Title: The Doctor
Author: E.L. Todd
Publisher/Year: Independent 4/16/19
Length: 198 Pages
Series: Doctor #1
My husband left me.
After five years together, he realized he was gay.
Once the anger had faded away, there was nothing but love left behind. This man is still my best friend and I want him in my life. So I move across the hall so we can be as close as we always have.
Then his brother moves in for a couple of weeks, a man I’ve never met. He relocates to Seattle to work as an ER doctor at the local hospital.
And he’s NOTHING like his brother.
The strong and silent type, he looks at me with a gaze so fierce it’s like he hates me. Every time we’re alone in a room together, the chemistry is so suffocating I can barely breathe. The guy never wears a shirt around the apartment so that makes it a million times worse…or better depending on how you look at it.
But this man is off-limits. He’s the only man in the world I can’t have. And he can’t have me either.
So we’ll just have to keep pretending there’s nothing here….even though there is.
The summary doesn’t quite do this intro the a new series justice. Yes, we meet our leading lady Pepper on the day that she’s signing her divorce papers from her true love match – Colton. The guy that she’s been married happily to for five years. It makes it complicated too when he texts her ‘baby are you coming’ which makes us wonder the circumstances of their divorce.
We learn them quickly – while they were happy together, there was something that Colton couldn’t deny anymore – that he was gay. So they part ways as husband and wife, and we see what their new relationship develops into over time. They still have so much love for one another, but not the in-love type. and it’s really amazing to see how they’re always there for each other throughout everything.
The beginning of story takes the readers on the journey of rediscovery and understanding who you are now that your life circumstances are different. Pepper had swagger and confidence before she married Colton and now she questioned it. People who knew the couple in the past and knew that Colton was now gay, well they questioned what it was that Pepper did to turn him off women and that isn’t something that’s justified. Even though Pepper is gorgeous, and owns a luxury lingerie store, she’s having trouble getting her stride back, and it’s only when a man comes into her store repeatedly to pick up lingerie for a variety of different women that she decides to get back in the saddle and use him as her entry back into the world.
Enter Jax – a man who’s so attractive that he’s got the nickname Mr Gorgeous. He’s everything that Pepper wanted, with no expectations. She uses him for a night and walks away. It’s only when their paths cross that he realizes that she’s worth more than just one night, and pushes her for more. We know that’s going to be complicated and this is how we see their story continue for the balance of the book.
There are a few other plot lines to note. Colton is trying to get his footing in the world now that he’s come out and has the opportunity to explore what feels natural to him. He’s nervous and doesn’t really know how to put himself out in the dating world, but he’s got friends around him like pepper that are beyond supportive. On top of that, we see Colton struggle at work as well – because his law firm apparently isn’t inclusive, and they don’t like the fact that he’s come out as gay and his opportunities on cases there dwindle. We watch how that makes things stressful for him, and makes him question everything in life yet again, until he’s forced to make a decision.
Then there’s Finn. Colton’s older brother who’s back from the military and setting down roots as an ER doc in Seattle. He’s cold, focused, but at the same time masculine, powerful and has this magnetism that draws every women to him (which he enjoys), and then creates some type of interesting bond and friction with Pepper.
This is the good bit of the story – we watch them dance around each other – knowing that there’s something there but also knowing that they can’t act on it given that Colton is their common denominator. It’s a shame since as a reader we get the sense that there could be something amazing, however….sadly there’s no other option.
Where we are left at the end of this first installment is a place of great sadness. Colton has admitted to his family who he is and what that means for Pepper. And his parents are not accepting of this. We also see that any happiness that Pepper was developing in her own personal life crumbles when she’s forced to make a choice that she’s not willing to make. The only bright star here is that the brooding nature of Finn ramps up more and more and that means we HAVE to dive into book two to see what that means for everyone. I’m excited for the passion that can come up and the intensity that his story line will bring. So on that note – Enjoy!