Swept Away by the Seductive Stranger
Did you ever watch the pilot of Grey’s Anatomy and wish Meredith and McDreamy had met on a train instead of in a bar? Or perhaps wished they were Australian and named Felicity and Cal instead? If you answered ‘yes’, then I have excellent news, as Swept Away by the Seductive Stranger is just the book for you. In all seriousness, if one-night-stands with future co-workers is your catnip, then ignore the awkward title of this one and scoop it up. This standalone novel is a witty, warm, and quick read, and Ms. Andrews’ signature strength of making each of her characters feel delightfully real is much in evidence.
Felicity Mitchell is a nurse in the small town she grew up in. Known as “Flick” to everyone in Vickers Hill, she’s decided to splurge on a luxury train journey home after her vacation instead of a flight. Determined to enjoy her twenty-four hour break from reality, she decides to tell no one she’s a nurse embracing the fact that she’ll never see these people again. When a handsome stranger joins her for dinner, she decides that while Flick would never have a one-night-stand with a stranger on a train, Felicity is going to.
Callum Hollingsworth is not in the best mental place. His career as a heart surgeon is over, thanks to a freak accident involving a cricket ball and his eye socket. Having retrained as a general practitioner (GP, or PCP for Americans), he’s on his way to undertake a maternity cover assignment as part of his training. He’s determined to be excellent, but through his PoV, we get the feeling that he doesn’t really believe he can be. General Practice is not what he wanted, not what he worked his life for; and his disappointment and frustration is palpable.
A gorgeous woman catches his eye while waiting on the train platform, and he’s delighted when it turns out that her cabin is right next to his. After a delightful dinner, where he claims to be a technical writer so as to avoid the usual awkward medical questions from strangers, he and the woman linger over a nightcap. They’re about to move things into the bedroom when a fellow passenger goes into cardiac arrest. Both Felicity and Callum spring into action, noting each other’s expertise and the fact that it was hidden, and work together to save the man’s life. When the man is safely conveyed to the hospital, Felicity and Callum reconnect in his cabin and spend the night together.
For Felicity, it’s a magical night, but one she knows will never be repeated. As soon as she steps off that train, she’ll never see Callum again and will only be left with the fond memories of her magical orgasms to get her through her lonely nights in Vickers Hill. Callum assumes the woman will also be nothing more than a lovely memory, so imagine their shock when they discover that his new job is actually as Felicity’s boss.
Fighting their attraction proves difficult and eventually futile, but that’s not why I really liked this book. Of course they’re going to live happily ever after and have tons of hot sex along the way (another hallmark of Ms. Andrews’ writing), but the workplace dynamics are what really interested me here. For Felicity, this town is full of her people. She feels a deep sense of calling to be their nurse, to provide them with holistic care, and to know them well. While that has led to some personal frustrations, it’s still a worldview she embraces. When Callum shows up and begins to refer to all patients by their ailments and not their names, Felicity lets him have it.
She lambasts him for acting as though people don’t matter and tells him to think like a physician, concerned for the wellbeing of his patients, versus a surgeon, concerned with his personal achievements. He’s at first affronted, but then takes a look at himself and realizes she’s correct. When seeing things through her eyes, he notices that spending a few more minutes with each patient leads to respect, dignity and better well-being for everyone. At the end of his temporary time in Vickers Hill, it is this lesson (and of course the woman who taught it to him) that makes him question his old outlook on life and become uncomfortable with the idea of living in that reality any longer.
Swept Away by the Seductive Stranger is a well-paced and breezy read, full of warm characters and hot sex. Recommended for any medical romance fans or anyone who wants to dip into the category after watching medical dramas on television.