Review of EMERGENCY IN MATERNITY by Fiona McArthur (see her website)
Harlequin Medical Romance #94, June 2003
Nurse Cate Forrest knows her town needs its hospital--and she knows that CEO Noah Masters wants nothing more than to cut services, forcing more patients to the big cities of Australia, away from their supporting families and farms. What she doesn't know is why Noah no longer practices medicine. She also doesn't know why she cares so much. When rain and floods strand Cate and Noah in the hospital with too few doctors, Noah is forced to pick up the slack.
Author Fiona McArthur delivers an interesting character in Noah Masters. Haunted by the death of his wife--a death he knows could have been averted if his hospital had only been adequately equipped and staffed, he has sworn off women and devoted his life to improving medicine for the greatest number. Cate's pathetic town may need its medical services, but supplying those services means denying them to greater numbers of Australians around that huge continent.
Cate Forrest was also fully drawn but I found her less sympathetic. She assumed the worst about Noah, nagged him constantly, and refused to listen to any arguments that opposed her own beliefs. Because, as in the best romances, the external conflict between Noah and Cate is not between right and wrong, it is between too rights. Cate's refusal to see this got frustrating.
McArthur delivers charged sexual tension between these two characters as they are forced to confront their fears. Noah, in particular, looked what he had become in the eyes and decided he didn't like it. Cate's growth was less marked but still important as she dealt with her ex-fiance and her brother's return to the farm for which she has long taken responsibility.
Buy this book at eHarlequin.com!