NOT QUITE ZEN
CINDY A. CHRISTIANSEN
Secret Cravings Publishing
Mainstream Romantic Suspense
Rating: 4 cups
Harmony Hastings has lived with her grandfather since her parents were murdered when she was eight. She has become a therapy dog trainer and hospice aide with a whole lot of Zen foibles that are supposed to keep her calm. She returns from her vacation only to find chaos at the Silver Sunset Senior Community where she works. Since the arrival of a new doctor, too many near-death accidents are happening to her old friends of baby boomer age. The previous doctor in the residence has disappeared.
Dr. Benjamin Dunford Jr. is hiding out in the witness protection program as the Community’s Doctor Milburn Warrick, an alias. He is waiting to testify against gang members in San Francisco who shot up his hospital and stole drugs. The handsome Dr. Warrick dies his hair brown and wears brown contacts. These flimsy deceptions are not lost on the curious Harmony.
The day they literally bump into each other, Harmony is trying frantically to save a dog she has struck accidentally in a snowstorm. Warrick is a geriatric physician, but when he sees how upset she is, he gives in and stabilizes the dog so it can be taken into the small Utah town’s vet clinic.
This is a fun, fast-paced book; very entertaining. The characters are believable, and the dogs almost steal the show. However, the sense of place is lost inside the facility. Ms. Christiansen has cobbled her medical disciplines together to serve the plot, and the logistics inside the assisted living, nursing home, hospital and hospice are jumbled together in too small a space. The doctor in residence, if such a thing were to happen, would have to be in a hospital. The therapy dogs would not be permitted to run loose where more sterile conditions are required. But all in all, a fun read.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More