First Page Feedback – The Paramedic’s Precious Bundle

Our Harlequin/M&B Medical Romances are popular all around the world. With high-stakes emotion and action, it’s easy to see why! Here’s a submission from @abbey_Macinnis1 

“Where’s she off too?” Jeremy watched with concern as a young woman ran across the road, straight into the path of the ambulance.

From her place behind the wheel, Debbie jabbed the horn and slammed on the brakes. “I don’t know why people are in such a hurry. Seems like all we do is rush.”

Jeremy quickly took in the young woman’s appearance. She seemed preoccupied, her clothes disheveled and unkempt. She remained in view until she cut through the alley on the opposite side of the street. “Maybe we should go after her,” he suggested. “She didn’t look well.”

Debbie guided the vehicle around the corner into the fire station’s parking lot. “I’m sure she’s fine. Probably running late or something. That’s how most teenagers are these days.”

Jeremy kept one ear open for Debbie while he scanned their surroundings. He spotted what appeared to bee a rapped bundle on the lawn. His heart rate quickened and palms grew damp when he observed the edges of a blanket fluttering in the dry, hot breeze.

It can’t be.

Jeremy hoped his suspicions were wrong. A baby could die in this July heat. He forced down the rage at someone for leaving a defenseless child to the elements and allowed his medical training to kick into high gear. Whomever had abandoned this baby had left them in the right place where they’d be found and cared for.

“Stop.”

Adrenaline powered through him. Before the vehicle came to a full halt, Jeremy threw open the door. He jumped to the ground and sprinted to the grass.

Debbie followed on his heels. He dropped to his knees inches from the blanket. His partner’s shocked gasp barely registered as he steeled himself to push back one corner to peek inside.

His breath caught in his chest as his gaze collided with the glossy, unfocused stare that reminded Jeremy of another time and place and baby.

The baby omitted a weak cry. “The note here says his name is Collin.” Debbie brought him back to the present.

Jeremy gave a mental shake as with a detached air, he cataloged Collin’s symptoms. “The little guy’s only hours old and dehydrated and hypothermic.”

And near death’s door if they didn’t hurry to get him oxygen and fluids. He didn’t need to spell out the obvious to Debbie. They’d worked together long enough to know what the other needed.

He willed his grip to remain steady as he carefully bundled Collin in his arms. He pulled in a silent breath as he struggled to keep the dark memories of that horrible night at bay. That night where he’d lost all that had mattered to him. Clara and their baby were gone. Even after two years, guilt of losing them still made his chest ache.

First Page Feedback from the HMB Medical Team

We really enjoyed reading your submission, and it certainly has a dramatic beginning, and great last line! The writing is pacy and readable and we wanted to read more and find out both about Jeremy’s background and what was going to happen to the baby. 

However, here are a few things you might like to consider which might make this beginning even pacier. 

It is a great hook to have the ambulance nearly crash at the beginning, but we think it might be even more dramatic if the ambulance screeches to a halt and then your hero reacts. It would be nice to see the woman look up, perhaps in horror, before running off, and while they could consider following her, for the purposes of the story, it would probably better if they are immediately distracted by the baby, then realise they have just seen the mother running away. 

You might also like to consider showing a short flashback from Jeremy’s past, so the reader gets some insight why him finding the baby is so significant. 

On more specific details we wondered if the baby would be suffering from dehydration and hypothermia at the same time. 

Also we felt that Jeremy wasn’t a very sexy name for a hero, so you might want to look at that too. 

On a very minor point, “bee” is a typo, as is “rapped” and “omitted” and others.

This was a good attempt and there is much to like here. Unfortunately, it isn’t quite yet at the standard we require, but we are enclosing some guidelines for writing Medical Romance which may help you. 

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Comments

  1. Finally, a medical romance!

    Hi Abbey,
    I loved your first page. I thought the hero should have acted faster when he first saw the baby, rather than going back into the past. ‘Debbie brought him back to the present.’ But other than that, it was enjoyable to read. All the best.

  2. Kristen Brockmeyer

    Great beginning! Struck a chord, since there was a story on the news just a couple weeks ago about a teenaged mother abandoning her baby at the side of the road. Thankfully, that story ended well, as I’m sure yours does. I did wonder about hypothermia, since it was hot and dry weather, but dehydration would probably be dangerous enough by itself for a newborn. Keep at this – you’re on the right track! 🙂

  3. If a body is hot, the correct term is ‘hyperthermia’. Hypothermis is related to the lowering of core temp.

    However, a newborn’s thermo-regulatory system is undeveloped, and I’m not certain what the symptoms would be in this case. I think you might need to consult a paediatrician for the exact details.

    Good effort though.