Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Length: 56,000 words
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 most likely accuses him of sexual harassment or 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 and find his independence. 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.
Bedside Manner is Book 1 of the Hearts & Health series. This is a spin-off series from the book Heart Trouble and includes characters from that novel, but it can be read as a standalone.
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Bedside Manner is an interesting read. To be honest, I'm not a big fan of novels where there is a huge age gap between the main characters. They make it work though, even though there's just a little too much angst for my tastes.
That does not, however, detract from the superb writing. I can see Bedside Manner being turned into a TV movie of the week. The plot is extremely realistic to the point where I can't help but wonder how many Dr. Johnstons are out there.
Being beaten and rejected by families for being gay is something that happens WAY to often in real life. It's a sad fact that often ends in senseless tragedy. I think that anyone in Zane's situation should read Bedside Manner. The realism in Zane's characters I feel would be an inspiration to those in his position.
I give Bedside Manner 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it.