Escaping to the country was meant to be easy …
On the surface it looks like busy intensive care nurse Kate Kennedy has it all: a long-term relationship, a great career and a sleek inner city apartment. But appearances are deceiving, and in one fell swoop everything comes crashing down around her. In a moment of spontaneity, Kate leaves her city life and takes a new role as Nurse Unit Manager at Birrangulla Base Hospital, but her dream move proves harder than expected.
Local café owner Joel O’Connor finds himself increasingly drawn to the gorgeous new nurse, but like Kate, he’s been scarred by love and isn’t looking to jump into anything. Yet their chemistry is hard to deny and after a near fatal incident, Joel and Kate find themselves opening up to one another.
Just when Kate thinks she’s found love again, their fragile relationship is thwarted by their pasts. Can they both let go of their guilt and grief to move on to a bright new future?
Source: ARC from Momentum Books via NetGalley
If you love to curl up with a good old M&B/HQN medical romance, then you should love this book. It’s a lot longer than those books, but that just gives the story more time to develop. This is a classic tale of a city girl moving to the country after her almost-perfect life falls apart – with added medical drama.
Kate’s spent several years in a relationship that was all about her partner. She’s spent years trying to be what he wants, hoping he would finally propose and they could start a family. Yet an unexpected shock on day makes her realise that there has only ever really been once person in the relationship – Marcus – and now she needs an escape. Taking a job five hours away from Sydney in a town no-one’s ever heard of might seem extreme, but the moment Kate arrives she feels like she’s come home. Not that it’s all plain sailing.
I liked Kate. True, I thought her stubborn insistence in not talking to Marcus was a bit over the top, but it’s clear from what little we learn of their relationship that he’s always had a strong influence over her, and that she lost a lot of faith in herself during their time together. However, as the story progresses it’s clear there’s nothing weak or hesitant about her. If there was she could never have made such a move or stuck it out when things weren’t easy with her work colleagues.
Then again, with Joel around, she certainly had some good motivation for sticking in place. What a sweetheart Joel is – kind, caring, always willing to help. Actually, he’s a little too perfect and a touch passive at times. I loved all the thoughtful things he did for Kate, but he does have issues of his own to work through that cause more than a few bumps on the road to love.
As lovely as I found Joel, and as much as I liked Kate, the two most emotional parts of this book came from patients in the hospital. There were two that really got me. Away from the hospital things are more muted – not in a bad way, because offers a pleasant contrast, but there was a lack of intensity and chemistry between Joel and Kate that made it easier to believe they were just friends.
Taking place over a year, the pace is measured and steady, and there’s no grand romance here. Instead this is a story about Kate finding her feet again in a new place in both love, life and work. It has some emotional moments and a pleasant sweetness, set against the backdrop of a small Australian community. A nice easy read, I look forward to more from this author.
Intensive Care is out January 22nd
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