Author: Cara McKenna
Review by: Onnica
Basic Story: Erin Coffey is starting a new job as an LPN in a mental hospital. Usually she’d be excited about a new job but she is extremely under-qualified, having only nursed her grandmother during her studies. She only went for the job to be closer to her kid sister and nephew and for some financial security. To say she’s overwhelmed by this frightening new job would be an understatement. On her ward, there are various characters all with different diagnoses. Some are dangerous and she spends her training learning the art of restraining patients under the tutelage of a certain Kelly Robak. Kelly is tall, forbidding with a buzz cut and muscles on his muscles. He has bruises and cuts which tell a story about his time working on the ward. His stern demeanour is misleading, as he has a gentle way with the patients, making the staff feel safe without making the patients uncomfortable.
Erin begins to feel safer just knowing that Kelly is around, but he’s definitely not her type. Her sister’s been burned by men that look just like Kelly. She’s content just watch him from the corner of her eye. That is until one night when Kelly arrives at her door, with something else on his mind. Unable to deny that there is definitely something between them, Erin allows herself to have a little fun with him. He’s confessed that he’s hard work and likes things his way, so a relationship is out of the question, right? But surely a little colleague-with-benefits couldn’t hurt?
Why you should read this: This is my first Cara McKenna book (she also writes under the name Meg Maguire) and I’m wondering why on earth I didn’t read this story sooner. The story is HOT. Erin and Kelly together are super steamy. It’s smart and it has humour – which is just as well, considering its setting. The characters have depth and I really admired the heroine Erin. She’s independent, with feminist principles, likeable and just as confused as everybody else. She’s confused by her feelings for Kelly; how she’s happy to be dominated in certain situations and not in others. Kelly also has hidden depths, although dominant by nature, he slowly transforms into something else entirely as he gradually lets his guard down. I really enjoyed how they got to know each other and didn’t let their past experiences dominate their future.
What you might hate: The story is quite gritty. It’s not a fairytale; there is the ugliness of tough upbringings. It’s set in a mental hospital. The characters aren’t rich and famous. For me, this book was a breath of fresh air – a great story set in a realistic setting.
Rating: I’m giving this 5/5 – I loved everything about it and was tempted to start it again when I finished. I am now a HUGE fan of Cara McKenna and cannot wait to read the rest of her books. Read it!