A ‘Perfect Match’ made in Japan.

Review of ‘Perfect Match Book One’ by Mildred Gail Digby.

This was different from the usual romance books I get to read. Although still a medical romance, the setting made it seem far from what we are used to.

Megan Maier is a pediatrician returning to work after losing her partner the previous year in an unfortunate accident. She is taken by Syler Terada, a pediatric surgeon with dashing, androgynous looks. The attraction is immediate and was mildly disappointing since it happened on the heels of Megan’s panic attack. However, the rest of the interactions are great and not rushed, so overall the romance was done very well.

As mentioned above, the singular element in the book is the Japan setting. I was not sure initially where they were as it was only clear that Megan had been in Thailand the previous year. I also could not tell which language they were referencing. The narration is obviously in English, but there are Japanese words sprinkled throughout the story. The author, later on, mentions that the characters were speaking Japanese at times and even mentions how English and German are other languages spoken at the hospital. I enjoy other languages, wanted to see how Japan’s medicine was portrayed and certainly, the author showcased her knowledge of Japanese, but these words were a reading disruption for me as I did not have a clear translation readily available for many of them and I frequently found myself searching for definitions on the internet.Read More »

Review of ‘Gallows Humor’ by Carolyn Elizabeth.

Oh yes, this was right up my alley! Corey Curtis is a forensic anthropologist working at Jackson City Memorial Hospital’s morgue. She performs autopsies and helps train residents which is when she first lays eyes on Dr. Thayer Reynolds. Thayer is starting her Emergency Department fellowship when she wonders to the morgue to check out the mysterious Curtis. The attraction is immediate, but before they can act on it, Corey finds herself in the midst of investigating the cause of death of one of her autopsies as there is not enough evidence for the police to take the case on as a homicide. Her investigation makes her and Thayer face dire events and consequences that put their lives and budding romance at risk.

The initial interactions between the main characters were funny and well written. One could feel the spark right away. Both main characters are strong women with no horrible past to keep them from acknowledging their feelings, thank you! Sometimes it seems all characters in lesfic have something to overcome or keep them from acting in a rational manner towards a new, fantastic experience. I found it refreshing, although wondered where the story would go then. However, have no fear, the author manages conflict in other wonderful ways!

This book has so many great elements. There is a first-responder feel to the story even though Corey is a morgue employee. There are definitely medical themes throughout the book, and I’ll be honest, I absolutely loved them. The author gets a chance to shine through her expertise in forensic anthropology, which is terrific as it gives instant credibility to her work. There is also some action, a gym, and let’s not forget that the characters’ connection is great too! The secondary characters are well done and in particular, I enjoyed the police officer, Collier. His banter with Corey was very entertaining and no doubt added depth to the story. On the downside, the mystery is straightforward and not meant to be the main focus of the book. This may disappoint some avid mystery readers.

This is Ms Elizabeth’s debut novel. I can’t help but be excited for her future work and hope she turns this story into a series.

Overall a great read that will appeal to science/medical and romance fans alike. 4.5 stars

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Review of ‘L.A. Metro’ by RJ Nolan.

Dr. Jess McKenna is the busy ER Chief of the LA Metropolitan Hospital. She’s known for her impenetrable facade needed to get her through difficult cases and essential to guarding her past personal burden. Dr. Kim Donovan is a psychiatrist relocating after a disastrous stint at a hospital near her hometown in Detroit. Her ethics were questioned while working on a case and much to her devastation, everyone near her, including her closeted girlfriend, deserted her. Now her job is to liaison with the emergency department and the formidable Dr. McKenna. Can these two women help each other heal and move past their insecurities?

Confession time- I enjoyed this book more than I probably should have because of the hospital/medical setting. The book is well written with well defined characters, including a handsome Great Dane. There was no depth to the medical cases but enough said to be enjoyable and also propel the story forward. I also loved that Kim is a psychiatrist as it seems the majority of the hospital settings revolve around first-responders, ER and trauma specialties. Who knew psych would be such a novel and welcomed field?

The women had immediate chemistry and attraction. However, do not be fooled. This is a slow-burn romance. I enjoyed the characters’ journey was great and interesting. The only thing that I disliked was how many “inner thoughts” were literally shared and how at times they were simply not needed since the thought was obvious or even cliche.

This is the first of three full length books in the series. There are two novellas to go along with the first book and one prequel. Gaby reviewed the third and final novel ‘Wounded souls’.

Overall a good read that will appeal to anyone who loves medical romances. 4 stars.

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Review of ‘Mercy’ by Michelle Larkin.

Mercy Parker is an FBI agent working in the Unsolved Child Homicide Unit in New York. She gets called in to assist in a fellow law enforcement daughter’s murder with no leads except for the one left only for her. As she finds a way to pursue this, another child goes missing. Mercy immediately recognizes her connection to both cases and the need to involve a retired FBI profiler, Piper Vasey. Piper is a psychic who has secluded herself after the death of her husband and a lifetime of being shunned by her gift. She has become another victim as Mercy tries to desperately reach her. Together with the help of a few friends, they must find a way to reach the missing child and prevent an evil form from annihilating the human species.

This book has some dark, haunting parts that some readers may find disturbing. It does lighten up somewhat as the two main characters start working together, providing some much needed levity and, at times, outright humorous dialog.

It becomes clear early on how there are metaphysical elements illustrated through several of the characters. There is also a second story line, based on the yin and yang philosophy, intertwined with the above mentioned one. This story is well defined, and very interesting as some of its support (albeit a small part) is based on true events. The power of good and evil are showcased in a different light and with a new set of grave consequences.

The author did a great job creating the characters. The leads have chemistry and, as I said, share some entertaining dialog. There are no boring or aggravating characters, and they all work well together to advance and enrich the story line. There is even a handsome chocolate Labrador that becomes integral to the tale!

I loved the cover design by Tammy Seidick. It has crisp colors with Mercy Parker’s FBI badge and a desolate building. The title in red font pops and alludes to a case file, which is fitting to the story. It is definitely eye catching, which is what a cover should accomplish.

Mercy was released last year and was Ms Larkin’s debut novel. I can’t wait to read more of her work. Overall, an interesting concept that will appeal to readers who enjoy action, law enforcement and the metaphysical. 4.5 stars.

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Review of ‘Snowbound’ by Cari Hunter.

Police officer Sam Lucas is working in a small British village during a severe winter storm. She ends up in a precarious situation while answering an alarm triggered by a robbery. Kate Myles is a medical doctor who lives in the village and works at the local hospital. She valiantly volunteers to tend to the injured hostage while the police try to resolve the crisis.

This novel seems to have a little bit of everything. In particular, it has the first responders, medical and action/thriller tropes with an underlying romance. All these elements were well written but I will admit I was surprised at how well the romance came through. The main characters were constantly under duress but somehow their connection did not seem forced nor the romance a leap. The organic evolution of the relationship without being obvious about it is, in my opinion, great writing. The medical details were also great, providing the story with instant credibility and showcasing the author’s knowledge on the subject.

The weather is an ever present element in this book. The frigid temperatures and snow worked well to help set the mood and enhance the feelings of hopelessness that prevailed through some key scenes. The cover by Bold Strokes Books’ Sheri further enhances the cold, desolate beauty of winter.

‘Snowbound’ was released in 2011 and was Ms Hunter’s first published book. Now a highly regarded author, her debut novel is fantastic and worthy of her current acclaim.

Overall an excellent story that will appeal to fans of medical and action themes. 5 stars

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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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