Ollie Warne is fresh out of nursing school and working his dream job as a pediatric cardiology nurse at St. Cross Children’s Hospital. Wanting to start the year fresh from personal heartache and his track record of falling for the wrong man, Ollie’s New Year’s resolution is to rid himself of emotional baggage and live a life of carefree liaisons.
But before the resolution can even begin, Ollie is called to care for eight-year-old Daisy Monroe, who’s struggling after heart surgery. Her father, Jacob Monroe, never leaves her side, apart from the times her mother comes to visit.
The tempestuous and somewhat estranged relationship of her parents is cause for concern enough, but the father’s brooding nature has Ollie investing far more time than usual in his Room One patient. Striking up a friendship of sneaking takeaways into the ward, card playing until dawn and the occasional breaking up of domestic fights, Ollie finds himself drawn to Jacob and becomes a friendly ear for the man who’s harboring more guilt and past demons than even Ollie, which is saying something.
The growing attraction makes it hard for Ollie to keep his distance, though he has to—not only do the ethics of his profession demand it, but Ollie is still somewhat involved with another man. One who has a huge stake in Ollie’s life, both personal and professional.
Ollie is risking more than just his job by getting involved with a patient’s father—much more even than the success of his New Year’s resolution, something that was supposed to ensure that, this time, he won’t feel a thing.
Ollie has got himself in a fine mess. He is in a toxic relationship with Elliott. Elliott is a controlling self centred closeted man who is making Ollie’s life miserable. This time Ollie is determined to walk away. He wants a relationship where he comes first and he knows how much he is loved. Elliott is definitely the villain in the story. Ollie then meets Jacob and common sense flys out the window. Jacob is a patient’s father and Elliott is in a position of power over Ollie both in aspects of his personal life and at work. Bring into the mix Jacob’s vitriolic ex wife who is determined to be as unreasonable and vile as possible to both Jacob and at times Ollie. This is a story that had me switching between frustrated, annoyed and sympathetic with each turn of the page. Not to mention poor Daisy who has enough to contend with without her parents fighting in her hospital room. I absolutely couldn’t see how this story could resolve itself. When it did I was surprised at Elliott and a little mystified at Jacob. He seemed to want to give his all to Ollie but pulled back. He has a lot going on with his daughter’s health and a looming custody battle. I am glad this is the start of a series. I would like to know how Ollie and Jacob’s relationship progresses and if Elliott finds the one he is meant to be with.
3.5 of stars out of 5