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text 2017-04-24 22:27
The Best Medicine by Tracy Brogan 99 cents
The Best Medicine (A Bell Harbor Novel) - Tracy Brogan


Everyone in Bell Harbor thinks career-minded plastic surgeon Evelyn Rhoades needs a husband. Everyone, that is, except for Evelyn…sort of. Even if she did want a husband (which she doesn’t…most of the time), she’d never let something as intangible as fate determine who she marries. No, if she’s going to find someone to spend her life with, she’ll do it scientifically: with a carefully crafted list of criteria and an Internet dating site.


But when intoxicated, law-breaking Tyler Connelly crashes into her life by way of a stolen Jet Ski, unruly emotions defy common sense. Sure, he’s sexy, charming, and determined to win Evelyn’s affection, but all evidence points to him being the worst possible choice. He’s too young for her. Too irresponsible. Too underemployed. And, oh yeah, he’s her patient.


But Tyler knows firsthand how the best-laid plans can crumble under the weight of destiny. Now all he needs to do is to teach Evelyn that, in matters of the heart, love often supersedes logic.


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review 2017-04-19 04:32
ARC review book available April 24
Necessary Medicine - M.K. York Necessary Medicine - M.K. York

With intelligence and humor, debut male/male author M.K. York delivers an emotionally charged slow-burn romance set in a prestigious Bay Area teaching hospital 

In the high-intensity world of hospital residency programs, there's no room for romance. So it's a good thing for first-year surgical resident Neil Carmona that his crush on the gorgeous cardiologist Eli Newcombe is sheer fantasy. Not only is the sexy doctor Neil's superior, he's also recently divorced. 

As Neil's skill as a surgeon grows, so does his friendship with Eli, and his silent, hopeless longing for more. It isn't until Neil's final year that Eli at last admits his own deepest desires. But Neil's joy is short-lived: Eli has no intention of pursuing a relationship. Their positions in the hospital would make it unethical, even if he was emotionally ready for someone new. 

Wounded and furious, Neil is determined to forget about Eli once and for all. But when a near-tragedy strikes, a new question arises: Is a life without love—without Neil—a greater risk than laying his heart on the line? 



Dear M.K. York,

I am always happy when the characters in romance book (any book really) have a profession and the profession described more or less realistically or at least believably. I think that I would give your book top marks for describing the work of medical residents. I don’t know much about their work except that they work crazy shifts, but this book is just written with such air of authority that I would be very surprised if the setting was not done without very realistic basis behind it.

It is not only those doctors working long shifts, catching couple of hours of sleep in between surgeries, no it is also all the other details – the conferences they have to go to, day to day details of their work, medical jargon here and there, but not so much of the jargon that my eyes started to glaze over.

I would be very surprised if the author does not have some kind of real life connection to medical field.

We get to see Neil Carmona starting from his last year as medical student to the end of his residency. We see how very hard it is to survive a residency with your sanity and health intact, how much toll it takes on everybody around them, not just on the young doctors (and older doctors who work in this teaching hospital as attending physicians), but also we get to observe some really decent people trying to do their best for their patients.

Neil is one of those decent people who is willing to sacrifice a lot in order to become a surgeon, but he also have had a crush on one of the attending physicians – cardiologist Eli Newcombe for years ever since Eli gave a lecture at their medical school

The romance in this book is *really* slow burn. Over the years we read about Neil and Eli bond more and more as friends, but not starting any kind of the relationship. Neil is openly gay, but Eli had been divorced from his ex-wife and if he is gay or bisexual he is not sharing that information.

As Neil and Eli go to the medical conferences, as they get to work on more patients together (Eli is not a surgeon, but his consultation as cardiologist is often needed on the cases Neil is called to operate upon), Neil’s crush only grows because he gets to know real Eli who also seemed like a nice guy to me. But once again, if Eli feels the same, he is certainly not revealing that information.

Until he does reveal that information as blurb tells you – and, I have to admit I was a little confused. Because even though I thought that Eli’s reasons not to pursue the relationship with Neil were understandable – he may not have been his direct superior, but he is still one of the attending physicians and could have made trouble for Neil if he chose to – Eli smelling Neil’s shirt and almost crying was just not believable to me.   And not just because he was crying – of course guys could and should cry (not that anybody needs my permission to do that) if the situation warrants that, but I guess I interpreted Eli’s character as somebody who would have been more open with Neil by now after they had been such good friends for years . He did not say anything to Neil first – Neil caught him smelling his shirt and crying by accident.

But be it as it may, of course Neil was upset, but I was glad that he tried to be an adult and gave his best shot trying to maintain friendship with Eli after that awkward conversation and Eli did the same. It is always nice when romance heroes not only manage not to forget that they have a job they love even if true love is involved, but just in general try to behave as adults.

Grade B

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text 2017-04-18 20:43
ARGH! Read 50 out of 352 pages
We Band of Angels: The Untold Story of American Nurses Trapped on Bataan by the Japanese - Elizabeth M. Norman

The story of these nurses is one I have been eagerly wanting to read. The women profiled (20 of the 99 original POW nurses) are starting to blend into one another - all farm fresh-faced, glossy hair, cute, perky, boy/man-crazy. These women have such an important story to share and the author is focusing on the most trivial crap in these women's lives - all while under enemy fire/invasion! I just feel like their story should have better writing than what is here...I am going to finish this book because the story needs to be told, but the book itself is going to probably get a low rating due to the awful writing.


On top of author's choices in what to write about and how she wrote the story, it is very academic - dry, textbook, with no sense of creative non-fiction storytelling. And the graphic descriptions of injuries/surgeries/piles of amputated limbs and jungle animals crawling on nurses/patients in the night are starting to get repetitive and certainly not needed in the amount that is present.

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review 2017-04-14 17:39
Eh on Fourth Installment
Bitter Medicine - Sara Paretsky

Sorry, this book started off really well and then floundered in the middle and fell flat at the end.

in this fourth installment in the V.I. Warshawski series, we have V.I. settled in her new co-op and not doing any life or death cases. She gets involved with Lotty's friend's family woes. Teen Counselo is expecting her first child. She has some medical issues (diabetes and other things which is affecting her health due to her pregnancy) and a husband who is pretty worthless and doesn't want to work. When Counselo dies in the hospital after her newborn child also dies, Warshawski at first doesn't think a thing is amiss until a doctor working alongside Lotty turns up beaten and murdered too.


I have to think to myself that this book when it was written (1987) was definitely pushing the envelope. Paretsky, through V.I. talks about abortion and the pro-life movement which I did shake my head at, doesn't seem much changed. Everyone seems pro-life until the baby is born and then it's well you just need to strap on your boots and deal with things. Vic is pretty upfront about being a "radical" and a feminist. But I think that this book also shows how out of touch Vic is with the world and also how her actions (though she thinks that they are benign) affect other people.

Case in point, Vic thinks that since she got a high profile drug dealer less time in prison, he would be willing to talk to her and possibly dime out Counselo's husband about possibly being behind the doctor's death that worked with Lotty. The incident doesn't go off the way that Vic thinks, but the man brings up that he could read contempt on Vic's face the whole time. The whole thing shakes her and it's brought up throughout the book. Honestly, I have to wonder how Vic even kept investigated after a while. She is getting pushed by Lotty, and the dead man's girlfriend to get to the bottom of things.


The case takes a turn and once again we have one of Vic's love interests cautioning her to be careful and not being really appreciative of her job. Also, can I say right now, I am a little over Vic dating people that are tied into her case. Maybe wait to make sure that they are on the up and up. Gah.

We have references to Bobby (thank goodness he is not in here) and we have some new characters, a Black Chicago detective whose name is eluding me right now, and a downstairs neighbor of Vic's that is retired and nosy. 


I honestly thought the whole case was a bit confusing and we get data dumped as I like to say via a character we have never met before who I detested (his name is Max and he is dating Lotty). We literally have a gross whose on first thing happening with Max, Murray, and Vic, as those three get increasingly drunk (or at least it read that way) as they explained things to Lotty who was upset about how glib they were all being.


Image result for glib tom cruise gif


To make matters worse, they set things up to catch the "bad" guys (for no reason I could tell) and then there's a couple of scenes involving a dog that was just devastating and terrible. At least the dog thing gets redeemed by the end of the book though. Up until then I was thinking I was going to just be done with this series. 

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text 2017-04-11 01:22
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Bitter Medicine - Sara Paretsky

Ugh this book killed off any like of VI I had. At one point she and another character practically do a whose on first skit when referring to a man that's killed. The whole book felt a bit far fetched but you read about the mess with healthcare in our country right now so I actually find it realistic when you read about the nitty gritty case. And can I say that VI has had lovers in every book now and I'm just rolling my eyes. They all have issues with her being so "strong" and "independent" and it's making me roll my eyes. We get it you know karate and can break guys jaws with a fist. 

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