There You Are
by Ieshia Wiedlin
Release Date: February 10, 2022
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Book #1 in the Romancing the Doctors series
Number of pages: 195
Source: ARC from publisher
Ages 15 and up
CW: domestic abuse, stalking, racism
It’s love at first sight…but can it be love forever?
Amina Wright loves her job in community outreach for the Chicago Bulls NBA team, but life has taught her to be wary of players. So she’s not sure what to expect when a good-looking anesthesiologist smoothly cuts in at the charity gala she’s hosting and handles the womanizing jerk trying to waste her time. Certainly gratitude is in order—but a relationship? Not on the table.
Dr. Nathan Moore doesn’t have time for a relationship, especially not a complicated one. He can’t believe he let his friend drag him to some fancy event, and he certainly wasn’t expecting to rescue a beautiful woman as a distraction. But now he wants to spend more time with Amina, even if most of his waking hours are devoted to the hospital.
Indulging in a relationship that sizzles their blood is the easy part. But her past threatens his career’s future, and their cultural differences are putting stress on the present. Can they build a love strong enough to heal both their hearts?
I always feel it’s a sticky situation, when I don’t enjoy a book, to give an honest review while not coming across as I’m bashing the author. Especially when it’s a debut author who is still finding their sea-legs, so to speak. I’ll try to keep this brief so I don’t end up piling on.
The concept and storyline are interesting and are the things that had me requesting this book. The author confronts racism, domestic abuse, and more. All very heavy issues. I felt she did a good job with the content and situations surrounding the an interracial couple, but she hasn’t yet found that line between preaching and informing. Yes, the real people dealing with these real issues don’t get a day off. That’s not what I’m saying here. I know as a white cis woman in a traditional marriage to a white cis man I am not the correct person to speak of the right or wrong of these situations. What I can speak of is if I feel a fictional romance book is taking away from the story by feeling like it’s lecturing the reader instead of informing the reader. Especially when we’re given the same exact information over and over instead of the same information in different ways.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t a fan of how the domestic abuse issues were handled. It seemed the author was trying not to victim blame, yet by the end it seemed like the abused was almost undermined by how things turned out with the abuser. There are many people in the world, even those close to someone who is abused, who will doubt and try to find excuses. I appreciate that side of things being shown. There is not always a solid support system for victims of abuse. It’s the reaction to that naysaying person by other loved ones, the ones that were her support system, that upset me.
My thoughts on the romantic elements of the story are split. I felt Amina and Nathan were a beautiful couple and fit well together. I loved his support in her while she dealt with her internal struggle. And she is a strong and independent woman. But I didn’t feel their chemistry as much as I would have hoped. My theory is that the author used too much dialogue. This story is very dialogue heavy and it, at times, comes across as middle school kids having awkward conversations. Not because what they were saying was childish, but the flow of so much dialogue just made it feel stilted. That leads to me to feeling like I was being told and not shown the connection between the main characters. When they first meet it sweet and cute, but it doesn’t seem to progress when they’ve grown into a true relationship.
I really wish this author well and hope she finds her groove. Like I said, she had a good concept to start. As well as some wonderful characters that are easy to love.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**