This book is still being offered for FREE on Amazon Kindle, so if you haven't downloaded it yet, skip this review and go immediately to Amazon to do so! Then come back and read why you should give yourself a pat on the back. :)
From the author's wesite:
After her brother dies in a trauma room, nurse Claire Avery can no longer face the ER. She's determined to make a fresh start--new hospital, new career in nursing education--move forward, no turning back. But her plans fall apart when she's called to offer stress counseling for medical staff after a heart-breaking day care center explosion. Worse, she's forced back to the ER, where she clashes with Logan Caldwell, a doctor who believes touchy-feely counseling is a waste of time. He demands his staff be as tough as he is. Yet he finds himself drawn to this nurse educator ... who just might teach him the true meaning of healing.
Within the first chapter, you've got high tension in an ER that is reminiscent of, well, ER. And with the onset of the day-care explosion, Claire has to re-enter the world of emergency room life as a Critical Incident Stress debriefer.
Since I recently was a mental health professional on-call during a fire that broke out in one of the facilities I oversee mental health services in, I had to do one step up from what Claire was doing, as Claire was a "peer counselor," not a licensed clinician. It's still tough, people. Having the people participating in the trauma tell you what they were doing, what their role was, how they are feeling...it can be hard.
Kudos to Calvert, who obviously did her research, and knew appropriate protocol and terminology. That's always nice to read as a therapist, but then again, Calvert knows her stuff. She was a former ER nurse herself, so all those scenes are very realistic, many of which pull at your heart strings.
Claire essentially has PTSD from her brother's death. Calvert does a fine job showing how Claire reacts to even stepping foot inside another ER again. What I also liked was the gradual way Calvert reintroduced Claire to ER work (very much against her will). This is what would actually happen in therapy...sort of asking the client to develop a hierarchy of worst-case scenarios and then taking them through them.
I loved that Logan had a "thing" about counseling. I've run across a couple Logans in my time, and they can be pains in the you-kn0w-what. But Logan is just hot enough that I didn't mind him coping a little attitude about it. He's got his own emotional baggage to work through, as does Claire, and the end is more than satisfying.
In short, I'm trying to track Calvert down on the web to try to win her second book in the Mercy Hospital series, Disaster Status, which just released in April 2010. I've got to see how Erin's story goes!