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Medical drama happens to be my top pick of most enjoyable reading material. Authors who come to mind as the best in the genre include: Radclyffe, Robin Cook, Michael Crichton, Tess Gerritsen, and Michael Palmer. Radclyffe, in her latest release, Trauma Alert, combines medicine, rescue, and romance in a most engaging and satisfying saga of two women who will capture your heart.
Unabashedly, I admit I get excited when engrossed in a well-told story that holds my interest hostage. I challenge anyone not to fall head-over-heels in love with firefighter Beau Cross and find equally commendable virtues in trauma surgeon Dr. Ali Torveau (from Radclyffe’s notable, award-wining Justice series).
In over thirty-five novels, Radclyffe consistently weaves convincing tales with characters that literally leap off the page and into the hearts and minds of readers. Believability, this author’s specialty, is testament to a job done well. At the risk of sounding hopelessly enamored with fictitious women, I found myself worrying over Beau and Ali’s safety, thus making it imperative to read quickly to find out what would happen next.
Radclyffe has a distinct flair for creating super-powered women, human frailty included, who demonstrate expertise in their chosen fields and kick some serious butt in the process. Ali meets Beau when she fills in as the instructor of a TER-OPS program to certify emergency personnel for special disaster rescues, should an emergency occur. Ali has worked with plenty of “strong, commanding women…resilient to handle the work and disprove the lingering belief…that women couldn’t cut it in the fire department.” How is it that one Beau Cross shows up in her classroom and succeeds in throwing the resolutely aloof doctor so far off course?
Finding out as the story unfolds exemplifies the reason why many readers come back for more each time Radclyffe releases another novel. Maybe we’re all superhero enthusiasts, because we simply can’t get enough.
Ali works hard to resist Beau’s endearing qualities, but it’s something that may take more strength than even Ali possesses. Beau is a more complicated woman than she outwardly appears. Ali may think she has her pegged, but we’re all in for a pleasant surprise when Beau consistently goes against type to cement our admiration. Despite Beau’s tough demeanor, it’s fun getting into her core. Besides, as evidenced by her answers to Ali’s pointed questions at the first TER-OPS class, she demonstrates a totally sexy intellect. While Ali views Beau as “a heartbreak waiting to happen,” and Beau only feels “alive when she’s moving as fast as she can—from one crisis to the next, one woman to the next,” theirs is a relationship doomed from the start. Why Beau feels if she stops she’ll lose it all, is the question and one of many reasons I could not put this book down.
I love when Ali comments about Beau to her colleague Dr. Wynter Thompson, a memorable character from Turn Back Time, another favorite from Radclyffe’s collection. Ali states, “It takes a little more than a walking orgasm with gorgeous eyes to interest me.” It seems both Ali and Beau have personal issues to work through if they’re going to commit to one another, thus making this a totally consuming romance with all the elements the genre requires.
Beau Cross is just too much and Ali has serious trouble forgetting her for even a second. “[Ali] just had to remember the cocky, irritating part and she’d be fine.” As I read, I sincerely doubted that was going to help Ali. I still have visions of how the “Elegant hollows shadowed the insides of [Beau’s] hipbones,” among other highly desirable attributes you’ll have to read for yourself, when Ali examines her the first time in one memorable scene.
At first, Ali hears warning bells so loud her ears hurt. Later, as she becomes increasingly enthralled by Beau’s charms, the danger signals in her head morph into klaxons! Ali’s fear, irrational or otherwise, is necessary for romance plot development and Beau’s worry that Ali is more dangerous than a five-alarm fire can be totally frustrating, too, as the sexual tension between them ignites out of control.
Thankfully, all the torture until they finally hook up is well worth the wait. The sex is hot, sweet, and electrifying.
I appreciated the usage of the word paean here: “[Beau] wanted to hear those sounds of pleasure, the startled cries of surprise, the ultimate paean of release.” Getting them in bed was a triumph indeed! Beau is just so adorable, I could eat her up!
Radclyffe writes against type to create interesting characters, showing the fearless Beau vulnerable in a totally captivating way with Ali an equal partner. If you’re a romance junkie who can’t get enough of medical drama with exciting rescues, life hanging in the balance, and strong, intelligent, capable characters with deep-seated inner turmoil to work through, if you also have a particular soft spot for women who are tough on the outside but have delicious creamy centers, and you just love when they finally work things out, then you will love Trauma Alert.
A First Responders Novel
Bold Strokes Books
Softcover, $16.95, 298p