Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️
I came to J. Saman’s Boston’s Billionaire Bachelors series late in the series. Having begun with book 3, Doctor Heartless, I only have that book and Saman’s newest book, Doctor Playboy, as comparisons. Of the two, I have to say that Doctor Playboy is my favorite, even though grumpy, sullen heroes are my catnip. Even with that as a guiding force in Doctor Heartless, Doctor Playboy does everything right with second chance romance, and I didn’t realize until its end how right Saman was in drawing her story. Let me explain.
Doctor Playboy follows Luca and Raven. Luca is the “playboy” brother of the Abbot-Fritzs. In this story, he comes upon Raven Fairchild one night when he’s feeling desolate over his future. She is the daughter of his father’s best friend and estate manager. Looking like an ethereal creature, he spies her playing cello, and he falls instantly for her. She also happens to be 11 years younger than him. Raven has loved Luca from afar since she was much younger. As they spend more time together, while Luca is healing from an injury, they fall deeply in love. Raven is on the cusp of starting at the London Conservatory, however. And after he has fully healed, Luca is returning to his residency in Minnesota. Is it possible for them to conduct a long-distance relationship? Or will they fall apart in their absence? Luca makes a decision for them that cements their future, or does it?
So here’s why I appreciated Doctor Playboy. I’ve read lots of second chance romances, and one of the things that always frustrates me is how quickly the hero or heroine falls back in love with the partner who spurned them. Now, don’t get me wrong. As I was reading this book, I became frustrated with Raven’s stubbornness in taking Luca back. But I realized towards the book’s ending that I actually appreciated it. While Luca and Raven give in to their physical attraction, Raven stays firm in holding her heart back. This feels realistic to their story, and I appreciate Saman’s insistence on making Luca work towards building his trust with Raven.
Now, Saman and her PR company tout this story as a forbidden romance as a tertiary trope. The reality of it and one of the other things I appreciated about Doctor Playboy is that Raven and Luca aren’t really forbidden. Their relationship initially is not a secret to the family, and everyone accepts their relationship. I kept waiting for the moment when it would become a familial issue, but it never does. Instead, Saman focuses the entirety of her story on the couple, allowing the natural pitfalls of their career choices and the reconciliation of the relationship to drive her story. The development of the characters and their journey are impeccably drawn because J. Saman avoids the typical categorization of this type of love. It would have reduced Luca and Raven’s journey if she had followed the natural inclination of the forbidden, age-gap trope.
J. Saman’s Doctor Playboy is an emotional journey about the sacrifice of love. This book feels like a bit Sabrina with a side of spice. If you are a fan of second chance romance, you will enjoy this story.
In love and romance,