At 40 years old, David is the youngest Chief of Medicine the hospital has ever had. He’s settling into his position well after a scandal rocked his predecessor, but he can’t stop looking at Ian, the new nurse. Every look has David thinking filthy thoughts and he really needs to focus on his new job. Ian doesn’t have the same problem as David and while he does his job well, he’s doesn’t do small talk and is fairly hostile to his co-workers.
Ian has a past and is trying to keep all of his secrets from spilling out. He has had a rough life, has been on his own since he was 15, and it was a struggle to finish nursing school. He’s not proud of some of the things he’s had to do and, while he’s finally secured a job, there is a dark shadow still lurking. The past has found him and the stakes are high. Unwillingly, he’s brought into a world of blackmail and scandal with a corrupt judge as the leader. He finds an ally in David, but neither of them truly knows if they can trust the other. As their relationship grows, so does the danger that runs through the heart of the hospital and David may just have to throw away a lifetime of work to save the man he loves.
The Edge of Control is Lou Kelly’s debut book and it’s well written for a debut book or for any book for that matter. It’s always impressive to try an author’s first book and have it work favorably.
When we first meet David, he is sarcastic and entertainingly inappropriate as he can’t take his eyes off of Ian. When he is caught staring, his friend and co-worker asks, “Were you staring because you were wondering why someone who doesn’t actually like people would become a nurse?” To which David thinks, “Uh no, actually, nothing like that. More like, was he gay, did he have a partner, would he want to do incredibly dirty things in the on-call room if I asked?” David immediately knows that he would never do any of those things because Ian is a subordinate and David is a professional and is way too focused on his job. It doesn’t stop him from gazing longingly at gorgeous Ian, however. Their first conversation results in Ian telling David to “Fuck off,” and they’re pretty much off and running after that.
Ian keeps to himself and we learn he had a hard life. Without giving away too much detail, he had an abusive father, wound up on the streets, and did whatever was needed to survive, which put him in on the radar of a corrupt judge with a lot of power. Ian is tangled up in a mess of a scheme as he’s coerced to agree to things he wants no part of. He has no way out and he soon realizes his usefulness may have run its course.
There’s some romance here as David and Ian connect in ways neither of them have before and Ian has a lot to work through. There is also a heavy storyline here to go along with it as there’s scandal, corruption, abuse of power, and blackmail throughout the entire book.
The intrigue kept my attention to a point as the majority of the book was well paced, but lagged toward the middle. We do not get Ian’s point of view at all, which on one hand made some of the dirty dealings more palatable as we only saw them from an outsider perspective, but on the other hand kept Ian’s emotions and then some of the climactic events at a true distance. Also, for as entertaining as David’s thoughts were in the beginning, they became a little worn as Ian was in an incredibly dangerous situation and David couldn’t stop lusting after him for like a moment. The suspense part of things was working up to a point, but there were areas that just didn’t add up or needed more details and more of a thorough conclusion to pull it all together.
Overall, this was a fast read that held my interest and I would look into what the author has planned in the future. For a mix of corruption and cover-up tied into the beginning of a new relationship, you could check out The Edge of Control.