Title: The Fighter
Author: E.L. Todd
Publisher/Year: Independent 5/14/19
Length: 199 Pages
Series: Doctor #4
Finn did the unthinkable.
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.
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!