Meet Jack Travis and Riley Hale from Candace Calvert’s Trauma Plan, the first in her new Grace Medical series from Tyndale House
Sidelined by injuries from a vicious assault, nurse chaplain Riley Hale is determined to return to ER duties. But how can she show she’s competent when the hospital won’t let her attempt even simple tasks? Determined to prove herself, Riley volunteers at a controversial urban free clinic despite her fears about the maverick doctor in charge.
Dr. Jack Travis defends his clinic like he’s commander of the Alamo. He’ll fight the community’s efforts to shut its doors, even if he must use Riley Hale’s influential family name to make it happen.
As Riley strives to regain her skills, Jack finds that she shares his compassion—and stirs his lonely heart. Riley senses that beneath Jack’s rough exterior is a man she can believe in. But when clinic protests escalate and questions surface about his past, Jack goes into battle mode, and Riley wonders if it’s dangerous to trust him with her heart.
Dr. Major Jack Travis is tall, with wide shoulders, athletic build and closely cropped sandy brown hair. There’s a hint of olive in his skin and frequent broodiness in his expression. His eyes . . . Well, here is our heroine’s first impression:
His gaze already held Riley’s in an inescapable grip. Jack Travis’ wide-set eyes were an unusual color—almost amber-brown, like burnt toffee–and framed by inky lashes. A small scar slashed one dark brow as if boasting rugged conflict. Completely fitting; she hadn’t missed the fact that he was still wearing his military boots.
Riley Hale, the protected only child of a prominent Houston family, is determined to be “back in scrubs” as part of the ER nursing team. Until she makes that happen, you’ll find her in tailored suits, her long hair styled with bangs that artfully hide small scars left from a vicious assault. Though she’s made strides in recovery, her right arm remains significantly weakened from those injuries.
Here’s our hero’s first clear look at her:
The Alamo Grace trauma chaplain strode toward the nurses’ desk, dark blonde hair brushing her shoulders, chin held high—tall, confident, and looking anything but sadly impaired. Her dark-lashed blue eyes scanned the room . . . before settling directly on Jack.
Riley may look something like Amanda Peet
Strengths and weaknesses
Strengths: Jack is decisive, courageous, generous and kind. He’s a man of action and a passionate defender of the poor, homeless, hopeless—a strong voice for those in society who have none. Despite his outward bravado, he can be funny and self-deprecating.
Weakness: Described by some as a reckless maverick, Dr. Travis is often angry and defensive, his explosive temper and disdain for folks who “won’t step up,” getting him into trouble again and again. Tact is a foreign concept to him. As is relying on God.
Strengths: She is determined and tenacious, generous and compassionate. She’s modest regarding her family’s social standing and has a sincere desire to be of service to others. Riley has strong faith and is a loyal friend.
Weakness: From a young age, Riley staged a “polite rebellion” against her protected and privileged life. Her dogged determination to return to her career as a nurse is tied to her sense of identity and worth. Riley’s assault left her with doubts and fears which prove more crippling than the physical injuries.
Quirk (if any)
Called “Rambo” behind his back, Jack is an adventurous risk taker: downhill biking, rock climbing, skydiving, running with the bulls in Pamplona . . . he’s done it all. He’s also known to dress up in a clown suit ala Patch Adams, to cheer tiny victims of abuse.
Riley, uncomfortable with the trappings of wealth, hides a Mercedes convertible in her garage and drives an older model Honda sedan.
Your inspiration for the character
The inspiration for Jack Travis likely came from Trauma Plan’s heroine, nurse chaplain Riley Hale—he is her opposite in so many ways. Jack is the dangerous “bull in a china shop” to Riley’s well-bred, cautious and still-fragile character. That each needs what the other can offer was an intriguing conflict to write.
Like Riley Hale, I was a nurse “sidelined by injury”—a very serious equestrian accident that landed me as trauma victim in my own ER. As she did, I suffered a broken neck and partial paralysis of my dominant arm. I was terrified I’d never be able to return to my nursing career. And, like Riley, my faith was also tested. I loved infusing her character with my experience . . . and blessings.
Background to the story
Sidelined by injuries from a vicious assault, nurse chaplain Riley Hale is determined to return to ER duties. But how can she show she’s competent when the hospital won’t let her attempt even simple tasks? To prove herself, Riley volunteers at a controversial urban free clinic despite her fears about the maverick doctor in charge.
Dr. Jack Travis defends his clinic like he’s commander of the Alamo. He’ll fight the community’s efforts to shut its doors, even if he must use Riley Hale’s influential family name to make it happen . . .
Relz Reviewz Extras
Reviews of Trauma Plan, Critical Care, Disaster Status & Code Triage
Character spotlight on Nick & Leigh from Code Triage
Character spotlight on Scott & Erin from Disaster StatusCharacter spotlight on Logan & Claire from Critical Care