The Doctor’s Date

Heidi Cullinan. Dreamspinner, $7.99 mass market (448p) ISBN 978-1-64108-066-8
Cullinan returns to Copper Point, Wis., for this heart-rending sequel to The Doctor’s Secret, featuring another romance between colleagues at a small-town hospital. Although anesthesiologist Owen Gagnon and hospital HR director Erin Andreas frequently spar at work, Erin hides a secret: he has harbored a crush on Owen since they were teenagers. When he bids $25,000 for Owen at a bachelor’s auction to raise funds for a new cardiac ward, Owen thinks it’s just a ploy to upset Erin’s controlling, conservative father, who heads the hospital board of directors. But once Owen gets to know Erin, giving him his first kiss —and getting him to move out of his father’s house and into Owen’s—the men shift from being pretend boyfriends to real lovers. Each one helps the other cope with past trauma and abuse (described sufficiently to feel real, but never in gratuitous or titillating detail), and they build their relationship in a truly romantic way, listening to and protecting each other. Owen’s massage skills, his patience with Erin’s sexual inexperience and nervousness, and a grand gesture during a belated Valentine’s date make this contemporary swoon-inducing. Cullinan stretches out the story with a lengthy subplot about hospital funds being embezzled, which gives the characters another way to bond, but the story’s magic is in how their affection for each other helps them individually achieve self-confidence and self-love. This tear-jerker is a captivating winner. (June)
Reviewed on : 03/21/2019
Release date: 06/18/2019
Genre: Romance/Erotica
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