Tag Archives: Candace Calvert

Book Review: By Your Side by Candace Calvert

Title: By Your Side
Author: Candace Calvert
Publisher: Tyndale House
Publication Date: February 2015
Genre: Medical Romantic Suspense
Series: Crisis Team, Book 1

About the Book (from the Publisher’s Web site):

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:

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.

Quick Links: About the Book | Author’s Web Site | Discussion Guide

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