I’ve never read a medical romance before. This one wasn’t enough to put me off them, but of itself, it wouldn’t make me reach for another, either. The writing flowed nicely, and the hero was likeable and moreish, while the heroine grew on me – I did not like her judgemental, quick-to-judge attitude at all at the start, but once she saw the errors of her ways, she seemed quite a nice person underneath.
My first problem with the book was the premise. If I have understood it correctly, the board of directors of a London hospital for children, an NHS hospital, wants to shut down said hospital and merge with another, distant one, because then they’ll become a private hospital and make money.
In England, boards of directors don’t have the final say on shutting down NHS hospitals. Oh, they can recommend it, and it goes out to consultation, after which the Secretary of State makes the decision. No Secretary of State, with voters to worry about, is going to consider, for a single second, closing a children’s hospital to make way for a private one. I simply could not get past this glaring hole.
On top of which, there’s little to no story. This is one of my bugbears. I like boy meets girl as much as anyone, but I prefer there to be something else happening, besides their love story. An attempt was made to give them a danger, and a semblance of a plot but it came late in the book and, to be honest, it felt contrived and tacked on.
Then there were the medical bits. We were treated to detailed explanations of children’s illnesses, mostly in “As you know, Bob,” dialogue, where one character tells another something they already know, just so the author can show off the information to the reader. Unfortunately, none of the information given was essential to the story, which made it all the more superfluous.
This may not be Ms Hardy’s fault. It may happen in all medical romances, and if it does, I apologise to her for criticising her for doing it.