Wedding Bells for Nurse Connie. Jean Fullerton

Wedding Bells for Nurse Connie

Published: Orion
Date: 5th May 2016
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 432
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
4 stars                 Add to Goodreads

It’s 1948 and the nurses of the East End of London are making the most of life post-war. For Connie in particular, things are looking rosy as she looks forward to planning a future with her sweetheart, Malcolm. But, as many a young bride-to-be has proved, the course of true love never did run smooth and Connie finds herself having to grapple with interfering mothers and Malcolm’s reluctance to set the date.
But while there are many obstacles to overcome before walking down the aisle, at least Connie can relax in the knowledge that she’ll soon be married to the man of her dreams, can’t she?

Life at work isn’t all smooth sailing either. The newly-formed NHS is keeping the nurses of Fry House extremely busy and as ever in the life of a nurse heartbreak lurks at every turn. But there are some new faces to keep things interesting. And one in particular might be the answer to all of Connie’s problems…

My thoughts banner
I was introduced to this book by Sam over at Sam Still Reading with her review of Wedding Bells for Nurse Connie.  I placed it on my ‘would like to read’ list of books and finally I reached it. I have always been a little partial to medical fiction/romance, with a long history of Sue Barton when growing up and then everything I could lay my hands on written by Lucilla Andrews, including her memoir which receives a mention at the end of the book. Although that was just one book that she used for research, there were many, and it shows. The book rings with authenticity of the time period just after WW11 when England was changing over to a National Health Service.
Connie is a capable, compassionate nurse and she carries out her role in varying circumstances, always thinking of her patients and going the extra mile for them. Often it is not easy in the face of challenges that old, uncaring traditionalists bring to their roles. Take a doctor and a priest to showcase the worst of their species. I loved how Connie helped her patients and in some cases changed things up for them. Her boyfriend Malcolm was a bit of dead wood, and his mother was something else! 
Coming to rescue the practice from an unscrupulous doctor, Dr. Hari MacLaughlan – part Indian, part Scottish, comes into the picture, sets the nurses a-twittering and while horrified at what he finds in his new place of work and living quarters, sets about bringing some decent medicine to the area. He works with Connie’s nurses at Fry House, and its not long before Hari is noting that Malcolm doesn’t seem to appreciate Connie all that much, even though there is a wedding date set. Dr. Hari meets a fair bit of discrimination which would have been typical of that time, very overt. However he handles it really well, he is an old hand and there is not too much you can throw at him as he has been a Japanese war prisoner.
I enjoyed the book, I felt like I was right in the middle of a drama TV series – the details were rich and gave a very full picture of the life and times of the various characters in the district and in Connie’s family and nursing area. 
new to me authorthought provokingpage turnermedical

Intensive Care. Nicki Edwards

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Intensive Care
Nicki Edwards
Published: Momentum Books
Date: January 2015
Format: e-ARC
Genre: Medical Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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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 cafe 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?

My thoughts banner
Intensive Care by Nicki Edwards is her debut novel.  It is set in rural Australia about 5 hours west of Sydney. The setting was a wonderful little insight into this part of Australia.  There was much I really liked about this book and a few things not so much.
Kate arrives in Birangulla to take up a new job as the unit manager in the Intensive Care department. She is escaping from a relationship that has gone sour.  I found her avoidance of meeting Marcus to explain why she had left the apartment somewhat odd. Assertiveness and confrontation were not her strong points. She did grow in this a little but all in all I wanted a slightly more pushy heroine! However she did enjoy the new challenge of living in a rural setting and she is an excellent nurse. She obviously cared about her patients and more than once she shed blood, sweat and tears for them.
Joel is an Irishman whose family now live in Australia and he sure knows how to make a great coffee and is generally an all round nice guy.  However he has a background that makes him a little slow in coming forward when it comes to any new romance.  Kate also has something she is not sharing either.
For me the strong part of this book was the medical side of it.  It sounded so correct and utterly true, each time Kate was in the hospital and something was happening there I was riveted to the book.  I hope this is something Nicki Edwards will continue to include in any book she might write in the future.
In general the plot moved along at a good pace with something happening most of the time.  The romance moved slowly, there was time given for the slow build of friendship and then love for Kate and Joel.  I liked the way the relationships were shown at the Intensive Care unit and the way it was for Kate as she started her new job,it is often the way when someone new walks in to take up leadership.
I hope the author has another medical romance in the making!
3.5 stars
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The Road to Hope. Rachael Johns

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The Road to Hope
Rachael Johns
Published: Harlequin MIRA Australia
Date: 1st March 2015
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 352
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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Nurse Lauren Simpson is known in Hope Junction for the wrong reasons – and she’s over it. Watching the man she’s always loved marry someone else is the last straw – she decides to get out of Hope. But her resolve is tested when the hot new locum doctor arrives in town.

Doctor Tom Lewis also has skeletons in his closet – including a painful breakup and devastating family news. He’s hit the road with his vintage ute and surfboard, to travel the outback and live in the moment.

When Tom and Lauren meet the attraction is instant, but for Lauren Tom threatens to be just another fling and Tom has his own reasons for hesitating. Everyone else – their friends and patients – can see how perfect they are together, but just what will it take for them to admit this to themselves?

My thoughts banner
The Road to Hope by Rachael Johns takes up Lauren’s story, we met her in Jilted where she was the one who didn’t get the guy!  She wasn’t seen in the best light either.  However this time we are able to grasp a better picture of Lauren – and it’s a good one!
I found the first part of the story moved a little slowly but once I hit the halfway mark I was fully engaged and feeling for the characters.  Lauren has decided that it’s time to have a change and she is on the verge of handing in her resignation at the hospital where she works.  She wants to make a new start.  She has had a rather loveless past growing up and doesn’t have a high self esteem.  Everyone around her seems to have a happy relationship and she is feeling somewhat out of it. Even her relationship with best friend Whitney seems to have changed.
Tom has taken on a locum job, he’s great looking and a very good doctor.  He and Frank – Lauren’s brother, have been good friends and so Tom makes himself right at home with Lauren. However Tom is running from something, he has a warm loving family, but is on the outer with them at the moment. He has also experienced a relationship turning sour and it’s made him somewhat wary and determined that love and a relationship that matters is not for him.
I loved the elderly patients at the hospital, and the way in which Lauren and Tom went beyond the job in being with them and making sure that they were treated as people who had needs and feelings. I also liked the exploration of a disease that robs people of their memory and the effect this has on a family.  When I read a book I always like something more than a romance – I want challenges and issues that might strike anyone to be taken out and looked at.  Whatever the future holds for us, it’s today and love that matter. That’s the message in this book.  It’s a good one.
4 stars