Last year and this year have illuminated the under-appreciated heroism of medical professionals. Thus it gives me great personal joy to suggest these six romance audios with characters or themes from the medical field. Perhaps their happy endings will provide listeners a little hope and a lot of gratitude for the workers who have gone beyond their oath of “do no harm” to actively ministering, comforting, and saving lives.
In PARADISE COVE by Jenny Holiday, narrator Meghan Kelly celebrates small town medicine with Dr. Nora Walsh. As she takes over her father’s practice, Dr. Nora connects with a local resident suffering the loss of his child. Listeners can take note of the subtle Canadian accents used as they enjoy this humorous romance set in the Toronto lakes area.
A WALK ALONG THE BEACH by Debbie Macomber is sensitively read by Sandy Rustin and Roger Wayne Jr. In Macomber’s novel, sisters Willa and Harper have experienced medical calamity twice, most recently when Willa acted as Harper’s nurse through a serious illness. In the calm after the storm, Willa and Harper find different ways of celebrating life, which causes some family friction. Rustin and Wayne delve into complicated family dynamics with tender loving care.
Whenever I think about whether I would have liked to live in another era, the word “penicillin” always makes me consider my answer with a healthy dose of terror. In FIRST COMES SCANDAL, by Julia Quinn and read by Rosalyn Landor, 19th-century hero Nicholas Rokesby has been studying medicine in Edinburgh when he obediently agrees to marry his longtime friend Georgiana to save her reputation. Once married, they return to Edinburgh, where they discover a shared passion for medicine—and each other. Landor’s portraits of the British aristocracy combined with an unconventional couple make for an engrossing listen.
Take a walk on the wild side with BANE’S CHOICE by Alyssa Day, read by Teddy Hamilton and Laurie West. Dr. Ryan St. Cloud works at Savannah General Hospital when she encounters vampire Bane visiting a patient. Bane ends up recruiting Ryan for help with the patient in a paranormal opposites-attract romance. Both narrators ramp up the violent tension between Bane’s vampire motorcycle club and their warlock opponents.
Another paranormal/medical crossover is DEAREST IVIE by J.R. Ward, read by Jim Frangione. In this novella length installment in Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series, nurse Ivie falls for vampire Sylas after they meet in a bar. Ward’s own medical background makes her details vivid, while Frangione turns up the heat on this insta-love couple. Frangione’s deep voice seems to drag across the skin in his sensuous, romantic reading.
And how could I not mention RETURN TO VIRGIN RIVER by Robyn Carr, read by Thérèse Plummer? Carr’s long-running Virgin River series is now a Netflix show, with its unforgettable main character Mel, a midwife who takes a job in the tiny mountain town of Virgin River, California, and finds community and love. Plummer is a heart-and-soul narrator, and she is such an iconic part of this audio series. While RETURN TO VIRGIN RIVER doesn’t feature medical characters as the main protagonists, listeners will find that the local clinic where Mel works features prominently in many of the stories. Start with this audio or go back to the beginning and enjoy them all—either way, you’ll be hooked.