Title: Bedside Manner
Author: D.J. Jamison
Series: Hearts & Health #1
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: 3/7/2017
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 241
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Dr. Paul Johnston can’t get a set of dark, somber eyes out of his head, and the timing couldn’t be worse.
The last thing he needs is to fall for a patient. Not now, when he’s been put on paid leave pending review of a formal complaint. One that accuses him of sexual impropriety of some kind. It’s possible he let his newfound freedom as a divorced, out-of-the-closet gay man go to his head, but he’s certain — mostly — he didn’t do anything wrong. Now, he’s struggling to handle the reality that his job is in danger and the only guy he wants should be off-limits.
Zane Kavanaugh is floundering, and there’s only one man who soothes the storm inside him.
Reeling from an assault that landed him in the hospital and the painful estrangement from his family since coming out, Zane is trying to get his feet under him. He moves in with a roommate and searches for a job, all while recovering from a fractured arm and cracked ribs. None of that hurts as much as the emotional damage he’s suffered. When he connects with Dr. Paul Johnston outside of the ER, he’s drawn to the man’s calm, collected manner. It doesn’t hurt that Paul’s lack of experience with men is sexy as hell, and so are his over-the-top responses when Zane gets his lips on him.
There’s no right time to fall in love.
Paul is afraid to start a relationship, and Zane can only handle so much more rejection. Will these two find their perfect moment, or will they realize you can’t choose when and how you fall in love? If Paul can’t take a risk, he may have to choose: the career he loves or the first man to capture his heart.
This was a surprising 4 star read! It’s the first time I’ve read this author and I’m not usually into the doctor jargon thing, but this book surprised in the best way possible! In his late 30s, Dr. Johnston is finally trying to be himself – only to have his life fall apart again, right before his eyes. He is an excellent ER doctor, but his personal life is in shambles following a divorce from his wife… after knowing he was gay for all of the years they were together. And in his ER room, rolls in a man that captures his eye – not because of his looks, although those aren’t bad, but because of his courage and strength.
The patient is Zane – and he’s been brought into the ER after coming out to his parents, neither set of whom had a positive reaction to the news – including the beating by his step-dad. His coming out has led to him having a new understanding about his parents, he has to find a new home, and figure out what to do with his life – growing up almost over night.
This is a May-December romance, that feels like at times it could be inappropriate in nature – but never crosses the line. In fact, as the story goes on, the age and how they met disappears totally, and all that matters is the two men that they are. Even with all of the struggles they have on their own and with being together, they are well-suited for each other and compliment the other nicely.
One of my favorite things about this book is how “real” both characters get at different times. This isn’t a shiny-happy portrayal of people, but real life showing up on the page. Paul is a little clunky in the beginning and is at times, almost hard to read, but as he grows, he becomes more of who he is supposed to be and so does his relatable factor. A few bumps in this story for me, centered around Paul’s “history” at the hospital. I won’t give much away here, but it seemed SO out of character and random, that it wasn’t even necessary, and definitely distracted me from the actual story. I understand why it was put in, but it felt false – in a book that rang so true.
This is a great read for anyone who loves a May-December romance and reading about the courage to come out – regardless of the consequence.