Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
This is the third in the Hearts and Health series by this author, and once again characters from the previous two books appear in minor supporting roles, but it is basically a stand-alone. I think this was my favorite of the series, and I enjoyed it, but still not a book I’d put on my re-read list.
Both of the MCs are in the medical profession in this book. Xavier James is a nursing student, a little older and with a lot more life experience that most of his peers. Dr. Trent Cavendish was Xavier’s high school boyfriend, but he went on to college, medical school, and ultimately a career as a successful but workaholic surgeon. When Trent’s best friend and fellow surgeon cracked under the pressure, it served as a wake up call to Trent, who took a good look at his life and where it was going and saw that it really held little meaning. So he decided to go back to the beginning, back to his hometown of Ashe, Kansas, and gave up surgery to work in an indigent care clinic. He and Xavier had been in love, but that blew up dramatically when Trent left town to go to school and Xavier stayed home to care for his family. Though the men hadn’t spoken in 12 years, Trent still hoped that Xavier might be available to give him a second chance.
I really enjoy second chance stories, when you have the chance to reconnect with “the one that got away”. And I think this one was well done – both men certainly had changed quite a bit, and matured, and with that actually were able to recognize why it ended so badly all those years ago. The path back together required not only that they face those old truths (through wiser eyes), but also that they re-evaluate where they wanted to be, and how they wanted to get there. The character development was much stronger in this book than the others in the series, and I ended up liking these men quite a bit better as well. I also found Trent to be a much more sympathetic doctor than Paul in Bedside Manner. As in the other books in the series, the medical details were pretty authentic – I had to laugh about the process of granting emergency privileges to Trent in the rural hospital. I guess it could happen, but I couldn’t help thinking that any non-medical readers were probably wondering what all the fuss was about.
Overall, a decent read. I haven’t read the rest of the author’s books set in Ashe, but I am sure fans of that series would enjoy this one as well.
Cover art works for branding the series and is more eye-catching.
Kindle Edition, 200 pages
Published May 4th 2017
Series Hearts & Health: