Pub Date: March 2007, re-published November 2011
Publisher: Nicobar Press (originally via Dorchester)
Length: 337 pages
POV: 3rd, past
FTC: purchased myself (free on Amazon)
The first few chapters of this book are well done, with excellent pacing and set up. Then...it all kind of falls apart.
The hunky "Super Doc" Eli is a giant douche. I pretty much hated him throughout the entire book. Not only is he a player who disrespects pretty much every partner he has, but he somehow ends up with not one but TWO semi-stalker ex girlfriends. I did not like how the book chose to make THEM feel crazy, when it was pretty clear HE was the one who failed to pay attention or take their feelings into account. I did not buy that he was just so charming and had a magic wang, and that's why two different women felt led on about their relationship status. (Although one exhibited extremely unhinged behavior which actually SHOULD have been a major red flag).
Also absent (I looked) was any mention of condom use. Now I'm not sure if it was a Dorchester thing or not as common in 2007 romance [I can't remember] but these two are BOTH DOCTORS. There's no way that wouldn't have been discussed, but there is no mention of it. No mention of STDs at all. No mention of birth control. Not even a 'he paused to protect them both" throwaway. I had to back up and reread to check because it seemed so odd.
This book is also exhibit A for why I don't like reading about kids in romances. The author, I'm sure, felt like she was showing a loving family who doted on their only grandchild/niece, but I saw OTT spoiling: a family party to celebrate a kindergartner's straight As? Nope. (May be regional, but I haven't heard of a school that awards letter grades to K). And anytime the child is upset or disappointed, out comes a present of some sort. I just couldn't with that. I'm a parent, and that made my stomach hurt.
I'm not so fond of THE BIG MISUNDERSTANDING trope that causes conflict because the two main characters can't seem to have an adult conversation.
The ending was also weirdly abrupt. There's a huge crisis at a fundraising banquet that Eli steps in and fixes, and all of a sudden everything is cool. Despite huge, angsty feels, Monica is suddenly ok after his grand gesture. Sure. I might have bought it with an extended epilogue, but there isn't one.
I did like the other members of the family and the interplay between the siblings, so I'm probably going to try at least one more book in this series. It's an old book (11 years!) and there are certain things that could have been solved quite easily with tech that's now omnipresent, but also with just being adults and talking things through. Ugh.
My Grade: C
After being dumped by her boyfriend and passed over for yet another promotion, Monica Gardner moves to New Orleans, determined to make a name for herself as the new attending ER physician at Methodist Memorial Hospital. As for men--she's through with them. But when given the chance to chair the hospital's annual charity banquet, Monica must elicit the help of gorgeous Ob-gyn Elijah Holmes.
Eli will do anything to thwart his matchmaking Mama's plan to reunite him with his high school girlfriend. So, when the sexy new ER doc asks for his help in planning this year's charity banquet, Eli devises the perfect scheme: He'll help put on the best banquet the hospital has ever seen, if Monica poses as his new girlfriend. But when Eli finds himself falling in love, he realizes convincing Monica of his true feelings may be his greatest delivery yet.