DeLaney Blair is a finance officer at Mercy Hospital in Echo Lake, VT. Like many small hospitals these days, Mercy is struggling with a very tight budget, and the word has just come down from the board to find significant cuts to make in every department.
DeLaney is assigned the pediatrics department, and has thirty days to find those cuts in a department that's already understaffed. She's not happy about this even before she meets the head of Pediatrics.
Dr. Joshua McKenzie is passionate, dedicated, and drop-dead gorgeous.
This wouldn't be a romance without major obstacles. Passed experience has made Josh a bit gun-shy, and he's determined not to get seriously involved with anyone until he can open his own private pediatric practice and set his own hours. DeLaney is the daughter of a highly respected surgeon who has never really had time for his own family. Number one on her list of attributes of a perfect husband is "not a doctor."
There's also an ethical issue: As DeLaney comes out of her top-floor bubble and spends time shadowing the nurses and doctors in Pediatrics, and getting to know the kids and their problems, she knows she has to recommend something other than budget cuts to the board. If she's known to be dating the head of Pediatrics, instead of persuading them, she's more likely to lose her job.
Two very self-protective people are thrown together and find they can't ignore each other.
These are both likable, relatable characters, and they're surrounding by interesting, believable friends, colleagues, and family. The patients are nice kids, but not overly sentimentalized; they get to be relatively real kids in their difficult situations.
This is a fun summer read. Recommended.
I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.