Thursday, October 13, 2011

Best Use of Location – 5-Star Medical Romance!

"Survival Guide for Dating Your Boss" Is a Master Class in Writing the Medical Romance!

Fiona McArthur
Harlequin Medical Romance
On sale date: Oct 1, 2011
Publication date: Oct 1, 2011
Miniseries: Single, Free & Fabulous in Sydney
Category:  Classic Romance
Like so many of the Harlequin Medical Romance authors, Fiona McArthur is a master craftsman. Aspiring writers would do well to read this book.  

Here’s what I am talking about on three levels: 

Without the romance, there would be no story. We expect this in a romance novel yet in some subgenres, like romantic suspense, the story can often work without the romance because the author was more interested in writing a suspense. 

Without the medical elements, there would be no story. I read medical romances because I am very interested in the medical components of the narrative. In some of the medical romances that I’ve read the medical people could be edited to being lawyers and paralegals and the story would work just as well. This is not the case with “Survival Guide to DatingYour Boss”. If you are a medical ‘junkie’, as I am, you will love this story.

Without the location, there would be no story. I often buy romances because of the location of the story. I particularly like beach locations (and outback settings). If a story could just as easily take place in NYC as in Coogee Beach, then location means nothing and the reader who bought the book for the setting will feel cheated. In “Survival Guide to DatingYour Boss” the location takes on the importance of the hero and heroine. 

The author is a master at creating the 'look and feel' of the Coogee location. While the author writes the wonderful descriptive passages readers expect, she also goes one step further. The author adds dozens of location descriptions where the reader does not expect them. Here’s an example I particularly like (there are many more):

‘Marcus?’ Tilly touched his hand and he straightened but he couldn’t look at her. He stared into the distance where an oil tanker was crossing the ocean out on the horizon past her left ear.”

This little unexpected detail, “past her left ear” not only reinforces the location but it shows the hero’s mental state without having to tell the reader. (Read the book and you’ll see exactly what I mean.) 

In short,  “Survival Guide to DatingYour Boss” is a totally integrated medical romance of the highest quality. I just love great writing because it shows me how to improve my own writing. 

The story: 

The story is about the conflict between a midwife who strongly supports water birth and her brand new boss, a doctor who is all against water births and has forbidden their use in his department. (Of course, the hero has very strong reasons for his opinion.) 

The story takes place in Coogee Beach in Australia which is a beautiful seaside resort area.  (You can see dozens of beautiful pictures of the location on Google images.) 

Highest Recommendation!  Great Location Masterfully Presented!


  1. Thanks for letting us know about this story. Sounds good!

  2. Hi Jackie:

    Thanks for your comment. I’m sure you’ll love the book.