Published: Harlequin MIRA Australia
Date: 1st March 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Nurse Lauren Simpson is known in Hope Junction for the wrong reasons – and she’s over it. Watching the man she’s always loved marry someone else is the last straw – she decides to get out of Hope. But her resolve is tested when the hot new locum doctor arrives in town.
Doctor Tom Lewis also has skeletons in his closet – including a painful breakup and devastating family news. He’s hit the road with his vintage ute and surfboard, to travel the outback and live in the moment.
When Tom and Lauren meet the attraction is instant, but for Lauren Tom threatens to be just another fling and Tom has his own reasons for hesitating. Everyone else – their friends and patients – can see how perfect they are together, but just what will it take for them to admit this to themselves?
The Road to Hope by Rachael Johns takes up Lauren's story, we met her in Jilted where she was the one who didn't get the guy! She wasn't seen in the best light either. However this time we are able to grasp a better picture of Lauren - and it's a good one!
I found the first part of the story moved a little slowly but once I hit the halfway mark I was fully engaged and feeling for the characters. Lauren has decided that it's time to have a change and she is on the verge of handing in her resignation at the hospital where she works. She wants to make a new start. She has had a rather loveless past growing up and doesn't have a high self esteem. Everyone around her seems to have a happy relationship and she is feeling somewhat out of it. Even her relationship with best friend Whitney seems to have changed.
Tom has taken on a locum job, he's great looking and a very good doctor. He and Frank - Lauren's brother, have been good friends and so Tom makes himself right at home with Lauren. However Tom is running from something, he has a warm loving family, but is on the outer with them at the moment. He has also experienced a relationship turning sour and it's made him somewhat wary and determined that love and a relationship that matters is not for him.
I loved the elderly patients at the hospital, and the way in which Lauren and Tom went beyond the job in being with them and making sure that they were treated as people who had needs and feelings. I also liked the exploration of a disease that robs people of their memory and the effect this has on a family. When I read a book I always like something more than a romance - I want challenges and issues that might strike anyone to be taken out and looked at. Whatever the future holds for us, it's today and love that matter. That's the message in this book. It's a good one.