St. Martin's, Aug 2004, 12.95, 319 pp.
Five years ago public relations expert Nicky Malone and union organizer Tony Boltanski ended their torrid relationship when he failed to arrive at her relative's wedding having been tied up by an urgent union matter that could not wait for a couple of hours. Though she rebounded with the philandering Jeremy for three years, Nicky knows that she never got over Tony, the one that got away. Meanwhile, Nicky's widowed practicing Catholic mother prays that her daughter get married.
The nurses of St. Francis Hospital in Winsack, Rhode Island are on strike over working conditions and patient safety. The hospital sees the bottom line as money not care; they demand changes such as nurse-patient ratio going from 1:3 to 1:8. The hospital administration has made the nurses look like the bad guys to the public; Nicky begins a PR campaign to counteract that impression. However, she works with Tony. Adding to the charged atmosphere is the unfinished business between two driven people who still love one another.
This entertaining contemporary romance focuses on a serious social issue yet contains amusing sarcastic asides. The story line provides a deep look at media spinning in which both sides spend time painting a negative position of their opponents
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner