Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Paraplegic Neurosurgeon as Hero? Read On!

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 8 comments
Lynne Marshall is a fellow member of LARARWA, the Los Angeles Chapter of RWA and one of my favorite Harlequin authors. I am so happy she agreed to blog about her latest medical romance. Because Miracle for the Neurosurgeon is a romance with a difference.
From doctor…to daddy? 
Neurosurgeon Wes Van Allen is used to being at the top of his game, so when an accident puts him in a wheelchair, he'll push himself to the limit to regain his strength—he just needs a physical therapist who can keep up! 
Enter Mary Harris, whose sweet kisses he's never forgotten! She'll help Wes achieve his dream, if he helps her achieve hers—a baby! Captivated by Mary's sunny optimism, dare Wes hope for the ultimate miracle—a family, with Mary by his side?

Thanks so much for inviting me to blog.  On May 1st, my nineteenth Medical Romance was released and I’m super happy about this particular story.  Miraclefor the Neurosurgeon is also my twenty-fourth book for Harlequin.
This is the first time I’ve written a disabled hero in a wheel chair. With the guidance of my editor, Flo Nicoll, I was able to keep what could have been a downbeat story upbeat and filled with hope. 
Wes Van Allan, a new paraplegic wants to continue with his medical practice as a neurosurgeon, but he goes about it all wrong. Mary Harris, a doctor of Physical Therapy, shows up on his doorstep to help the previously privileged, pampered and sometimes arrogant “Prince of Westwood” turn his life around. Of course, he isn’t a real prince, he’s just been treated like one by his family his entire life, and Mary is the person from his past who holds the key to his future.
I won’t lie, reading Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, that beautiful tragedy, put the idea for this book in my head.  I’m a romance writer and reader first and foremost, I need a happy ending, so I set out to give a guy whose life has been turned upside down from a spinal cord injury, a completely different plot. This is a story about a reunion between two strong willed people, and Mary is the perfect person who can both help Wes heal emotionally and physically to the best of his ability. She is also the one person who can bring love into his life again.
Doing research for the book was fascinating discovering all the strides that have been made for
paralyzed patients. I learned about an amazing Orthopedic doctor who devised a wheelchair that, using hydraulics, could lift him from sitting to standing so he could continue doing surgeries while safely supported and strapped into his chair. Wes, being the man he is, immediately upon learning of this device, orders one for himself. It opens the door for his return to work as a neurosurgeon, a calling he has felt since his teenage years.
I also loved learning how para and quadriplegics can drive, and wrote a scene where Wes takes Mary out to a special restaurant in Malibu, California.
I was touched by a recent review from a reader who is also in a wheelchair. She was very complimentary about the story, but had some reservations: “I would have been happier enjoying a HEA with a character who was successful in a wheelchair without the miracles of modern technology. Overall, the book is excellent and I highly recommend it!”
What I did in the epilogue wasn’t meant to be a cure for his disability, it was a chance for a guy who gets tired of looking up peoples noses all day, to stand and walk from time to time using an exoskeleton. The occasional walk around the room, thanks to advances in technology, was simply another skill to add to his repertoire. That device wasn’t what completed Wes, nor was it responsible for his success. His will to live and return to work and, of course, be wise enough to fall in love with Mary, were responsible for that. I prefer to think of it as the icing on his happy ending cake!
Do you know a “special” hero? Please share!
Thank you, Lynne. This is one book I have to read.  I just bought my copy for my Kindle app.
Dear, ones, this book is available across all formats. Here is the Goodreads link which will take you to your favorite link. Happy reading.
Lynne used to worry she had a serious problem with daydreaming, then she discovered she was supposed to write the stories in her head. A late bloomer, Lynne came to fiction writing after her children were nearly grown. Now she battles the empty nest by writing stories which always include a romance, sometimes medicine, a dose of mirth, or both, but always stories from her heart. She is a Southern California native, married for almost thirty years, has two adult children she is super proud of, is a dog lover, cat admirer, a power walker, and fellow traveler on this wild road called life! 


  1. Thank you for sharing about your new book. It sounds amazing. One of the things I love about your stories is they are not afraid to peel the characters down to raw and very real emotional levels. As a reader this ups my investment in hoping, cheering, and turning the pages quickly to witness these characters finding love and their true happily ever after.

    1. Hi Allison - thanks so much for your comments. So glad to know the emotional trauma I put myself through writing these stories appeals to you! :)

  2. I adored this book. Sensitive, sweet, and caring. I found the story uplifting and insightful. Excellent work, Lynne, the research was extensive but delivered with a light touch.

    1. Hi Robena, I'm a bit late replying because I was with granddaughter #2 while Granddaughter #1 had her first swimming lesson this morning. It means a lot to me for you to appreciate the research, as I know you are a stickler for such things in your own work. Looking forward to your future books, too.

  3. Lynne, I can't wait to read this. Love the cover too! There is so much mystery sometimes around how people with spinal cord injury enjoy all the benefits of romance! I'm interested to see how you approach it! Thank you for writing diverse characters like this. Do you think there will be cures some day? And also what's next on your writing agenda?

  4. Hi Tricia - I'm not sure about using the word cure for SCI, but I'd love to think "repair" is in our future.
    I have just finished the third book in a trilogy for Harlequin Special Edition - The Delaney's of Sandpiper Beach - where each story focuses on one brother. March 2018 watch for Daniel's story, April, Mark's, and May will be Conor's story. :) Thanks for asking!

  5. Sorry I'm late to the party! Congrats on the new release! I love the cover too. It's next on my TBR pile! Can't wait to get started!

    1. Hi Dee J. - thank you for making it. I know you have a crazy schedule with your job. Well, I hope you enjoy this book. Can't wait to hear your thoughts!


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