RJ Nolan's In A HeartbeatA good solid traditional romance full of angst and issues we can all identify with a sequel to LA Metro

Sam McKenna is the ultimate chilled lesbian cop. Confident of her skills and abilities..except when it comes to relationships. Like many, she chooses to stick to no strings affairs while she sadly watches her sister find true love and pines for the same.

The chance run-in of a local drunk takes her to the ER just when a madman drags a doctor into a cubical and threatens her life. Sam rushes to the rescue – but at what personal cost?

Dr Riley Connolly, the closeted trauma surgeon, has never met her family’s expectations and leads a very unsatisfying life. She feels a deep connection to the cop who risked herself to come to her aid and is drawn like a moth to the flame.

The incident binds them together. But can there be any future for a commitment-phobic cop and a closeted, workaholic doctor?

This is a follow up to LA Metro but stands alone perfectly well. A very traditional romance full of lesbian angst over relationships, family rejection, fear of coming out and self-doubt.

Sam is very much the lesbian cop stereotype, but not in a bad way. She is strong, confident, fearless and sure of herself. But her heart has been broken too badly for her to trust herself in relationships. Riley is the archetypal-closeted career woman, repressed by family judgments and expectations, fearful of living her life. Attracted to the sexy cop, but terrified of acting on it.

The characters are likeable and believable. We can empathize with their pain and engage in their struggles. The relationship between Sam and her sister Jess continues to delight and is added to by glimpses of the ongoing relationship between Kim and Jess (LA Metro).

The plot is solid, but it did feel a little drawn out at times. The whole book is spent on the angst, and the romance felt a little rushed at the end. Riley’s fears, in particular, seem to melt away in an instant after a whole book of pain about them. And the antagonism Jess feels towards Riley may be a useful plot tool, but feels rather forced.

Having said that I enjoy Ms Nolan’s books and look forward to the next.  She writes well, I like her characters and her style. If you loved LA Metro you will undoubtedly love this.