Summary Review: In Only His Heart Shawn Lane continues her theme of opposites attract. Calvin Lassiter is a conservative doctor, Matt is the extrovert bad boy nurse, and they have to overcome obstacles caused by their personalities and lifestyles before love can bloom.
Calvin Lassiter is an emergency room doctor who buries himself in his high-stress job. He has no time for a relationship and most definitely is not interested in the new emergency room nurse, Matt Walton. Matt is exactly what Calvin doesn’t want—an eyeliner-wearing bad boy who rides a motorcycle.
Matt, however, is intrigued by the stuffy, too-beautiful-for-words doctor, but the man is as cold as ice. Yet Matt’s fellow nurses bet him he can’t melt Dr. Lassiter and get him into bed.
Too fascinated by Calvin not to try, Matt succeeds in breaking the doctor’s hard exterior. But as their relationship turns serious, the possibility hangs over Matt’s head that his co-workers will tell his sexy lover the truth and end his dreams of winning Calvin’s heart forever.
The first time Matt met gorgeous Calvin things didn’t go well. His attempts at conversation got him an icy stare and minimal responses, which led him to believe the gossip that he was unfriendly and could freeze anyone at 20 paces. It wasn’t until later that he discovered Calvin had lost a patient that morning, which partly explained his reaction to Matt’s attempt at small talk. When they saw each other again Matt suggested that they have breakfast together, and it was during their meal he realized that there was a lot more to Calvin than looking hot. Shortly after, word got around the hospital about them having breakfast and the other nurses soon figured out that Matt was attracted to Calvin. They decided to have some fun by betting him $400 that he couldn’t get the Ice Queen (Calvin) into bed. Although Matt thought that the bet was silly he didn’t outright refuse, so his friends assumed that he was up for it.
Because he wanted to see Calvin again Matt called his stepbrother Nathan who had recently set up house with Calvin’s brother, to get his phone number. Mission accomplished he phoned Calvin and asked him for a date and to his surprise he said ‘yes.’ When they met for dinner it was obvious that the attraction was mutual – soon they were having more than food and cocktails and the kisses ended up with them in bed together. Afterwards Matt found out that Calvin had a tragic past that would have seriously affected most people, and this made him feel very protective towards the new man in his life. The romance seemed to be proceeding at warp speed until it hit a major speedbump: Calvin found out about the bet and felt betrayed just as he was beginning to trust Matt, and he wanted nothing more to do with him. Matt was devastated because he was falling in love with Calvin and could not imagine his life without him.
I liked Only His Heart much more than a couple of other recent releases by Shawn Lane, even though the plot seems to be her old standby theme of opposites attract. Told from alternating POVs, both Matt and Calvin are three dimensional and likable and the author did a good job on their characters. The dialogue and prose also worked well and I liked the playfulness between them as well as the dialogue. Although Calvin had a tragic past he didn’t let it affect his daily life, and other than his physical scars he hardly referred to it, so his personality was a lot more upbeat than I was expecting. I also liked the fact that the characters were over thirty and therefore knew what they wanted out of life careerwise, and the angst of ‘finding yourself’ didn’t seem to be present in the story.
Some of the dialogue was funny – for example, in response to Calvin’s question about when he realized that he was gay, Matt’s response was “I never could get excited over breasts”. When Matt wanted to know how many dates it would take for Calvin to go to bed with him, he mentioned that he had dated a guy for their entire senior year in high school and it wasn’t until they graduated that they finally had sex. Of course Matt tried to align the odds in his favour by pointing out that they could consider their situation as having been on three dates – breakfast, dinner and the bar later so it wasn’t really a first date. With a lot of persuasion Calvin agreed that a tumble between the sheets met his minimum criteria, and their next problem was finding condoms, but Matt had that solution in the bag, or more precisely in the car, along with his other emergency supplies like an earthquake and first aid kit, because you never know when an emergency will hit. 🙂
If you read and liked Only For Him, the precursor to Only His Heart where Barnaby Lassiter and Nathan Llewellyn, Calvin’s brother’s and Matt’s stepbrother’s romance finally happened, you will be pleased that they made a couple of guest appearances in Only His Heart and you get to catch up with how they’re doing, since again their personalities were totally different, a trademark of Shawn Lane. I thought this was a fun book although it had some serious moments, and it worked for me. I keep hoping that this author will write a novel some day, with a different storyline, so that I can get a more complete sense of her writing capabilities and her ability to develop a complex plot and made it believable.