Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pink Heart Picks Book Club - The Surgeon's Miracle

Donna’s back with our monthly Pink Heart Picks Book Club review – and the announcement of the selection for July!

This month our Pink Heart Pick selection was from the Medicals line – The Surgeon’s Miracle by Caroline Anderson. It’s been a while since I read a Medical. Getting them in North America can be a challenge – ordering online is a possibility, but if you want to pick it up off the rack, you have to pay attention and check the Presents/Presents Extra line to see if they have released any that way. Every now and then you'll find them, but it's quite unreliable. I really wish they’d change that. Because Medical Romance works. There’s a lot of interest in medicine, and it comes with built in external and internal conflicts for the characters. Then you have sexy doctors, nurses, alternative practitioners… loads of great stuff to work with.

There was simply so much to like about Caroline’s book. The hero, Andrew, and heroine, Libby, were lovely characters – both kind, both in pediatrics but also from different worlds (Andrew is heir to a lovely estate) and with their own bits of baggage. Andrew was just lovely - easy to fall in love with -  and Libby’s reasons for her actions were right on the money for her conflict (and I don’t want to give more away, because I want you to read the book if you haven’t already!).  The conflicts are really believable, so much so that you really ache for Libby and Andrew as they have to face their, well, deficiencies head on when they fall in love.

What I truly loved about this book though, and what really set it apart for me was the setting. I am such a sucker for English settings and a particular fondness for countryside and quiet, elegant estates. Andrew’s family home is magnificent, and Libby is awed by it – wonderful! And yet his parents are down to earth and welcoming (perfect!), his brother is refreshingly normal and there’s a dog. I’m already sold. Then there’s champagne and a birthday party and a ball. A gorgeous touch of glamour amidst all this down-to-earthness. Honestly, when Libby borrowed a jacket and a pair of wellies for them to go walking around the estate, I nearly swooned with delight. It had just about everything I like when I think of an idyllic English setting.

The hospital and the estate provide a fantastic backdrop to an emotionally charged story that had me wiping my eyes in a few places. Well done, Caroline, and you can bet I’ll be picking up another book of yours in the future. Thanks for such a great afternoon of reading!

Now – the heat’s on in July and I thought it might be a good time for a sizzling summer beach read. So July’s pick is BORN ON THE 4th OF JULY - a Harlequin BLAZE by Jill Shalvis, Rhonda Nelson and Karen Foley. I love anthologies and you put a guy with dog tags on the cover and I’m SO there.

We’ll meet back here on July 27th – synchronize your watches!


  1. I enjoyed this book much more than I had expected. I tend to avoid anything medically based on TV and in books, so I was afraid that the nedical background would overwhelm the story, but it didn't. The characters were both lovely and andrew's family so kind in their trouble at the end (I'm trying not to give anything away too!
    One of the things I found so refreshing was there wasn't any conflcit between the two characters at the beginning - they were both vulnerable and doubtful, but not the instant antagonism that is frankly a bit tedious! I liked the fact the story started with two people who knew each other as partof the general people around them, but little more, and developed their relationship on that basis.

  2. Thanks, Donna. Both books sound great. Plus a dog and dog tags?--- I know where your heart lies.

  3. I'm a big fan of Caroline's books (and not just because she's a friend who happens to live about an hour away from me - the warmth of her characterisation is just superb and she hasn't let me down in more than 70 titles).

    I haven't read this one yet as I save her books for treats (and I have a deadline - this is the carrot for hitting it) BUT she talked to me about it when she was writing it, so I know what it's about and I'm really looking foward to it.

    Alison, do try her 'The Doctor Next Door' and 'Making Memories' - both superb (first is in my all-time top five Harlequins, second I wept buckets over). She's really, really good. (And no, this isn't my way of making sure I get a REALLY nice pudding next time I go to hers for lunch!)

    Kate H x

  4. Kate- I didn't realize you were close friends with her! I nearly mentioned that the last med I read was one of yours...LOL.

    Alison - I liked that too, you know. The conflict really arose when they began having feelings for each other- that complicated EVERYTHING! And his family was lovely.

  5. I can't wait for Born on the Fourth of July! Karen Foley is a dear friend and a terrific author. (Not that the other three aren't - she's in some fantastic company!)

    Meanwhile, Caroline's book is on my TBR pile - thanks to all the good reviews, I'm looking forward to that one too.

  6. Hi Donna
    How cool that you've reviewed Caroline Anderson's book and that you haven't given any spoilers away! And you were just as careful, Alison! Thank you both! I've just started reading this book and am really enjoying it.

    It's lovely to hear you enjoy reading a medical romance when you can find one on the shelf, Donna!

    The cover of your pick for next month is hot! Could be just the thing to curl up with on a chilly Downunder afternoon.


  7. I agree, it's a shame how difficult it is to find Medical Romance in North America. The loyal readers are willing to go online to order them, but how are they supposed to read new readers that way?
    Caroline Anderson never lets me down! I'm glad you enjoyed her book, too.
    Janet M.

  8. I see we have a number of Anderson fans! Excellent!

  9. I too have read the book and enjoyed it very much like all the Caroline Anderson books I've read in the past. These books were mostly Harlequin Romance. I've just been ordering Medicals from eHarlequin for about a year or so now. I really was happy I had ordered this book before Donna announced her pick or I might not have had it on time. It's too bad we can't get Medicals in the bookstore or supermarket but now that I've found them on line I will be getting a few more of them.

    Back to the book. I love the excuse that Andrew used to invite Libby to the party. I also enjoyed them finally owning up to their feeelings. too bad we don't want to give things away but it was one very emotional book

    Linda/Kaelee on eHarlequin

  10. I really loved this book, but I love all of Caroline Anderson's work. She was the first medical author I ever read and I was completely drawn into the world she created - gorgeous heroes and engaging heroines. She is so talented. She wrote a series based in the Audley memorial hospital and I loved the way she kept reintroducing old characters. Sometimes I can't remember the names of the books but I always remember the people (Oliver - sigh - he was gorgeous) My all time faves are That's my baby and Anyone Can Dream. When I had my babies I wanted an obsetrician like William - unfortunately I landed myself with Mr Bean, but never mind.....
    I'm glad I don't live as close to her as you do Kate, or I'd never get any work done because as well as being incredibly talented, she's just a fab person. Makes you a bit sick actually :)

  11. on behalf of Caroline, who's having computer problems
    Well, you are all so lovely I could cry! Thank you for your incredibly kind remarks. Just recently it's been harder and harder to find a new way of saying things. Maybe I don't need to! Seems I'm saying them just right if all you lovely ladies are to be believed. And believe me, I'd love you to be able to get Meds in the US. As for the Audley, my ed is hoping I'll create another hospital, and start all over again. Dunno. Sarah, sorry you had Mr Bean and not William! Also sorry I make you sick...;-)