Title: Heart Like Mine
Author: Maggie McGinnis
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Release Date: April 2016
Length: 368 pages
Series?: Echo Lake #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Delaney Blair loves her job at Echo Lake’s Mercy Hospital, where she’s developed a reputation for being smart, fair, and driven. When she’s assigned to cut funding, she has to temporarily relocate her office, put on borrowed scrubs, and go toe-to-toe with Dr. Joshua Mackenzie, the interim head of the pediatrics department. His killer smile and rock-star body are distractions Delaney could do without, but she’s determined to stay focused while she brings his budget into line. It’s not working.
Beloved by his colleagues and patients alike, Josh is too busy caring for sick kids to talk numbers with the sexy, stiletto-clad Delaney. Every time they talk business, tensions run high…but so does a powerful attraction neither of them can ignore. When an emergency brings Mercy to its knees, Delaney and Josh must work together to save lives. But can they also find a way into each other’s hearts?
Delaney Blair is a financial analyst in the hospital her cardio-thoracic surgeon father works for, providing a lot of speculation about how she got her job. But the truth is that Mercy has a special – and painful – place in her heart. It is the hospital that provided most of the care for her sickly brother when they were kids. It’s the reason she can’t step foot on the pediatric floor without going into panic, and the reason she has written numerous grants over the years to gain them more funding.
But now she’s got to figure out how to deal with it because the CFO has tasked her with cutting the the pediatrics budget within thirty days. She must face interim head of the pediatrics department, Dr. Josh Mackenzie, head-on on the matter, and quickly discovers that pediatrics is working on an already underfunded budget.
Delaney Blair – a thirty-something financial analyst at Mercy Hospital
Josh Mackenzie – the interim head of the pediatrics department, he also co-owns and manages a nonprofit (Avery’s House) to help the families of the children with extended stays at the hospital
Megan – Delainey’s assistant and closest friend
Kevin – Delainey’s counterpart and competition for CFO, he uses his fraternity-row, country club style of communicating to hide his incompetence
Millie – the pediatric head nurse, she is the real boss of the floor
Josie and Ethan – Josh’s childhood friends, married to one another, they live at and co-own Avery’s House with Josh
Molly – Josh’s childhood friend, she works at Bellini’s
“You would’t be crashing. Half of Echo Lake will be there. It’s going to be loud and crazy and Italian, in all the best ways. You’ll be family by the time you finish your first drink.”
She smiled. “Is that how Bellinis parties work?”
“All the ones I’ve seen.”
The Highs and Lows
- Plot. The plot is contemporary and realistic. Given the rural area they live in, the hospital is not generating enough income to sustain its services, so Delainey and Kevin have been tasked with systematically cutting each departments’ budget one by one.
- The Friends. Both Josh and Delainey have some incredible friends. The loyal kind everyone wants in their circle to rally behind them, support them. Josie, Molly, Ethan, and Millie are very protective of Josh after what he went through, and Megan fiercely goes to bat when unfair judgements are made about Delainey. These side characters add depth and hints of complexity to the plot.
- Delainey’s Consideration. In order to do her job justice and not entirely cripple the pediatric budget, Dr. Mackenzie demands Delainey relocate her office and change her dressuits and heels for scrubs and tennies, and work with the harried and ever busy nurses on his floor. Despite Delainey’s painful history with this floor, she agrees and does her very best to integrate onto the floor and understand the gross difference in her perspective from sitting on the sixth floor executive suite. At first, Josh and Delainey are more like adversaries, with Josh trying to keep every last penny of his existing budget, and Delainey tasked with cutting it…significantly.
- Kevin. Just as Delainey describes, the frat-boy who puts his country club foot forward gets the worm. He is as incompetent as he is late, and cannot even do his job without depending on Megan to do it for him. When he sees an opportunity, he steals it.
- Avery’s House. Josh, Josie, and Ethan bought and renovated an old hotel and turned it into Avery’s House, a home-away-from-home for the patients of the pediatric floor. It was inspired by the loss of a childhood friend, and the three are giving back to the community in such a heartwarming way.
- The Plan. Josh and Delainey devise a plan to help the pediatric budget, working hand-in-hand with some of the press that Avery House is receiving for all its contributions. The plan to plaster the community with positive media coverage of the pediatrics department seems like the best route to monopolize on investors for the pediatrics program.
- The Catch. Like most workplaces, the hospital has a strict no fraternization policy, but working in such close proximity and long hours, Delainey and Josh progress from instant attraction to the simmering of feelings. When Millie provides a secluded weekend getaway for Josh, it is just what others capitalize on to destroy Delainey’s work.
- The Divide. While Delainey is a working woman, she grew up in the home of the high-faluting. She saw how the prestige of her father’s position drove her parents’ marriage into the ground, and she was forced to attend all of the hospital fundraisers. Except this year is different…
Delaney tried not to feel pathetic about being the only single-over-thirty person at the table, but it was a little sobering. Five years ago, she’d thought Echo Lake might be the perfect place to find her forever-someone. She hadn’t realized just how few someones were available, however.
The entire story was heartwarming and about kindness, doing good for the pediatric floor. Delainey always kept that in mind, and she did her very best in a hard situation.
Recommendation – Buy, Borrow or Skip?
Buy or borrow, either way, it’s a sweet story with a lot of heart.
Maggie McGinnis is a USA Today bestselling author and Golden Heart Finalist who lives in New England, vastly outnumbered by both children and cats. She writes sweet romances set in Montana and Vermont, and feels extremely fortunate that through her books, she gets to fall in love every single day. She’s a sucker for romantic comedies, popcorn, and the perfect green pen, and if she wasn’t an author, she’d totally be rocking a Nashville club in her pink cowgirl boots. It’s probably good that she embraced the author thing, because her singing skills are better suited to the shower, and really? Pink cowgirl boots?
Her debut novel, a cozy mystery, was a Golden Heart® finalist, and her debut romance, Accidental Cowgirl, is a USA Today® bestseller! The second and third books in her Whisper Creek series, A Cowboy’s Christmas Promise and Once Upon a Cowboyare also now available. Unlucky in Love and Meant to Be are available for pre-order now, and the 6th book in the series will arrive later in 2017!