Review Tour Stop: Heart Like Mine by Maggie McGinnis + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Heart Like Mine
Echo Lake #2
By: Maggie McGinnis
Releasing April 5, 2016
St. Martin’s Press

Delaney Blair loves her job at Echo Lake's Mercy Hospital, where she's developed a reputation for being smart, fair, and driven. When she's assigned to cut funding, she has to temporarily relocate her office, put on borrowed scrubs, and go toe-to-toe with Dr. Joshua Mackenzie, the interim head of the pediatrics department. His killer smile and rock-star body are distractions Delaney could do without, but she's determined to stay focused while she brings his budget into line.

It's not working.

Beloved by his colleagues and patients alike, Josh is too busy caring for sick kids to talk numbers with the sexy, stiletto-clad Delaney. Every time they talk business, tensions run high…but so does a powerful attraction neither of them can ignore. When an emergency brings Mercy to its knees, Delaney and Josh must work together to save lives. But can they also find a way into each other's hearts?

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“You’re just going to have to go down there, Delaney.” Megan propped a hip on Delaney’s desk two days later. Delaney envied her assistant’s long skirt, gypsy earrings, and long, loose cotton blouse. In college, she’d have topped it off with a head scarf and combat boots, but for the workplace, she’d gone with her standard-issue leather sandals.
Delaney looked down at her own outfit and wondered when she’d turned into a toned-down version of her country club mother. Her neatly ironed blouse was set off by a perfectly matched skirt and jacket, and as she fingered the pearls at her throat, she sighed. Then she let her eyes coast down her calves, down to the Jimmy Choos she’d bought just last month. It was her splurge, her bow to girliness and inappropriate spending, and damn, she loved these shoes.
She really did need to ditch the pearls, though.
“I can’t just go down there, Megan.” Delaney felt a tingle at the base of her neck, just thinking of walking onto the pediatric floor. No, she definitely couldn’t go down there.
“Well, he’s obviously not coming to you.”
“How can he just ignore my messages like this? It’s downright rude.”
“Or he’s downright busy. Have you seen the bed count on pediatrics this week?”
“No.” Delaney cringed. It wasn’t the kind of thing she kept track of on a daily basis.
“There is always the possibility that he’s not intentionally ignoring you. Just saying.”
“I’ll check.” Delaney clicked into the system that listed current inpatient numbers. When she got to the pediatric floor, her eyes widened. “Holy—”
“Exactly.” Megan raised her eyebrows.
“We don’t even have that many pediatric beds.”
“I know. They had to move a couple of the teenagers up to adult floors to make space.”
Delaney clicked back through the past month, and the patient counts went up and down a little bit, but not much.
“I’m just saying—this could be why Dr. Mackenzie hasn’t called back.” Megan leaned close to Delaney and plucked open her top button. “Which means you, third floor, this afternoon. He’s clearly isn’t coming to you.”
Delaney felt the chills creep down her spine. She had never actually been on Mercy’s pediatric floor—had never been on any pediatric floor—not since Parker had died.
“Delaney? You okay?” Megan’s brow creased as she studied Delaney’s face. “You are six shades of white, girl. Does talking to non-executive-suite people make you this scared?”
“No.” Delaney’s voice came out in a whisper.
“Oh.” Megan’s hand flew to her mouth. “Oh, God. I’m sorry.” She squeezed her eyes shut. “I’m so sorry. I wasn’t thinking.”
Delaney nodded slowly. “It’s okay. It’s been—a long time since he died. Not like you would think of it.”
“But I should have. I’m really sorry.” Megan tried to look into her eyes, but Delaney’s felt all shifty. “Do you want me to go with you?”
“No, Meg. I don’t want to go at all.”
“I know. He’s not coming to me.” She took a deep breath, blowing it out slowly. Maybe it wouldn’t be horrible. Maybe she wouldn’t melt into a panic-puddle at the elevator doors. Maybe she wouldn’t see Parker everywhere she looked.
Maybe pigs flew.

What an unbelievably beautiful story full of strength and heart!

I absolutely loved this book. The writing is captivating and I was immediately drawn into Laney and Josh’s story. Laney is a strong, successful woman. She is respected in her job and often feared by hospital staff. She excels at number crunching and has made a very nice life for herself. But what people don’t see is Laney’s personal heartache and haunting memories of a pain-filled past that still affects her to this day.

This assignment of finding budget cuts in a bare bones pediatrics department will be one of the most difficult challenges of Laney’s life. When she’s not facing her fears of actually interacting with people (instead of numbers) on the pediatrics floor, she is spending the rest of her time finding ways to make the budget work with the help from the acting head of pediatrics, the very hunky Dr. Josh Mackenzie.

Josh loves his job, loves children and has made it his mission in life to help others. He’s been running pediatrics short-staffed for years and now the faceless suits from upstairs want to take more away from the department? This just can’t happen. Josh doesn’t have time to deal with some stranger who has no clue what really goes on down on the third floor.

When Laney proposes a preliminary budget cut report, the two bump heads more than once. Instead of arguing with Laney, Josh challenges her to spend two weeks on the pediatrics floor so she can see for herself how its run, how overworked the staffing is, and why patients need the care they do. Not wanting to back down from anyone, Laney accepts the challenge despite her many personal reservations.

When I first started to read this book, I thought it would run the same pattern of a contemporary romance. Oh, how absolutely wrong I was. There is romance in the book, but that’s not what this story is about. This incredible story is about the people of the medical profession who devote their blood, sweat, tears, hearts and souls to helping people. It’s about the struggles they fight every day against politics, hospital bureaucrats, budget cuts, families, sickness and time. They aren’t always the victor, but they work so hard to give their patients the best care. Which is definitely true in the case of Laney, Josh and all those at Echo Lake’s Mercy Hospital.

The story is also about finding the strength to conquer your fears. It’s about recognizing love, but sacrificing it for the greater good. It’s about loving others above yourself. Giving selflessly. Laney and Josh’s story was not a lust-filled flirtation sprinkled with hospital jargon while Josh’s body is overtly sexualized. It was the story of the real struggles of two people finding a way to make lives better, including their own, despite insurmountable odds.

HEART LIKE MINE is the most appropriate title for this story. Josh and Laney do have the same heart, but it also feels that this book represents the physical manifestation of my own heart as well. I related so much to the material. I hope everyone develops a heart like Laney and Josh.
What I appreciated also about this book was that it’s a clean romance. Yes, there are a few curse words (which is always fine with me J), but the intimate scenes were more implied than gone into detail and I felt that worked well with the content of the story and didn’t take away from the chemistry that Josh and Laney had together.

HEART LIKE MINE is an amazing and heartfelt read. I laughed, I loved, I cried and I triumphed right alongside these beautifully developed characters. I would recommend this to every reader, non-reader, lover of romance, and non-lover of romance. This is one of those stories that will stand the test of time and one that I will never, ever forget. Thank you Ms. McGinnis for writing such an amazing story. You’ve got a heart, just like mine.

I was gifted an eBook copy from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. All conclusions reached are my own.

USA Today bestselling author Maggie McGinnis is a Golden Heart Finalist who lives in New England, vastly outnumbered by both children and cats. She writes sweet romances set in Montana and Vermont, and feels extremely fortunate that through her books, she gets to fall in love every single day. She's a sucker for romantic comedies, popcorn, and the perfect green pen, and if she wasn't an author, she'd totally be rocking a Nashville club in her pink cowgirl boots. It's probably good that she embraced the author thing, because her singing skills are better suited to the shower, and really? Pink cowgirl boots?

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  1. Wonderful review! Thank you for hosting HEART LIKE MINE today!

    Crystal, Tasty Book Tours

    1. Thank you! I absolutely LOVED the book!