Two Doctors and a Baby by Brenda Harlen

This RITA® Reader Challenge 2017 review was written by KNO’Rear. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Short Contemporary Romance category.

The summary:

“Surprise… You’re pregnant!”

Obstetrician Avery Wallace has uttered those words but never had them said to her…till now, just three weeks after her unexpected New Year’s Eve with the hospital’s “Dr. Romeo,” Justin Garrett. But Avery’s sworn off marriage, motherhood and men—especially doctors. And it isn’t attraction she feels for the sexy ER doc…it’s pregnancy hormones!

“Let’s get married.”

One night isn’t enough for Justin, not when he’s crushed on Avery for years. But a baby? Not in his plans. So no one’s more surprised by his proposal…or more disappointed by her refusal. The hospital’s buzzing but Justin doesn’t care. He knows what to do—and he has a little over eight months to do it: convince Avery to make him a husband before he becomes a daddy.

Here is K.N.O’Rear’s review:

I decided to review Two Doctors and a Baby because I thought it sounded like a light, slightly silly book to enjoy on my family’s vacation to Mexico last week. What I got was something cute and more bland than crazy, but still enjoyable read. The plot follows an obstetrician named Avery Wallace who rings in the New Year by getting it on with the local hospital hottie, Justin Garrett. They’ve of course had feelings with each other for a long time and of course they forgot protection and Avery gets pregnant. The events that follow basically consist of Avery trying to come to terms with her feelings for Justin which are wrong because he has a reputation as a bit of a womanizer. Naturally, this isn’t true.

While the premise works in theory and does provide a sweet, low-angst story I probably would have put in down if I wasn’t going to review it because it is executed in a bland, slightly annoying manner. One of the biggest reasons for this is that the heroine solely exists to be projected on and the hero is basically a perfect hunk of man meat for the heroine to fall in love with. Basically, neither one of them feel like actual characters.

For instance the only thing we know about Avery, appearance-wise, is that she has eyes that are some shade of blue and she’s shorter than the hero. Her personality is basically a bundle of quirks that most people relate to and her trust issues were created by events in her past. There isn’t much to Justin either except being hot, charming, and good in bed, but of course he still isn’t the womanizer the rumors make him out to be. As a result he was a boring hero. He also has a super loud, super interfering family. There are issues in the family’s past, but they’ve since moved on from them and honestly I loved them since I have that exact family. The only problem was that I didn’t really get to know them beyond surface-level depth since they are either heroes or heroines of previous books or sequel bait.

Avery was a lot more annoying since she suffers from being a little obstructive in their relationship, since no matter how many people tell her that Justin isn’t as bad as the rumors make him out to be, she still believes what she hears. At one point she starts to grow closer to him, but immediately withdraws when she overhears an intern named Heather bragging about spending the entire weekend in Justin’s bed and Avery believes her despite the fact that Saturday of the same weekend she was at a gala dancing with him. The story tries to justify this with Avery past. I won’t spoil it here, but I don’t think it’s enough justification to remain so bull-headed for hundreds of pages.

Eventually her stubbornness starts to wane when she officially confirms she’s pregnant with Justin’s baby and the two of them start discussing what is best for their child. When this discussions starts, so does a slow-paced relationship that is beautiful to watch unfold; Avery still has her annoying moments, but they’re far more tolerable when their relationship is progressing so sweetly. The biggest reason for this is that throughout the baby discussions and the minor upsets that happen during this phase they talk like adults. Their relationship is sealed when…

Spoiler & Trigger Warning
Avery has a miscarriage scare. The baby was fine, but the scare happened shortly after one of her patients lost their baby.

This building phase of their relationship saved the book for me, not to mention it started a bunch of book-related conversations with my grandma. In conclusion I’m going to give Two Doctors and Baby a C+.

This book is available from:
Two Doctors and a Baby by Brenda Harlen

April 1, 2016

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