I had some issues with this next book. And when I say “some issues”, I really mean, I just did not like the ‘hero’ of the book, at all, in any way, and the way the author set up the book, I’m not sure she actually wanted us to? At the end of it all, I wrote in my notes “I’m so mad because this COULD be a good book. The writer is very good. The feminism is not.” And, look: I acknowledge that not everyone is reading everything with a hypercritical feminist lens. Even I have some books where I’m like “This guy is too alpha hero for me to be super happy about it, but I like it otherwise, so I’ll deal.” But this ‘hero’? Makes me have to use air quotes while I’m typing, which completely negates the use of air quotes!
For real though. He’s a jerk.
An arrogant, pushy, dismissive jerk. I happened to see, as I was opening Goodreads to add this book to my finished shelf, that there are a lot of stars after it, but I didn’t want to check the other reviews until I wrote mine. So, I’m probably alone in thinking this guy was too big of an asshat to handle, but it’s still where I was for the majority of the book, and definitely where I was when I ended the book, so I can’t just give him a ‘aggressive alpha hero’ pass. For me? This guy was a jerk, plain and simple.
And I think the heroine – who was truly kickass and amazing – should have walked away and never looked back after the FIRST time he basically called her a whore for stripping, but no…..
In the end, she sticks around through that, and him manipulating and mansplaining her own life and circumstances to her, and him actual facts blackmailing her and causing her so much stress she has an asthma attack – in the hospital! while recovering from pneumonia! and they’re both doctors! so he definitely knew stressing her out was a bad idea! – and him basically gaslighting her into living with him by convincing her parents that he can ‘take care of her’.
No. GRUMPY CAT LEVELS OF NO.
Aside from that, the heroine was great, like I said – she swore in Alderaanian, guys; She was a single mother who put her kid in swimming lessons and went to med school and, ok, once fell asleep in a lecture bc her kid was sick but omg that’s real life, dude get over it. She deserved better than him. She probably should have just hooked up with her also kick-ass best friend, or even HIS best friend, who knew he was an ass and called him out on in multiple times (although it didn’t seem to make a difference in his actual behavior, in the end). This book could have been so good, but instead it just made me sad, because the ‘hero’ was awful, every step along the way.
And also? Just as a weird side note? The author starts off, on the very first page, talking about how ‘inappropriate’ and gross and wrong it would be of him (at 33) to even flirt with the med students, of which she is one. She basically made it sound COMPLETELY REASONABLY OFF LIMITS, and then set about dismantling, excusing, and sidestepping why it wasn’t, in this particular case, because, like, she was really, totally beautiful?? I don’t know. Again: I don’t think there’s, in theory, anything wrong with 33 yr olds and 22 yr olds dating? But don’t make it seem almost pedophilic on the first two pages and then spend the whole book trying to convince me otherwise? Like… just ew.
The next book in the series focuses on the ‘hero’s’ best friend, and a social awkward acquaintance/friend of them both, so I might give that one a try, in the hopes that it was just this one, horrid ‘hero’ who rubbed me the wrong way.
(I got my copy from NetGalley, but the Kindle version is free on Amazon, right now, if you’d like to argue with me about my opinions.)