February 16, 2014

Life Support: A review

I recently had the good fortune of winning an ARC copy of Life Support by author Candace Calvert which is currently on pre-order at all major book retailers. Although it appears that Amazon.com is shipping the paper copies even as I type this review. This is good news!

If you rush over there before finishing this post, I will not take it personally. It will just mean you are probably already familiar with Candace's work. However, if you can wait just a few more moments here is more information on Life Support including an overview of the book, the author's bio, and my review.

And yes, in short, I loved it!

The book:  
Nurse Lauren Barclay put her life on hold to keep a watchful eye on her troubled sister. It’s why she’s back in Houston. But that means confronting the brooding physician assistant who caused painful turmoil in her family--and left Lauren with memories her heart can’t forget.

PA and single parent Elijah Landry is no stranger to stormy relationships, including one with his father, who is threatening him with a restraining order. It won’t stop Eli from protecting his disabled brother--or from making peace with Lauren. He wants that and so much more.

But as Lauren and Eli draw closer, a powerful hurricane roars toward Houston. Survival instincts take priority and everything changes. Can hope weather the storm? (via Tyndale Publishers)

The review:
I love a good “medical drama” which I owe, by the way, for the most part to author Candace Calvert. She and I became acquainted via "tweets" a few years ago while she was writing her very first series. I was intrigued so I read the first book and was immediately hooked. You’ll want to check all of her books out. I’ll add some links to help you find them at the end of this review. They can be read separately or as part of a series. Each conveys its own unique message of hope while tackling some very tough issues.  

Life Support was no exception in that it tackled tough subjects such as: single parenting, spousal abuse, addictions, mental illness, and caregiver’s concerns. I’m certain that this is not an all conclusive summation but those were some of the issues that stood out to me as I read.

What I really loved about this book is the way Candace manages to deal with this potpourri of dilemmas from more than one point of view. Both those suffering from these issues and their family members and friends were portrayed in the story line. And it is all very believable. I quickly connected with the characters and found myself emotionally invested. Why, because I could relate. And if you've lived upon this earth for any length of time, you’ll be able to find yourself within the pages of this book at some point, too.

Take a handful of characters that are a part of the medical profession in one way or another. Scoop in several scenarios which include the pains and pressures of life. Add some mystery and intrigue. Knead in a little romance, neither too bland nor too spicy. Mix in a looming hurricane not unlike Katrina. Throw in a pinch of faith, a smidgen of grace, and a large measure of hope and what do you have? A perfectly plated medical “hope opera” like Life Support.

Candace Calvert delivers spiritual food in every book that she writes. What I most enjoy is the fact that her writing gifts, along with her extensive experience as a former ER nurse, allow her to do so in a way that is not “preachy”. I feel quite certain that much of this is a reflection of the authors own faith experience.  But, whatever the case, the way she weaves faith, hope, and love within the lines of her tales make her books ideal for all audiences.

I must confess, I’m a little sad to see the Grace Medical Series come to an end. I felt the same way about the Mercy Hospital Series. Thankfully the author is working on edits for a new series Crisis Team which will be released in 2015. It was a delight to read  Life Support prior to it's scheduled release as I was aching to find out how things were going with Lauren Barclay and her family.

My kudos to the author for the great job she did of wrapping up this series. She masterfully tied up prior loose ends and also brought these characters to the place where I can “let them go” knowing that God’s wonderful plan will continue to work in their lives. This, of course, gives me hope as well. It is also why I highly recommend Life Support along with all of Candace's books.

The author: 
Candace Calvert is a former ER nurse who believes love, laughter and faith are the best medicines. She likens her exciting Mercy Hospital and Grace Medical series to "Grey's Anatomy finds its soul." A native Californian, she is the mother of two and the proud grandmother of seven.  When she's not writing she enjoys  cruise travel, cooking, gardening, bird-watching, hiking, country dancing, and being her husband's biggest karaoke fan.

To read an excerpt from Life Support click here.

To pre-order a copy of Life Support click here. (Amazon.com appears to be shipping the paperback now but hurry as they only have a few copies left)

For an overview of all of Candace Calvert's books click here.

To visit the author's website click here.

You can also connect with Candace on Facebook and Twitter.

(I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale with no obligation to write a positive review)

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