Her family includes a husband, son and daughter, an exuberant yellow Labrador and two slightly crazed cockatiels. She currently works with a team of tutors at her local education centre, to provide creative writing workshops for people interested in exploring their own writing ambitions.

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      Dr Right

      All Along

      Joanna Neil


      ‘YOU’RE cutting it a bit fine, aren’t you?’ Matt Berenger frowned as Lucy hurried into the kitchen. ‘Aren’t you supposed to be starting your new placement at the hospital at eight o’clock this morning? That gives you less than half an hour.’

      ‘Tell me about it!’ Lucy groaned. She dumped her holdall down on a chair and ran her fingers through her silky golden hair, as though the action would in some way help to clear her head. ‘I left my parents’ home at six this morning, thinking I’d have plenty of time, but there was an accident on the road, and before I knew it I was in a tailback half a mile long. I hope whoever was involved will be all right. I passed a couple of ambulances, but I couldn’t see what was going on.’

      She opened a cupboard door and peered inside. ‘I’m starving. I didn’t have any breakfast before I left because I thought I’d be able to last until I arrived back here.’ She frowned. The cupboard was practically empty.

      ‘You forgot to get the groceries in before you went away for the weekend,’ Matt remarked in a dry tone. He walked over to the coffeemaker and flicked a switch.

      Lucy stared at him distractedly for a moment or two. He was wearing dark trousers and a freshly laundered linen shirt, and he looked fit and ready for anything—a huge contrast to her sleep-deprived, travel-weary self. Long limbed, lean and muscular, his presence seemed to dominate the small kitchen. It was a little unnerving. She hadn’t even expected to find him here this morning. She’d been sure he would have set off for the hospital well before she’d arrived home.

      ‘We’re out of everything,’ he added, ‘barring milk.’

      She winced, coming back to earth with a bit of a jolt. ‘Oh, heavens, I’m sorry … it was my turn to get the food in, wasn’t it? I’ll have to get a grip. I meant to do it, I know I did, but something must have come up.’ She shook her head in frustration, causing her long tresses to sway and then settle in a shimmering cloud over her shoulders as she tried to remember what it was that had caused her to forget. ‘It was Jade, I think … she told me she and Ben had bought a house, and she wanted me to go and see it with her. I was going to do the shopping on the way back, before I left for Berkshire, but …’

      ‘But then I guess something else cropped up.’ Matt poured coffee into a mug and handed it to her. ‘Here, drink this. Perhaps it’ll help you get your head together.’ He studied her for a moment or two, his penetrating blue glance moving over the smooth lines of the dress that draped itself lovingly around her curvaceous figure. He blinked, falling silent for a while before giving himself a shake and bringing his mind back to the situation at hand. ‘I thought you planned on coming back last night?’

      She nodded. ‘I did, but Mum and Dad invited family friends round at the last minute, and it would have been rude to leave since I’d not seen them in a while.’ Hunger pangs clawed at her stomach and she stared in dismay at the cupboard once more. There was a fog clouding her brain and she couldn’t think what to do.

      ‘There’s half a slice of toast left over from my breakfast,’ he said. ‘You might want to eat that. I was going to put it out for the birds, but I’m sure your need is greater than theirs.’ He gave a wry smile and pushed a plate towards her. ‘I’d have done the shopping myself but I was on call over the weekend. I didn’t get home until late last night.’

      She sent him a quick look. ‘Thanks for this,’ she murmured, spreading butter on the cold toast and munching gratefully.

      ‘You’re welcome. It’s a bit pale around the edge because the bread slices are too big for the toaster—I had to hunt it out because the grill on the cooker isn’t working.’

      ‘It tastes perfect to me.’ She frowned. ‘I’ll have to get someone in to look at the cooker.’ She bit into the toast once more, and after a while she said, ‘You must be shattered. Do you have to go in to work again today?’ From the way he was dressed, she guessed he wasn’t going to be lounging around the house.

      ‘I do. It’s not too bad, though. I’m part of a good team—I’m being given the chance to do procedures we only practised in med school, and being on call means I get to take on a lot more responsibility. It’s what I want.’

      Lucy nodded, finishing off her toast and brushing the crumbs from her fingers. She swallowed the last of her coffee. ‘This year’s gone well for you, hasn’t it? I suppose, with any luck, I’ll be in the same position as you, a foundation-year doctor, by August … except that I have to get through my final exams first.’ She thought about that and pulled a face. ‘I’m really not looking forward to those. I’m spending every last minute revising.’ Finding that time was becoming more and more difficult of late, though. Much as she loved her parents, she could have done without going home this particular weekend.

      She hunted around for her bag, and said hurriedly, ‘I have to go. What time do you have to be on duty?’

      He glanced at his watch. ‘Soon. I’ll walk with you.’


      It was a strange feeling, being alone