Author: A.R. Moler
Publisher: MLR Press
Summary: Cop Drew Hayden and ER trauma surgeon Chris Kearney have it all, mostly. They are married, have a house with a fence and a yard that needs some attention. The thing that they don’t have enough of is time for each other.
Drew’s career as an undercover cop working gangs and drugs is successful. So successful that Drew’s about to go undercover for more than a month without being able to contact Chris at all during what may be a very dangerous operation.
Chris is always wound very tightly. Without Drew’s calm as a counterbalance, Chris is in danger of falling over. Then, after what is almost Chris’s worst nightmare, Chris has to confront the reality of Drew’s job. So does Drew; he can’t ignore what his current job asks of Chris either. Can they change things enough to keep the most important thing–their love for each other?
Review: How We Operate was the first book about Drew and Chris, written in 2012. I enjoyed that book a lot and was happy to find they’ve now been given a sequel. A.R. Moler’s writing style has also matured since book one, so it made the return to this couple even better, as the pacing was improved. The story opens shortly before Drew is to go undercover and he and Chris are still juggling schedules to find time with each other. Chris is still a workaholic, spending extra hours in ER surgery with its already unpredictable timing. When Drew leaves, Chris buries himself in more work. Predictably, this is setting up conflict for them.
Much of the story follows Chris at the hospital with his best friend and ER nurse, Delilah and his EMT friend, Ryan. I’m very impressed with the research the author put into the medical practices shown. There are occasional scenes of Drew and his partner Jesse on their undercover job, also quite realistic, although less detailed. This served to add more character depth for both guys, and gave the secondary characters stronger roles. I did have issues with the critical point of the story. Chris’s abrupt action at that particular point didn’t fit well with his role as a doctor or a husband. His attitude was understandable but not how he handled it. I’d rather have seen meaningful discussion and joint decisions because the previous dynamic between Drew and Chris wasn’t balanced with this scenario.
The ending was a little more abrupt than I would have liked, but the feeling I got was that this may grow into a series. The character of Ryan, minor in the first book, has a more prominent role, a new character is added and there are hints for Drew and Chris’s future. I can easily recommend this book but I would recommend reading book one first and see the development of this couple’s romance.