Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
“When I’m with her, I feel…right.”
I have to admit that I was intrigued with J.D. Hawkins’s Playing Doctor, mostly because I want to read men writing romance. In a world where discrimination is all around us, romancelandia feels like a place where men who write romance are a small part of the population. Add to this a workplace romance where a self-assured, player of a doctor meets a self-assured, intelligent, insightful female doctor, and you’ve got some serious romance catnip.
At its surface, Playing Doctor is an insta-romance between a hero and heroine who never thought they’d want a relationship. They meet when the hero, Colin, leaves his former job for a job at Santa Teresa. It is there where he sets eyes on the heroine, Mia, and they can hardly contain themselves. For a short space of this story, they actually succeed until their impulses and attraction get the best of them, and their chemistry is off the charts, so much so that these two pretty much fall in love with each other even though they don’t initially recognize it.
I’ll be honest. I’m not a personal fan of the insta-love story and the quick resolution of it. Hawkins does put some time and space between these two. All this does is speed up their actions after that. This causes a bit of a believability issue with Colin, the requisite romeo of the story. I’ll let you read the book to understand what I mean about the difficulty of suspending your disbelief to his life choices.
Additionally, there is a moment in the story when Mia meets with a young aspiring doctor. In the moment, the scene is interesting as Mia’s heroism as a doctor confronts her. However, this moment never materializes into anything more, and you find yourself wondering about that character later in the story. I would have liked more development of that moment at least to some level of fulfillment.
What is most intriguing about Playing Doctor, though, is its focus on reverse sexual harassment. Colin’s character struggles with a character from his former employer, and it creates problems with his new employer and ability to do the job. While he’s falling in love with Mia, his journey also entails a highlight on this often overlooked issue. And I think it’s important that Hawkins creates a focus on it in this book as it provides a different perspective on workplace harassment.
In the world of romancelandia, we need more stories like J.D. Hawkins’s Playing Doctor. It is a menagerie of steam, chemistry, interesting characters, and topics that challenge our thinking. If you are looking for a quick read sure to entertain and provoke you, then grab this book quick.
In love and romance,