Dr. FeelgoodThis anthology features stories related to the medical profession. Of the fourteen stories included, I found five to be outstanding, and I’d rate each of those 4.5 or 5 stars.
“Doctor in the Desert” by S.C. Wynne – An excellent story of a doctor in a small town hospital ER who meets one of the new cops in town when there’s a disruptive patient in the ER. They see each other a few times at work before Trace, the doc, asks Logan, the cop, out for a drink. The story was well-written, with a touch oThis anthology features stories related to the medical profession. Of the fourteen stories included, I found five to be outstanding, and I’d rate each of those 4.5 or 5 stars. “Doctor in the Desert” by S.C. Wynne – An excellent story of a doctor in a small town hospital ER who meets one of the new cops in town when there’s a disruptive patient in the ER. They see each other a few times at work before Trace, the doc, asks Logan, the cop, out for a drink. The story was well-written, with a touch of humor. I appreciated the fact that the author managed to fit in a brief story, a date, sex, and a serious morning-after discussion, all within the bounds of the pages of a short story. There wasn’t insta-love but they did make a commitment to work toward a relationship. “Iron Man” by Meg O’Brien – Another excellent story about Aidan, a young man who was blinded in an auto accident and Bryan, the son of his neighbor who happens to be a blind rehabilitation specialist. Bryan offers to work with Aidan at no charge because he’s completely captivated by not only his looks, but his intelligence, and his personality, by the time their first meeting is complete. He knows if he charges a fee, then Aidan will be a client, and he won’t be able to date him. I like the way the author allowed a great deal of time to go by before there was any romantic involvement. And she definitely gave them the promise of a HEA and some nice non-erotic love scenes to spice up the story. “Hero Worship” by Kris T. Bethke – Alex, a paramedic, literally saves the life of the groom’s younger brother, Matt, at his best friend, Carrie’s, wedding. Matt has always had a case of hero worship for Alex and that just gets worse now, causing Alex to shy away because he’s older and that’s not a good foundation for a relationship. When Matt offers to move in with him to make up for the rent money lost with Carrie leaving, Alex initially hesitates, then reluctantly agrees. The story takes place over several months as the author allows the two to grow into more than friendship. Eventually, after several interesting twists in the story, the two get their HEA.“Tourniquet” by Kaye P. Hallows – A doctor is injured in the Boston Marathon bombing when, after stopping to apply a tourniquet a young boy’s leg, he’s caught in a second explosion. There’s quite a bit of flirtatious play between Em and his nurse, Kane, who ultimately confesses that he’s been interested in getting closer to Em for six years. Fortunately, both uphold ethical behavior while Em is hospitalized, but when he’s released, the two begin their plans to build a relationship on their foundation of friendship. “To the Next Level” by Laura Mathews – Cam is a retired Marine who lost his leg in his last deployment and is being trained in the use of his new prosthesis. His therapist is Travis, and as the two flirt and get to know one another, Cam starts to hope that he might be able to create a future with this man. It isn’t until Cam is released from rehab, however, that the two finally are able to get together and the story ends with the promise of a possible HEA. The other stories in the anthology, in no particular order are: “Right-Hand Man” by Rob Rosen –
A young man with a broken arm and his neighbor who happens to be an unemployed live-in nurse find sex, love and a long term commitment. 3 stars“Mend What Is Broken” by Fil Preis – When a doctor falls asleep at the wheel of his car, an old love who was recently hired as an orthopedic surgeon takes over his care and they ultimately decide to pursue a relationship once the doctor is no longer a patient. 4 stars“First and Last” by Sara York – Reunited after ten years, a young man takes the opportunity to apologize for his verbal gay-bashing teenage behaviors when his former classmate and crush returns to town as a doctor. They initiate a conversation which leads to dating and eventually to their HEA. 4 stars“Differential Diagnosis” by Anna Martin –The producers of a popular TV series have decided to add a gay romance this year. When the men playing the parts are attracted in real life, the two keep their romantic interest private so that it doesn’t affect their TV roles. Of course it gets out, but the two stay together in a long term commitment and likely will have their HEA. 4 stars“In My Own Skin” – by Thea Nishimori A surprise blind date for a movie marathon weekend makes Chris uncomfortable because he can never get close to a lover. He eventually confesses to his date that he has psoriasis and goes into a very detailed description of what that skin condition looks like, down to the weeping sores on the genital area. I didn’t find the story as much of a romance as it was a lesson on psoriasis, however the author did assure that the MCs would see each other again and may have a HEA. 2.5 stars“Rx for Sex” by Bru Baker— Two psychiatrists struggle to stay together long term when schedules conflict, and they never seem to find time together. One decides to prescribe sex as their cure, and they make the commitment to find time to be together every day, no matter what happens. 3 stars“Kind” by Samuel Scott Preston – Rod is in training as a grad student athletic trainer but he’s had to go back into the closet to do so, since he fears exposure would ruin his career. While taking care of Damon, an injured athlete, the two find so much in common they become very close. After a misunderstanding over Thanksgiving, I got lost in some of the reasoning behind the balance of the story. It didn’t quite make sense to me, and the quick turnaround in behavior when the two meet again threw me off so I ranked this story lower for that reason. 2.5 stars“Pain Management” by Brigham Vaughn – This story is about a massage therapist who is treating a man who suffers from terrible migranes. The massage helps but the man needs to have ongoing treatment so they can’t date due to ethical considerations even though they seem to have insta-love. After undergoing an amazing new medical procedure, the patient is released so the two MCs are able to finally be together and find their HEA. 3 stars“Night Shift” by Casey O’Neill – Det. Wayne Fisher is a cop who’s been separated a year from his husband, Mike, a doctor, because Mike couldn’t live with all of the near death experiences a cop can have. Of course, one more happens when Wayne is shot in a convenience store robbery but it helps Mike to see that he’d rather have Wayne with him than never knowing where he is. This was a nice story but fairly predictable in its outcome. 3.5 starsOverall, the anthology was good and I’d recommend it to any lovers of M/M romance, especially those who like stories with medical personnel. This would also be a great book to take on vacation. Calculating the average of all stories, the score overall is 3.9 stars rounded up to 4.
Note: This book was provided to me by the publisher through Hearts on Fire Reviewsin exchange for an impartial review.