ER nurse Macy Wynn learned essential, gritty lessons in the California foster care system: land on your feet and trust no one. She’s finally located the fellow foster child she loves like a sister, but the girl’s in deep trouble. Macy’s determined to help, no matter what it takes. Her motto is to “make it happen” in any situation life throws at her—even when she butts heads with an idealistic cop.
Deputy Fletcher Holt believes in a higher plan, the fair outcome—and his ability to handle that by himself if necessary. Now he’s been yanked from Houston, his mother is battling cancer, and he’s attracted to a strong-willed nurse who could be the target of a brutal sniper.
When everything goes wrong, where do they put their trust?
Former ER nurse, wife, Mom and grandmother, Candace Calvert believes that love, laughter, and faith are the best medicines of all. Her Mercy Hospital, Grace Medical, and Crisis Team series for Tyndale House offers readers charismatic characters, pulse-pounding medical drama, romance, humor, suspense--and a prescription for hope. Think, “Grey’s Anatomy finds its soul.”
4.5 stars I'm delighted to find an author who writes a clean, non-sensual story with a clear Christian message. Calvert manages to portray attraction without smarminess, which I deeply appreciate and value. Macy's had a hard past, and adding a sniper incident to her commute really isn't welcome, either. But she meets the new deputy from Houston during the incident, and sparks are soon flying between the two of them. I'm already eager to read more in this series!
I haven't read many medical thrillers, but I certainly enjoyed this one! While the romance was on the heavier side than I usually like to read, I enjoyed the story, character arcs, suspense, and medical-galore. Both Macy and Fletcher were realistic, down-to-earth characters with convincing backstories. I also enjoyed the background characters, such as Seth (what a sweetie! Favorite character hands-down . . . ), Charly, Andi, and Taylor (although I'm still not sure why she got a POV). The villain was definitely creepy, and I was on the edge of my seat waiting for the climax. As I said, the romance was a bit too much for me, but that epilogue nearly made up for that . . . nearly. One thing in particular that I really appreciated and boosted my rating, was the strong Christian themes portrayed throughout. Calvert doesn't shy away from sharing the truth. I found my own faith bolstered.
All in all, I enjoyed this and am looking forward to reading more by this author! (Cause Taylor and Seth are in the next one! Woot woot!)
CONTENT NOTE: There were some details that would make me hesitate to recommend this to anyone under 16-17.
By Your Side is one of those books that makes you giddy inside from joy and yet keeps you on edge enough to madly flick through the pages.
Macy Wynn is an ER nurse, survivor of foster care, hiker, bike rider and kick boxer, and is determined to take care of herself. Deputy Fletcher Holt is equally determined to help heal his mother, fix the relationship (currently non-existent) with his long-time love and friend, Jessica, and generally save the world. When Fletcher and Macy meet on an overpass, stuck behind an overturned truck and resulting traffic pileup, both are determined to do what they can to help and end up butting heads. When a sniper starts taking shots at the stranded motorists, Fletcher jumps to protect Macy, and Macy can't help but be grateful to have someone at her side. As the sniper continues a rampage across the city, Macy and Fletcher find themselves brought together, and begin to explore the possibility of reaching out and trusting.
Candace Calvert can be relied on to write wonderful medical suspense that is realistic and dramatic, but clear enough that someone like me, with zero medical knowledge, can easily keep up. The romance is delightful, delicious, toe-curling - there aren't enough good adjectives to describe the wonderful relationship that slowly blooms between Macy and Fletcher. By Your Side has a perfect title, gorgeous cover, great ending and excellent balance of suspense, faith and romance. I loved the scenes between Fletcher and Macy and their shared humour, which provides the perfect relief between the plentiful high-action events.
There is, as always with Candace Calvert's books, a complex mash of characters, which are handled in a way that they feel like an extended family. There is also the usual details for secondary characters which usually translate into subsequent books. I'm hoping ER nurse Taylor will have a staring role in the next book.
As for the suspense, there is plenty of action. Almost from the beginning you know the who of the situation, you just don't know why. I really liked that it wasn't more complicated than it needed to be - the focus of this book really is learning to trust in God and those around you.
Overall this is a great read, perfect for lovers of Candace's previous books or for the reader looking for an engaging romantic suspense. Highly recommended.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I'm so glad I discovered Candace Calvert's books. I had the rare pleasure of discovering her books after she'd written one series and was nearly finished with another, so I had the joy of reading one book right after the other. Now I have yet another favorite author!
I love medical suspense novels and Candace combines both those elements with a spiritual theme, which I love very much.
This book features Macy Wynn, who has not had the best of childhoods. She puts everything she has into making a go of our life, never expecting anything from anyone else, proud to 'do it herself'. However, sometimes we all need others to walk alongside and help out. Especially God.
Fletcher Holt is a law enforcement officer currently in California to be near his cancer stricken mother, who lives there. He has every intention of returning to his home in Houston. He is also not looking for love.
A sniper on the loose threatens both Fletcher and Macy's plans for their futures. As does Macy's foster sister.
This book was wonderful. I loved every minute of it. I love reading Candace's books. When I pick up the next one, it's like coming home and settling down into a favorite chair. It just feels good and right.
The medical aspect is spot on, the romance is swoon worthy and the suspense is gut wrenching. I won a contest and got this book early and now I have to wait over a YEAR for another one!
*I received a free copy of the book fromt he author in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.
By Your Side was such a great read! Macy and Fletcher both captured my heart from the first pages. These are two characters who each have past issues to deal with and have come to rely on their own ability to handle things, instead of relying on trusting in God. Their individual spiritual growth was handled beautifully with these two and their relationship was all that I could have wanted.
There were plenty of intense situations to keep the excitement and tension high in the story, along with a very wonderful cast of side characters. I was very impressed with the character development of the many people in this book. They felt like real people, dealing with all kinds of hectic and emotional stressors.
I appreciated that everything did not just easily fall into place. There were doubts and struggles that Macy, Fletcher, and others faced throughout the story. Wonderful theological questions were raised in this book, as well. I also thought the ending was perfect. I am really looking forward to the next book in the series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
I like romantic suspense, and I’m a huge fan of the television show ER. I own every episode. I have heard of Candace Calvert, but I haven’t gotten around to reading any of her books yet. When Tyndale offered it for review, I jumped on the chase. It would make me sit down and read one of her books without buying it and sicking it next to other books on my To Be Read pile. I truly enjoyed the book.
Calvert shows the inner workings of an Emergency Room, and I enjoy writers who use their day-to-day work to show their readers something new. It was realistic without boring the readers with all the head knowledge a nurse has to have. It flowed naturally.
You can’t help falling in love with Deputy Fletcher Holt. He is a good guy who wants to help his mother with cancer. They both drop everything in Houston and move to California to seek help. Fletcher even goes so far as to find out if he is a bone marrow match to his mother. What girl would not like a man that does everything in his power to make his mother comfortable? Also, loved how Fletcher went out of his way to find what makes Nurse Marcy Wynn tick. He was charming, sweet, and memorable. I enjoyed the hero of Fletcher Holt. On the other hand, ER nurse Marcy Wynn is a strong, kickboxing woman who wants the best for her sister, Leah, and wants a place to call home.
As for the suspense, it was interesting to see how a sniper kept targeting a certain area of town. It made me think a number of different times who the killer actually was. When I thought I knew who it could possibly be, Calvert threw another wretch in the mess and proved me wrong.
I will definitely be keeping a lookout for the other six books that Candace Calvert has written. These are good books for fans of Jordyn Redwood and Bethany Macmanus. Overall, Candace Calvert’s latest release, By Your Side, grips my imagination with the realistic workings of the emergency room and the suspense of the sniper. The hero of Fletcher Holt is swoon-worthy and totally likeable. Marcy Wynn is a strong, confident woman looking for her home.
I received a complimentary copy of By Your Side by Candace Calvert through Tyndale Publishing and all the opinions stated above are all my own.
BY YOUR SIDE by Candace Calvert gives you a steady dose of romance and suspense, while keeping God at the forefront.
Macy Wynn has survived due to her sheer determination and her unwillingness to depend on anyone but herself. The product of uncommitted parents and a foster care system that let her down, Macy learned long ago that she could trust no one but herself. Now, an ER nurse, Macy intends on making a home for her and her foster sister without any outside distractions. That is until she meets Deputy Fletcher Holt. At first, she sees Fletcher as an interloper, and someone to keep at arm’s length. But the more she gets to know him, the more she opens herself up to the possibility of a relationship.
Deputy Fletcher Holt has always believed everything happens for a reason. But after having to relocate from his beloved Houston, watch his mother battle cancer for the second time, and realize his love for a woman will never be reciprocated, he’s second-guessing God’s plan for his life. If that isn’t enough, he can’t seem to get Macy Wynn out of his head, even though she’s made it abundantly clear she’s not interested.
As both of their paths cross with that of a brutal sniper, they find themselves leaning on each other for strength and comfort. When it’s apparent the sniper has chosen Macy as his next target, both Macy and Fletcher must evaluate where to put their trust and faith.
I love the action and realism Ms. Calvert brings to her books thanks to her own background as an ER nurse. She does a good job balancing technical terminology and dialogue so that the reader doesn’t get lost or confused among the medical jargon. Her characters are always warm and caring, even if they are at times standoffish. Macy has reasons for her need to be in control, and Fletcher’s positive outlook is a byproduct of his Christian faith. When they take the time to better understand each other, they realize they aren’t so different from one another. Ms. Calvart always makes sure to surround her key players with characters the reader would like to get to know better. It makes for the perfect segway into her next installment.
I can't tell you how much I loved this book!!!! But I'm sure going to try. Kind of like an ER episode (remember that show?) where the drama in the ER spills over into the every day lives of the characters. The medical scenes are compelling, but not overwhelming, and they add an extra thrill to an already edge-of-your-seat read. There's action and suspense, heart-tugging sorrow and the thrill of romance.
Hard-hitting and full of gritty realism, Calvert doesn't shy away from tough topics like mental illness and addiction. But she also doesn't shy away from the hope and peace that can come through trusting God even in the hard times. That's something Macy and Fletcher struggle with to varying degrees. Fletcher, solid in his faith but still questioning his circumstances. I could so relate to that! And Macy, well, she's been burned too many times and she doesn't place her trust easily -- in man or God.
The story is told from multiple points of view, though this is clearly Macy and Fletcher's story. Still, there's a wealth of complicated relationships and situations -- both good and bad. And Calvert has such an incredibly unique way with words. So expressive, and totally in character with a medical drama. Like this:
"Sometimes it happened that way. Just when things were going great, when Taylor dared to trust that she was through with the worst of it, the grief would come back and pick at the edges of that wound -- whisper that she'd lost too much to ever really heal. There were no sutures for this." (p.93)
And I mustn't forget the toe-curling, heart-palpitating, weak-in-the-knees kisses...which more often than not morph into side-splitting laughter. Love that touch of humour no matter how frustrating it could be at times. I will never look at marmots in the same way again. :-)
By Your Side from The Crisis Team Series written by Candace Calvert involves drama, romance and faith!
Being an RN myself for 30 years, I tend to be more critical of novels involving medical information. This book is accurate and informative in its medical information, without overwhelming the non-medical reader!
I also enjoyed the story because some of the supporting characters from Calvert's previous book, Life Support, are the main characters in this story. The best part is you can enjoy By Your Side without having read the previous novel, although I think the story is more enjoyable knowing the background in the characters' lives. The main characters in this story line are Justin Holt, a deputy, and Macy Wynn, a victim of crime. Their lives become entangled from one crime scene to another, while the story unfolds.
Law enforcement and Crisis chaplaincy are the main focus, while the emergency room and hospital setting are a small part of this novel. Although the outcome of the story is a little predictable, it keeps your attention and Calvert makes the characters come to life! I have enjoyed reading this book (and "Life Support") and look forward to reading more in this series by Candace Calvert. (guest reviewer, M.Godley)
DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided to facilitate this review. Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer. No compensation was received for this review.
Macy Winn doesn't trust anyone. Not after what her father did to her. She's learned some hard lessons about foster care and trusting men. She's an ER nurse who loves her job, but doesn't do relationships or religion. Fletcher Holt is a deputy from Texas who is only in California while his mother fights her battle with cancer. Despite everything that has happened to him, he still clings to his faith. The two first meet when a sniper causes a pile up on the freeway. Their lives intertwine in ways they never imagined as they fight their feelings, their beliefs, and a killer.
The story opens with a bang and never stops. The medical drama combined with the suspense, romance, and faith is the perfect combination for this story. The characters meshed well with each other. The secondary characters and side dramas added to the depth of the story. I really enjoyed how the author brought in the elements of faith to the story and how the main characters dealt with their issues regarding their beliefs. This was a fun read that also had some introspective spots. I've enjoyed other books by this author and this one was no exception. Definitely a book I would recommend and will be keeping to read again.
I received this book free of charge from Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
I haven’t read any of Candace Calvert’s previous books, but I definitely enjoyed the time I spent with the pages of her newest novel, By Your Side. A fast-paced story bringing traumatic situations to life (as well as the people who handle them), this novel was hard for me to put down. Page after page, I kept rooting for Macy and Fletcher, as they swiftly dealt with the drama their occupations throw at them, bantered their way into a sweetly budding romance and learned valuable lessons of faith, trust and control. All in all, By Your Side is a great read, and now I cannot wait to read more from Candace Calvert.
Thanks to Tyndale BlogNetwork, I received a copy of By Your Side and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.
It wasn't like this was an awful book, I just didn't care for it. There is mention of a past rape, but not detailed. There was also an assault and attempted rape (not extremely detailed). The romance was a little much for my taste and the mystery wasn't very suspenseful or exciting in my opinion. I guess this just wasn't my style of reading.
2.5 stars There were some things I enjoyed about this book, and some things I didn’t.
What I didn’t like: I didn’t care for the descriptions of the kissing. It went beyond my comfort zone and I almost shut the book. There is an attempted rape scene that made me cringe even though it wasn’t too detailed and didn't last very long. Another rape in the past was talked about but not in detail. The fact that a Christian guy was “dating” a non-Christian girl made me uncomfortable. No, he didn’t really know that she wasn’t a Christian, but he never asked either. And the lack of communication! It really bothers me when characters make assumptions about the other person and then either don't talk about it or don't believe the other person. Thankfully this didn't last very long. It still bothered me though. There was no mention of sin or forgiveness of sin when God was talked about, just a vague sort of “God loves everyone and you are His child so trust in Him.” That's it? No mention of Jesus either.
Everything else: I liked Macy and watching her deal with the different situations. Fletcher was also someone I enjoyed. The visit to Yosemite was well described and made me want to visit there even more. While I liked Taylor, I was confused when the story would switch to her point of view when she supposedly wasn’t even a main character. I detested one character right from the start and just had a really bad feeling about him. I ended up being right, which I didn’t like, but I fully expected it.
I might read the next book in the series, but I wouldn’t want a steady diet of them.
By Your Side is the first book in a new series by Calvert but it was just as good as her other two series were and I assume this series will also have 3 books so I'm already looking forward to books 2 and 3!!!
When you read her books you feel like you are in the scenes of a clean version of Grey's Anatomy with a little bit of police drama thrown in too. But she never leaves all of the book for just work - she always includes fun pastimes for her characters.
I loved the main characters in By Your Side. Macy is stubborn and independent and Fletcher is strong and always there for whoever in his life needs him. I love how each of the characters is dealing with their own struggles and problems - even the secondary characters. Calvert really has a talent for giving you just a taste of the secondary characters that will soon become the primary characters in her next book. I have my guesses for who the next book will be about but we'll see...
This book in paperback is 395 pages and I flew through it super fast because it was so good. I just couldn't help but read it in one sitting. There was never a dull moment whether the action was taking place in the ER, the streets, or out and about. The mix between work and pleasure was perfect. I loved the interactions between all of the workers in the hospital just as much as I loved the romantic interactions between Macy and Fletcher.
Another talent of Calverts is weaving a villain into the story so effortlessly. I'll admit I figured out who it was pretty fast but it didn't ruin the story for me because there was still plenty of suspense in figuring out how and when he would be caught.
There was tons of romantic tension in this book and I loved it. I hate it when two characters get together without any problems, disagreements, or drama. It just isn't realistic. So I love that Calvert includes characters that are flawed and working through things in their own lives that in turn interferes with romantic relationships. Of course I also love that her books end up 'happily ever after' but that doesn't mean I don't want to wonder in the middle how the couple will get there! And the romantic scenes between Macy and Fletcher were wonderful. Really wonderful!
But probably the best part about her books is the fact that she is writing from real-life experience as a former ER nurse. She throws in just enough medical jargon for it to be realistic without leaving us readers behind if we don't know a lot about ER medicine. Her personal experiences definitely add the perfect touch to her books.
Another thing I love about her books is that typically one character is a stronger Christian than the other and in the end the other comes back to Christ or sometimes even comes to Christ for the first time! I love books that challenge readers in their spirituality and beliefs and show characters growing in faith. In this book even though Fletcher is far from perfect he still leads by example and helps Macy realize what she is missing.
"Now is the tough part. When you're forced to ask yourself that hard question: Do you fully trust God, or do you simply trust him not to let something bad happen?"
More conservative readers may want to be warned that rape and alcohol are both mentioned quite a few times. Also the villain in the book is violent. But the romance is clean while still giving you goosebumps so that is my definition of a great Christian Romance :)
The only bad thing about getting to the end of this book is not knowing when book 2 will be out! I cannot wait for more!!!
If you're looking for similar books to read in the Christian genre you might check out Janice Cantore. She is a former police officer and writes police drama in the same fashion as Calvert writes ER drama!
Tyndale provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
I just discovered Candace Calvert and am glad that I did. She has a great writing style and is very knowledgeable about the workings in the ER, having worked as an ER nurse. The characters are well developed, real and likable. I could envision the settings and see the action in my mind.
The first scene is action filled when a dump truck carrying gravel overturns causing a pileup on a busy California freeway. One child is injured when the van she is traveling in is involved in the accident. Macy Wynn is an ER nurse on her way to an event with a friend, Rush Elliott, when the incident happens. She is helping the child when Deputy Fletcher Holt also on the freeway at the time steps up to help. In the midst of getting the child ready for transport in an ambulance that has arrived on the scene, shots are fired from an overpass bridge. This is when it is realized that the sniper shot out the tires on the truck causing the initial pileup. He fled the scene but this is not the last time he appears. In fact, the sniper appears around town firing shots on unsuspecting victims. Macy and Fletcher are thrown together with the ER and scenes of the shootings. Macy has grown up in the foster care system and Fletcher grew up in loving family with a strong faith. Coming from such different backgrounds they have to overcome trust issues to establish a mutual friendship, especially for Macy. Fletcher's family is from Houston and he is there to take of his mom, Charly, a cancer patient, while his dad's job has him working in Alaska. Charly, a Crisis Care Chaplain, is a person of strong faith and her selfish commitment to this ministry is to be admired. The book has other characters with a strong faith that add a lot to the story: Andi Carlyle, a dedicated ER doctor, Taylor Cabot, another ER nurse who lost her husband five years prior and Seth Donovan, a Crisis Care minister, who helps with law enforcement and fire issues. Macy wants to buy a house where she and her foster sister, Leah, can live. Her mom died when Macy was young and her father was a wealthy man who wanted nothing to do with her. He gave her a settlement that is managed by Rush and Macy lives frugally and doesn't want to touch the money from her father. Leah and Macy met while living with their foster mother, Nonni, but were separated when Nonni died. They have reconnected and Macy wants Leah to come live with her but Leah is in rehab in Arizona because of a drug problem. She has a boyfriend that is in trouble and may go to jail. Macy relies on Rush to advise her on financial issues but he seems to have a strong feeling of possessiveness towards Macy. These are all factors to cause anxiety with Macy along with dealing with the fear everyone is feeling because of the sniper. Fletcher is worried about his mom's health and his unresolved feelings for a girl back in Houston.
I was caught up in the lives of the characters right away. The book was full of action in the ER as well as the fear generated by the sniper's appearance around town. An added aspect was the work of the crisis chaplains and how they reached out to those whose family members are killed or died unexpectedly. Faith is an important part of the characters and in how they handle life's events...where to turn when there is no where else to turn. Great novel! I highly recommend reading this first of the series of the Crisis Team.
I found this story very entertaining with a number of interesting characters, each with their own trials and tribulations to deal with. The main focus of the story centered around Fletcher Holt, a policeman, and Macy Wynn, a nurse at a local hospital. The two of them meet at the scene of an accident where Macy is trying to care for one of the victims of the crash, a child, and Fletcher arrives to assist. All of a sudden, someone is shooting at them, an apparent sniper. Fletcher calls for back up and ends up saving Macy's life. At first, the two of them butt head's with one another but then, slowly but surely, a relationship begins to develop between them.
Fletcher, who moved to L. A. to help his parents, his mom having cancer, is struggling to forget the woman he left behind. She was someone he'd grown up with, had helped through a very bad time in her life, and who'd now met someone else she appeared to have feelings for. Fletcher had always believed the two of them would one day be a couple but she seems to have only friendship in mind.
Macy, on the other hand, wants to settle down and have a family some day but first she has to take care of her sister. While not related biologically, Leah and Macy grew up in the same foster home until their foster mother died unexpectedly and they were split up. Macy lost track of Leah for a time then suddenly the other girl called her. Leah is in rehab, her boyfriend in jail. Macy is determined to bring Leah to live with her. It would be like old times, the two of them together again. It comes as a surprise, therefore, when Leah fails to get on board with those plans.
In the meantime, the sniper strikes again, this time at a bank where Macy has gone to see about getting a loan. Coincidence or has Macy become a target? Fletcher doesn't know but he's going to protect her no matter what.
I enjoyed getting to know Macy and Fletcher, as well as their families, friends, and co-workers. The author does a nice job of weaving them into the story. She also does a good job of including the fact Fletcher is a Christian but struggling with his faith because of his mother's illness and his inability to fix the situation. Macy is having her own struggle in this area, trying to decide if she even believes God exists. If He does, then why does He allow bad things to happen to good people?
This story kept me turning the pages, anxious to find a resolution to all these problems. Will Fletcher and Macy be able to resolve their differences? What will become of Fletcher' s mom? Will Leah end up living with Macy? Will they catch the sniper who's been terrorizing the city and seems to be targeting Macy as well? Thankfully, the author ties everything up at the end and in a very satisfying manner. Definitely looking forward to the next book in this new series.
When Deputy Fletcher Holt moved to California from Texas, the last thing he expected to be doing was protecting a stubborn nurse from a sniper on the freeway. When Macy Wynn refuses to leave the scene of an accident and a scared 6 year old little girl, Fletcher isn't sure whether he should be enamored or irritated. Seconds after deciding to leave things be,and arguing with a disgruntled businessman, gunshots are fired putting everyone on the freeway in a frenzy. When Macy is involved in more danger, Fletcher is torn between keeping his distance and protecting the independent beauty with a heart as soft as it is strong. Will they ever find the sniper? Will Macy ever be safe? And does Fletcher have a bigger reason to care?
Macy Wynn can't believe she's finally found her foster sister. She also can't believe how aggravating Deputy Fletcher Holt is when he steps onto the scene of the accident injuring little Annie. When Fletcher possibly saves her life, Macy realizes she needs to drop any bad feelings. Being an ER nurse, Macy has seen just about anything but still, nothing prepares her for the horror and terror of having a sniper on the lose. She's so used to being strong but this scares her...and Fletcher makes her feel safe. Will they be safe? Is she the target of the sniper? Will all her dreams fade to dust? _____________________________________ *I loved*
Two words. Candace. Calvert. I loved Fletcher Holt when he was in another book of Candace's, Life Support, and knew Candace needed a story featuring him! When I saw this available on Tyndale, I freaked out!! The characters were amazing, cover incredible, and I loved the story line! It was a perfect mix with kick boxing Macy and tender hearted Fletcher. ER workers or even just hospital workers in general will love this amazing story!!
_____________________________________ *Not my favorite*
I love books where there's really nothing that I don't like about it. Everything was really just...perfect. The characters, everything. Candace knows how to invoke passion and sweetness without becoming edgy, so this isn't possible either.
By Your Side by Candace Calvert is a mysterious story on love, family, and hope with twists and turns that make you catch your breath and still has plenty of feistyness and sweetness to make the perfect story!
*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts were my own and I was not compensated in any other way.
Here’s a romantic suspense novel with lots to love – witty banter, sigh-worthy romantic moments, great descriptions, and a suspenseful storyline to draw you in and keep you engaged. This is the first book I’ve read by Candace Calvert, and I look forward to reading more.
We meet Macy and Fletcher in the midst of a dangerous situation, and get to know and like them more and more as the story goes on. They’re both caring professionals out to make a difference. They each have a heroic side, and yet they come across as real people with flaws, histories, and challenges.
My favorite part of the story was the development of the romance between them. Sweet romantic moments lightened the mood between more dramatic and suspenseful incidents, bringing a smile to my face. Likewise, numerous examples of witty banter between the characters made me laugh with delight. “I’m a cop. We have great flashlights,” from page 197 was among my favorite lines of dialogue (though you kind of have to read the scene to fully appreciate it).
The main characters have different but parallel faith and life journeys that tie into the book’s overarching theme – trust. I thought those journeys were believably and beautifully rendered. Regarding trust, there’s one line of dialogue from page 245 that I simply have to share because it asks such a great and challenging question:
“Now is the tough part. When you’re forced to ask yourself that hard question: Do you fully trust God, or do you simply trust him not to let something bad happen?”
Wow! What a question, right? Definitely one that bears thinking about.
Many secondary characters, including Taylor, Seth, Charly, and Andi, also felt well fleshed out with their own problems, perspectives, and growth over the course of the story. I enjoyed the glimpse into emergency services and crisis chaplaincy afforded by this story and its characters and I look forward to seeing more as the Crisis Team series progresses.
Occasional scenes from the villain’s viewpoint added tension and foreboding to an already intense story. I’ll admit, there was one point in the plot where coincidence played a bigger role than I was expecting, but that factor didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the story. In the end, I thought the epilogue did a really clever job of wrapping things up while calling to mind some delightful scenes from earlier in the book.
Thank you to Tyndale House Publishers for providing a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.
Title: By Your Side (Crisis Team #1) Author: Candace Calvert Website: http://www.candacecalvert.com/ Pages: 384 Year: 2015 Publisher: Tyndale A threat looms on the horizon. Nobody can see him, but they know he is there. Every time they stick their heads up they hear a shot. A truck sideswipes a van. When a nurse races to get there to help with any injured, there is a man with a BMW who thinks he is more important than the officer questioning him. Add a compassionate ER nurse and a police officer who is taking care of his mother while his dad is in Alaska and what do you have? A tale that keeps you turning pages long after the sun sets. This was my first time reading Candace Calvert’s novels and this one is a thriller! Romance blossoming along with lives constantly being threatened are just two of the ingredients that serve up a compelling story. The characters that are searching to understand God when life throws some painful experiences seem all too real. I love when characters are allowed to ask hard questions, face dangerous situations and finally come to the end of themselves and decide to consider God. Plus I love how friendships are birthed and tested by fire. The scenery described is amazing! Throughout the novel, faith is a consistent and constant theme from the beginning till end. How faith develops or grows is beautifully developed in the novel as well as how life’s trials can be handled with or without believing God. Action, adventure, thrills and chills bring the heart to pounding when reading along with not knowing how the author is going to bring the action to a climax and eventual conclusion. Candace Calvert is one author I am now going to be reading more and watching for her future books. The sequel to By Your Side is titled, Step by Step and is due to be released in the spring of 2016. My rating is 5+ stars. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspo.... Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson...
Summary (from Amazon): ER nurse Macy Wynn learned essential, gritty lessons in the California foster care system: land on your feet and trust no one. She’s finally located the fellow foster child she loves like a sister, but the girl’s in deep trouble. Macy’s determined to help, no matter what it takes. Her motto is to “make it happen” in any situation life throws at her—even when she butts heads with an idealistic cop.
Deputy Fletcher Holt believes in a higher plan, the fair outcome—and his ability to handle that by himself if necessary. Now he’s been yanked from Houston, his mother is battling cancer, and he’s attracted to a strong-willed nurse who could be the target of a brutal sniper.
When everything goes wrong, where do they put their trust?
My Thoughts: I've read several of Candace Calvert's books in the past and this one kept my attention the best. Maybe because I've come to know what to expect from one of her books, but I found this one to be better than some of the others of hers I have read.
I found the book to be very fast-paced. In fact, it starts off with a bang, literally. And as the book progressed, I found that the action remained steady, which was good.
I liked both Fletcher and Macy. I liked how they were real and struggled. Some of the other characters I actually liked a bit better, but their relationship with Fletcher and Macy served to develop the couple as dynamic characters.
I'll admit that I don't usually read medical related books. Maybe it's because I remember watching ER so much in high school that made me not want to be bogged down in medical details. But this one didn't go over the top with medical terminology.
Fans of contemporary fiction will enjoy this book.
I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.
Recommended to fans of DiAnn Mills, contemporary fiction, Irene Hannon
Faith, fear,romance, and adrenaline all fight for supremacy in Candace Calvert's By Your Side, book one of the Crisis Team series. Calvert shows us the gritty side of foster care through Trauma care nurse Macy Wynn. Macy has learned through foster care ,..."that was the worst part. Not knowing anything for sure. Where you'd sleep, what you'd eat, who was nice...or who might want to hurt you in ways you couldn't even understand. You were never, ever sure. You hung onto hope because it was all you had, but after a while, even hope packed up and moved on. You kept your favorite things in a bag you could take with you at a moment's notice. And you only trusted yourself." Macy lives by this credo, refusing God, who allowed herself and her sister to have a childhood best forgotten,except for one foster parent. Speaking of exceptions, Macy DOES trust one person, her financial advisor, who is the closest thing to family she has.
We also meet policeman Fletcher Holt. Fletcher becomes involved with the initial sniper situation where he meets Macy, and continues to try to offer her protection as uncertainty becomes the name of the game. Fletcher has his own uncertainties-the girl back home and his mother's current bout with cancer, to name a few. Fletcher's mother challenges his faith:"Now is the tough part.When you're forced to ask yourself the hard question:Do you FULLY trust God, or do you simply trust Him to keep you safe?"
With heart-pounding action, themes of faith that resonate with the reader's heart, and breath-taking word pictures of Yosemite, Calvert has produced another medical miracle!
I received this book from bookfun.org in exchange for an honest review.
By God's grace alone I have never been faced with a severe enough emergency to warrant a visit from a Crises Care Team. I have a friend who is a chaplain with our local fire department and I thought I knew what he did but this novel has opened my eyes to something completely new.
Candace Calvert has done a phenomenal job of bringing to life a cast of characters that allow us to go inside the world of crisis counseling. Through some very traumatic situations we get to see how a group of giving and selfless individuals minister to others during very vulnerable times in their lives.
While the two main characters aren't counselors, one is an ER nurse and the other is a deputy, they both work in an environment that interacts with these counselors. I liked Macy Wynn from the start. She's strong on the outside but so vulnerable on the inside. Fletcher Holt is destine to make many female readers swoon. He is a man of deep faith and character but still flawed and reliant on his family and his God to see him through. From the very first meeting of these two I was cheering them on as they tip toed through some rough patches in order to have a relationship.
By Your Side is a bit longer that your average contemporary romance but it is worth every extra minute it takes to read. The dialogue is witty and engaging and the action and suspense make the pages just fly by. This is a great beginning to what looks to be an interesting series.
I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
Now that I'm back at work as a nurse full-time, I no longer have to get my medical "fix" vicariously through novels, but that doesn't stop me from reading Candace Calvert every chance I get! A former ER nurse herself, Calvert knows that which she writes, and it shows in the authentic scenarios, believable characters, and crisp dialogue she creates. By Your Side combines her trademark medical drama and heart-pounding suspense in a tale that might be wise to read with a defibrillator nearby. (Good thing AED's have become so prevalent these days! LOL) As the story unfolds, Calvert spotlights the phenomenal work and dedication of crisis volunteers who labor tirelessly on a daily basis, especially the chaplains who deliver the news no one wants to receive about a loved one. This novel gripped me from the opening paragraphs and didn't let go until the final sentence. A steady thread of faith gives evidence why Calvert is known for writing Medical Hope Opera, and a bit of romance simply adds to the appeal of this book. Take two chapters. . .but don't call me in the morning and blame me if you stay up all night reading the entire book!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free Candace Calvert. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
By your side is the first novel by Candice Calvert in the Crisis Team medical series. As I stated before she is the first author I was willing to read who wrote medical drama. I am now hooked and watch for each of her books to be released. By Your Side captures your attention with the first two words: Help me! In Candice’s books you're not going to get a fairytale. She writes about real people with real issues. In By Your Side, Fletcher’s mom is battling cancer and you see the struggles that they go through. Macy is dealing with her father and her foster sister and how hard it is to want to help somebody when they may not be willing to except the help. Fletcher is a cop who has moved from Houston to support his family. Macy is a tough ER nurse who survived the foster care system. In addition to the personal issues of Macy and Fletcher; they are dealing with a serial killer/sniper in their town. Macy and Fletcher meet in the opening scene of a medical crisis. Macy also happens to be at the second shooting; is it a coincidence? I found both Fletcher and Macy to be likeable characters. Candice also creates fascinating secondary characters with Taylor and Seth. She gives us enough of their storyline that we are already marking our calendar for when their book is released. You can see my full review at More Than a Review dot com where I rate the level of sex, violence, language and drug/alcohol use in books.
"Do you fully trust God or do you simply trust him not to let something bad happen?"
Emergency Room nurse Macy Wynn and Deputy Fletcher Holt find themselves discovering how to unreservedly trust God as they maneuver personal and professional land mines within the pages of Candace Calvert's newest series debut; "By Your Side". Filled with intriguing suspense on the one hand and emerging romance between two unlikely individuals, there's a lot to like about this story.
Macy Wynn is a survivor; she has outlasted an unimaginable childhood only to wonder if her self-proclaimed independence is worth it, especially when it threatens to unravel all of her hopes and dreams. And she has a dream; to purchase a home and bring her foster sister to Sacramento, California for a fresh start.
Fletcher Holt is a protector; moving to California from his Houston home to care for his mother, while his father maintains an out-of-town job assignment; but how can he possibly shield his mother from a terminal illness, while at the same time protecting a beautiful young ER nurse from a serial sniper?
In the end, both Macy and Fletcher are blind-sided by those they trust. It will take some serious soul searching and unconditional forgiveness for them to remain together, "until death do us part".
Deputy Fletcher Holt is a born and bred Texan temporarily living and working in Sacramento. He has a very close relationship with his parents and is determined to do everything in his power to help them. ER nurse Macy Wynn has dedicated herself to her career and reconnecting with her foster sister. In her personal life, she tends to hold people at an arms length but she has an immense compassion for her patients. Fletcher and Macy initially clash yet they develop a special connection while evading danger at every turn. By Your Side is a very well rounded book with suspense, mystery, romance, and multiple points of view. Both characters develop a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationship with God. I will be reading the next book in the series and seeking out more titles from Candace Calvert.
I requested the opportunity to read and review this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.
Candace had me at sniper. What a way to start the book and introduce the main characters. Macy Wynn proved to be as complex and yet as simple and loving as she appeared in the first few moments with her. The same can be said for Fletcher Holt. Each was carrying burdens intended for God to handle. From Macy's desire to help her foster sister finally "do good and live well" to Fletcher's desire to help his terminally ill mother, we see faith struggles. How does one have hope when things feel hopeless!
The sniper case, each of their "relationships" with other people, their jobs and how these all relate to each other serves to draw these two together.
I have read all of Candace's books and I believe this is the best to date. Thrilling, sweet, heart-wrenching and heart-warming. All that in one story. I warn you, though, read with a tissue box beside you. Worth every gasp, tear and cheer.
This is not an overly suspenseful novel but it is a good combination of some suspense with excellent character development. The emphasis in on the characters, not the action. But the combination worked so well that I found this to be a compelling novel. Both Macy and Fletcher had character defects they had to work out. Macy's came from being in the foster system and not recognizing God and His care for her. Fletcher, although he is a Christian, thought he could save everybody. Both face those issues by the end of the book. There is some suspense but not as much as could have been. So if you like character emphasis over action, this is a great book. See my complete review at http://bit.ly/1bkc7SA. I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.