Blog Book Tour | “NY Doc Under the Northern Lights” (#HarlequinMedical) by Amy Ruttan feat. a special message about #BreastCancer awareness & donation to fight the disease

Posted Thursday, 11 October, 2018 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

I received a complimentary copy of “NY Doc Under the Northern Lights” direct from the author Amy Ruttan in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why this particular Harlequin story stood out to me to read:

I will admit, there was a time in my life where I could not get enough Medical Romances in my life or Medical Dramas for that matter! Whether I was seeking them out in fiction – yes, I’ve know about this imprint for Harlequin for a long, long time – including when the covers used to be featuring scrub green! – or whether I was watching television dramas like ER or Crossing Jordan whilst happily binge watching Quincy, ME. I would never watch Chicago Hope when it aired as that felt sacrilegious being an ER girl! Laughs with mirth. I even had a ‘chat’ group in my high school where every Friday whilst our Spanish teacher tried to get us to settle into our lessons, I was more keen on hashing out last night’s episode!

Then, somewhere round my early twenties when I discovered Strong Medicine, I started to notice the story-lines and the cases on the series were affecting me. To the point where seeing the shows were no longer my ‘joy’ but were becoming more intense to filter after seeing them. In essence, I knew my time with ‘medical’ anything was over – until of course someone called ‘Mark Harmon’ smittened my eye to start watching NCIS (later in my twenties) and I came to love a ME named ‘Duckie’ and a forensic scientist named ‘Abby’!!

I should also mention I streamed the first two episodes of New Amsterdam and had this series aired in the ’90s whilst ER was still airing, I would have been a bonefide fan! Now? I saw the writings on the wall why that kind of medical drama was for the girl I was yesterday and not the girl I am today. For one thing – did they have to use so much graphic scenes to empathsis conditions where less would have been more? Clearly those days are ‘over’.

Also, I exited ER after they killed off Lucy Knight – as that was the key episode where I felt the series went ‘too far’ even though they crushed my heart by taking off Hathaway and Ross!

Which brings me to why I thought I ought to read this particular release! Since I’ve been hosting for Prism, I’ve noticed I am finding new routes of interest into different imprints by Harlequin once again – I have had a healthy curiosity about the kind of romantic medical dramas authors might be writing for this imprint ever since I saw Candace Cameron Bure’s light hearted medical romance on Hallmark Channel where she moves to Alaska and wishes to be in New York at a major hospital?

A lot of what I love about Harlequin Romances has the similar appeal to my bookish heart as the kind of romances you find on Hallmark Channel. You almost know going into the stories you can not just survive reading them but you are going to feel uplifted afterwards! This was the key as somewhere in my wanderings of medical drama on television – my heart couldn’t take the drama anymore on scene as I was no longer feeling uplifted. Such as what happened when in syndication I reached that pivotal moment where M*A*S*H aired its final arc and goodbye? I was filling buckets with my tears and my heart was severely crushed. Those latter seasons were brutal to get through!

With a happy optimism I signed on for this blog tour to see if what I love about medical dramas and medical romance are now contained in an imprint I’ve been cautiously avoiding for more years than I care to honestly admit possible! Perhaps I have found a new entry into a category of interest I thought I had to leave abandoned! I fully admit I was keenly smitten with the idea of this novel being set in Iceland! A country who loves writers and story-tellers – the land of enchanting scenery, hot springs and a volcano which keeps everyone on their toes! It is truly a remarkable country (from what I’ve gathered from afar) and the Northern Lights are a phenom I’d love to visually take in one day for my own experience as I have read about them and seen them in films but ooh! To see them in person? I can’t even imagine!

When the novel arrived however, Ms Ruttan had a few cheeky surprises for me – especially in regards of how to give a book blogger a hearty chuckle of JOY when spying a rather dashing doctor stuck between the pages of a book she’s about to read for review!!

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An important message from the author:

I couldn’t wait to retweet this special s/o of charity proceeds stemming from the sales of the story I am reading for review today. This is an insidious disease and it affects so many people we either know personally or know indirectly – one of my Aunt’s in my family had it but more recently, the journey Ms (Susan) Spann is taking climbing the #100Summits in Japan was showcased on my blog to highlight the empowering survival spirit of those who can beat the odds and to give inspiration to those who are continuously fighting for their life.

Let us take a moment to send a note of support to Ms Ruttan and to help spread the awareness of how this novel NY Doc Under the Northern Lights is making a difference with each book sold!

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Blog Book Tour | “NY Doc Under the Northern Lights” (#HarlequinMedical) by Amy Ruttan feat. a special message about #BreastCancer awareness & donation to fight the diseaseNY Doc Under the Northern Lights
by Amy Ruttan
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Escaping the big city…

For love under Icelandic skies

When surgeon Betty Jacinth’s heart is broken once again, she takes a job in Iceland for a change of scenery. She expects cold weather—but not the frosty welcome she receives from gorgeous but brooding Dr. Axel Sturlusson! Now father to his orphaned niece, Axel gradually thaws, and a flame ignites—but when Betty’s ex begs her to return, can she make the right choice for love?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335663795

Also by this author: NY Doc Under the Northern Lights

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Medical Romance, Romance Fiction


Published by Harlequin Books, Harlequin Special Edition

on 18th September, 2018

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 256

Published by: Medical Romance (@HarlequinBooks) | imprint of Harlequin

Formats Available: Ebook and Paperback

four-half-flames

I added a flame rating to this story as it goes a bit further than most of the stories I’ve been regularly reading by Harlequin (such as the Heartwarming imprint or even the Special Edition); though it is tamer than I would presume the Desire imprint (of which I’ve not yet read a story) but I wanted to simply say it has more heat inside than I was expecting to be contained within it. The two characters definitely share a keenly intimate interlude towards the last quarter of the novel which is quite detailed.

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance & #HarlequinMedical

OR #Harlequin w/ #MedicalRomance

About Amy Ruttan

Amy Ruttan

Born and raised just outside of Toronto, Ontario, Amy fled the big city to settle down with the country boy of her dreams. After the birth of her second child, Amy was lucky enough to realize her life long dream of becoming a romance author. When she's not furiously typing away at her computer, she's a mom to three wonderful children who use her as a personal taxi and chef.

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my review of NY doc under the northern lights:

Straight-off, I understood what was happening to Betty – as anyone whose flown on a red eye and wears lens can fully relate to what she was feeling the moment she disembarked from the plane! I must admit, a part of me loved flying on the red eye – there is something to be said for flying at at time at night where most of the world is asleep and the other half is just beginning their first hours of daylight – there is a fever of newness to the day and being in-flight to touch down again when another city has started to awaken has its benefits, I must admit!

It is hard to even imagine the situation Betty was trying to dig herself out of – a cheating boyfriend, fatherly loss and a turning fork in both her personal life and her career cross-secting out of an opportunity to follow in her father’s footsteps to head off to Iceland to work alongside Dr Sturlusson! If I had been her, finding the courage to take that bold step forward would have been worth the anxiety and the butterflies of self-doubt – sometimes you have to make a radical choice in order to save both your own sanity and to maintain your own well-being. New beginnings are not always easy (as many are hard-won) but when you reach the point where you need to re-invent yourself – best to do it elsewhere from anyplace you’ve previously known, where full immersion in that new place can occur and perhaps, the hidden surprises which await you will feel sweeter for the experience! At least, that is what I was hoping Betty would find – as you truly felt for her as she stepped off that plane. So much swirling round her mind and heart and yet, where do you find buoyancy when everything feels adrift and out of sequence?

Ooh, I love the twist in arrivals at the airport – especially in which Dr Sturlusson called on Betty! I hadn’t quite seen that coming – I also smirked madly, as I had a feeling Iceland was blustery more cold than New York City! The place is re-known for sub-zero temperatures and being it is so dearly close to the Arctic Circle – you can assure yourself the weather in Iceland is not the same as the lower 48 as its place on a map should be the first clue of the radically different climatic zone! I found this good folly of fodder – mostly as I have had friends who live on a similar vein of meridian elsewhere in the world and they’ve relaid to me the key differences between their Winter and an American one! Ruttan surely knew how to aptly have Betty remain reactive to the doctor who called on her at the airport but it is how she showed her naivete for climate patterns which tickled me to no end!

As Dr Sturlusson reveals the circumstances surrounding how Eira entered his life you can see the layers of loss and trauma are still a forefront of anguish on this man’s soul. He hasn’t found distance from the incident nor has he found closure or peace. He is stuck and caught inside the revolving door of his memories which are only seeking to nip away the last bit of his own mental health which he has tethered together by focusing on his work; not that his father would understand his choice but it was one he had to make for self-preservation. You can understand him a bit better in this rare moment (as I felt he isn’t this way naturally) of vulnerability.

The delish irony of course is Betty is here for an internship in a foreign country where the language is her first barrier but the customs and ways of life is the other. Not that it is that starkly different from America but when your used to certain routines, you have to find the synchronicity in the new place before you can say you have your sea legs! In regards to the fiery responses emulating off of Dr Strulusson – we, as readers, know what is fuelling those reactive responses but for Betty, she can only muse over them – noticing a few clever hints and clues towards what is affecting his mood but overall, she is as befuddled as anyone would be for how impulsively he switches his actions, remarks and the ways in which he becomes colder almost as if he isn’t content with where he is at any given moment.

Ruttan does a great job of developing the backstory regarding Dr Sturlusson and his brother, Calder – of how the two brothers were not equal in their parents eyes and how the leftover guilt, anguish and boiling point of self-doubt was eroding the confidence Axel had in himself as a doctor. He truly loved his profession but his mental health issues were starting to affect him on the job inasmuch as he was having trouble putting any kind of distance between the past and the present as his own father would not relinquish the control he tried to inflict on his son.

There was a moment where you wondered why Axel hadn’t left – relocated away from his father – even with his niece in tow, he could have re-started their lives elsewhere. Then, of course, the logical reason entered my mind – it might have been too much for Eira to handle. Betty for her part was a skilled doctor who trusted her instincts – around her, you saw a softer side to Dr Sturlusson.

One of the reasons I loved binge watching Emergency! in syndication three or four years ago – is because of the hospital life it depicted on the series! I also hadn’t realised this firefighter and hospital centred serial was rooted in real-life! Most of the episodes were drawn from the records of the Los Angeles fire department and the hospital was a composite setting for where everything actually happened. I bring this up for a few reasons – I loved the realism of the series, as I think it is oft overlooked (as I’m thinking others might think of M*A*SH* first, St. Elsewhere second or even China Beach) by most viewers today. You can see pieces of how real it is through this medical drama as Ms Ruttan has taken the time to showcase the differences in hospital routines between Iceland and New York, whilst giving you a full sense of what is happening betwixt and between the procedures of the OR.

I love this approach as it draws you into the setting more – where the life of the staff is just as important as their duties as doctors, nurses and surgeons. There is a lot of time in-between their charges and how they interact with each other or learn from each other (as sometimes is the case) is partially what helps them succeed in the long term.

The beauty of the novel is how it is a lesson in self-care, in the time we all need to heal and in the joyfulness of the unexpected. Ruttan pulls you into the lives of two surgeons who are each on the footsteps of re-finding themselves after their lives fractured. They need to reassemble how they approach their careers but more to the point, they needed to work on self-care practices which would allow them the most yield of leeway to walk into the future with a cleaner conscience. As you move forward with them, your treated to a beautiful back-story of a family in crisis, a teenager who has a sharp wit and wisdom ahead of her years and the allure of Iceland itself. You won’t want to exit this story until you find out what romanced a New York City doctor to become enchanted underneath the Northern Lights!

Small note on content:

There were scenes involving surgery practices which at first I thought might get a bit too intense for me but I was impressed with how Ruttan anchoured her surgery scenes with thoughtful dialogue and/or a segue of sorts to offset the focus on the surgery itself. It is hard to put into words without spoiling those scenes but if you read this novel, you’ll see what I mean first hand! I also was quite impressed with the emergency medical scenes she inserted throughout the story and how realistic they felt – rather than being ‘placed’ at different intervals for the sake of realism of how two emergency trained surgeons would react in the field.

As previously disclosed Cancer means something to the author due to personal loss and a family history of diagnosis which is why I was not surprised to learn there is a thread about Cancer in this novel as well. Although it is true I shy away from reading terminal illness narratives, I can reassure you dear hearts, it is not that kind of narrative and for that I felt truly blessed.

on WRITING MEDICAL DRAMA & CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE FROM AMY RUTTAN:

I nearly felt daunted by the fact this was Ms Ruttan’s 20th #MedicalRomance and it was my 1st romantic Medical drama in over two decades! Part of me wondered if I ought to have tried to ILL a few of her others before I received this one for review but then, a part of me rationalised if I loved reading this one, I could take my time and slowly borrow the others as I read through her backlist! That is the true joy for me as I discover new Harlequin authors I appreciate reading – the collective whole of their stories which can be read in intervals which lengthen the joy of revisiting with their characters!

One thing I appreciated in the opening chapters of NY Doc Under the Northern Lights is the calming ease I felt whilst settling into a medical drama after such a long personal absence from a genre I once loved! I never know if I can re-enter a genre I’ve placed on the back burner and with Ms Ruttan’s writing style the return for me was an enjoyable one!

The further I tucked into the novel, the more I wanted to know about these characters! The approach in telling their stories felt so intrinsically realistic. Everything moved steadily in an organic flow of reality – pacing us into their lives but also, giving full measure of how this family had underwent life changing circumstances to where they were all in a different stage of progress towards healing and resolution of past hurts.

Ms Ruttan placed me inside a romance of second chances, new beginnings and the unexpected twists life affords us as we’re living our life forward. These are the kind of romances I dearly love discovering and as I was mentioning on Twitter today (er, the 10th) I really love finding stories about the caretakers (as described in this tweet) – the men who are not afraid to give of themselves – to their families, to their loved ones and to the ones they choose to walk through life together. (see also tweet) (see also this tweet as well) How lovely then, the story I ended up reading the same day I read these exchanges of tweets, I found a writer who already encompasses the kind of relationships I love reading!

A note on #EqualityInLit:

As a portion of this story involves Mental Health and PTSD – what I appreciate about how Ms Ruttan wrote-in these inclusions is the organic way she broached them into the context of the story-line itself. She openly showed how Dr Sturlusson was struggling to recover from a traumatic experience which plagued his every waking hour and how emotional health is just as keenly important as psychological health as she revealled the issues Betty was facing herself.

There are other characters who are moving through their crises – including the grandfather and the niece wherein one of my favourite sequences is what happens when a family comes to terms with what they’ve lost. I won’t spoilt it but it came at a point in the story where I felt it was most fitting to be included and especially was keen on how it was worded. There was a lot of care taken to give each of these four characters the time they needed to live their authentic truth and to show how you can move into a period of healing after incredible trauma and loss.

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Bless you, Ms Ruttan for giving me such a wicked clever bookmark to use as a guide to pause whilst reading and formulating my thoughts for this review! I shall never forget finding such a cleverly statured doctor in a book!

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This blog tour is courtesy of: Prism Book Tours

Prism Book Tours

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NY Doc Under the Norther Lights blog tour via Prism Book ToursClick through via the badge to find out what else awaits you! 

Remember to return on the 17th of October to read my conversation with Ms Ruttan about writing Medical Romances, her writing career with Harlequin & why we both share an affinity for British television! It is a conversation you won’t want to miss!

Jorie returns to #amreading #MedicalRomance - find out why this particular novelist charmed her with her caretaker of an Uncle & the enchanting setting of Iceland! Click To Tweet

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “NY Doc Under the Northern Lights”, book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of Amy Ruttan and the Prism Book Tours badge were all provided by Prism Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Review Banner using Unsplash.com (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2018.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Thursday, 11 October, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, A Father's Heart, Adoption, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, Contemporary Romance, Content Note, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Iceland, Indie Author, Life Shift, Medical Fiction, Mental Health, Modern Day, Motherhood | Parenthood, Nurses & Hospital Life, Orphans & Guardians, Prism Book Tours, PTSD, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Single Fathers, Sociological Behavior, Sudden Absence of Parent




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