The Doctor’s Orders

The Doctor’s Orders by Heidi Cullinan: Buddy Read & Buddy Review by Lost in a Book and Adam for @BMBR

The Doctor's Orders (Copper Point Medical, #3)

Blurb:

Once upon a time Nicolas Beckert was the boy who stole kisses from Jared Kumpel beneath the bleachers, but now Jared’s a pediatrician and Nick is the hospital CEO who won’t glance his way. Everything changes, however, when they’re stranded alone in a hospital elevator. Ten years of cold shoulders melt away in five hours of close contact, and old passions rekindle into hot flames.

Once out of the elevator, Jared has no intention of letting Nick get away. It’s clear he’s desperate for someone to give him space to let go of the reins, and Jared is happy to oblige. But Jared wants Nick as a lover in a full, open relationship, which is a step further than Nick is willing to go. They’ve traded kisses under the bleachers for liaisons in the boardroom… and it looks like the same arguments that drove them apart in high school might do the same thing now.

Jared’s determined not to let that happen this time around. He won’t order Nick from his shell—he’ll listen to what his friend says he needs to feel safe. Maybe this time he can prescribe his lover a happy ever after.

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2 Stars

Wow! The Doctor’s Orders is quite the interesting read but luckily we (Adam and Lost) didn’t endure the ride alone. So, sit back, buckle up and prepare yourselves for a joint review *gasp* from us, Adam and Lost in a Book.

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With this installment being the third in Cullinan’s Copper Point Medical series, we are thrust back to St. Ann’s with the CEO, Nicholas Beckert and the pediatrician everyone loves, Jared Kumpel. What once was a high school romance between these two men turned ice cold with Nick not wanting to come out and Jared not accepting anything less.

Many years go by and they find themselves in the same hospital, lonely, hurt, and quietly longing for each other from afar. Until the elevator breaks…

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It’s all quite dramatic. The elevator dangled precariously from the third floor, but given the uproar and health resulting health scares, you would think it was a twenty-story drop, at the least.

What follows the elevator incident is a rollercoaster of will they or won’t they, what will the townspeople think, shitty parents doing shitty things, a whole host of social ills, and *drum roll please* ‘is the killer inside the house?!’ (or the hospital, as it were). It was a lot.

Heidi Cullinan has a penchant for dramatic flair, which ordinarily can be quite entertaining. In this case, it quickly became too much. This time around, the plot was everything and the kitchen sink.

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Inevitably, we found ourselves skimming to get to the point.

Jared and Nicholas are endearing in their own ways and even likable together at some points throughout. However, that gets lost in the soap opera shuffle that is rampant throughout The Doctor’s Orders.

Both men go through a lot, particularly with their families. Plus, being gay men, and one of them black, in a small town comes with specific challenges. It’ll make you indignant on their behalf, and root for the two to come out on the other side happy.

But neither of us really connected to Nicholas and Jared in book #3. It was good to see them finally get their happy ending, but it wasn’t particularly memorable and by that point we were no longer invested in the story.

Of course, your mileage may vary!

 

Copy provided for honest review.

The Doctor’s Date

The Doctor’s Date (Copper Point Medical #2) by Heidi Cullinan:
Review by Lost in a Book for @BMBR

Buddy Read with Adam

The Doctor's Date (Copper Point Medical #2)

Blurb:

Sequel to The Doctor’s Secret
Copper Point Medical: Book Two 

The hospital’s least eligible bachelor and its aloof administrator hate each other… so why are they pretending to date?

Dr. Owen Gagnon and HR director Erin Andreas are infamous for their hospital hallway shouting matches. So imagine the town’s surprise when Erin bids an obscene amount of money to win Owen in the hospital bachelor auction—and Owen ups the ante by insisting Erin move in with him.

Copper Point may not know what’s going on, but neither do Erin and Owen. Erin intends his gesture to let Owen know he’s interested. Owen, on the other hand, suspects ulterior motives—that Erin wants a fake relationship as a refuge from his overbearing father.

With Erin suddenly heading a messy internal investigation, Owen wants to step up and be the hero Erin’s never had. Too bad Erin would rather spend his energy trying to rescue Owen from the shadows of a past he doesn’t talk about.

This relationship may be fake, but the feelings aren’t. Still, what Erin and Owen have won’t last unless they put their respective demons to rest. To do that, they’ll have to do more than work together—they’ll have to trust they can heal each other’s hearts.

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BR with Adam

3.5 Stars

The Doctor’s Date is the second installment in Cullinan’s new series and I’m glad that I gave it a try. After the first book I was hesitant to dive in but this book has a little more depth to the characters. It’s still sweet with low angst but doesn’t flatline like the last one did for me.

The story starts off with Erin’s childhood background story that provides context on his behavior as an adult. Erin’s in charge of human resources for the hospital. He’s skittish, isolated, and has had a long life of intimidation and neglect from his father (who is also the president of the board). He has never done anything with another person (not even a kiss) and has been starved for affection, touch, and kind words. Erin has been looking for a mighty ogre to rescue him since he was boy and the ogre has a name, Owen. It’s always been Owen. Always.

Owen’s an anesthesiologist that has quite the reputation within the hospital as pretty much being an asshole. His glower sends the gossiping nurses scurrying but, with those he loves, he’s loyal and a protector. His favorite past-time is rubbing up against Erin until they are both breathing fire… not in a sexual way, that comes later. Much. Much. later.

My thoughts on Erin and Owen are a little confusing. I liked them together sometimes because there’s respect, patience, and a connection of building a deeper friendship. As I was reading though, I kept wondering if some chemistry would appear- I don’t think it ever really did. This lacking of chemistry has nothing to do with sex. I’m not sure where Erin falls on the sexuality spectrum but I would guess closer to asexual than not. I appreciated that they didn’t rush to sex and instead took little steps that added some depth to their friendship. The sex scenes are fade to black which doesn’t really bother me if the characters have a great connection and chemistry.

Owen’s a natural leader that takes charge and that’s no different when it comes to Erin. It takes a while for Owen to reveal himself and his childhood trauma because he’d rather be helping others. Erin lets himself be rescued with his backbone appearing a few times in his role as HR director and the auction. Other than that, Erin just goes along and enjoys the fruit of his ogre coming for him and fully caring for him (almost helpless at some points). There’s not many medical situations taking place in The Doctor’s Date but there’s an underlying mystery to solve that adds some suspense.

As I mentioned, I enjoyed this installment and will possibly continue with the next book. If you’re looking for a really sweet, low angst M/M romance, with a little bit of humor, this could be your cuppa.

Trigger Warnings for abuse.

Copy provided for honest review.

 

The Doctor’s Secret

The Doctor’s Secret (Copper Point Medical #1) by Heidi Cullinan: Review by Lost in a Book for @BMBR

The Doctor's Secret (Copper Point Medical #1)

Blurb:

The brilliant but brooding new doctor encounters Copper Point’s sunny nurse-next-door… and nothing can stand in the way of this romance.

Dr. Hong-Wei Wu has come to Copper Point, Wisconsin, after the pressures of a high-powered residency burned him out of his career before he started. Ashamed of letting his family down after all they’ve done for him, he plans to live a quiet life as a simple surgeon in this tiny northern town. His plans, however, don’t include his outgoing, kind, and attractive surgical nurse, Simon Lane.

Simon wasn’t ready for the new surgeon to be a handsome charmer who keeps asking him for help getting settled and who woos him with amazing Taiwanese dishes. There’s no question—Dr. Wu is flirting with him, and Simon is flirting back. The problem is, St. Ann’s has a strict no-dating policy between staff, which means their romance is off the table… unless they bend the rules.

But a romance that keeps them—literally—in the closet can’t lead to happy ever after. Simon doesn’t want to stay a secret, and Hong-Wei doesn’t want to keep himself removed from life, not anymore. To secure their happiness, they’ll have to change the administration’s mind. But what other secrets will they uncover along the way, about Copper Point… and about each other?

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Tag Team with Adam

2.5 Stars

Ermm… *checks author name*

Heidi Cullinan wrote this?

I was all ready to play doctor when I cracked this open but the sugary fluff was wafting off the page very early on.

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My past reads with Cullinan have raked my emotions over the coals while chasing it down with tissues and a bottle of wine. This wasn’t that experience at all. I’m all about branching out but The Doctor’s Secret left me wanting more substance while trying to come down from a sugar high.

Dr. Hong-Wei Wu moves to Copper Point to live a slower paced lifestyle and just be a general surgeon. He ran away from Texas to a small town and is greeted at the airport by his new surgical nurse, Simon.

Simon is a very positive and competent surgical nurse that has lived in Copper Point all his life. He’s very involved in the community and has a thing for K-Pop, Asian TV, and apparently hot AF Taiwanese doctors. Unfortunately for both of them, the hospital policy prohibits getting together with other employees.

I didn’t get Simon and Dr. Wu together. They had insta-love with no real depth. They wen’t from we can’t date to I love you way too fast. Dr. Wu remains closed off throughout (which might be more his culture than poor character development) and the way his “secret” was hyped, I was ready for something huge. Like it has to be a BFD. *sigh*

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Everything seems so fantastical and the lack of strong characters was off putting. I hate to say this but I was bored reading the story.

I did enjoy the town, the endearing secondary characters, and the antics of Simon’s surgeon friends- My favorite parts didn’t involve the MCs.  I’m still a big fan of Heidi’s other works but this just wan’t for me. Not recommended but YMMV.

Copy provided for honest review.

 

September/October M/M Highlights

I’m baccccccckkk!! It was a hell of a few months but we made it and although I didn’t have a ton of reading time, I managed to knock a few back. I’m overwhelmed by the idea of trying to write back log reviews… so I’m not. Here are some of the M/M (I’ll be making another M/F post later) reads I (Lost in a Book) enjoyed during my moving craziness.

Glitterland (Glitterland, #1)

Glitterland by Alexis Hall

4.25 Stars

Format: Audio

Narrator: Nicholas Boulton

Thoughts:

This was a pleasant surprise. I’ve had Glitterland on my TBR for a while but not my “real” TBR. You know… the ever expanding list that I may one day get to. It was my lucky day when I saw this on audio and wasn’t annoyed by the narrator. Actually, Nicholas Boulton kicked ass with the narration and kept me hooked on Ash and Darian’s story. His voice… highly enjoyable.

This is one of those books I wanted to highlight like crazy but couldn’t audio. It says a lot that I went and purchased the Kindle version.

I love that the MCs weren’t magically fixed just because they were together, especially Ash. Their journey has a realistic portrayal that not all days are good days and some days are really bad… but by being together, they can enjoy the good days and not be alone during the bad and worse.

Trigger Warnings: Depression, Bi Polar, Mentions of suicide attempts

Definitely recommended.

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Love Lessons (Love Lessons, #1)

Love Lessons by Heidi Cullinan

4 Stars

Format: Audio

Narrator: Iggy Toma

Thoughts:

Sugarrrrrr. I think I got a cavity. Snarky Walter and Disney movie loving Kelly are adorable. The lead up to the first Kiss… so damn good. It’s lead ups like this one that prove the first kiss can be WAY hotter than many sex scenes I’ve read.

There’s not much relational drama once they get past the initial hurtles and the characters have some issues to rally around that keep the plot moving.

The narration by Iggy Toma was enjoyable. His “voice” for Walter fit the snark that was always present.

Recommended.

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The Mating of Michael (Sex in Seattle, #3)

The Mating of Michael by Eli Easton

4 Stars

Format: Audio

Narrator: Michael Stellman

Thoughts:

Wow, I love Easton. The Mating of Michael has a much different feel than all the other books I’ve read from her. James and Michael are insanely sweet together even if James can be super moody. James has serious issues to overcome and although Michael doesn’t fix him, he shows him that there’s more to life than his limitations. He shows him that he matters, he is desirable, and lovable. They have a sweet HEA with some relational angst.

The narrator does a good job of bringing Michael to life. I appreciated his “voice” that gave the feel of sweet, patient, and understanding.

Recommended.