After her brother's tragic death fighting a fire, former trauma nurse Claire Avery can't face going back to the ER. But when she must offer staff counseling after a propane explosion in a local day care center, Claire's plan self-destructs. She's back in the ER, battling painful memories-and the handsome and surly doctor who thrives on chaos. Dr. Logan Caldwell has learned to distance himself from painful emotion. He expects his ER staff to be as tough as he is, and when hospital administration sends a beautiful but pushy education nurse to offer counseling, he'll have none of it.
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Candace Calvert writes pulse-throbbing, action packed "hope operas" in the medical romance genre. She creates vibrantly alive characters we can relate with and wonderful character development where members of a medical team face daily personal, professional and spiritual challenges. You may not want to put the book down until you've read it to the end.
At Sierra Mercy Hospital the staff had dubbed Dr. Logan Caldwell "Dr. McSnarly." That reputation was on solid ground when Claire Avery suffered her first encounter with him in the ER. It was the worst possible time for her to be there since they'd just had an influx of emergency cases--a fire at a local daycare center. Claire wasn't there as a nurse, but Logan Caldwell didn't know that. With his caustic "Help, or get out of the way" comment still ringing in her ears, she went on to find the nursing director who had called her there. Claire was a nurse educator, on call to offer peer support and emotional well-being assessments of the ER staff. They had just lost a little girl from the daycare.
It didn't take long for Claire to determine that Dr. Caldwell had no use for counseling, intervention and especially prayer. In fact, his way of dealing with the stress of working the ER was just to soldier on when things got tough. He expected his medical support team to do the same. None of this touchy-feely stuff Claire was bringing to his ER. Claire considered the ER director's hard line attitude as part of the problem, especially with the high turnover rate and complaints from some of the nurses. Her job was to help "heal the healers." To do that, she would have to go toe to toe with Dr. McSnarly.
In developing the characters, the author reveals that there's a reason why Logan Caldwell encloses himself in a shell. We learn that Claire has issues of her own due to the loss of her fireman brother two years earlier. One of Dr. Caldwell's most efficient nurses, Sarah, is bearing up under a weight no one else knows about, and the charge nurse, Erin, is trying to hold together her team of nurses while dealing with personal insecurities. How all this comes to a head in an explosion of events is what makes this book an exciting read.
Another element besides the fast pace and great character portrayal is the author's use of metaphors. My favorite two metaphors have to do with a stump on Dr. Caldwell's property, and Claire's brother's rescued cat, Smokey, who has only one ear. The cat had lost a skirmish with a raccoon with the loss of one ear and his confidence. Now he refuses to go outside. Logan wants to build a home on his property, but the stubborn stump is in his way. He has spent hours hacking away at it with an ax, but it refuses to budge.
Digging deeper, there is an important spiritual message woven into the plot. Claire has made an effort to remake herself and her career after her brother's death by retraining to become a nurse educator. It all fit into her plans to recover from the devastation of her ER experience of the past. This plan is reflected in her prayers for healing. So why was she suddenly thrust back into the ER as peer counselor to stressed staff when she herself was barely recovered from her painful memories? What was God doing, changing her plans?
I have read other books by this author and enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed this one. I highly recommend them to readers who enjoy medicals dramas, humor, seemingly impossible romances and Christian content.
I recently discovered a new author (to me) and would like to share that information with all of you. She already has four books out, which is terrific, because now I don’t have to wait to read the second in the series. I read her first book in less than a week, not because it was short, but because I couldn’t put it down.
Candace Calvert has the power to captivate with words, storyline, and characters. She allows the reader to “hear” the story through four of her characters, which brings the story to life at a much deeper level, at least in my opinion.
I started with Critical Care, the first book from her Mercy Hospital Series. It begins through the eyes of the main character, Claire, but then continues by introducing Logan, the hero. Erin, the head charge nurse, and lastly, Sarah, another character who is pivotal to the story, make up the last of the four people whose lives you get to experience firsthand.
Candace begins with intense medical drama that quickly draws the reader in, but then she slowly introduces the characters and events in their lives, keeping the reader wanting to turn the page. The medical drama continues to deliver, but you are taken so intimately into each character’s background that their work is secondary and their personal lives become the primary focus. I found myself becoming emotionally involved with each and every one of the four characters that were developed so well. I eagerly anticipated how each event was going to continue to unfold and how their lives would overlap.
The author delivers from the first page all the way to the end. I cannot wait to read the second book in the series. I am glad it is already published so I don’t have to wait very long.
I have already starting spreading the word about how great I think this series and (new to me) author is, but don’t take my word for it. Why don’t you go pick up a copy and see for yourself?
To make it easy for you, here is her first series in order, and the first book in her second series: Mercy Hospital (3 in series): Critical Care, Disaster Status, Code Triage Grace Medical (next series): Trauma Plan (first in series so far).
You can also visit her website and read an excerpt from each book if you would rather. Just Google Candace Calvert and you are there. If you get a chance to pick up any in the series, please leave a comment and let me know what you thought of her books too.
Claire used to be an ER nurse, but when her brother came in during her shift severely burned and died, she panicked and couldn't work the ER anymore. She promised herself never to set foot in the ER again. She took a new job at another hospital and tried to stay away from the ER. But when the ER team are dealing with a tragedy she is needed to evaluate the staff if they can handle the situation.
Dr. Logan Caldwell is not happy to see Claire counseling his staff. His experience is that counseling doesn't help. He thinks one must set their problems aside and do a good job. But with his gruff demeanour he's making working with him almost impossible. When he is showing indifference to Claire's work she's not afraid to tell him the truth. For Logan that is a surprise. No one ever talked to him that way.
Both Claire and Logan are suffering loss and disappointments. Claire is a believer, but Logan doesn't believe in the power of prayer. He tried that, but it didn't work. Claire had her future plans worked out, but they're all falling apart. Will those two hurting people find healing—and love?
Secondary characters ER head nurse Erin and workaholic nurse Sarah are making the story more interesting. All the characters fit nicely in the story—even the one-eared cat is a character to love. :) I really love reading Candace Calvert's work. She has such a pleasant voice and she knows how to captivate me. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this series!
When I read Critical Care, I just couldn't put it down. The problems and situations are so very realistic and you just can't help to fall in love with the characters. Unlike TV medical shows, Critical Care just captured me from the very first page. This will definitely be a series I will recommend to all of my christian fiction friends and will be a series that will be on my personal bookshelf. If you are thinking about reading this book....think no longer!! Just grab it and dig in. You will be hooked until you read the 3rd book in this series...I promise you!
Move over ER, step aside Grey's Anatomy and say goodbye to House! Candace Calvert out does all of you with this totally rockin' book, Critical Care!! It has a mix of humor, suspense, romance and God, not to mention a blend of absolutely wonderful characters who make their way into your heart to stay. Claire Avery and Logan ''McSnarly'' Caldwell are beautifully created for this story. They both made their way into my hearts and I became fast friends with them from the beginning. A story filled with heartache, laughter and love, this debut book in the Mercy Hospital series is excellent. The story line is full of adventure and fast paced drama of ER's. The characters learn to F.R.O.G (Fully Rely On God) and try to overcome the obstacles they are struggling with. Candace Calvert really brought to life the actuality of the drama that goes on in hospital ER's and it was amazing to read about them. This book was so much better than those fictional TV shows and so much cleaner than those shows, because while this book is fictional (like the TV shows) there is so much reality to it. You can feel the fast paced ways of an ER and the nurses and doctors there. I can't get into the TV shows about ER's and hospitals because there is too much falseness going on to really capture me. But with Candace's book, I was captured from the first page, on the edge of my seat,and praying for Claire, Erin and Dr. McSnarly til the very last page! A quick, easy 5 star medical drama that will be on the top of my recommendation list for a long time to come and on my personal library shelf permanently! I can't wait to dig into Disaster Status, book 2 in the Mercy Hospital series (look for that review soon!).
Hospitals have never held much charm for me until now! I have discovered the cure with Candace Calverts Mercy Hospital Series and suddenly, the ER is my favorite place to be. Seldom has an author hooked me in so quickly and completely as Ms. Calvert has with her exceptional debut novel, Critical Care, a heart-wrenching glimpse into the gritty reality of a trauma center and characters so flesh and blood, that I literally teared up three times in the first 38 pages. With true-life medical drama, magical prose and enough romantic tension to spike a high-grade fever, Ms. Calvert is, hands-down, one of the best authors I have read in a long, LONG time.
In this sometimes gut wrenching tale of loss, heartbreak, fear, and guilt we find characters full of promise with a past they cant seem to escape. Our ER doctor and nurses that are giving so much of themselves they dont have time to take care of themselves. When Claire is summoned to the ER she knows there must be some mistake, she made it clear she was NOT interested in any clinical work at her new job. When the reason for the call is discovered it makes it worse, bringing back reminders of her brothers tragic death, and her reason to stay out of the ER. Through the Lords grace can she finally heal from the wounds that haunt her? Will this Doctor she seems to be running into at every turn be a nightmare or an answer to a prayer she didnt know she was praying?
I loved this book. The author does a great job of drawing you into the story with all the various characters. I could not wait to see a happy ending for all the characters in the book, only to realise that I will have to wait for the next book to see that happen. I hope that the book is released quickly as I want to see some more good endings
I enjoyed this book. I like how the author makes these characters come to life, and you get to know them. This book is a good read, and I recommend it, and will look forward to the next one in the series.
Debut author, Candace Calvert, has accomplished something unique and wonderful with the start of her Mercy Hospital Series. "Critical Care" introduces us to a wonderful cast that I'm hopeful to see again and again in future books. Logan is the doctor in charge of the ER at Mercy and is known for being hard on nurses, to the point of making them quit. Erin is the head nurse who runs the nurses like a pro, but can't seem to get her love life to get in line like it should. Sarah is the reliable nurse that works extra, extra shifts and is always early because she doesn't want to let Logan down - but is her personal life falling apart? Into the middle of this mix in the ER we find Claire thrust because a huge daycare tragedy has occurred and they need her help with evaluating whether the staff is handling what they dealt with. The only problem is that Claire, who used to be an ER nurse, had trauma of her own and now avoids the ER like the plague. Can these four broken, hurting healers heal themselves? This venture into the ER is sure a riveting way to find out. I am looking forward to our next venture to Mercy Hospital!
Doctor Logan Calvert is the hard-nosed ER director at Sierra Mercy Hospital. The good doctors utmost motivation is the wellbeing of his patients. Good, you say. Well, in his drive for perfection, he goes through ER nurses like a hot knife through soft butter. If they arent the crme of the crop, theyre history. No questions asked, no answers offered. Oh, and he has a hidden trauma in his past that defines his drive.Nurse Claire Avery is attached to the education department of the hospital. Her counseling task: to heal the healers who day in and day out, psychologically deal with the trauma they encounter in different ways. Oh, and she has a hidden trauma in her past that defines her drive.ER Nurse Sarah Burke is an overachiever. Excessively efficient, she is driven by her self-imposed commitment never to let Dr. Caldwell down. Oh, andyes, you guessed itshe has a hidden trauma in her past that defines her drive.ER Nurse Erin Qinn is the nurse-in-charge of the ER nurses. She is competent, caring, and caught in the middle between the iron-fisted Dr. Caldwell and her own nursing staff. Hidden trauma? Ill let you decide.All of these drives at times complement, at times collide. Conflict, the grit of reality in the ER and, of course, unexpected romance combine to make this a fast-paced novel that challenges your mind, your heart, and your faith all at the same time. Ms. Calverta former ER nurse herselfdelivers a tightly-written tale that sends you to the peak of contentment on one page, then into the valley of frustration on the next; kind of like, well, life in an emergency room.If you like ER and Greys Anatomy, but yearn for a clear Christian motivation in the mix, "Critical Care" is your book.* No, I didnt forget the outside-looking-out. The milieu of the story is the in and there would be no setting for the story if there were no in. Nice try. :-)
I'm hooked on Grey's Anatomy, and now I'm hooked on anything that Candace Calvert writes. This is her first novel, so I'm hoping that there will be many more to come. Her experience as an ER nurse shines through the pages that I could not turn quickly enough. If medical programs interest you, this book would be worth your time.The plot is an intricate one with twists and turns that keep the reader guessing. Characters are believable. Although this is a romance, it's not typical. Claire and Logan keep the reader wondering whether or not romance might develop. I won't tell as I don't want to ruin it for you. It's not the typical Christian fiction either. One character is a God follower, but others are not. Added into the plot is a bit of a whodunit when money disappears. It's simply a good read.