Sidelined by injuries from a vicious assault, chaplain Riley Hale is determined to return to her former duties as an ER nurse. But how can she show she’s competent when the hospital won’t let her attempt even simple tasks? Determined to prove herself, Riley volunteers at a controversial urban free clinic despite her fears about the maverick doctor in charge.
Dr. Jack Travis defends his clinic like he’s commander of the Alamo. He’ll fight the community’s efforts to shut its doors, even if he must use Riley Hale’s influential family name to make it happen.
As Riley strives to regain her skills, Jack finds that she shares his compassion—and stirs his lonely heart. Riley senses that beneath Jack’s rough exterior is a man she can believe in. But when clinic protests escalate and questions surface about his past, Jack goes into battle mode and Riley wonders if it’s dangerous to trust him with her heart.
It’s no secret that Candace is a friend of mine, but I’ve been looking forward to this book since waaaaaay before then! I forget exactly how I first heard of Candy [through a post on Megan DiMaria’s blog maybe?], but I’d already read the first two in Calvert’s Mercy Hospital series and met her about the time the third on came out. In that third book, Code Triage, we were introduced to Riley Hale and I couldn’t wait to read the next one. In the eighteen months since then, Candace has become a very dear friend and one I am so so so so glad to know!
I literally squealed when this book hit my mailbox and was so disappointed I couldn’t read it right away. Within a couple weeks, though, I was immersed and finished it in record time.
Riley’s been hurt, both physically and emotionally. Jack isn’t far behind. He’s running a medical clinic no one seems to want and his past is determined to catch up with his present and continue to torment him far beyond what it should. Riley works at his clinic and becomes immersed in the conflict surrounding it.
The story kept my interest from page 1 until “The End” [which is, by the way, my least favorite part of most books – you know, where there’s no more words to read] but what truly brought it alive was the characters. From Riley’s next door neighbor, Wilma, the staff in the hospital ER and other wards, Bandy Biggs who works at the clinic with his paraplegic dog Hobo to Vesta, whose tormented past hold her hostage in the present and who must overcome it for everyone’s future. They are rich, wonderful characters who have stuck with me long after those dreaded words “The End” passed.
This is the first book in Candace’s new Grace medical series and I, for one, can’t wait to get my hands on the other two!
Overall Rating: 9.5 out of 10 stars