Stubborn Heart by Ken Murphy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A doctor/nurse romance that hits just the right buttons and puts a smile on the face. This is a feel-good book with a great HEA ending.
After breaking up with his cheating boyfriend, Mark Smith keeps life simple: his nursing career and a place of his own, but no dating. He’s steering clear of romance and the heartbreak that goes with it. After losing both parents and having all his relationships fail, he figures happily ever after is a myth.
When Dr. Trevor Hayes crosses Mark’s path at the hospital, he falls hard for Mark. The attraction is clearly mutual, and Trevor is determined to parlay that attraction into a relationship. Mark is just as determined to avoid exactly that.
But Trevor chips away at Mark’s resistance, and facing hardship and sorrow together brings them closer. Still, Mark can’t shake his belief that their romance is temporary—until he’s unexpectedly faced with the danger that he might lose Trevor for good. Mark must choose between guarding his heart and giving it completely, the risk he swore never to take again.
I have always had a weakness when I read blurbs of doctor/nurse romances. I must confess that these types of plots always takes precedence over cowboys, shape-shifters, and billionaires (this last being the real last). Although this theme seems to be over fatigued as a popular plot, somehow, I still get lured into reading them. Most times I definitely regret it, especially when an author literally massacres the medical terminologies, the ethics, the hospital/clinic management, etc. Thank heavens Stubborn Heart is not a massacre in disguise.
Reading the book, it is quite obvious, at least for me, that the author, Ken Murphy, dedicated some time researching over medical procedures and terminologies that are almost never written about in romance novels simply because they can be quite complicated to the unfamiliar. I was very happy to read that he successfully integrated the difficult and made them matter-of-fact.
As for the romance developing between Mark and Trevor, again, it is the usual doctor/nurse romance. The great thing about their story is that it brings the readers a little deeper into the development of the relationship. There is a constant shift of POVs which I found different, but got used to by the third chapter as the shift made me appreciate that these two men were individuals. It also better prepared me, as a reader, to have a better grasp of what may come next.
There is also the plot and character development that unfolds gradually. There is no sudden plot development that causes a reader to wonder what in heck happened and no epiphany that comes on as an afterthought so the author can end the story.
Ken Murphy successfully brings his readers into a relationship that is slowly developing and finally ends happily. I am glad to note that the sex scenes added just the right touch without stepping into the overly erotica. In the end, I had a smile on my face which left me feeling good and wishing.
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