Enjoyable Australian Rural Romance
Kate Kennedy has the perfect life: great job as an ICU nurse, trendy inner-city flat and the perfect boyfriend—until the day she finds he isn’t. She leaves Sydney and gets a job in the rural town of Birrangulla, where she meets Joel O’Connor, the handsome coffee shop owner with the cute Irish accent. But she finds it hard to be accepted in her new job at the hospital, and she finds life lonely without any friends.
A large part of Intensive Care is, as the name suggests, set in the Intensive Care Units where Kate works, and there is a fair bit of medical jargon. This never overwhelms the story (and never hit my “too much information” button with the depth of description. I wouldn’t call myself squeemish, but there are good reasons why I never entered the medical professions).
I found the beginning a bit slow--Kate doesn’t arrive in Birrangulla until around a quarter of the way through, and that’s when the pace starts to pick up. It’s not specifically Christian fiction, but is definitely written from a Christian world view, with an overriding theme of forgiveness, even though it’s obvious that neither Kate nor Joel are Christians.
However, this gives Nicki Edwards the freedom to touch on issues that aren’t often addressed in Christian fiction: alcoholism and abortion. She manages to address each of these issues from a Christian perspective while focusing on the feelings and actions of the protagonists, not by getting ‘preachy’ (as often happens in fiction aimed exclusively at the Christian market).
I will admit to moments of frustration while reading Intensive Care. Why won’t Kate talk to Marcus? Is Kate ever going to admit to herself that Joel is more than just a friend? Is Joel ever going to make a move on her? But this is a romance, and it wouldn’t be a romance without plenty of conflict and tension. Never fear: everything ends as it should, and the ending was definitely worth waiting for.
Intensive Care is the first novel from Nicki Edwards. I thoroughly enjoyed Intensive Care, and recommend it for those who enjoy contemporary romance with a touch of humour.
Thanks to Nicki Edwards and Momentum Books for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Nicki Edwards at her website.
This book counts towards my 2015 Reading Challenge as a book by an author I've never read before.