Thursday, September 26, 2013

Doctor, Soldier, Daddy - Caro Carson (HSE #2286 - Sept 2013)

Series: Doctors MacDowell (Book 1)

Dashing soldier Jamie MacDowell needs a mother for his infant son, stat! And while the handsome M.D. has no shortage of candidates, he lets his baby boy help with the selection. Little Sam falls for quiet Kendry Harrison -- a surprising choice, maybe. But Jamie quickly realizes that the orderly's sweet veneer hides a multitude of attractions -- and if he's not careful, he could wind up wrecking their carefully set-up "arrangement."

Kendry knows her marriage to Jamie is strictly business, but that doesn't stop her from dreaming of a more permanent place in the healer's heart. If only he'd stop resisting the passion simmering between them. Then maybe he'd realize they were made for each other…and meant to be married in every sense of the word…

Jamie had fallen for an Afghani woman while deployed.  When she died in childbirth he knew he needed to get the baby to the US in a hurry.  He fudged some of the paperwork and knew there could be problems later.  He wanted to make sure he had a wife so that he could show a stable home life if needed.  Since he was still mourning Amina he wasn't looking for love, just the best he could find as a mother for Sam.  He finds that in Kendry, a hospital orderly who has a real connection with Sam.  So he proposes a marriage of convenience, not expecting to start wishing that he could change the rules.

Kendry is working as an orderly at the hospital trying to earn enough money for school.  Thanks to some bad luck she has barely enough money to live on.  One of her favorite jobs at the hospital is working with the children and Sam is her favorite.  When Jamie starts paying particular attention to her she doesn't know what to think.  His proposal that they marry for Sam's sake surprises her.  She has come to care for Jamie and would rather marry for love, but will take what she can get.  I loved Kendry's determination to make the best of her life.  She is very proud and knows that her current financial difficulties are mostly her fault.  She is doing whatever she must to survive.  It was heartbreaking to see how bad things really were for her.  Marrying Jamie was like a dream for her, but she also didn't want to feel like she was taking advantage of him.  I loved seeing the way that Jamie tried to take care of her even though she resisted.  The more time that they spent together the more her love for him grew.  I really enjoyed seeing how compatible they were when working together and even more so after they were married.  I loved the way that she tried to take care of him.  The way that she got him to the football game was great and I loved seeing her enjoyment of it.  Her support of him when she found out the full story behind Sam's birth was very emotional.  I loved the way that she stood up for her own needs at the end and won it all.

Jamie is a tortured man at the beginning of the book.  He had loved Amina and had wanted her to marry him and go back to the US where she and the baby would be safe.  When she refused so that she could continue her work and then died in childbirth, he was devastated.  All he could think of was taking care of Sam.  All he does is work and take care of him, making Sam the center of his life.  He remembers his father as not being around much and doesn't want that kind of memory for Sam.  He also worries that Sam could be taken away because of his irregular arrival in the US.  Jamie is convinced that having a wife would make that unlikely.  Since he has no intention of falling in love again, he sets out on a logical search for a wife.  Seeing Kendry's care for Sam when he's in the hospital playroom puts her at the front of his search.  I loved seeing him start to get to know her.  Their cafeteria lunches are something he starts to really look forward to and when they have an intense night working together in the emergency room he realizes that she is just what he needs.  He seems somewhat oblivious to the challenges she is under until she can no longer hide them.  He is ashamed of himself for his blindness and kind of goes overboard trying to make it up to her.  I loved seeing the way that his feelings for her are growing even though he doesn't realize that he's coming to love her.  His protectiveness is so sweet.  I really enjoyed the way that his eyes were opened at the football game and he admitted his feelings to himself.  When he finally confesses to her about the difficulties he could be facing with Sam he is surprised by her unquestioning support.  I loved his final confession at the end - so wonderful!

The only issue I had with the book wasn't anything with the story at all, it was the cover.  Jamie is an army doctor.  The man on the front is wearing a Marine Corps uniform (collar emblems are the eagle, globe and anchor).  To top it all off, the medals are on the wrong side of the uniform.  If you're going to put a man in uniform on the cover, the publisher needs to take the time and effort to do it right!  There are a lot of us that notice such things and it is very frustrating!

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