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"HEART RATE'S CLIMBED TO 148," Lauren Barclay warned, her words blending with a monitor alarm in dark harmony. The clatter of resuscitation equipment being hustled into place by fellow ER nurses snuffed out the rest of her report. A strangled gasp from the head of the gurney validated Lauren's concerns: this man was failing in the painful struggle to fill his lungs. Her stomach knotted. They couldn't lose him. Not the brother of one of their team.
"O2 saturation is tanking, Doctor." She grabbed the hissing suction catheter and wedged closer, determined to get the physician's attention. Her eyes watered at a sudden whiff of iodine and alcohol. "His skin's really gray."
"I see that, Lauren—I'm not blind." The physician pulled the fiber-optic scope from his patient's mouth, growling with frustration. "Suction! Clear his airway."
"Got it." Lauren moved in quickly, a respiratory therapist behind her with the Ambu bag. She slid the catheter between the unconscious man's lips, struck again by the familiarity of his features: dark hair and lashes, that hint of olive in his complexion despite his pallor. She'd have known he was Eli Landry's older brother even without seeing the medical record. Andrew Landry, thirty-six years old, had suffered a traumatic brain injury twenty-some years ago—a boating accident and near drowning that left him comatose on a ventilator for many months afterward. And severely disabled since. He was a man who should have been remarkably handsome, vital—embracing a hopeful, successful life—but was instead gaunt, withered, almost helpless. And dying?
Lauren glanced at his half-closed lids, the stray curl clinging to his clammy forehead. She'd never actually seen Andrew before today, but his tragic history was well known in Houston because his father—
"Hyperventilate him," the doctor ordered as a respiratory therapist slid a mask over the man's face. "And restrain those arms if you need to. Arm—he only has the use of the left one." He pulled off dark-framed glasses and wiped them with the hem of his scrub top, watching as the therapist began to squeeze the bag to assist respirations. "He's going to quit breathing. If I can't get this tube in, I'll have no choice but to trach him."
The physician ran a gloved finger over a thickened, pearly scar on his patient's throat, uttering something that sounded like "Why me?" He met Lauren's gaze at last. "Look, I'm sorry for snapping at you." Despite the air-conditioning, the young man's thinning hairline and forehead glistened with perspiration. Nervous sweat. It spread across the neckline and chest of his green scrub top, as if the stifling June humidity had slammed through the doors of Houston Grace Hospital along with the rushing ambulance gurney. "It's just that—"
"He's Eli's brother," Lauren finished in a raw whisper, the physician assistant's name never failing to cause her discomfort.
"And Judge Julien Landry's oldest son." The doctor lowered his voice. "Eli and his father have been at odds about Andrew for months. Everyone knows that. I need to be in the middle of that battle like I need a hurricane to flatten my house."
"I hear you." Lauren's gaze darted toward the hallway that led to the ambulance bay. The Caribbean was brewing a trio of tropical storms. She'd almost prefer that over what might happen here today. Things were tough enough without added conflict. She'd moved back to Houston—accepted a position in this ER—to keep a protective eye on her younger sister, Jessica. The twenty-one-year-old was making reckless choices, and if she didn't straighten up, her job at Houston Grace was at risk. As was her acceptance into nursing school in the fall ... and even her life? No. Lauren refused to believe Jess's problems were that serious. Unfortunately, there was one thing she couldn't deny: Eli Landry was part of the whole mess.
"Okay, then." The doctor signaled to the respiratory therapist that he was going to attempt another intubation. He glanced at the clock, then turned to Lauren. "What time is Eli due in the urgent care?"
"Not till four, unless he's heard—"
There were voices outside the code room doors. A woman, their emergency department manager. The other voice was much deeper.
"Is that ...?" The physician's gaze moved to the doorway, and the room went strangely quiet except for the whoosh-burp of the plastic mask bucking against its seal over Andrew Landry's face.
"Oh no." The words slipped out before Lauren could stop them. "He's here."
* * *
Eli Landry shoved the code room doors open, telling himself the same thing he always did: he was prepared for whatever he'd find. After years of trying, he still hadn't convinced himself.
The ER doctor, Mike Duhain, walked toward him. Sweating—always a bad sign.
"Mike." Eli looked at the heart monitor: tachycardic but regular. Only then did he allow his gaze to move to his brother's face, partially obscured by a translucent green resuscitation mask. Alive. He released the breath he'd been holding. "What's going on with Drew?"
"The care home told the medics he was breathing hard last night, sleepy today. Had a shaking episode. He arrived here with severe respiratory compromise and hypoxemia." Mike glanced toward the monitors as an alarm sounded. "Oxygen saturation's 89 percent even with the high-flow bag assist."
"Fever?" Eli noticed for the first time that Lauren Barclay was in the room. Pink scrubs, honey-colored hair rebelling against the summer humidity. Only concern for his brother could have provided enough distraction to make him miss such a staggering sight.
"His temp was 104.2," she reported, moving to the computer a few feet from where they stood. She managed to avoid Eli's eyes—a skill she'd perfected since her return to Houston. Right now, he was grateful. The last thing Eli wanted—besides for his brother's heartbeat to suddenly flatline—was to see disapproval in Lauren's eyes. Had she heard what was going on with his family?
"We sent blood to the lab and they're drawing for arterial gases now," Mike continued. " X-ray is coming for a portable chest; I hear coarse crackles throughout. I've made a couple of attempts to tube him. I was about to try again with a smaller—"
"You won't get a tube in," Eli interrupted. "His trachea's a mess. There's scarring and stenosis. Every med student and rookie paramedic in the county has used my brother for practice."
He knew he'd spit out the last word and reminded himself that Mike Duhain was a skilled doctor and a more-than-decent guy. He was also providing physician support for Eli's shift in the adjacent urgent care department. It would be an unwelcome role reversal for a PA to direct a board-certified emergency department physician. And unethical because this was a family member, but ...
"Drew had that first trach after the accident," Eli explained further, "and then an emergency crike during a drug reaction three years ago—multiple traumatic attempts to get that tube in. More scarring. And he's had fractured ribs, sternum, and a contused spleen when some cowboy first responder couldn't tell he didn't need cardiac compressions." Eli's gut roiled. "My brother has been through way too much."
Mike swiped at his forehead. "I hear you. But he's in serious trouble right now." His eyes met Eli's, the meaning crystal clear: What do you expect from me?
Eli glanced at Drew with a sigh. "This is almost always pneumonia. Complicated by his asthma. He's had some close calls the past two years. Ended up on a ventilator with ARDS last Christmas. There were heart-rhythm problems related to that." Saying it out loud ripped a scab off things he wanted to forget: machines, tubes, shrilling alarms, sleepless nights. And his mother's tearful midnight request for the Landrys' pastor.
"I've put in a call to his pulmonologist," Mike assured. "But right now ..."
"If it's early enough," Eli suggested, risking a wish that it really was, "you might turn this around with BiPAP. It worked last time. Took a while, but it worked. Drew's record will show the effective antibiotics." He glanced toward his brother again as monitor alarms briefly sounded.
"Good. We'll try that." Mike gave an order to a second respiratory therapist, then turned back to Eli and lowered his voice. "The care home sent a copy of Andrew's advance medical directive. It looks recent. And it says he's a full code. No restrictions."
Eli's pulse quickened; it was time to do this. Past time. "That's wrong. We're revising it. It should say 'no artificial life support.'" No more painful interventions.
"You mean ... do not resuscitate?"
"No ventilator, no cardiac compressions. No defibrillation," Eli confirmed, remembering his long conversation with his mother last week. He'd left the paperwork with her. "Comfort care. That's what we want. If it comes to that."
The silence in the room was broken only by the squeeze-whoosh of the Ambu bag helping Drew to breathe. Lauren's fingers hovered over the computer keyboard.
"This is something new?" Mike asked, observably wary.
New? Eli had a sick urge to laugh ... or scream. Slam his fist into the wall and shout loud enough for God himself to hear. Did that huge dented scar on his brother's head look new? Did it seem anywhere near possible that he'd tossed a football around even once in the last twenty years? Could they begin to imagine how many times he'd been poked, prodded, choked, and tied down? Eli's heart cramped at the truth: he could hardly remember a moment in his life when their family tragedy wasn't reflected in his mother's sad eyes.
"Yes," he confirmed, aware of Lauren's gaze. "It's a new medical directive. I'll make sure the paperwork gets—"
"Hold on." Mike's wariness morphed into an expression of visceral discomfort. He took a few steps away, indicating that Eli should follow, and dropped his voice to a whisper. "I had a phone call from the chief of staff."
Ah ... no surprise. Eli heard the gargle from aggressive suctioning of his brother's scarred airway. "Let me guess—after he was contacted by Judge Landry?"
"It was made clear that your father is still responsible for all decisions in Andrew's care. He alone. Not your mother. Or anyone else." The physician's grimace could sell antacids. "Your father apparently mentioned a restraining order. Against you."
"Threat. Not fact." Eli's jaw tensed. They might as well string the Landrys' dirty laundry through the halls of Houston Grace. Post photos to Facebook. "Look, Mike, no one wants Drew to pull out of this more than I do. No one. Anybody who says otherwise is way off base. But I can't stand by and watch my brother suffer, only to end up on the kind of 'life support' that means no life at all. If Drew can't beat it this time, or the next time or the next, I want to promise him some peace. I need to do that much."
"I get that. I do. And I respect you, Eli. You know that. I feel for your situation. But my hands are tied." Mike shook his head. "I think it's best that you step away now. I'll do everything I can to get your brother stabilized and up to the ICU."
Eli glanced toward Drew; his brother's face was now covered by a BiPAP mask. "Give me a minute?"
Eli walked to the head of the gurney and rested his hand on Drew's shoulder, gave it a squeeze. "I'm here, Champ." A deep ache replaced his anger. He closed his eyes for a moment, remembering his brother's laugh. Hoping against the odds that he'd hear it again.
As he turned away, Lauren Barclay's eyes met his for an unexpected instant. Her expression was a cloudy mix of concern and ... judgment? He didn't need that now.
Eli sought Mike's gaze. "If you try to tube him again, call me. Let me at least talk him through it. It helps if he hears my voice." His heart gave a dull thud. "We're a team that way. The first time we did it, I was eleven years old."
Eli walked from the room, aware of the whispers and covert glances. He didn't care. This was about his brother. He couldn't let Drew suffer. Wouldn't. And if it came down to a battle with their father ... Well, that storm had been brewing for a long time.
Excerpted from LIFE SUPPORT by Candace Calvert, Sarah Mason. Copyright © 2014 Candace Calvert. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Posted September 1, 2014
LIFE SUPPORT is another excellent read by this author. It is realistic, informative with believable characters and plotline. In addition to a biblical basis and agreat love story, Candace Calvert shows she has astrong knowledge of mental illness. As one who has mental illness and as a family member of others who suffer from it, I can tell you she is right on the mark about it. It is refreshing to see this treatment on this sensitive subjectWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 8, 2014
Life Support is a pretty good read. I loved how the author used the story to bring awareness to abuse and mental illnesses. I thought the characters were believable. The scene with Lauren and Shrek the dog was quite comical.
Posted August 5, 2014
Life Support is the third book in the Grace Medical series by Candace Calvert. Trauma Plan is the first book while Rescue Plan is the second. All three books are completely independent of each other as a Christian medical series. Each book is a romance which touches on some serious yet interesting topics that are relevant for today's readers.
Lauren Barclay is a nurse in ER at Houston Grace Hospital. This is her home town where her parents and sister lives. Although she has worked at Austin Grace Hospital for a short time, she is back and taking up where she left off--helping her folks look after her younger sister, Jess. Jess was always a little bit unstable emotionally. For the most part, she would be normal, but once in awhile she became restless, impulsive, irresponsible; one time she even ran away. Her family, including Lauren, tip-toed around her, afraid of upsetting her fragile state of mind. Lauren figured that's what family was for. Helping her sister took a lot of her time and attention, but eventually Elijah Landry began to claim some of her time as well. This did not sit well with Jess because at one time she and Eli had a history.
Elijah Landry is a Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C) in charge of the Urgent Care unit in the Houston Grace Hospital. When he and his brother Andrew were young, they enjoyed water sports with their dad. But one day Drew suffered a head injury that left him with brain damage and physical problems. Eventually he ended up in care facilities with serious health complications. Eli and his father, Judge Julien Landry, disagreed how Drew should be cared for, especially in emergencies such as the one at the opening of this book.
Eli had been friends with Jess once. But after she disappeared and returned a year ago, he had tried to help the family in a professional capacity. Jess and her parents did not appreciate his suggestions that Jess get psychological assistance. Neither did Lauren, but she did not hold it against Eli. She enjoyed his company and the company of his young daughter Emma. The question is whether all these family complications will keep Lauren and Eli from getting closer.
First off, I love how Candace Calvert writes her medical dramas. I have read several of them and in each one she creates characters that are likable, interesting, and growing. The action is usually fast-paced and gripping. She chooses topics which offer something for the reader to think about, above and beyond the medical scenes. The family dynamics she writes about are spot on, true to life and credible. Life Support is Calvert's newest book with plots and subplots that draw us close to her characters. One additional thing I enjoy about this author is that sometimes the supporting characters in one book become the main character in another one. This is true for Lauren who was a nurse in one of the other books in this series.
This book's subplot, intricately intertwined with the main plot, touches on an intriguing topic in this book: bipolar and its effects on family life. This is a subject close to my heart because I have been living with my own diagnosis of bipolar, and grew up with a mother who was never diagnosed with it, but in my opinion had the condition. The pattern of enabling and denial was a familiar scenario to me, and I recognized it when the author demonstrated it effectively throughout this story. Her descriptions, the problems that cropped up, the crisis which climaxed and the solution presented were all realistic and completely believable. The one thing I drew from this subplot is that anyone living with a mental health problem needs a team of supporters. People like me living with this condition should not have to deal with it alone. The sufferer needs support from family, friends and professionals. I saw this all fleshed out in this book. I am very impressed with the author's acumen and sensitivity when writing on this topic.
In spite of the serious nature of the subplot's thread, the writer includes a metaphor that brings out comic relief when it's needed most. Just look for the dogs, especially the shih tzu and her situation with the Barclay family. There is definitely a good dose of irony with the dog drama that runs parallel to the family drama. I can't help but appreciate that level of humor used in this book. I hope you enjoy it too.
I am reading and reviewing this book for the Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. summer reading program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Posted August 2, 2014
Clean, Upbeat Fiction. Some of the characters couldn’t seem to make up their minds, so the action moved slowly. In that sense, it reminded me of a soap opera without the bed hopping. However, the character building was very good, and the reasons for their issues made for intense background. Everyone had a history, some of it alarming; working through these things plus dealing with medical emergencies was absorbing. This story was involving and believable. I enjoyed the ending.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 1, 2014
I am not normally a Christian romance reader. But I read this book as part of Tyndale's summer reading program. I was impressed with how well written it was. It still reads like a romance novel in that the story line is very predictable and all things work out in the end for everyone. However, it wasn't too bad for a light summer read. It tries to deal with some issues that are tough including mental illness and alcoholism.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 23, 2014
This is the third in the Grace Medical series by Candace Calvert. It is not necessary to read the other 2 preceding books. This story focuses on Lauren and Eli. However, there were topics such as family, friendship, relationships, honesty, trust, work ethic, domestic violence, Bipolar disorder, and the ethics of life support. There was just enough mystery to keep me guessing. Just enough realistic relationship baggage to keep the romances questionable. While it was an easy and quick read, Calvert did a good job handling so many topics. Lauren and Eli both struggled with each other's decisions about family. Fletcher had unconditional love for Jess, but that didn't mean Jess was excepting it. Gayle and Leo had so many issues separately and together that I had no idea what was happening with them. Emma was a bundle of joy, regardless of how she came to be. So many real life things cannot be wrapped up nice and neat. I felt Calvert balanced things well. At times I felt it came together too easily so I didn't give it 5 out of 5 stars.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 16, 2014
Nurse Lauren is back in Houston to look after her younger sister Jess. Being a nurse means unwanted encounters with PA Eli who has caused some troubling situations for Lauren's family. Eli's older brother Drew and daughter Emma draws them together on different occasions but will their new-found friendship withstand the hurricane heading straight for Houston? I enjoyed this medical drama book and added several more books by Candace Calvert to my reading list.
Posted June 29, 2014
Another book in the author's Grace Medical series (these can be stand alone books, but as they include some of the same characters I believe you'll have a richer experience if you read in order).
Lauren Barclay is a nurse at Grace Medical in Houston, where she has recently returned to be closer to her family. Her younger sister Jessica has been having a tough time and Lauren is unsure of the true cause. Eli Landry is a PA at Grace who has some family struggles of his own, as he is in a long and difficult power struggle with his Father about his older brother, Drew, who suffered a traumatic brain injury years ago. Although Lauren and Eli have had their differences in the past, as they work together they begin to have a better understanding of their shared past and are able to explore the possibility of a new and different future.
This story shows how they navigate some very difficult situations - including illness, misunderstanding, an impending hurricane! - and still find some hope.
Posted June 26, 2014
As I’ve come to expect, Candace Calvert has brought readers another wonderful novel. Life Support is a perfect blend of romance, medicine, family drama, and natural disaster! I felt like there was something new coming at me constantly, and while some readers may have been overwhelmed by so much going on, I really enjoyed it.
To me, the family aspects were the strongest part of this story. Lauren and her relationship with her sister and Elijah and his relationship with his brother were prominent throughout. It was nice to see this as a focus rather than a side story. Lauren and Elijah were both in very difficult situations and it was interesting to see how they both coped.
Fans of medical dramas, romance, and family stories will enjoy Life Support. Be sure to check it out! [5 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale House through NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Posted June 25, 2014
This is an interesting story about nurse Lauren Barclay, who's doing all she can to keep her sister from going off the deep end. She moves back to Houston to ensure that her sister never runs away again, watching that she gets to school, work, and that nothing upsets her too much, especially PA Elijah Landry. Lauren and her parents blame him for causing her sister to run away and she can't understand why she feels drawn to him in spite of that. Elijah was just trying to help her sister and he desperately wants Lauren to understand that, and to see that her sister needs real help. He wants Lauren to be able to have a life, with him. He's also trying to juggle a disabled brother, a father who files a restraining order to keep him away, and parenting his daughter alone. Add in an impending hurricane and who knows what the future holds?
I haven't read very many books that take place in the medical field and I found it interesting to see what dealing with that kind of pressure would be like. I liked the multiple viewpoints in this story as we get to see what other characters besides the two main ones are thinking. About halfway through the book it felt like things started being rehashed and that the plot didn't move forward very much. I found it extremely frustrating that Lauren and her parents couldn't see that Jessica needed more help than they could give. I understand the denial that goes along with a serious medical diagnosis, but did they think they could control her forever? There are moments of romance and it seems that Lauren and Elijah had a moment prior to this book, that I felt I might have missed out on since I haven't read the first two books in the series. Jessica's disorder and Elijah's brother's situation with having brain damage made me think about how hard some people have it and what I would do if I had to deal with something like that. I liked the message about the importance of faith, but that we also need to have action If you like a mix of medical drama and romance, you might want to check out this book, but I would recommend starting at the beginning of the series.
I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
Posted June 21, 2014
“Get a kit. Make a plan. Be informed.” Lauren Barclay is a nurse at a large hospital in Houston. Her mom loves all things weather and preaches those words. They become more meaningful as a hurricane approaches Houston – but it is not the only storm. There is also Storm Jess, Lauren’s younger sister who stuggles with bipolar depression and highs, and Storm Gayle who is battling her own medical issues, and Storm Hannah, the aggressive shih-tzu dog. Lauren’s love Eli, a PA at the hospital also has his own issues with a sick brother and a dysfunctional father.
I thought this book was okay – there was a lot of drama all coming together in almost a perfect storm type manner. But there was a lot of medicalese if that is what you like.
Posted June 11, 2014
This is a fascinating book involving nurses as a hurricane threatens their ability to care for their patients, especially those on life support. The drama is intensified as some drugs are missing and the nurses themselves have family problems that they have to resolve. One male Physician Assistant even has a paralyzed brother he is trying to protect, parents who don’t understand as well as a young daughter whose mother has left them.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 12, 2014
Life Support by Candace Calvert is book three in the Grace Medical series, however, I have not read the others in the series and had no trouble at all understanding the story. In fact, I loved this book! It is, as far as I can recall, the first medical drama that I have read. I am so very happy to have discovered a new-to-me author and look forward to reading more of her books!
Life Support has everything I want in a book. The characters are so very vivid. The author has done a wonderful job of creating main and side characters that I care about. They are complex and the issues they must work through are pretty intense. There was a character that frustrated me, because of some issues she has, but I realized that I was frustrated with her because she was so real to me!
There is a great romance in this book, conflict, drama, tense medical situations, big decisions to be made regarding the care of family members, all with the threat of a possible hurricane heading toward the area! Life Support kept me interested from start to finish and it was very hard to set down! I highly recommend it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
Posted March 25, 2014
Excellent medical drama!
Life Support is book 3 in the Grace Medical series, I’ve loved all of Ms. Calvert’s books and had very high expectations for this book. I am very happy to say that it surpassed them!
The characters were wonderful! I quickly came to love and sympathize with each of them. Lauren had such faith, but she had to learn that there’s a difference between leaving it in God’s hands and ignoring a problem. Eli had such little faith and believes God doesn’t care anymore. He had to learn what real faith is and that even when God seems silent, it doesn’t mean that He doesn’t care. Sometimes we’re just not listening to hear His answer. Eli’s daughter Emma may have been my favorite character! She was so sweet and completely adorable, and had such a strong faith. She was a good balance for her father’s unbelief.
Ms. Calvert is a wonderful storyteller! I love how she brought everything to life; it seemed as though you were actually there peering over someone’s shoulder. The medical scenes were technical without leaving us laymen confused. It was quite easy to follow and it wasn’t gory like some medical dramas are known to be. The descriptions were great and I could practically see Grace Medical, Lauren’s home, Mimaw’s and all of the other locations the characters find themselves.
This book deals with two hard topics: drug addiction and mental health problems. I appreciate that Ms. Calvert didn’t try to gloss it over or wipe it away with platitudes. She made it real without glorifying it. That is a thin line to try to write and I believe she did an excellent job!
I enjoyed getting to see the story from several different points of view. It gave the story more depth and I just liked knowing what the others characters are thinking about each development. I was surprised to read it from Drew’s position, but looking back over it, I believe the story would have lost a lot, if she hadn’t included him.
My only disappointment was how the book ended. While some of the threads were tied up nice and neat, we are left with a few to imagine on our own. I know this was intentional, but I would have liked to know what was going to happen with a couple of the characters. I really hope they are included in another book so we know where they went from there.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys medical drama with a good dose of God interwoven throughout the story.
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the author for my honest opinion, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have received no compensation for it. All opinions expressed are my own.
Posted March 21, 2014
As Candace Calvert takes us into the third story in her Grace Medical Series, she inflicts us with characters that are both flawed, fractured, and whole; who are loved and hated; and who are in need of healing and yet who are the healers. Drawing from her personal experiences and expertise as an emergency room nurse, Calvert skillfully draws an entry to the story with its opening drama in the ER as PA Eli looks in the face and on the trauma of his brother being treated.
As the story progresses, the conflict between families over life and death decisions and treatments that are humane and kind brings the reader to face issues within themselves that address the matters involved in having a living will. What is best? Who is it best for? When do you do what? What is quality of life?
But back to the story unfolding in Life Support…. Nurse Lauren Barclay has family issues, too. Her younger sister, Jessica, is unstable mentally and emotionally and Lauren has been the responsible family member standing by Jessica. Yet Jessica is working desperately to get her life together and get control of it in order to be independent and successful at living.
As usual, Candace Calvert has written a story that is believable, exciting, and complete with emotional and physical tension. There is sweet romance and medical expertise. The subjects dealt with in this work of fiction are somewhat heavy but are brought to realistic conclusion. Grace is woven through the pages without being too heavy on religion. This is a work of Christian fiction and the author brings the heart of the story right to our own hearts.
DISCLAIMER: I was provided a complimentary copy by the author in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own and I received no compensation for this review.
Posted March 19, 2014
After reading the first two books in the Grace Medical trilogy, finally reading this one felt like hanging out with an old friend!
These books can be read as separate novels, since each book branches out with a minor character from the book before. However, I would suggest starting at the beginning, with Trauma Plan.
In Life Support, Candace Calvert weaves several side stories and issues - mental health, handling family issues, single parenting, spousal abuse, and even hurricane safety - around the main story of Eli and Lauren. We fall in love with Eli’s daughter, Emma and his brain-damaged brother, Drew. We want Lauren’s sister, Jessica, to be open to help. We open a book full of drama, both medical and personal!
The ending seemed a bit too neatly wrapped up. However, then I considered what all they had been through....situations like those can help people realize what is important, be less selfish, and be more willing to step up.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of The Prayer Box from Tyndale House Publishers. It was not required that I give a positive review, but to solely express my own thoughts and opinions.
Posted March 11, 2014
As far as medical romantic suspense, Candace writes it, and writes it well. Being a retired ER nurse, she more than knows her stuff. It helped keep a quick pace to this book, because something is always happening.
For me, however, I think that is where the book lost a little. At times it felt there were too many story lines going on, and that detracted from Lauren and Eli's story. Could this be because Candace wrote their story so well I only wanted to see more of them? Quite possibly:) And while I liked the secondary characters, and their stories dealt with some very important topics, I didn't want to see all of their points of view. I would have preferred to deepen Eli and Lauren's time together on page and perhaps lessen one of the subplots that takes place.
That said, the book still more than held my attention. Putting everyone into the eye of a storm mimicked not only what was happening in so many of the characters' lives, but also kept the suspense angle moving. I truly loved how the theme of storms in our lives and trusting God to handle them was woven throughout the entire story.
All in all, Candace is an author I thoroughly enjoy reading and highly recommend to my friends. I will definitely be going back and reading the second book in this series--it's the only one of hers I've missed.
Posted March 10, 2014
I enjoyed this book, it was a page turner. Lots of drama, with two characters who were bi-polar, I was never sure what was going to happen next. I felt sad for Lauren, she had so much responsibility on her shoulders, trying to be on guard for her sister, and trying to keep her parents informed. Her heart was prime for love, but could it survive love from someone with as many problems as she had or more. A great story, I think this was the first book I have read from this author. A solid 4 star story.
This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.
Posted March 9, 2014
Candace Calvert in her new book, “Life Support” Book Three in the Grace Medical series published by Tyndale House Publishers brings us into the lives of Lauren Barclay and Elijah Landry.
From the Back Cover: 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?
It is time to “scrub in” to the exciting world of emergency medicine. And exciting really does not do “Life Support” justice. It starts in the emergency room as Lauren and the team desperately try to keep one of their own alive. From there Ms. Calvert just notches up the excitement factor. Add into the mix an upcoming hurricane and you are in for some page turning excitement. ”Life Support” is a thriller with all kinds of danger that is a lot like a roller coaster with dips and turns and drops that you really don’t see coming. However, it is also a romance that builds as Lauren and Eli have to learn to trust each other. Candace Calvert knows how to weave a captivating story with wonderful characters that breathe. I am sorry that this series is ending however I look forward to the next series from Ms. Calvert.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Posted March 4, 2014
So I could just feel that this was going to be my favorite in the series. Not sure why, but I just knew. And I was right. I also like how the author takes a secondary character in the previous book and makes them the main character in the next book, because Lauren was one of my favorite secondary characters and I'm glad we got her story as well.
I loved the characters. They definitely seemed real and believable. I think I liked Lauren more because I felt like I could relate to her. She spends so much time worrying about her sister and living up to her parents expectations that she's not really living life. Eli is a single father, fighting against his parents to protect his disabled brother. He is stubborn and yeah, maybe he does rub people the wrong way, but he has a good heart and only cares about taking care of his brother and daughter. And the secondary cast--Fletcher, Jessica, Gayla, Emma, Drew, the parents, everyone else--never seem secondary. They are as real and lovable as any main character.
I also love the different story lines that weave through the story. Calvert makes each story so complex, not in a way that would confuse the reader, but in a way that engages the reader's attention. Although the story is in third person, it shifts between focuses, and I love that we get to see a least some part from everyone's side (except, I realize as I type this, Jessica, which I think is significant). I especially love how she added a few scenes, albeit short, from Drew's perspective, bringing a voice to the mentally disabled.
This isn't just a medical chicklit type of book, or just a romantic fling. It is a deep, emotional book about faith and hope. Yet, it isn't all deep and serious. It is light, fun, and a very enjoyable read. I definitely loved this book (and since I've started working at a hospital since I read the last one, I understand all the things! Yay!). I would definitely recommend this book for someone looking for a fun, enjoyable read but with a more serious undertone.
And can her next series be a police one and start with Fletcher? Yes? Please? How do I make this happen? Who do I talk to about this?
(I received an ARC from the publishers in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.)