Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
In the high-intensity world of hospital residency programs, there’s no room for romance. So it’s a good thing for first-year surgical resident Neil Carmona that his crush on the gorgeous cardiologist Eli Newcombe is sheer fantasy. Not only is the sexy doctor Neil’s superior, he’s also recently divorced.
As Neil’s skill as a surgeon grows, so does his friendship with Eli, and his silent, hopeless longing for more. It isn’t until Neil’s final year that Eli at last admits his own deepest desires. But Neil’s joy is short-lived: Eli has no intention of pursuing a relationship. Their positions in the hospital would make it unethical, even if he was emotionally ready for someone new.
Wounded and furious, Neil is determined to forget about Eli once and for all. But when a near-tragedy strikes, a new question arises: Is a life without love—without Neil—a greater risk than laying his heart on the line?
Well, I just adored Necessary Medicine by M.K. York, probably because it hit so close to home as a close family relative lived with us during his residency here. During that time period I got an up close look at his hours, his total exhaustion and the dedication it took to get him through those years (and all those rotations). York knows that world intimately and brought it back to me so vividly I almost got on the phone to relive it with my cousin again. Almost!
First-year surgical resident Neil Carmona felt so believable in every way. From his fumbling through the different rotations, to his trying to find some semblance of ties to other people to ground him, I understood this man completely and loved him. And when transplant surgeon extraordinaire appeared during one of his lectures, I could see the crush coming his way. Neil’s world is an insular one and York does a fine job of describing its pressures and incredible around the clock adrenaline rush of procedures, stress, and Expectations that bombard residents so that we can see why he wants to reach out to someone he’s attracted to so badly even though it might be the worst idea ever.
Eli Newcombe is more of an enigma, at least at first. Its when we meet up with him a second time that we get to know the man behind the reputation and realize that perhaps that, beyond the chemistry these two have, there just might be a future.
This is a slow burn sort of relationship that’s has its foundation in the reality of a teaching hospital. York gives us not only Neil and Eli but Neil’s mentor (and Eli’s friend), other residents and Neil’s small circle of friends and the insular world of surgery and the transplant field. I think this book is a marvel, and I found so many things about it fascinating. Yes, I did remember my cousin’s similar stories from his internship and they pretty much measured up to the ones here. I wonder who York has been talking to.
However, if you’re not a fan of things like tv medicine show dramas with ensemble casts and romances, this book might not be your thing. But it was absolutely mine. As I said I adored it. I so hope M.K. York write more like this as the author has found a fan in me.
Cover art works but I’m not a fan of reds like this in cover art. I find it offputting.
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Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 251 pages
Expected publication: April 24th 2017 by Carina Press
Original TitleNecessary Medicine