The Bookgeek Reviews In a Heartbeat by RJ Nolan

RJ Nolan has delivered again. And she delivered a best-selling novel because it is a “best-reading” warm-hearted romance which is difficult to put down.

In a heartbeat, police officer Sam McKenna decides to serve and protect and steps in to stop a bullet. This not only saves Riley’s life but entangles both of their lives in more ways than they would ever thought possible. In fact, it seems at first to derail both their lives only to put them on the right track.

Veteran police officer Sam McKenna has no trouble facing down criminals but breaks out in a sweat at the mere mention of commitment. She has vowed to stick with her trademark no-strings-attached affairs. Dr. Riley Connolly, has spent her whole life trying to measure up to her family’s expectations. And that means hiding her sexual orientation. Well, well – reading this part of the blurb as an experienced romance reader you already now that Cupid will have the last, resounding laugh. It is only a matter of time and story-telling.

And that is what makes all the difference! Because RJ makes the two of them work for love and towards shedding their baggage. She masterfully tells the story of two people falling in love and, although the story literally starts with a big bang, RJ also takes her own sweet time to let us experience their struggles until everything is resolved and one of the two gets down on her knees in the best way possible. Thrown into the mix are the two main characters of L.A. Metro (or dare I count the doggie into it too?), another favorite read, since Jess is the sister of Sam and thinks she has some say in the matter – being the older sister and all. Snigger, of course that does not work. Fortunately her partner Kim keeps a level head and gives the not-quite-couple a push in the right direction when Sam and Riley are too obstinate.

If you are looking for a warm-hearted romance with solid character development, great secondary characters and the sweet tug and pull of attraction against a lot of odds, look no more and enjoy.

You can download a sample or purchase In a Heartbeat by clicking here.

Alberta Reviews Two from Ylva – Connected Hearts and LA Metro

Connected Hearts – Four Lesbian Romance Stories by Joan Arling, RJ Nolan, Jae

This compilation of four short-stories takes the reader back to well-known characters. For one, there’s Annie and Drew from “Something In The Wine” by Jae. As I mentioned in my book review to that novel, my only complaint with that was that I wanted to learn more about the main characters’ troubles in the relationship after they finally got together – and I got my wish. I really liked the way the author developed Annie and made her insecurities believable. I had to laugh quite a few times but it made me care about the characters even more. This short story was my favorite one of the four.

Another story is a continuation of RJ Nolan’s novel “L.A. Metro”. I hadn’t read the novel before reading this short story, so I didn’t know the characters yet. I found it was written really well and I liked the obstacles both women created for themselves while having a very similar idea – even though I didn’t much care for the actual idea all that much. Now, after having read “L.A. Metro” as well, I can appreciate the story even more.

The other two stories are about new characters – as far as I can tell. At least I didn’t know them from any novels. Both are about women that have a chance encounter with a stranger. And both are more than a bit surprised that their bleak view on love seems to be not as depressing as they originally thought.

From all four stories I liked Jae’s “Seduction for Beginners” the best. That might be because I had just finished reading the novel and already knew the characters. But all stories are really well written and the book is a nice and entertaining read. I’d recommend reading the novels beforehand, though, since it makes reading these short stories even better.

L.A. Metro by RJ Nolan

Dr. Kimberly Donovan is a thirty-something psychiatrist – and she’s ready to start over as far away from her ex-lover as possible. After being involved in a debate about her ethics, her lover, the ER Chief of Memorial Hospital where Kim had worked, leaves her and even denies their relationship. Kim ends up at L.A. Metropolitan Hospital, more than ready to move on, professionally as well as personally.

On her first day at work she learns that her new job entails being the ER psych consult – a job no one in her department seems to want. The chief of the ER is Dr. Jess McKenna. She is known throughout the hospital as controlled, cold, and unreachable. Not the best start for Kim on the new job it seems but when she meets Jess, she’s attracted to her right from the start. Wary because of her instant attraction and quite sure that she’s not interested in yet another affair with an ER Chief, she focuses on finding her place in her new department and getting on good working grounds with Dr. McKenna.

Jess feels equally attracted to the new doctor in the psych department, however, she’s been burned with an inter-office relationship as well and has been the focus of gossip ever since.

Both women decide to keep their professional distance and focus on work instead. Along the way they become close friends who admire each other for being really good medical professionals – and both can’t help slowly falling in love with the other.

L.A. Metro is a really entertaining read that I’d like to recommend to anyone who’s interested in reading about grown-up women with pasts and a professional life that’s important to them. I really cared about both characters and liked their way of interaction. These women know what they want and have been burned for it in the past. Despite that, they are still willing to take risks – both professionally and in their private lives.

My only complaint is, that I’d have loved to learn more about the plots of the secondary characters and the hospital in general, e.g. in the beginning, when Kim starts out on the job there’s a lot of conflict between the different departments and later on we get to know a young resident that struggles with managing her family and her career. She talks to both protagonists – Jess as her boss and Kim because she’s a willing listener. Unfortunately, we don’t get to know her better and just assume that she managed somehow. And then there’s Jess’ sister … But that complaint is not something that couldn’t be corrected in a sequel.

Other than this minor thing I really enjoyed the book and will certainly read it again.

L.A. Metro by RJ Nolan

**The 2nd edition of this book has recently been published by Ylva Publishing so I wanted to bring the review back. My original review was posted on December 27, 2011.

I’ve asked the publisher and the content of the book hasn’t changed so this review is still relevant. Well, it’s still my opinion of the book after I read it awhile ago. The cover art has changed. I like the new cover!**

This is the first book I’ve read by the author but I will certainly be picking up another. Just wanted to get that out of the way…

L.A. Metro was selected as the Book of the Month over at the Mostly Lesfic Goodreads group. I’m not sure I would have picked it up otherwise. I’m not a huge fan of the medical dramas. No real reason, I just never choose them if I’ve got something more humorous or action/adventurey available. Yes, I know that “adventurey” isn’t really a word but this is my review so I can do as I like.

Back to the story. Dr. Kim Donovan is a psychiatrist who is new to L.A. Metropolitan Hospital. She’s looking for a fresh start after some drama at her last hospital – and with her family and her closeted ex-lover, Anna, who was the Chief of ER at Memorial where they both worked. Dr. Jess McKenna is the Chief of ER at L.A. Metro and has her own load of baggage from her ex and other emotionally devastating encounters. Jess and Kim are immediately attracted to one another but, because of their insecurities and emotional issues, hide it from each other and focus on being friends. No, it’s not a new plot but Nolan does, in my opinion, a great job of bringing the characters to life.

I was drawn into the story immediately and it held my attention from beginning to end. I felt the internal struggles of both main characters and wanted to see them work through their issues to be together. There’s plenty of interaction with secondary characters and it’s enough to give us a clear idea of the true personalities of the protagonists without having to rely on inner monologues. The dialogue felt natural and let us feel the connection between Kim and Jess. The others that we meet in the hospital keep the story moving along but we don’t have to get too far into their lives or issues, which was nice. Kim had a little fan club of admirers that I had hoped would have disbanded a little sooner than they did but, honestly, it wasn’t that big of a deal and it didn’t make me want to put the book down or anything like that.

There were a few things an editor should have caught – a few misused words – but nothing major. All in all, I enjoyed the book quite a bit and will absolutely pick up the sequel when it comes out. I understand that this was originally posted on the web as an uber and has three parts. I also understand that it’s no longer online. Sorry…

Click here to buy L.A. Metro