by B. B. Hamel
How do you get to be an attending surgeon in a teaching hospital yet get away with refusing to teach? Piers has managed just that by being the best surgeon in the hospital and one of the best in the nation, but also the biggest grouch and impossible to deal with. He is completely dedicated to his profession and sees teaching as an unnecessary distraction. His medical skills are absolutely outstanding and his personal skills with colleagues and staff are absolutely lacking.
When hospital administration finally forces a surgical intern upon him, Piers tries but cannot manage to get out of the assignment. He attempts to keep Lori, his intern, busy and out of his hair by giving her things to keep her busy that have absolutely nothing to do with learning anything about surgery. Lori has a personality just as dedicated to her career as Piers does. She is determined to make the most of the opportunity learn from one of the top surgeons in the country and she will tolerate his nonsense if it gets her the experience she needs. Her refusal to request a reassignment to a different surgeon eventually wins a measure of his respect. The more Piers interacts with her the more he likes her, and his respect for her intelligence and her natural surgical skills keep growing.
Both of them feel personal chemistry blooming between them although they try very hard to keep things strictly professional. Woven in with all this is a second key storyline; Piers is the target of an unfair lawsuit to be brought against him personally and the hospital, by the family of a patient who did not survive surgery. There is a good amount of drama and intrigue as the story explores the ugly financial realities of modern medicine run as big business. I thought the story was interesting and entertaining, and I appreciated the personal growth displayed by Piers. The seriousness of some of the subject matter is nicely balanced by small doses of well-placed humor, judicious application of steamy treatments, and consultancies by well-qualified secondary characters. My diagnosis? Read leisurely and enjoy.