My rating: 4 of 5 stars
So many positive things to say about this new series from Heidi Cullinan, it’s ridiculously romantic, totally sweet, has a wonderfully detailed setting and fabulous secondary characters as well as multi-cultural representation.
My only ‘negative’ and its a minor one at that, is that on occasion it felt like the political awareness elements which Heidi is so good at incorporating into her stories were just dropped in like being hit over the head with a frying pan.
Her stories usually gently educate and inform but one particular passage in this one made me feel like I was being given a history lesson and a lecture on fair behaviour at the same time.
Now, it’s not necessarily a bad thing, it just felt a touch more heavy-handed than I’m used to from this author.
That said, in the whole this book is absolutely adorable, with two compelling and perfectly judged characters who are wonderful together. I loved Hong-Wei and I loved Simon.
The home town man and the Taiwanese doctor brought out the best in each other and the whole premise of personal liabilities and responsibilities married well into the wider plot about integration and the fight with an old-fashioned and controlling hospital board.
I’m not sure if it was because it’s a Dreamspinner publication or not, but this was way less steamy than I’d usually expect from Heidi, with only one on page encounter and then everything else off page or fade to black.
It was a slight disappointment only because of the very visceral feeling of love and emotion between the two men. I missed seeing more of it expressed physically on page.
Still, overall this delivers big time on great plot, wonderful characters and plenty of lead in for the next two in the trilogy. I’m dying to find out more about Owen and Erin (don’t worry, he’s a man even though his name is one I’d almost always associate with a woman) and their definite frenemies vibe.
#ARC kindly received from the publishers Dreamspinner Press in return for an honest and unbiased review.
Book releases April 23rd, pre-order your copy here: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-doctors-secret-by-heidi-cullinan-10296-b