JC Harroway on her DARE, Medical and Writing Journey

JC Harroway on her DARE, Medical and Writing Journey

We caught up with the lovely JC Harroway to find out about her transition from writing for our Dare series to Medical – which couldn’t be more different!


You recently started writing for the Medical series and your debut book, Forbidden Fling with Dr Right is out now, congratulations! Can you tell us a bit more about it?

My debut Medical romance, Forbidden Fling with Dr Right, tells the story of an ambitious young surgeon, Darcy Wright. She’s almost at the pinnacle of her career when she finds herself working for a gorgeous but perfectionist boss, for whom it seems she can do nothing right. But Joe Austin’s highest expectations are for himself, and he can’t allow beautiful, forthright Darcy and her professional agenda to disrupt the routines and control he uses in order to mitigate the grief he wears like a shield.  On their first long night together on call at the hospital, everything changes when they push each other too far and succumb to a forbidden kiss neither of them can forget.

This was super fun story to write. I loved putting Joe and Darcy through their paces in a surgical setting set in a central London hospital.

You used to write for the DARE line – which is a lot steamier than Medical! How have you found switching to a different series?

Finding the right tone during those moments of emotional and physical intimacy was one of my biggest concerns with the switch to Medical! But I think I was psyching myself out too much. When, with the very sage advice from my fabulous editor, Charlotte Ellis, I focussed on the characters and the medical drama to move their relationship along to the next level, it all straightened itself out. Readers can still expect an open door love scene with all the feels from me, just with slightly attenuated language choices when compared to my DARE stories!

Why do you think Romance has been so successful as a genre, especially during lockdown?

I think romance is enduring and always will be. We all need that heart-lifting feeling, the rush of endorphins and oxytocin boost that comes from an emotionally gratifying read. It’s addictive! And when times are tough, as they are for all of us on occasion, a good romance story is the kind of affordable, escapist journey that is hard to find in any other form. We can be swept away to foreign locations, live through a satisfyingly emotional experience and be rewarded with a happy ending, all without leaving the house or garden. Romance is priceless.

What are you working on now and what can we expect next from you?

I am currently wrapping up my second Medical romance, which is entitled How to Resist the Single Dad. This book is linked to Forbidden Fling with Dr Right, as the heroine is Darcy’s sister, Stella. I am also beginning my third medical, which I’m excited to announce will be set in New Zealand! In short, readers can expect more Mills and Boon Medical romances from me in 2022 and beyond.

What 3 pieces of advice would you give to a writer submitting their work to Mills & Boon?

  • Know the target audience/line for your story. Read other author’s books in the series you want to write for and read the line guidelines on the Mills and Boon website. That said, don’t be afraid to be yourself and showcase your own unique voice.
  • Get to know the romance tropes, but also push yourself to mix them up/give them a fresh twist in your story.
  • Learn every nuance of your characters inside out. Knowing what makes your characters tick, understanding their motivations and always asking why they do what they do, will help drive the internal emotional conflicts and strengthen your story.

What does your writing routine typically look like?

I’m most productive in the morning, so I prefer to write earlier in the day. I try to write every day in order to keep my characters in my head, although this is of course a juggling act with the demands of life. I’m a ‘panster’ with ‘plotter’ aspirations. I do quite well in plotting the first half of a story, but then I need to write that half in order to get to know my characters well enough. Then I can plot the second half of the book. This means I am not very good at writing a complete synopsis up front! I have two chairs in my office. The second chair is for the cat, otherwise she sits on the keyboard, which isn’t as helpful as she thinks!

What are some of your favourite romantic films/tv shows? Any recommendations?

You won’t be surprised to hear that I am completely addicted to anything romance! I wouldn’t have survived 2021 without shows like Netflix’s Bridgerton, which I have watched more than once. I am beside myself with excitement for season two! Then I have my old trusty favourites which I watch every year: Pride and Prejudice (BBC TV series with Colin Firth and the movie version with Keira Knightly), Love Actually, When Harry Met Sally to name but a few oldies but goodies. I recently watched Long Story Short with Rafe Spall and Zahra Newman, which is a charming and funny Rom Com set in Sydney, Australia, which I would highly recommend.

Last question! Flowers or chocolate?

Both! Life is too short to deny yourself one or the other. Making a woman choose between these two is like asking her to pick a favourite pet or child!  It’s summer here in NZ at the moment so my garden is awash with all the flowers I sowed from seed in 2021: Dahlias, Cosmos, Bells of Ireland, Didiscus and Scabiosa to name a few of my favourites.


Forbidden Fling with Dr Right by JC Harroway

She shouldn’t have kissed her boss!

She shouldn’t want a repeat!

Straight-talking Dr Darcy Wright is almost at the pinnacle of the career she’s neglected everything else in her life for. She just has to meet her new boss, Joe Austin’s impossibly high standards. And find a way to work with the tempting surgeon who uses his grief as an emotional shield. Which means forgetting that they succumbed to the mounting friction between them…with one earth-shatteringly off-limits kiss!