Italian surgeon Alessandro Lombardi had it all—distinguished career, newborn heir, beautiful wife. But that life is gone forever now, and he and his little boy have come to Australia to start over.
Things start looking up when bubbly nanny and E.R. nurse Natalie Davies and her mischievous kitten move in! They put the smile back on his son's sad face, and Natalie ignites a flame in Alessandro's deeply guarded heart.
Nat hides her own heartache behind her twinkling eyes, but she's already fallen for Alessandro's little boy, and she knows she's in danger of tripping head over heels for a man who has sworn never to love again....
Alessandro put the stethoscope in his ears and Nat helped Ron get into a sitting position so Alessandro could listen to both back and front.
"I see you're not married, Missy," Ron said as he dutifully breathed in and out. "Are young men blind these days or just plain stupid?"
Nat laughed. She was conscious that Alessandro needed Ron to be quiet and also that he could hear every word magnified through the bell of the stethoscope. "Good question."
"Or maybe you're just holding out for a more mature gent? Very wise. Take my generation, we know how to treat a lady."
Nat laughed again. She was used to patients flirting with her, particularly men of Ron's era. She knew the drill. It was a bit of harmless banter to pass the time and take their minds off their problems. And if it helped distract Ron for a while then it would have served its purpose.
"What do you reckon, Missy?"
"Well now that depends. What subject did you teach?"
"Ah." Nat sighed. "I had the hugest crush on my high-school English teacher."
"I see you're a woman of very good taste."
Alessandro frowned as he finished listening to Ron's chest and eased the man back down. His patient was openly flirting with Nat and it was frankly annoying.
"He used to quote poetry all the time. I think I was a little in love with him."
"Poetry? I can quote you poetry. Who's your favourite? Shakespeare? Shelley? Browning? Wordsworth?"
Nat tapped the man's wedding ring. "Oh and what would your darling wife say to that," she teased.
"Ah, well as long as it was Shelley she'd probably forgive me. She's a sucker for Shelley."
Alessandro blinked as Nat laughed and patted her patient's hand. A surge of undiluted jealousy spiked his blood stream and he suppressed the urge to pick it up and move it away from Ron's vicinity.
"We'll get an x-ray."
Nat looked up startled at the steely note in Alessandro's voice. Gone was the incendiary stare and the soft smile on his full lips. His mouth was a bleak slash and the planes of his face looked harsh and forbidding once again.
"I'll organise it." He nodded at Ron. "Excuse me."
Nat frowned as they watched Alessandro leave. "He's a bit of a grumpy old so-and-so, isn't he?" Ron dropped his voice an octave or two and gave her a sly wink.
Nat gave him a weak smile. "I think he's just a little distracted."
She did a set of obs on Ron, chatting with him a bit more about his hey day as an English department head. Then Nat excused herself, assuring Ron she'd be back shortly. Ellie was going to theatre to have her appendix removed in half an hour and she needed to get her prepped and her pre-med given.
She headed to the small linen cupboard that was situated half way down the main corridor that ran behind the cubicles for a theatre gown and hat. Alessandro strode towards her from the opposite direction. His powerful thighs made short work of the distance as he stalked closer.
His eyes commanded hers and held fast. She felt like he'd hypnotised her and she was powerless to resist as they moved inexorably closer. Even though his face was grim and his beautiful mouth, capable of such eroticism, looked almost savage.
They drew level and she frowned at him. "Are you okay?"
Okay? He felt unaccountably not okay. A cold fist was lodged under his diaphragm as a primal emotion he couldn't put his finger on dripped icy poison into his blood stream. He felt edgy and...tense. Like he needed to prowl. Or maybe go and hunt something...
Alessandro looked around the corridor. Satisfied no-one was watching, he grabbed her arm and pulled her into the nearby linen closet, shutting the door.
Nat pulled her arm out of his grasp jostling her even closer in the tiny room usually only meant for one person. She glared at him as the stuffy air, heavy with the smell of starch, tickled her nostrils.
"You like to flirt with other men?" he rasped.
Nat blinked. His accent sounded more pronounced and, glowering down at her, his gaze as glacial as black ice, he'd never looked more Italian.
"He's seventy-two, Alessandro," she grouched, not quite believing she was having this conversation. "He's worried, scared the cancer has come back. He needs someone to look at him as a person, not a chart number or a medical condition. It's harmless."
Alessandro understood what she was saying. Hell, he even empathised. With any other nurse he would have applauded it. But not her. When she did it he felt the caveman deep inside roar to life. She was his. And he didn't care how crazy it was.
Without hesitation he backed her against the shelves, hands imprisoning her shoulders and swooped his head down. Their lips met with a sizzle and his mouth opened wide, his tongue thrusting inside her already welcoming mouth. When she responded with a moan he pressed his body against hers harder so she was in no doubt that he desired her and she was his.
He pulled away as abruptly as he had pounced, taking a step back which was as far as the confines of the room would allow. His ragged breathing mingled with hers and filled the space as each stared at the other and caught their breath.
"Don't flirt with anyone, bella. I don't like it." And then he turned, opened the door and left.
Nat reached for the shelf behind her as her knees wobbled and she practically swooned. She should be furious at such liberties. At such Neanderthal behaviour. But she didn't think she'd ever been on the other end of such a blazing kiss and frankly she was too turned on to do anything other than stare at the empty space and grin stupidly."
High-flying surgeon meets a real-life Mary Poppins!
From "ALESSANDRO AND THE CHEERY NANNY" by Amy Andrews
"A poignant tale of a man determined to make a new start for himself and his son and a woman who sees herself in the child whose reserved manner reminds her of his father, Alessandro and the Cheery Nanny by Amy Andrews drew me into this enchanting story of rediscovering love for them both."