In a Heartbeat is the second full length novel in the L.A. Metro series by R.J. Nolan. This book tells the tale of Sam McKenna, a veteran police officer in San Diego, California and Dr. Riley Connelly, a trauma surgeon at the local hospital. Sam is the sister of Dr. Jess McKenna from L.A. Metro, the first book in the series, and readers actually meet Sam in the first book. While it looks like this would be a cops and docs type of book, or at least a medical drama, I would say that it really isn’t either one. Except for the first third of the book, the story is really set outside the hospital. Also, there is little police drama though both professions do play a role in the story because of the main characters. This is really a slow-burn romance about the two main characters meeting, becoming friends and then more. The story also deals with some past trauma in both characters’ lives, and with one character going through a very unpleasant coming-out situation.
I’m giving this book four stars, but I want to mention here that this is a very strong four stars, almost a five. The story is well written, beautifully described, and interesting. The characters are real and complex. I connected with them immediately which is a must for my enjoyment of a book. I loved seeing Jess and Kim from the first novel as secondary characters in this tale. I enjoyed the building of the sexual tension between Sam and Riley throughout the story. The only problem I had with this book is I felt the slow burn was a bit too slow.
This is a beautiful romance and a great second book for the series. I urge you to read not only this novel but also the first book and the short stories that were published between the two. While I think In a Heartbeat could be read as a standalone story, I believe reading a series in order will always give the reader bits of information that could enhance the enjoyment of a book.
I received an ARC from Ylva Publishing for an honest review.