Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
This is the first in the Hearts and Health series, which is a spin-off of the Ashe Sentinel series and also set in the rural Kansas town of Ashe. I reviewed the second book in the series, Bedside Manner, a few months ago, and though each book can be read as a stand-alone, I did find that reading them all in order made each of them more enjoyable. The characters from all the books appear in the others, though mostly as cameos.
This book introduces the reader to the staff in the ER of the local hospital. Ben Griggs is a dedicated nurse who has found that his life has gradually become centered around his job only. He doesn’t date much, and hasn’t gone out at all since the biker he was dating last – an admitted adrenaline junkie – abruptly dumped him, and Ben realized that he had been deluding himself all along in thinking things were more serious than they were. Ben’s history was more of the same, and he had come to think of himself as a kind of boring guy who would probably never be able to hang on to a man worth having.
When Gage Evans first showed up in the ER, he was covered in road rash from a motorcycle accident. He was immediately attracted to “Nurse Hotness” as he dubbed Ben, and made a clumsy pass at him, which Ben shut down hard. Since Ashe is a small town, they did end up running into each other several times again, and eventually Gage talked Ben into a series of dates.
It was interesting how both of these men are somewhat insecure about relationships, but that insecurity affected them quite differently: Ben was avoidant, Gage just pursued harder. In the end, though, the angst just wasn’t that believable to me, and I got more than a little tired of Ben talking himself out of trusting Gage. It felt like there wasn’t that much plot to the story, and I didn’t connect much with either character.
Overall, this was a quick, cute, and moderately enjoyable read, but not one that I’d go back to for a re-read.
Cover works for the subject matter if not especially distinguishing.
Kindle Edition, 166 pages
Published by DJ Jamison (first published October 4th 2016)
Original TitleHeart Trouble
SeriesHearts & Health #1