An enjoyable slow-burn medical romance
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. In 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.