Review of ‘Love to the rescue’ by Radclyffe.

This is book five of the ‘Rivers Community Romance’ series which focuses on the small community of Rivers and its hospital. It is a standalone novel but I recommend to read it in order as there are a few parts of the plot based on stories told in previous books. In this novel, flight medic Brody Clark comes back to Rivers after leaving town without a word ten years ago, to work for the Rivers Hospital newly established medevac team. There she meets Val Valentine, an old love interest of Brody’s, who is recently back from living in New York City. Both want to bury the bad memories that they have from their teenage years in that town but, as they get to know each other, they suddenly realise that they have more in common than they’d thought. Will they be able to face their fears and act on their mutual attraction?

‘Love to the rescue’ goes beyond the medical romance formula that Radclyffe masters so well and delves into matters of family, friendship and loyalty. Considering this is a medical romance, the highlight is more on the latter. I think it’s a pity that there aren’t many medical scenes as this author describes them very well, using her experience as a now retired surgeon. If anything, there are more descriptions of Val’s veterinary work and a special focus on Honcho, a retired war dog owned by Brody.

The story catches up with some of the other couples established in the previous books but mainly on Blake, a trans teenager dealing with his sexuality and society’s rejection. Blake is a secondary character who is growing literally and metaphorically with each installment of the series and I can’t wait to see where Radclyffe takes him in the future. Both mains are multilayered, especially Brody in her dark and broody personality that the author excels at describing. There is a small mystery subplot about her past that had much more potential but unfortunately was resolved a bit abruptly. All in all, it’s an entertaining book, possibly not Radclyffe’s best but worth reading anyway.

Overall, a good medical romance with a mystery subplot and a promising trans character. 3.5 stars.

ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Love to the Rescue’ by Radclyffe

‘Love to the Rescue’ is the fifth installment in Radclyffe’s ‘Rivers Community Romance’ series.

Brody Clark is a flight medic returning to her hometown after abruptly joining the Army and leaving ten years ago. Her return opens up some old wounds tied to her past with the Rivers family and her struggle to forgive her own reasons for leaving town in the first place. Val Valentine has also returned home after becoming a veterinarian and successfully starting a practice in Manhattan. Her mentor and father figure needed help running the practice she worked for many years ago. Val returned to help him and perhaps make amends for past mistakes.

In a way, this book was like coming home. The Rivers has become a tangible place for all the readers that have enjoyed this series. The hospital and adjacent community are well described, perhaps more so than in any of Radclyffe’s other works with maybe the exception of the ‘Provincetown Tales’. Both of these series are so dependent on their settings that the story would just not be the same in another place or time. ‘Love to the Rescue’ can be read as a stand alone but you will be losing out on a big part of its charm by doing so.

This book adds some new characters to the community. In addition to the above mentioned ones, the helicopter pilot is another interesting character and a potential lead in a future installment. Kudos to the author for introducing a retired Army canine in realistic fashion and making her a great secondary character. Several of the established characters in the series make an appearance, including Blake, one of my favorite story lines.

I will disclose that I am an avid Radclyffe reader. Her medical romances are overall great, with credible circumstances few can provide due to her background as a retired surgeon. I am beyond ecstatic that she has created a veterinarian to join the rest of her characters! Having said this, I will warn that her books also have the instant love factor that may not appeal to everyone. Nonetheless, Radclyffe is worth reading, anytime.

The cover design by Sheri is sharp, eye catching and on par with the story.

Available now exclusively on Bold Strokes Books website until wider release next month.

Overall another successful book by Radclyffe that will not disappoint old and new fans. 4 stars.

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Review of ‘Passionate rivals’ by Radclyffe.

This is book 4 in the PMC Hospital romance series of standalone novels set in Philadelphia. For some reason, the author left a big gap between each book’s publishing date with the first one written in 2004. ‘Fated love‘ was the first of this series and one of my favourite lesfic books ever. The main characters, Honor and Quinn, are very important secondary characters in this book and it’s nice to see them interacting with a new generation of leads. Even though you don’t need to read ‘Fated love’ to enjoy this novel, I highly recommend it.

Emmett McCabe is about to start the last year of her surgery residency and is the most likely candidate to get the coveted Chief Resident position. That is, until someone from her past arrives unexpectedly. Sydney Stevens has lost a lot in her life and now she has to finish her residency in another hospital.
At PMC she meets Emmett with whom she shares the past she’s trying to forget.

Radclyffe is hands down the best writer of medical romances in lesfic. Her inside knowledge of the profession, acquired as a surgeon, plus her perfect depiction of the fast-paced world of hospital emergency services are always reflected in her novels. It’s not necessary to know anything about medicine to read this book, things are either explained or not relevant to the plot. Radclyffe is unapologetic in using medical terminology and describing surgical procedures but, at the same time, balances that content very well with the personal struggles and conflicts of the characters. Additionally, the author works well in setting the contrasting paces of the fast emergency services as opposed to the slow-burn romance. Life or death and love or loss are frequent dichotomies in her novels.

In ‘Passionate rivals’ Radclyffe creates a perfect set of main characters: Emmett, the dark, handsome and stoic butch and Sydney, the beautiful and strong femme. At the beginning, the reader knows little about their shared past but, as we learn about them, their strong chemistry takes over and we can only hope that they’d act on that. My only criticism is that the slow-burn romance is a bit rushed at the end, somehow altering the beautiful pace set until the last few chapters. There is a new generation of doctors presented in this novel, some with potential of becoming great leads for future books in this series. One of them is Dani, a blunt but loyal friend of Sydney’s. So there’s a promise of more good stories to come. For the moment, with ‘Passionate rivals’ Radclyffe doesn’t disappoint and delivers an entertaining and enjoyable read.

Overall, an enjoyable slow-burn medical romance in a fast-paced emergency hospital environment. 4.5 stars.

ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

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Review of ‘Dangerous waters’ by Radclyffe.

This is book number 7 of Radclyffe’s ‘First responders’ series which can be read as a stand alone novel. According to the author, she got inspiration from the tropical storms that caused havoc and devastation in 2017 in South Florida and Texas. Fusing real events with fiction, several stories run parallel and provide different perspectives of the same event. Among those stories is the romance between National Guard Colonel Sawyer Kincaid and Chief of Emergency service at Miami Memorial Dr Dara Sims who have to relinquish their initial antagonism and work together in order to help evacuation and provide medical services during the storm. As danger approaches and pressure goes high, so does their emotional involvement. Will there be a happily ever after?

This is not a typical Radclyffe romance. It’s true that some of her characteristic elements are present, such as the dark, handsome and stoic butch and the gorgeous but strong femme. However, the main character in this novel is Leo. The storm sets the pace, presents the tension and delivers all the punches in this book. I think it’d be unfair to review this novel as a typical romance because love is in the background letting the storm take precedence. Even the ubiquitous steamy sex scenes so typical of this author are watered down or relegated to a secondary role. Despite that, this is a very good effort by Radclyffe. ‘Dangerous waters’ presents a compelling, emotional, nail biting page-turner about the power of nature and the extraordinary efforts of the first responders who put their lives on the line in order to help others.

Overall, an action packed page-turner by Radclyffe. Highly recommended even though romance is a bit in the background. 4.5 stars.

ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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