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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Review of a Great Read: Critical Care

Long before I began writing, I was a voracious reader of romances. I still love a great story, and there are many wonderful authors writing them. I invite you to check back on Saturdays when I share my reviews of some books I've enjoyed recently, both historical and contemporary.

The Review

Critical Care by Candace Calvert

A Riveting Medical Drama

There’s been a fire at a daycare center. Dr. Logan Caldwell and his staff scramble to treat the tiny burn victims, so many they’ve overflowed into the hallways. He has no time for Claire Avery, who's been sent from the education department to offer stress counseling to his overtaxed colleagues. Sparks fly from the moment the former ER nurse meets the ER director, or McSnarly as those who’ve dealt with his brusque treatment have dubbed him. He has no time for “touchy-feely” counseling or “weak links” on his watch.

Claire vowed never to set foot in ER again after losing her brother on her shift following an explosion that cost him and six fellow firefighters their lives. However, Sierra Mercy’s ER is short staffed after one of Logan’s nurses quits, and Claire is pulled in to work Urgent Care next door, throwing her into the path of the very man she wants to avoid. If Logan Caldwell discovers she crumbled following her brother’s death at her former hospital, her hopes of landing her safe job as clinical educator at Sierra Mercy could be dashed.

Critical Care, Candace Calvert’s first inspirational medical drama, is an action-packed look into the lives of two hurting healers who have done the best they can to cope. Having turned from the Lord, they’re trying to make it on their own, Claire with her detailed career spreadsheets and Logan with his “tough is what we do” attitude.

A former ER nurse, Calvert infuses her story with realism that reeled me in from the first page. Coupled with her well-developed, sympathetic characters, snappy dialogue and tightly woven plot, she has a riveting novel, one I couldn’t put down. It’s been years since I’ve read a book through the night, but I didn’t stop until I literally fell asleep over the pages as the sun rose.

Calvert has a real winner in Critical Care. If you like a fast-paced story that grabs you and doesn’t let go, this is it. I laughed, cried and sighed as I spent time with Logan and Claire. And the ending is all I hoped for. Both characters learn lessons in love and faith. Other than a sleepless night, my only complaint is that I have to wait for the release of the next book in Calvert’s Mercy Hospital series.

Special note: Critical Care is set in my hometown of Placerville, California. Calvert used to live in the area and did a nice job capturing the feel of the Sierra Foothills. I enjoyed the mention of places that are part of my world.

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Win a Book

If you enjoy reading inspirational romances, leave a comment for your chance to win my once-read copy of the title I just reviewed. Be sure to include your email address when prompted, so I can contact you. (I don't share this information.)

I'll choose the winner from all those who leave a comment by the Friday after the post and will list the winner's name the following Saturday.

Last Week's Winner

Congrats to Amy De Trempe, winner of a copy of Paper Roses by Amanda Cabot. (This is actually a new copy since I added mine to my shelf of keepers.)


sherrinda said...

Any book that could keep me up throughout the night must be GREAT! The older I get the quicker I fall asleep! lol
I'd love a chance to win a "sleep depriver book"! ;)

Keli Gwyn said...


I'd actually had trouble falling asleep the night I finished the book. I was about half way through and picked up Critical Care around 3 a.m. intending to read a chapter to help me relax.

As it turns out, this book is a page-turner, and I couldn't put it down. I finally crashed about 6 a.m. When I woke, I grabbed the book and powered through the last couple of chapters.

I hadn't read a medical romance since I was in high school when I devoured those early Harlequins romances, many of which involved a nurse falling for a workaholic alpha doctor. Things have changed. Critical Care is fast-paced and so well written that my internal editor actually took a rest. I love when a book is so good that it pulls me and I stop noticing craft issues, don't you?

mez said...

Critical Care was already on my "wish" list; with your review now I know I have to read it. Thanks for a chance, Keli!


Jessica said...

I think I'd like this story. I used to read secular medical stories all the time. Enter me please! :-)

Keli Gwyn said...


Because I write historicals, I read plenty of them. However, when I saw that Candace had set her contemporary story in my hometown, it became a must read.

I'm so glad I discovered her work. When I got done reading Critical Care, I told my husband, "Now, this is the way to write a book."

Keli Gwyn said...


The old Harlequins I read back in high school were sweet stories, but it's nice to have a modern medical drama that is an inspirational. Candace does a great job of incorporating the faith element in Critical Care.

Keli Gwyn said...

Congrats, Jessica! You're the winner of Critical Care. You'll get a brand new copy since I received an autographed copy from Candace.