Friday, March 20, 2015

By Your Side by Candace Calvert

I enjoyed this suspenseful medical novel. The novel's emphasis is more on character development than suspense, but it was still a compelling read.

ER nurse Macy Wynn and Detective Fletcher Holt meet under less than idea circumstances – under fire from a freeway shooter. As their lives continue to intersect, a romance begins. They are both strong characters who are at odds more than once as the novel progresses.

The strength of this novel is character development. Macy is a survivor of the foster care system. Her mother had died when Macy was young. Her father wanted nothing to do with her, later buying her off with a sizable trust fund. Macy's love is aimed toward Leah, a girl who was in foster care with her, someone she thinks of as a younger sister. But when Leah wants to make her own life, Macy must face her own spiritual and emotional lack.

Fletcher is a strong character. He's come from Houston to be with his mother. She is undergoing cancer treatment and Fletcher's father must be away for his work. He is a committed Christian but he does have the idea that he can save everyone on his own. He has to face that near the end of the novel.

And then there is Elliott. I could tell he was a scumbag from the beginning. Calvert did such a good job of making him a unlikeable character, I wondered why Macy trusted him at all.

I always like to learn something when I read a novel and I happily did so in this one. I appreciated reading about a hospital chaplain. I had no idea the pressure they endure as they help loved ones while they cope with tragedy. I also learned about viatical investments, buying out life insurance policies of terminally ill patients. The patient receives a lump sum, a percentage of the policy payout, and the investor takes over the policy payments and becomes the beneficiary. The implication is that the investor hopes the patient dies soon so he gets a better return.

If you are looking for breath taking suspense, this is not your novel. If you are looking for a good deal of suspense with terrific character development, this is the book for you. And the romance is good too. I did enjoy the book and recommend it.

Candace Calvert is a former ER nurse and author of the Mercy Hospital series and the Grace Medical series. Wife. Mother, and grandmother, she makes her home in northern California. Find out more at

Tyndale House Publishers, 384 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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