Spotlight & Giveaway: Christmas with the Best Man by Susan Carlisle

Posted December 3rd, 2017 by in Blog, Spotlight / 39 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Susan Carlisle to HJ!

Hi Susan and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Christmas with the Best Man!

Hey ya’ll!

Please summarize the book for the readers here:

Helena and Elijah have been working in the ER together for some time. It isn’t until her best friend’s and Elijah’s brother’s wedding that they really notice each other. After a hot moment in the doctor’s sleep room, they agree to a one week fling. Helena soon learns that there is more to the playboy than he wants people to know. Elijah finds out that the sweetness and caring Helena gives him is a balm to his hurting heart. As the week goes on they realize that one week might not be enough but they have to get beyond their pasts. Forced to choose between happiness or going back to the way life had been, they fight their way to love .

Please share the opening lines of this book:

DR. HELENA TATE knew what a madhouse the ER could be during and after a major nor’easter but to experience it first hand was always a draining experience. Not only was snow piled everywhere, the wind was howling and the temperature teeth-clatteringly cold.
Injured people filled the chairs and any extra space in Manhattan Mercy’s emergency department in New York City.

Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

  • Helena is from the south and Elijah is from the northeast. When she tells him about hush puppies he has no idea what she is talking about.
  • Helena is a quiet, serious person while Elijah is the playboy of the hospital. She surprises herself when they have a super hot moment in the doctor’s room of the ER. To participate in something like that is so unlike her but she loves every moment.
  • A small Christmas tree can be more than just a tree when it involves a special person. You will have to read the book to find out what that means.


Please tell us a little about the characters in your book. As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?

Elijah is a playboy doctor who loves his brothers and sisters but can’t tolerate his father who disappointed him at a young age. He carries that weight around like a bolder. Elijah is liked by everyone but refuses to put himself in a position to really care for someone because he fears being disappointed again. He keeps his feelings buried and covers everything with a smile. I fell for this guy because he really had a big heart when it came to the people he cared about.

Helene has suffered the loss of a baby at a young age. She still wants a family but only with the right man. She would have never dreamed that Elijah would be that man. She’s a good doctor, who loves her family and friends but can’t move past her hurt. She did surprise me with the passion she has held in check for so long. It took the right man to bring it out. I found her solid and true blue. A person who I would want for a friend.


If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of the main characters and why?

It would be the scene where Elijah tenderly cares for Helene when she has been forced to face her fears when caring for a teenage mother who’s baby may die.

His timing was perfect. As he entered the locker room she was headed out. “Hey, wait up and I’ll walk out with you.”
“I’m really tired. I’ll see you in the morning.” Helena tried to push past him.
He caught her wrist, stopping her. “Don’t do this, Helena.”
She looked beyond him. “I’m not doing anything.”
“Yes, you are. It was a tough shift. Come home with me. We’ll order in. Talk or not. But don’t run from me.” Why did this matter so much to him?
“I don’t—”
“Come on. You can be under a hot shower in ten minutes versus forty if you come to my place. No pressure. You don’t even have to talk to me.” She gave him a weary look but he could tell she was weakening.
“Okay, but I won’t be much fun.”
“You don’t have to be. I’m tired too. We’ll watch a little TV and call it a night.” He was feeling a little better about the situation. If he got her to his place, once she was warm and rested maybe she would tell him what was bothering her. He didn’t understand his need to console her but he felt deep down it was important that he did.


What do you want people to take away from reading this book?

That no matter how deep the hurt is or how long you have carried it around that there can still be healing. As contrite as it may sound – love can concur all.


What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2017?

I don’t have any thing more for 2017 but 2018 will be full of books. I just signed a 6 book contract. The book I’m currently working on involves a surprise baby, a busy doctor and a nurse that can stand up to him. Less just say their road to happiness is bumpy.

Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: A print copy of Christmas with the Best Man by Susan Carlisle.


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Have you or anyone you know been involved in a romance that started at a wedding?

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Excerpt from Christmas with the Best Man:

DR. HELENA TATE knew what a madhouse the ER could be during and after a major nor’easter but to experience it first hand was always a draining experience. Not only was snow piled everywhere, the wind was howling and the temperature teeth-clatteringly cold.
Injured people filled the chairs and any extra space in Manhattan Mercy’s emergency department in New York City. Even though the department might be the one of the most modern and efficient ERs in the world, it had still been all hands on deck for the last couple of days. Inside it was at least warm and cheerful. Being a week before Christmas, the nurses had banded together to decorate the department. Garlands hung around the unit desk, wreaths adorned doors, and there was even a Christmas tree in the corner of the waiting room.
Despite the festive time of the year the sick and injured just kept coming. Thankfully the flow had started to ease. She must be out of here in an hour if she had any hope of making Grace and Charles’s wedding on time. A must, since she was the maid of honor.
She and Grace had been friends and roommates during medical school and had stayed in touch. When Grace had mentioned needing a change from her overseas work, Helena had told Grace about a position becoming available in the ER and had offered her a place to stay. Grace had soon learned Charles Davenport would be her boss and had talked of cancelling the interview. Helena had encouraged her to come on anyway, having no idea there had been something between Grace and Charles during their medical school years.
Helena smiled then sighed. Now they were getting married. She was thrilled for them.
Finishing with her latest patient, Helena looked at her watch to check how much time she had to shower and change. The locker room wasn’t the perfect place to dress for a formal event but unusual circumstances called for flexibility. If anything, she’d learned long ago as an unwed pregnant teen to adjust to what life threw at her and move on.
The pain of finding out that her boyfriend had wanted nothing more to do with her, and especially the baby, had been horrible. More devastating had been the loss of the child. Seventeen was too young to become a mother, but the guilt she carried over not wanting the baby was what had stayed with her all these years.
She had survived with the love and support of her family. That’s what mattered now. The part of her personality that made her think positively had made being an ER doctor a good fit professionally for her. Days like the last few only proved it. How she was holding her love close. She wanted a man who wanted her forever. Some might think she was foolish to believe in happily ever after but she was still going to hold out for it. Grace and Charles were proving it could happen and Helena had to believe Prince Charming was somewhere out there for her as well.
Drawing back Trauma Four’s curtain, she stepped out of the bay and was sideswiped by a blur of white. “Ho.”
Dr. Elijah Davenport, Charles’s twin, glanced over his shoulder. “Hey Helena, can you give me a hand? A kid just came in with a broken leg and the father’s having trouble breathing.”
She hurried to keep up with him. “ I saw Jim Leonard come in a few minutes ago. Isn’t he the doctor relieving you this evening? Shouldn’t you be thinking about getting ready for the wedding? After all, you’re the best man.”
“Yeah, but there’re also patients to see. When Charles left me in charge I promised not to let the place fall apart.”
Like Elijah would ever do that. He might be the quintessential playboy doctor but Helena had never doubted he was a dedicated physician. Truth be known, she thought him the best doctor in the department. But no way would she tell him that. His head was already big enough where women were concerned. It would only add to his already over-the-top ego.
Still, he had earned it. Elijah was beyond good looking. From his dark brown hair, charmingly out of place most of the time, to his tall, buff beachboy physique and the “Davenport blues” that sparkled when he laughed, Helena easily understood why women were agog over him. She might be as well but she wasn’t interested in anyone who worked their way through the nurses. Or in the heartache he would cause if she lost her heart to him. She wouldn’t accept anything but true love.
Helena’s attention went to Elijah, who had paused at the door to an exam room. “I’ll take the kid and you see the father.”
She covered it well but no matter how much time had passed since she’d lost her baby the young patients still got to her on occasion. Sometimes a look or a laugh from a child triggered something in her that sent her emotions spinning out of control. During those moments, the pain was so harsh her chest felt like it might explode. The questions came flooding in. What would she have looked like? Would her child be acting the same as this one? The list and the pain went on. Thank goodness it didn’t happen often. But when it did…
“Done.” Elijah walked into the room.
A boy of about eight lay on the exam table with his face contorted in pain, while a tight-lipped father holding his side paced beside him.
“Mr.…” Elijah looked at the clipboard he held “…Kakasides, I’m Dr. Davenport and this…” he nodded his head toward her “…is Dr. Tate. Why don’t you have a seat and tell us what happened.”
“I’d rather stand. It hurts worse when I sit. We were sledding in the park. Like an idiot, I tried to catch Louis when he came by me, going too fast. I fell on him. I think I’ve broken his leg. I hit the edge of the sled and messed up my side.”
Elijah glanced at her with an Are you believing this? look and then said to the father, “I’m going to check out your son while Dr. Tate does the same for you, okay?”
“Why don’t we step right over here?” Helena indicated an area off to the side.
The father glanced at his son, nodded. “Louis, I’m not going far. Hang in there, buddy.”
“Before I have a look at your side I need to listen to your heart and check a few more things.”
Again, the father dipped his head but his attention remained on his son.
With vitals completed, she said, “I know this is going to hurt but I need you to take a deep breath.”
The father winced but did as she asked.
“Now, Mr. Kakasides, I have to look under your shirt. Can you raise your arm?”
He hissed as he brought his arm up. Moving the shirt away, Helena could see a dark blue hematoma spreading out along his left side. The fall had definitely been hard.
“I’m going to need to step out and have a look at your chest X-ray,” she announced. “At the least you’ve broken a few ribs but I need to make sure there isn’t more. Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do for broken ribs. They’ll have to heal on their own. You can take an anti-inflammatory for the pain.”
They rejoined Elijah as he was saying, “Okay, Louis, I need to have a look at your leg. I see the nurse has already done her worst with your pants.”
The material had been cut away so that it flapped back, exposing the leg. There was a large bump with redness and bluing around it.
“Yep, that looks like a broken leg. You and your father sure know how to have a good time in the snow.”
The boy gave Elijah a weak smile. “He fell on me but I know he didn’t mean to.”
Elijah patted him on the shoulder and winked. “I’m sure he didn’t. Maybe next time you can save him.”
The boy’s smile was brighter this time.
Good with kids, Elijah would make a great father. But he was also “good” with women, which would not make him a great husband. Fortunately, that wasn’t an issue. He’d never approached her and that suited her fine. Just watching him in action with the other female staff was enough for her to know he wasn’t what she was looking for in a man.
Elijah gave a reassuring smile to the boy’s father. “Radiology should have sent the pictures over by now. Let us review them. Dr. Tate and I’ll be back in soon.”
“Thanks.” The father looked at her and then at Elijah. “To both of you.”
On their way back to the unit desk Elijah was stopped by one of the nurses with a question. Helena didn’t wait on him. At the desk, she pulled up the X-ray for Mr. Kakasides. His eight, nine and tenth ribs were cracked. He would be in pain for a few weeks but would recover. She had the X-ray Elijah needed to review up on the screen by the time he arrived. He slid into the chair beside her.
“Thanks, Helena.”
“No problem. As maid of honor, I think it’s part of my duty to remind the best man he needs to get out of here as soon as possible.”
He studied the computer screen. “Well, Louis has a break to his femur.”
“His father is going to take it hard. He feels bad enough as it is.” Helena stood and checked her watch again. “I’m going to give him instructions about his ribs and get ready for a wedding. You need to do the same.”
Elijah rolled back his chair. “Yes, Doctor. I’m right behind you. First, I need to call Lloyd up in Ped Ortho and have him come in on the case. The boy will need surgery to put a rod in.”
“Then I’ll let the father know you’ll be in to speak to him. I’ll see you in the park.”
“Yeah, in the park.” There was a dry note in Elijah’s voice.
“Don’t sound so excited.” Helena grinned back at him as she circled the desk and headed down the hall. “Remember, weddings aren’t contagious.”
Elijah sure hope they weren’t. He wanted nothing to do with one.
Forty-five minutes later, he left the unit desk and headed down the hall toward the locker room. He had plenty of time to shower, put on his tux and make it to the park. At least the hospital was just across the street, but Central Park was a huge space. Just to walk to the Shakespeare Garden would take time.
Charles would never let him forget it if he was late to the ceremony. Grace would be upset and nothing Elijah said would make that okay in Charles’s eyes. The ER had been so busy Elijah had seen two more patients before he’d felt he could call his shift done. It had then taken another fifteen minutes to bring the doctor taking over for him up to speed on the patients being seen.
Elijah admitted to himself that he was dragging his feet about the whole wedding thing. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to be there for Charles or that he didn’t like Grace. He did. He wished them both the best. Was truly happy for them. It was just that the “wedded bliss” idea didn’t appeal to him much. He’d seen little of that in his parents’ marriage. Knew he wouldn’t be good at it.
He was halfway down the hall when one of the two swinging doors at the end opened. Helena came toward him. Elijah stopped dead in his tracks. She was a vision of loveliness like he’d never seen. Her curly, shoulder-length auburn-colored hair was now pinned up, the waves flowing randomly about her head. A red poinsettia was fixed behind her right ear. She wore a long forest-green dress that hugged womanly curves usually hidden by loose scrub shirts. The top of the dress dipped, giving him a hint of cleavage that only made him want to see more. Short sleeves cupped her creamy shoulders. The skirt swirled about her legs as she came toward him, drawing his attention to her hips.
His heart picked up a beat. Not to mention the stirring south of his beltline. Heaven help him, Helena was breathtaking. Why hadn’t he noticed before?
They had been working together for a couple of years. More than once she and a few other of the staff had gone out to eat as a group after a shift but he’d never thought of her in any way except as a colleague. She’d always been pleasant but seemed closed off somehow. She gave off the vibe that she wasn’t someone who played around. With her wholesome southern drawl and gentle smile, she wasn’t one of those women who gave him a come-hither look he had no trouble obeying. Everything about her said serious, down-to-earth, love me forever. That was the type he stayed clear of. Maybe that’s why it had never registered that Helena could be so completely stunning.
Whatever the cause, it had been lifted from his eyes. He was noticing her now. Big time.
He needed to snap out of it. Had Helena said something to him? He blinked.
“Elijah, are you only now going to get dressed? You have less than an hour before we’re supposed to be walking down the aisle. Grace is going to have your hide.” She stepped closer.
Her wonderful aroma filled his nostrils. Nothing like the antiseptic smell of the hospital but something warm and earthy, intriguing. He was acting like a fool. Working to get a grip on himself, he grinned. He focused on a point just over her shoulder to get beyond how enchanting she looked. “It’s a good thing you’re a doctor. At least you’ll be able to patch me up.”
She lowered her chin and gave him a speculative look. “I don’t think I have enough medical training to save you from Grace’s wrath if you’re not there on time.”
He laughed. Helena did too. It had a sincere ring that sounded as if it came from her heart. He’d always liked that about her. She had a sense of humor. “Then I guess I need to get moving.” He started down the hall.
“That would be my suggestion.” She headed the other way.
Elijah stopped and looked back, his attention drawn to her hips. It was a shame her scrubs had been disguising those full curves for so long.
Minutes later he was under a hot shower. He was surprised he hadn’t needed a cold one after seeing Helena. How spectacular she’d looked still amazed him. At least he’d managed not to make a fool of himself. This sudden interest—no, infatuation—in Helena was crazy. He’d seen many woman in formal clothing yet had not reacted this way.
He was probably overtired from covering for Charles when the ER had been impossibly busy. Or maybe it was due to the wedding hoopla he normally stayed clear of. There was something out of sync with the universe for him to have had such an intense reaction to Helena. Especially when she was clearly not his type.
Half an hour later he shrugged into his black overcoat, adjusting it over his tuxedo. Wrapping his groomsman’s gift, a scarlet red scarf, securely around his neck, he popped a short black top hat on his head. It might be the silliest thing he’d ever worn if it wasn’t for the fact that it was so cold and not wearing a hat was even more ridiculous.
He received more than one interested look and a few grins as he made his way through the older part of the building to the lobby and out the front entrance of the hospital. His idea of dressing up was putting on a pair of slacks and a collared shirt. Casual was his style, less dog and pony show. He worked hard and liked to relax and have fun when he was off duty. Only when he couldn’t avoid it did he put on a suit for a medical meeting. To be wearing a tuxedo was taxing. The only reason he was doing so was because he loved his brother. Elijah wished him well. It had been hard on Charles when he’d lost his wife and had been left with two small sons to raise. Elijah was glad his brother had found love again, happiness.
Elijah pulled on his black gloves as he went down the stone steps to the street to catch a cab. It would get him to the park entrance nearest Shakespeare Garden and then he would have to walk from there. Just as Helena had told him more than once, he’d be cutting it close on time.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

A kiss, a fling…a wedding ring?

Dr. Helena Tate still believes in love, despite her past heartbreak, and that one day she’ll have a baby of her own. Her gorgeous but brooding colleague Dr. Elijah Davenport, however, is not the man to pin her hopes on. He’s no longer interested in long-term relationships.

But being maid of honor and best man at a wedding in snow-covered Central Park heightens their attraction. Soon their Christmas fling becomes so much more! Can Helena tame Manhattan Mercy’s playboy—so they both get the love they deserve?
Book Links:  

Meet the Author:

Susan Carlisle’s love affair with books began when she made a bad grade in math in the sixth grade. Not allowed to watch TV until she brought the grade up, Susan filled her time with books. She turned her love of reading into a love of writing romance. If the hero is a smart, sexy alpha male, he can be found in her books along with a strong heroine that captures his heart. She has currently written over 18 books for Harlequin Medicals and self-published a romance novella.
In her past life, Susan has been a full-time mother to four children, a high school substitute teacher and now when she isn’t writing she is busy being a fun grandmother. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband of over thirty years. Susan loves castles, traveling, cross-stitching and reads voraciously. Visit her at
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39 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Christmas with the Best Man by Susan Carlisle”

  1. Shannon Capelle

    My husbands best friend and one of his groomsman and one of my bridesmaids and best friend got together at our wedding and married a year later and had a daughter!

  2. Caro

    Sadly, nope. But I’ve always wanted to hear of something like that, lol. People need to step up with book-worthy-romances ASAP, lol.

  3. Cathy Phillips

    My husband and I met at his brother’s and my friend’s wedding. He was best man and I was a bridesmaid. We got married a little over a year later.

  4. Patricia Barraclough

    No, I don’t believe I do know anyone who was swept up by the moment and started a romance at a wedding.

  5. laurieg72

    I’m sorry to say I don’t know of anyone who met their mate at a wedding. Surprising, as I attended a lot of weddings between HS friends, college friends and work buddies.

  6. Kay Garrett

    I know I have not been involved in a romance that started at a wedding and don’t know of any one else that has.

  7. lesley McIntosh

    Yes My friend came to our wedding 46 years ago ,and the best man asked her out , the rest is history ,they were married a year after us and we are still good friends

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