Resident Alyssa Ward is not pleased when she wins a date with emergency physician the Honorable Sebastian Radley. She's not looking for a relationship--especially not with a renowned womanizer like Seb. Then again, he is incredibly handsome--and it is only one date.
Seb has never been one for settling down. But one date with Alyssa just isn't enough. And when she gives him some life-changing news, he reassesses who he really wants to be: every woman's Honorable playboy--or Alyssa's Honorable husband....
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January 09, 2007
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Excerpt from Her Honorable Playboy by Kate Hardy
"JUST why," Alyssa asked the emergency department charge nurse, "would I want to win a night out with Sebastian Radley?"
"The real question is, why wouldn't you? Hmm, I think there's something wrong here." Tracey took Alyssa's hand and checked her pulse while looking at her watch. "Well, you're definitely alive, and your pulse is normal." She made a show of taking Alyssa's temperature. "No, that's normal, too--so it can't be delirium."
"Oh, stop it." But Alyssa couldn't help laughing. "How about temporary insanity?" Tracey suggested. More like Alyssa would be insane to want to go out with Seb. "No. But I'll give you a donation for the fundraiser anyway.'Alyssa turned the key in her locker, fished out her purse, and took out some money. "Here. It's for a good cause."
Tracey raised an eyebrow. "That's enough for three tickets." Alyssa shook her head. "I don't want any, thanks." 'But, Alyssa, why not? I mean, the whole reason we're selling tickets is to give everyone an equal chance of winning. If we'd done it as an auction, only the super-rich would be able to keep up in the bidding."
Alyssa understood that. But there was one big flaw in Tracey's plan. "Maybe some women don't want to win a night out with Seb." Alyssa certainly didn't.
"Why? He's charming, he's witty, he's TDH."
Alyssa looked blankly at Tracey.
Tracey rolled her eyes. "Tall, dark and handsome. Honestly. Don't you read the Lonely Hearts columns?"
"I'm not that desperate," Alyssa said dryly.
Tracey winced. "I didn't mean it like that. I mean, we all look through them and wonder and... Oh, forget it." She waved a hand dismissively. "I know I'm digging myself into a deeper hole here. Seriously, a night out with Seb is worth winning. He knows how to show a woman a good time."
"Only because he's had plenty of practice." Alyssa raised an eyebrow. "In the six months he's been at the Docklands Memorial, he must have dated every single woman in the hospital under the age of thirty-five."
"Maybe he's just looking for the right one,'Tracey suggested. "Maybe he's the male equivalent of a right tart.'And Alyssa definitely wasn't interested in someone like him. She'd already learned that lesson the hard way, with Scott Cooper.
Tracey whistled. "You really don't like him, do you?" 'As a doctor, he's fine." Thorough, decisive, charming enough to reassure their patients yet at the same time managing to remain detached. Alyssa admired that. It was the way she worked, too. "But as a date...no, thanks. He's not my type."
"So what is your type, Alyssa?" Tracey asked. "I can't remember you ever going on a date in the three years you've worked here."
Alyssa damped down the stream of impulses--to tell Tracey to mind her own business, to claim that she was gay, to say that she was looking for someone special and would know when she met the right one... Ah, it wasn't fair to take out her bad mood on the charge nurse. Tracey meant well. But the truth was embarrassing, and Alyssa didn't want any gossip about herself doing the rounds. Nobody at the Docklands Memorial Hospital knew about the mistake she'd made, and she intended to keep it that way.
And she didn't repeat her mistakes. Ever. Sebastian Radley might be charming, handsome and witty--and, yes, she'd admit that he was the sexiest man she'd ever met, with those slate-blue eyes and a mouth that was just designed for sin--but he was a walking disaster where relationships were concerned. Which made him a man to be avoided in her book.
"Hey, I'm a busy medic. I don't have time to date,'Alyssa said lightly. She took a note from her purse. "Here you go. More hush money. Is that enough to stop you nagging me?"
"Hmm," Tracey said, and smiled. "Thanks for supporting the fundraiser, anyway."
And as Alyssa walked away, Tracey filled the registrar's name neatly in on three ticket stubs. Alyssa Ward.