Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Author Interview & Excerpt ~ BROUGHT TOGETHER BY HIS BABY by Kristine Lynn

Brought Together by His Baby (Mercy Hospital, #1)
by: Kristine Lynn
Series: Mercy Hospital
Genre: Contemporary Medical Romance
Release Date: July 25, 2023
Publisher: Harlequin Medical Romances

When a highly successful obstetrician adopts a baby, she thinks her life is complete. Until the baby’s real, and far too gorgeous, daddy turns up in the most expected way… Find out what happens in this amazing debut by Kristine Lynn for Harlequin Medical Romance.

His child will bind them…


Dr. Kelsey’s adopted baby, Emma, is her whole world. Then her little girl’s biological father, Liam, arrives out of the blue and her life quickly implodes! He wants custody of his daughter, and while Kelsey can’t bear the idea of losing Emma, she knows that cooperating with Liam is the right thing to do. Until it creates an extra complication: their forbidden attraction!

From Harlequin Medical: Life and love in the world of modern medicine.

Hi Kristine. Welcome to Read Your Writes Book Reviews. How are you?
I’m great, Kim, thanks! And thanks for having me. I’m in Ireland on holiday with my daughter and having a great time conjuring new story ideas.

You’re welcome. I’ve seen pictures of your trip. It looks like you guys are having an amazing time. Congratulations on the release of Brought Together by His Baby. What can you tell me about the story?
This story is close to my heart in so many ways. It’s a love story, of course, but it’s also one of how we choose who becomes our family and ways we invite them into our messy, complicated lives. It’s a story about compromise and trust, but ultimately the love that builds those crucial relationship items. Though there’s some military presence (as there is in most of my books), it’s not about Liam’s time in the Marines, but more so how he and Kelsey overcome their own emotional traumas to come together and support each other.

Please tell me about Kelsey Gaines and Liam Everson.
Kelsey is a dream character of mine because of how complex and loving she is. She’s strong willed, from a supportive family, and incredibly successful as the accidental obstetrician to the stars she became. Yet, she’s also riddled with guilt about the loss of her friend—who is her adopted baby’s mom--and her own mother, who died in childbirth during Kelsey’s delivery.

Her character is juxtaposed against this alpha male Marine medic, Liam, who returns safe from being captured and labeled missing in action. But now that he’s back, he wants custody of his daughter. He’s not rough like most alpha males in this scenario, though, and that makes him so swoony to me. Because he has no idea how to care for his eight-month-old daughter, he relies on Kelsey to teach him and watching him come into his own as a parent is adorable.

I really love these characters and their complexity, love, and obstacles they must overcome to be together.

What was your favorite part of Brought Together by His Baby to write and why?
My favorite parts to write in this book were by far the parenting scenes where Kelsey falls for Liam while he finds his stride as a new father. His growth was fun to write, as were the rom-com-y slip ups he has. As a parent myself, I made sure to add some of my own goofs as I tackled new parenthood, haha. Equally as fun was adding Kelsey’s reaction to these moments; as she discovers the depth of her love for their daughter and sees it reflected in Owen’s eyes and actions, it helps them bond even more.

I think these scenes are probably going to be my favorite parts of this book as well. Can you tell me about one of your favorite scenes from the book, and why is it a favorite?
One of my favorite scenes is when the two docs save a woman in labor after her car crashes in front of Kelsey’s house. They’re back at home and things heat up as they process the drama of the day. It’s such an intense scene because it shows the fear and trauma many medical professionals face working in such a high-stress environment and how they might cope if paired with a colleague they found attractive. Wink wink.

As a writer, how do you handle writing emotional scenes?
Oooh. They’re tough! It’s a balancing act in romance to make the emotional arcs of the characters believable and not too intense. However, for this book it was a little easier. I was a military spouse for eight years, so I’ve lived some of what my characters have faced; pulling from personal stories and emotions I’ve felt or helped friends through helped give my characters a realistic feel.

There are a multitude of tropes within this story. Which trope is your favorite and why?
Definitely the rivals-to-lovers aspect and how it interacts with the single parenting trope. (I know this lists two tropes, but stay with me—I promise I have a point!) Rivals-to-lovers is fun because it introduces automatic tension. However, when the two rivals have to work together for something bigger (a child!), the tension amplifies monumentally. The rivalry doesn’t matter as much as caring for the child, so it takes a back seat, but it doesn’t dissipate either. Writing a slow burn with two competing tropes was a challenge, but fun!

You are a debut author with Harlequin Medical Romance. What were you doing when you realized you would be a published author with Harlequin?
I was running the stairs in my office building before work and got the call from my agent. I sat on the top step and sobbed because I’d met the first dream I set for myself as an author—write for Harlequin! It was a very Grey’s Anatomy moment!

Harlequin has several different imprints. What was it about Medical Romance that drew you in?
My dad is in healthcare and hearing vague stories about scenarios he dealt with growing up stayed with me. I started imagining what would happen in those instances if there was a love story threading through them. I also was drawn to the high intensity world that healthcare inhabits. Combining them in a fast-paced medical setting was the most fun I’ve ever had writing. I haven’t stopped writing since I started this series!

What is something you wished you would have known before becoming a published author?
I learn something new every day since starting this journey. Like how long the process is, how advances work, and how many people it takes to get a book off the ground. Harlequin has been phenomenal to work with; I think the only thing I wish I knew before I tried to write for some of their other series (series I thought people read more than medicals) was to write what I wanted, not what was popular at the moment. Otherwise, I think I’m learning what I need to know when I need to know it. It’s been a wonderful, wild ride.

I know Brought Together by His Baby literally just came out, but what are you working on next?
I am working on the rest of my Mercy Hospital medical series, the first three books of which are contracted by Harlequin now! I’ve also got a medical duet I’ll be starting with a fellow debut medical author, Denise K. Wheatley. More to come on that. Otherwise, I’m in the middle of completing a three-book ranching romance deal with Tule and pitching other medicals to Harlequin. Whew! Like I said, I haven’t stopped!

Oh wow! Congratulations. That all sounds really incredible.
Thank you for talking to me and reading the book!

Kristine, you are very welcome. I am definitely looking forward to reading this book and getting it on my bookshelf. Thank you so much for answering some of my questions. Congratulations again on your release.

Kelsey shuddered. “You didn’t answer my question. What happened, Dad?”

He paused before continuing and when he did, his voice lost the calm it usually carried. “You know I think of Emma like my granddaughter already, right?”

Kelsey swallowed back a wave of emotion that rose in her throat, sticky and hot.

“Mmm hmmm,” she answered.

“And I wouldn’t ever willingly let anything happen to either of you.”

“I know. Dad, you’re scaring me. What’s this about?”

Emma sucked away at her bottle, her eyes shut, her body relaxed in Kelsey’s arms. Love washed through Kelsey every time she looked at her daughter. But now, the love was tainted with worry.

Mike sighed. “There’s a problem with your guardianship. I just heard from Henry.”

If it were biologically possible for Kelsey’s cells to freeze one by one, seizing her breath, it happened.

“But he said it was fine. I’m supposed to meet him this morning to sign the last of the documents.”

“I know. Which is why I’m calling.”

“The letter from Page should have been enough—” The last half of her thought was swallowed by fear.

“It was, hun. It was. Gosh, I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but I didn’t want you to hear it from anyone else.” He paused, the air pregnant with foreboding. “A blood relative reached out to claim custody.”

Kelsey shook her head even though her dad couldn’t see her.

“No, that’s not possible. The court gave any blood relatives sixty days to contact them and no one came forward. I even went to Texas and asked Emma’s grandfather to take Emma. I begged him, and the man turned us away. He lost his chance. She’s mine, Dad. Emma is mine.” Panic rose in her chest and no amount of self-determination could will it back into the pit of her stomach. “Please, tell me Henry has a plan and that no one can take her from me, especially not some distant relative looking for a payout.”

Emma’s guardianship had come with four hundred thousand dollars from her father’s SGLI–military life insurance paid out after Liam’s rucksack and gear were found burned near an Afghan outpost, changing his status from MIA to KIA. Emma’s paternal grandfather had added a hundred grand to the pot if Kelsey would let him sign over rights to the child. Kelsey hadn’t needed the money, so she put all of it into Emma’s trust fund for when she became an adult. Like hell someone was going to use Emma to snatch it up.

“It’s not a distant relative. It’s her father, Kelsey. He’s been found alive and he wants to meet his daughter.”

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Kristine is a university writing teacher by day; by night (really early mornings, actually), she writes sassy, strong heroines who love their flawed heroes and always get their HEA. When she's not writing or teaching, Kristine reads anything you put in her hands, hikes with her daughter and dog, and plans vacations. Powered by caffeine and big dreams. Unofficially sponsored by espresso.

Places to find Kristine Lynn:


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