Review: The Fighter (Doctor #4) by E.L. Todd

TitleThe Fighter
Author:  E.L. Todd
Publisher/Year:  Independent 5/14/19
Length:  199 Pages
Series: Doctor #4


Finn did the unthinkable.

He left.

Just as my parents abandoned me, he left to live a better life.

It took so long to pick up the pieces, but I’ve sworn to never fall in love again.

And to never take Finn back…no matter how much he begs.

My Thoughts

This fourth installment breaks my heart. We knew that the love story of Finn and Pepper wasn’t meant to be, and that’s what we see as a culmination in this series. Finn, the nomad, was offered the job of a lifetime, going to run the Doctors without Borders program in Africa, meaning that he’d be away for a year, and then when that time was up, he’d get a job at the Mayo Clinic, the opportunity that would give him the career gig that he’s always wanted. He thought that Pepper would follow him anywhere – she proved the she supported his profession when he went to Florida to help the red cross for a month and was surprised when she wouldn’t bend here.

A month is one thing

A year is another

Uganda and Minnesota are not Seattle, and that means that Pepper will never be happy.

So they go their separate ways. The engagement is off. The relationship is off, and now they have to figure out what life looks like separately.

Pepper has decided that romance and love are not her future. She’s been in love and abandoned by everyone, Colton, Finn and even her birth mother so now she’s a player. All she wants to do is have meaningless relationships that never go longer than one night. Her friend are worried about her but they know that they can’t reason with her right now. Things change slightly one night when it’s really late and she’s alone in a bar, and a handsome, powerful, strong sexy man approaches her. The description that we get of him reminds us of Finn, but we know that this guy is the opposite of Finn. What starts as a one night stand turns into something else. She doesn’t realize who this guy is – Brutus…until her friends identify him based on his description. He’s a Billionaire and a man who can give Pepper what she needs. Mind you, she’s damaged and doesn’t want a relationship and she learns that he is as well, so they are in a good casual relationship together.

Brutus shows Pepper the world, takes her to Fiji, and makes her happier than she’s been in a while. There’s no talk of the future, but they know that the ‘now’ is what is in important.

Across the world, we watch how Finn is doing the job that he signed up for, but he’s miserable. He knows that he’s helping people that would never have the care he provides, but he’s empty. he knows that he made the wrong choice and he’s even attempted to talk to Colton about it, but no one in the states wants anything to do with him. He has a meaningless relationship with one of the doctors there because he doesn’t want to be alone, but he’s definitely not enjoying anything that the program should give him. Colton tells him that Pepper’s moved on, yet that’s not enough to get him to give up, and that’s where we know this story will go downhill.

Finn comes back to the states and wants to get Pepper back. Pepper is happy in her new situation with Brutus. He’s transformed her business so that she’s now making 3x as much money – and she’s got employees working for her so that she’s able to take time for herself. She’s working out with Stella now and she’s in the best shape of her life. Finn coming back will ruin all that.

The story from here is a roller coaster. Finn won’t give up his quest to win her back, but Brutus is a formidable opponent. A stupid one as well when he makes decisions that could push Pepper back to Finn if only she knew. That’s now how Finn is going to play things, so we watch Pepper and Brutus evolve their casual relationship into something deeper.

There’s a payout, a beating and a lot of lies and deception that bring this story to a close for those three and I think that the ending justifies the process.

The other story line that I really enjoyed here is the evolution of Colton and Tom. Colton deserves his own happiness too and now that he’s really comfortable with who he is and the relationship that he’s in now, it’s nice to see that there’s really something tangible there. It’s been over a year and they are still happy together and that means that their future is open to so many opportunities. We want to see him in his forever relationship, so it’s nice that this story shows us that side of things along with the complex and difficult story of Pepper.

I’m sad to see how this fourth installment ends, but it was even more traumatic to see how it began. The closure that we get warranted the journey that we went on and now it’s time to move on to something else. Great thing about the eBooks that i’ve been getting – the first book of this series was in the last book of the prior series that i read – and the same goes here. I’ve already got my next series to jump into – so off I go. Enjoy!

Review: The Lover (Doctor #3) by E.L.Todd

TitleThe Lover
Author:  E.L. Todd
Publisher/Year:  Independent 5/14/19
Length:  199 Pages
Series: Doctor #3


Against all odds, Finn and I have managed to be together.

Colton continues to warn me, says that Finn will never change.

But he already has.

I don’t know what the future holds…but I think Finn fits in somewhere.

My Thoughts

This third installment is yet another example of the insanity that we’re living in. From the summary, we know that Pepper and Finn are together, but we don’t know what that means for the future relationship and for the relationship with Colton. He’s still not thrilled with the idea of his brother and Pepper together and that drives an even bigger wedge.

Everyone wants to live their lives towards the end goal of happiness, but what we’re learning throughout this third installment is that it’s not possible. This isn’t fantasy land, and there’s no chance that everyone will have their happy ending.

What IS happy though is Colton’s story. He’s come out of his shell and has really started to thrive in his life. He’s in a great relationship with a guy who seems to be right for him – and his friends and family really like Tom as well. He’s enjoying his new job and really feels like he’s doing something for the greater good. The only problem that he has in life is that he’s not in a great place with Finn and that’s going to be a long road to get to a happy spot again.

On the other hand, we have an intense romance with Finn and Pepper to focus on. they are beyond deeply in love, even if they don’t admit the words to one another for quite some time. Their chemistry is off the charts and the white hot inferno that we saw in the last book continues to burn even hotter here, giving us some of the hottest scenes out there. Something that our author is known for and something that carries this story through.

We’re spending a lot of time here relying on trust, and love. We see what’s possible when you have so much love for someone that you give them unconditional trust, and it’s really great to see a healthy relationship in that sense. What concerns me though is that they have such different impressions of what the future should look like. We know that Pepper wants the family and kids. She wants to settle down and live in Seattle near her friends and her business. That’s never been Finn’s story. He’s always moved around – never staying in one place for too long and really not committing to much of anything and even though he sometimes feels like he can commit to Pepper, it’s always on his terms.

And that’s where we end this third book. We are on such a high knowing that Finn wants to commit to Pepper, wants to have a future with her which is very uncharacteristic for him, but again it’s on his terms. He wants her to give everything up and that’s something that she just can’t do. So sadly, we are not in a happy place when this third book ends, and I hope that we can figure out what that means in the long run. There’s really no way that they can both get what they want together, so we’ll see if they can get it apart. Sadly – Enjoy!

Review: The Man (Doctor #2) by E.L. Todd

TitleThe Man
Author:  E.L. Todd
Publisher/Year:  Independent 4/16/19
Length:  164 Pages
Series: Doctor #2


Now that Jax is gone and I’m single once again, I’m supposed to be finding Mr. Right.

But Finn is the only guy I want. 

Every time we’re in the same room together, the heat is explosive. We can barely look at each other without our hands shaking. As days turn into weeks, our resolve softens.

And then we can’t fight it anymore.

My Thoughts

So when we were last with these characters, we saw lots and lots of heartbreak and uncertainty. There were failed attempts at restarting lives, making a change to the positive, and yet those things crashed and burned. Colton had put himself out there and met a guy named Aaron, felt that there may be something there, but sadly that fizzled out. Pepper started something with Mr Gorgeous, but he felt far too uncomfortable with the relationship that she had with her ex husband, and even forgiveness wasn’t enough. Ultimatums are never good and we saw how that ended.

So we’re into the second installment here, watching them try to pick up the pieces of things. It’s hard to watch happiness slip through everyone’s fingers, and we want the best, however the problems keep piling up.

The chemistry between Finn and Pepper is palpable. You feel the temperature rise in the room when ever they are near each other, and it’s really anyone’s guess on who they’re fooling by not acting on what they feel, but at the same time, they are trying not to act on what they feel. We know they kissed in the first book, and we know that they tried to draw a line there -but we also know that their connection is something that they can’t even fight, and that means that we’re going to see a fiery hot inferno erupt.

What happens in this piece of the story is intense. Pepper and Finn find that they have more than just a surface attraction and that there’s potential for something great, but they are also forced to hide what’s going on from Colton and we know that it can’t last that long.

Colton has a bit of a personal roller coaster in this book as well. He knows that he has to come clean with his parents and that means telling them that he’s divorced from Pepper, gay and without a job. At the same time, Finn gets to make his reentry to the family – and frankly there’s no way that the night will go well..and it doesn’t.

From there, there’s the challenge of Colton coming to terms with his parent’s reaction, but at the same time, finding a new job, and a new man. There are so many ups even with the downs.

We know the other shoe is going to drop when / if he finds out about Finn and Pepper, and when Finn even tries to do the right thing, is blows up in their face. So that means that no one is happy at the end of this book, just like in the first one. Now i’m off to book three because well….I have no choice but to dive right back in and see what’s going to happen. Enjoy!

Review: The Doctor (Doctor #1) by E.L. Todd

TitleThe 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.

My Thoughts

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!