Passionate Rivals by RadclyffePassionate Rivals by Radclyffe is a second chance medical romance. Emmet McCabe is doing well in her surgery residency and is expecting to become chief resident. She has physical relationships that satisfy the immediate cravings and works hard to be the best doctor she can be.

When Emmet literally collides into Sydney Stevens at the hospital all the structures she has put in place to save her heart crumble. Sydney and Emmet used to be lovers until one day Sydney just disappeared. Five years later Sydney is back and Emmet is shocked.

Will Sydney be able to tell Emmet what happened and if she does will Emmet be able to forgive her for leaving?

Compounding the issue is that they are both competing for the top spot in their year. Can they work out how to be one another’s toughest competition while also having chemistry that is practically combustable?

The Characters

Emmet has never quite been able to get over Syd even though there are a couple of women who are very happy to help her try. She throws herself into work and avoids personal entanglements that go beyond the bedroom.

Syd is working hard to recover from personal and professional setbacks. When her residency program is shut down and she is forced to move to another program she does not expect to find the woman from her past working in the same place, nor does she expect it to be so difficult to be around her because the chemistry is so prevalent. Now she has to figure out how to tell her why she left.

Quinn Maguire and Honor Blake make a cameo in this one which was great! You see how Arly has grown up and get a behind the scenes glimpse of them as a happy family.

The Writing Style

I do love the way Radclyffe writes especially when she places her characters in the medical world. The high pressure environment is a fantastic backdrop to the already intense feelings in the characters.

The Narration

Lori Prince did a great job narrating this one. I liked the way she did the male voices and differentiated between the characters so that it was easy to tell who was speaking. There is a relatively large cast in this book so that was important.

The Pros

I loved the chemistry between the characters. There is a sizzle that practically gave me static electricity when I touched my audible app.

The Cons

No cons for me but for those who are not keen on cheating there is a brief mention of  cheating in the past.

The Conclusion

If you are a fan of second chance romances, stories set in a fast paced, high pressured environment like a hospital or even just a fan of two characters who have so much chemistry that they may set your app on fire then this is a great listen.

I am a happy little listener.

Excerpt from Passionate Rivals by Radclyffe

“Hey,” Syd said again. She pushed herself up on one arm and, feeling like a human pretzel, tried to disentangle her legs from the person on the floor. Her right knee throbbed and the palm of her left hand stung—probably scraped—but she was basically in one piece. The person she’d run into had cushioned her fall. She couldn’t even remember seeing anyone in her path before she crashed. “I’m really sorry. Are you okay?”

The face a few inches away from hers twisted into a grimace and cobalt blue eyes widened, the pupils dilating in pain…or maybe anger. Beneath her, firm breasts pressed into hers and the erratic, desperate thud of a heartbeat pounded against her chest. Features swam into focus and Syd’s breath caught. It couldn’t be…but it was. Some faces were impossible to forget. Some moments were impossible to forget, even when you told yourself you had. And at the moment, all that mattered was the panic etched across the handsome face. Syd finally got her legs free and shifted to one knee to give the woman beneath her some space to breathe. Only she wasn’t breathing—her diaphragm was paralyzed from the blow to her solar plexus. She must feel like she was suffocating. “Don’t try to breathe. Your body will know what to do. Just relax. Don’t fight it, relax.”

Emmett thrashed in full fight-or-flight mode. The absence of air, the tightness in her chest, and the rush of blood thundering in her ears triggered every primitive survival instinct she had. Her brain screamed to lash out but she couldn’t move. She couldn’t…breathe.

“Look at me,” Syd said, cupping Emmett’s chin. “Look at me. You’re all right. Wait. Don’t fight.” Something about the soothing voice, the cool firm fingers on her jaw, cut through Emmett’s panic. She latched on to the coral green eyes that were all she could see and struggled to make sense of the calming sounds. Words took shape. Relax. Don’t try so hard. Foreign words. Relax. Don’t fight. Wait. Anathema to everything she was. She gripped the wrist close to her face, held on to the firm, unyielding arm. Held on to the strange refuge offered by the steady, sure gaze. A stream of air flowed into her chest. Filled her.

“Okay,” Emmett gasped. “I…am…okay.”

Syd eased back and let go of Emmett’s chin, placing her palm instead on a flat, hard midsection. No sign of pain registered in Emmett’s face, but she’d taken a pretty good hit. She’d be sore later. “Are you hurt?”

Emmett took a deep breath. Breathing had never felt so good. “No.” She held up a hand. “Give me a minute.” She turned her head, found Zoey among the people standing around her and staring. “Answer the alert. I’ll be…right there.”

Zoey leaned down. “You sure? Nothing’s broken?”

“I’m good. Go.”

Zoey sprinted off, and Emmett pushed herself to a sitting position. “Sorry about that.”

She squinted at the other faces peering at her, settled on the blonde who’d floored her. The sculpted face, the shoulder-length golden hair, the piercing, amazing, unforgettable eyes snapped into sharp view. Emmett almost gasped again. She knew her. Some women you never forgot, even when there was no reason to remember them and every reason not to want to. She knew Syd recognized her too. Under her scrutiny, Syd’s lips parted soundlessly and her cheeks flushed. She looked older and more tired, but then, didn’t they all.

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PMC Hospital Romance

Fated Love

Night Call


Passionate Rivals

Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9781635552317
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
  • Audiobook Publisher: Bold Strokes Books Inc
  • Narrator: Lori Prince
  • Radclyffe Online  

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Note: I received a free review copy of Passionate Rivals by Radclyffe. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site

About the author

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Sheena is the founder of The Lesbian Review.

She discovered lesbian fiction when she was 19. Radclyffe and Karin Kallmaker soon became favourite authors and she spent a large part of her hard earned income on shipping books from to her home in South Africa.

Over the years she became frustrated with purchasing mediocre lesbian fiction feeling like it was a waste of her money and time. And so she decided to share only the best books and movies with lesbians who are looking for only the best. And so, The Lesbian Review was born