Thursday, August 6, 2009


Babies in the Bargain
Author: Mona Risk
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Release Date: July 3, 2009
Blue Ribbon Rating: 5


BABIES IN THE BARGAIN is one novel that pulls you into the story and holds you captive to the last page. My heart broke for Marc and the touching way little Paulito comes into his life. At the same time, the baby forces Holly to acknowledge her feelings for Marc – feelings she’s been trying hard to ignore. Mona Risk delves into the intense life and death situation babies in the NICU face and tempers that overwhelming emotion with a high intensity romance in a storyline that will truly touch the reader’s heart.

BABIES IN THE BARGAIN, sweet and spicy, in the genre of ER and Gray's Anatomy: New release at The Wild Rose Press.
At Barnes and Noble:

Short Synopsis:
With only one year left to complete her medical training in Neonatology, Dr. Holly Collier vows not to let anyone mess up her sacrosanct schedule. Especially not the drop-dead gorgeous Dr. Marc Suarez who broke her heart seven years ago.

When a tragic accident transforms the carefree playboy into a dedicated but novice father to his nephew, Holly gives in to her maternal instincts and turns her structured life upside down for the orphaned preemie. But can she learn to trust Marc again and believe in true love?


He sucked in a deep breath. Had he been so insensitive? Judging by the shadow of sadness in her eyes, he’d made a real mess back then. Damn it. “I’m sorry if I hurt you. That was never my intention.”

“It’s all in the past,” she said in the soothing voice she probably used with the parents of her little patients. She didn’t even seem to resent him. But he knew better. She had avoided him as if he could transmit germs on sight.

Her head tilted to the side, she stared at him like a porcelain statue, beautiful but cold. His fingers clenched on his fork to refrain from caressing her hair. She hadn’t asked for explanations, but as a doctor, he felt the need to disinfect old wounds.

“Let me explain the scene you’d witnessed. Several girls came to say goodbye. Some of these women were quite aggressive. But none was special to me. They hugged and kissed and wished me the best. That was it. I couldn’t throw them out when they were just being nice. Beside I was going away the next day.” He covered her fisted hand. It slowly relaxed. “You were the only one I wrote to.”

“A few lines to tell me you were extremely busy.” She pushed the croutons of her salad to the side of her plate with nervous little taps.

“I was. Honestly. My father’s health was failing. And then both my sister and Carlos had some, hmm, problems. But I wrote again as soon as I could.”

“Three letters in a year. Not that I’m blaming you. I didn’t have a free minute myself.”
He didn’t like her bitter smile. He tried to capture her gaze, but she kept looking at the damn croutons as if she were studying a medical sample.

“But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t thinking about you. In fact there wasn’t a day that I didn’t think about you.”

“Come on.” She raised her eyebrows in disbelief.

“Oh, yes. At least for the first two years,” he specified, a thorny regret twisting his insides.

“When you never answered my last letter, I gave up and started flirting right and left to forget you.”

“That I can well imagine.” A sarcastic smile played on her lips.

She certainly didn’t harbor a good opinion about his character. He wasn’t at liberty to divulge the series of scandals his family had faced and the shame that muddied the Suarez name until he had repaired the damage. But he could at least explain his compulsive search for fun. An effective antidote to the troubles that had poisoned his life.

“Holly, you know firsthand that medicine is a tough field. The long hours, the stress. I was working like a madman. I saw death on a regular basis.” And an alcoholic father in a wheelchair, pathetic and loud. “I never thought twice about taking a bit of pleasure wherever I could find it. It was all part of the hectic life, part of growing up.”

Her lips puckered in a grimace. “No shit. I’m used to medical stress, Marc. I’m still in deep water now.”

“Yes, I know.” He raked his fingers through his hair. “But I’ve changed now. Trudging the poor areas of San Juan forced me to see life differently. And the old problems were settled.”

“You don’t have to.” She arched a skeptical eyebrow.

Words—even words from the heart—were not enough to convince her. He’d have to prove himself.

She flipped her hand in the air, in an I’ve-heard-it-all-before gesture. “I can deal with charming playboys. My father belonged to that club.”

“Your father? Is he...deceased?”

“To me. I haven’t seen him in twenty years. He left when I was ten and never asked for visitation rights.”

The bitterness of her words twisted at his guts. It was even worse than he thought. Holly was convinced he was nothing but a lecher, a younger version of her father.

“I’m sorry about your father. But for us, it was seven years ago. We’ve both changed. Matured.”
He knew he had. He didn’t need to flirt to forget the pain of losing his only brother. Having Holly with him was the only soothing his wounded soul hungered for. He smiled at her and squeezed her hand.

Holly’s heart somersaulted. Heat spread from her fingers, ran through her arm. His devastating smile was back in place, but without the hint of arrogance that used to put her on edge. A glint of affection reflected in his chocolate eyes.

Could it be possible?

“Yes, we have.” Under the table, she scraped her heels back and forth against the tiles. “Yes, of course. We’ve matured. You are the eminent anesthesiologist WCH hired, and I’m no longer a student.”

What was he getting at with these explanations and veiled apologies?

Would he ask her out again?

Good God, but this new Marc was more dangerous to her inner peace than the playboy of the past.

By the same author: To Love A Hero: At Jasmine Jade


Marianne Stephens said...

Good luck with your newest book! Holly seems tormented about believing in Marc again, but her heart sure seems to want him. He's had lots to deal with, but has matured. They'll need to move past the hurt and begin a new relationship.
Nice excerpt! I've had two grandsons go through time in the NICU so can relate to what you've mentioned.

Amber Skyze said...

Great review, Mona! This book sounds very interesting.

Mona Risk said...

Thanks Marianne. Neonatology is such a hard specialization. Nerves-wrecking.

Mona Risk said...

Thank you Amber.

jean hart stewart said...

A gret teaser for what sounds like a great book.