Monday, August 19, 2019

The Doctor's Orders by Heidi Cullinan

Once upon a time Nicolas Beckert was the boy who stole kisses from Jared Kumpel beneath the bleachers, but now Jared’s a pediatrician and Nick is the hospital CEO who won’t glance his way. Everything changes, however, when they’re stranded alone in a hospital elevator. Ten years of cold shoulders melt away in five hours of close contact, and old passions rekindle into hot flames.

Once out of the elevator, Jared has no intention of letting Nick get away. It’s clear he’s desperate for someone to give him space to let go of the reins, and Jared is happy to oblige. But Jared wants Nick as a lover in a full, open relationship, which is a step further than Nick is willing to go. They’ve traded kisses under the bleachers for liaisons in the boardroom… and it looks like the same arguments that drove them apart in high school might do the same thing now.

Jared’s determined not to let that happen this time around. He won’t order Nick from his shell—he’ll listen to what his friend says he needs to feel safe. Maybe this time he can prescribe his lover a happy ever after.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is a satisfying conclusion to an exciting series. The embezzlement scandal has been resolved but hospital politics are still complicated for CEO Nick, and his personal life is becoming increasingly more difficult. Jared has been one of my favourite characters since the first book and I hate how lonely he is with his friends partnered up. Nick and Jared have a long history together, but Nick has to make some difficult decisions before he can be with Jared.

With Nick’s story, I feel a return to the Heidi Cullinan I fell in love with. The author takes a long hard look at race, culture, and sexuality and creates a character who feels heartbreakingly real. As a community leader, the pressure on Nick to set an example is huge. His church is at the centre of his culture and his family – but it doesn’t accept homosexuality. Nick is torn between his white friends and his black family, between his sexuality and the culture he was raised in. I don’t usually like closeted storylines but Nick’s pain feels real and his choices feel impossible.

In the first two books, Jared was the fun character in the background and it’s only in his own book that we understand that his easygoing charm masks his experiences of pain and loss. He’s still charming but a more serious side of him surfaces in this book. Nick and Jared’s stories are almost foils for each other at times and the similarities and differences between their choices and experiences are thought provoking.

With so much history between them, I love the moments where Nick and Jared seem to revert to adolescence together. Until this story, Nick felt very much like a stuffy grown up, so it was wonderful to see the man behind the professional veneer. This is probably the sexiest of the three stories but it is still pretty low heat compared to something like the Special Delivery books. This story feels more thoughtful and reflective than the first two and I love the way it ties up the series. I probably should have been even more horrified by the American health care system in this book than I was in the first two stories but I think I’m becoming a little bit immune to the crazy.

I love that there isn’t the same sense of goodies and baddies in this book as there was in the second one. Nick’s family, even his pastor, are sympathetically drawn and very likeable. The potential investors for the hospital are cast in shades of grey with one character offering unexpected change, support, and hope. I really enjoyed catching up with the first two couples and I love that the author adds yet another fabulous female doctor to the group of friends in this last book.

This is the third book in the series, and I would suggest that you really need to read them in order, as the underlying story is ongoing and the characters are developed through the three books. My review will assume that you are up to date, so if you have not caught up, I would recommend you do not read on yet!

Although the admin team of CEO Nick and HR Director Erin have, with the help of the trio of Owen, Jared and Simon, and other senior staff of St Ann's, saved it from the embezzlement of the Hospital Board, there is still trouble ahead.

A faulty elevator results in high school secret lovers Nick and Jared having to spend five hours together in a perilous situation. As they sit in the dark, they provide each other with the solace that they once craved, and until recently, have avoided at all costs. We get to learn what happened between them, and the problems that they face should they attempt to be together; there are some strong statements about family, religion, acceptance, and the cost of denying one's own identity. Their romance is a strong thread through the book, but as in previous installments, there are bigger issues which vie for our attention.

St Ann's elevator incident may have been sabotage, but proving it and reconciling the need to either mend it or rebuild the hospital keep CEO Nick and the rest of the gang very busy. There is still fallout from the scandal of the previous book and I love the tension, the importance of the hospital to the town, and the people who work so hard to do the best for the community of Copper Point.

I don't know if this is the last in the series, but it has been a strong trio of stories, but none is stronger than this one. It gives Jared his happily ever after and gives us plenty of time with Owen and Simon and their new loves too.

This is not a story I was immediately pulled into but I was curious enough to be patient. I didn’t mind taking my time to get to know the characters. Jared is a paediatrician and has been out since his teenage years. Nick, who is CEO of the local hospital, is very much in the closet. The men were friends and lovers as teenagers and I was keen to see them give a relationship a second shot.

Nick’s fear of coming out as a teen has only increased now he is in his 30s. Trying to stay in the closet in a small town is not easy and frankly I don’t think it was fair to either Nick or Jared. But this fear of coming out is what kept me reading because I had trouble reconciling why a CEO, such an intelligent guy was so afraid, and I wanted to know why. It wasn’t until much later in the story that I got an appreciation for how coming out would affect Nick’s life and what was at stake.

I found the pacing of this story a little slow at parts in the beginning and in the middle it really slowed down. There were times when I found the author’s writing to be overly descriptive and when a full page was spent talking about ties, I was ready to scream. Funnily enough, from that point on the story really picked up and the last third of the book was really good and I even teared up.

The Doctor’s Orders is the first book by Heidi Cullinan that I’ve read. It is book three in the Copper Point Medical series but I was able to read it as a standalone. I have to say while I ultimately enjoyed Nick and Jared’s difficult path to romance, reading at times was more of a struggle than I’d like.

This was the first book in the series that I have read. I thought I would have been able to read it as a standalone but honestly, I couldn't. I felt like I was missing something with the hospital drama and several of the characters and their back story. It also took me a long time to read this book, I almost gave up several times, but I tried to muddle through. I found myself skimming this book eventually because I felt like I was missing a few things from not reading the previous books, the author was really wordy and there were pages of the book that were filled with silly descriptions and no dialogue. This book wasn't for me, but I am sure those who have read the previous books will understand and enjoy it more than I did.

Also Available in the Copper Point Medical Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Dreamspinner Press

For reviews & more info, check out our The Doctor's Secret post.

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Dreamspinner Press

For reviews & more info, check out our The Doctor's Date post.

HEIDI CULLINAN has always enjoyed a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. Proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality, Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. She writes positive-outcome romances for LGBT characters struggling against insurmountable odds because she believes there’s no such thing as too much happy ever after. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, playing with her cats, and watching television with her family. Find out more about Heidi on her website.

Connect with Heidi

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Doctor's Orders (Copper Point Medical #3) by Heidi Cullinan to read and review.

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