Gracie McBride isn’t looking for love; she’s looking for respect. But in this man’s world of Civil War medicine, Gracie is expected to maintain her place changing beds and writing letters. Her biggest nemesis is the ward surgeon, Doctor Charles Ellard, who seems determined to woo her with arrogant kisses and terrible jokes.
Charles is an excellent surgeon. He assumed he would be well received by an army at war. He was not. Friendless and alone, he struggles to hide the panic attacks that plague him while the only person who understands him is a feisty Irish nurse clearly resolved to keep him at a distance.
But Charles is sent to the battlefield, and Gracie is left with a wounded soldier, a box of toys, and a mystery which can only be solved by the one man she wishes could love her, both as a woman and a nurse.
Unfortunately this book and I, well, we didn't match well. I'd give it three very weak stars because it took me ages to read it, starting, putting it down again, starting again, switching to another book and so on. I can't even tell why I needed that long, the story is nice and I really loved the characters but somehow it didn't work for me. Many parts of the story are rather predictable despite the fact that many of the characters' actions were not realistic and irritated me.
I get that the circumstances were very special but somehow the characters seemed to be caught in a loop, forever running hot - and cold again because they remembered that things were rough and they were still mourning lost loves or ...whatever. It felt rather repetitive, like "oh, he is nice but I still love...." and the same goes for Charles, our hero in a way. Gracie is sweet and nice but still in love with her deceased husband, the only person who ever really got her and treated her as an equal, hence the broken record because he repeats it every time she feels something for someone else, like Charles, for example.
With everything turning into chaos, those two have to find out whether there is more between them than just the doctor and the nurse...