A wave of guilt sweeps through me for having these thoughts about a patient. And not just any patient, but one I’m treating at a mental hospital after she experienced severe trauma. No matter how I feel about her, she can never be anything more than a secret fantasy to me.
I was intrigued by this book as soon as I heard about it! It’s a sexy, suspenseful, and romantic forbidden love story between a tattooed, former military doctor with a tortured past fighting his growing attraction to the one woman he can’t have — a beautiful new patient committed to his mental hospital. I loved the slow burn of their relationship and the way they had to keep their feelings hidden from everyone around them… forbidden desire, when written well as it was in this book, can be SO HOT!! The story also a twist to it that throws them both in danger and leaves it up to him to put everything he’d built on the line to protect her…
Sometimes appearances deceive. Take me, for instance. I look like a respectable doctor with his shit together, but the rural Montana mental hospital I work at is actually a sanctuary from my demons. At just thirty-five years old, I’ve already failed on an epic scale. Treating patients at Hawthorne Hill is part of my atonement.
I’ve found peace when a new patient turns me inside out. Allison Cole is a beautiful, haunted survivor who fell into silence after witnessing a murder. But even without words, I’m drawn to her. The closer we get, the more I’m tempted to cross my professional boundaries and give in to my desire.
Soon I find myself in a desperate race to put the pieces of Allison’s silence together. Her life becomes inextricably entwined with mine as I fight to save the second chance I never thought I’d have. I’ll break whatever rules I have to in order to protect this woman who’s been to hell and back. For her, I’ll do harm.
I’ve always liked stories that have characters with some kind of extra issue — in this case, the heroine didn’t speak. After witnessing the traumatic murder of her sister right in front of her, she’d stop talking to anyone — police, doctors, and even friends. At a loss with what to do with her, her aunt took her to a luxurious rural mental hospital in hopes of helping her heal or at least to give her the space to come to terms with what had happened.
As the head doctor of the facility, it was Dr. Daniel Delgado’s job to oversee all patients and he had a strict policy to never mix work with pleasure and certainly never crossed the line with patients. But something about his scared, silent, beautiful new patient called to him, and even though he did everything in his power to keep things professional between them, her growing feelings for him soon make their connection impossible to deny.
“You make it so easy to forget,” I murmur.
She lifts her head from my chest and looks up at me, and I can read enough of her expression in the light of the fire to know she feels the same…
“I forget what’s right.” I brush my thumb across her cheekbone. “I forget why I’m here.” I tighten the hold of my other arm around her. “I forget how I’ve failed in the past.” I close my eyes and sigh, resting my forehead against hers. “I forget that you’re fragile.”
I really loved the subtle build and slow burn of their romance. There’s no insta-love here. With no one else at the facility making any progress with her, he was the only doctor who she had opened up to and their mutual feelings slowly grew as they became closer to each other…
Forbidden romance has always been the most tantalizing to me. I think it’s the held back desire, the hidden glances and touches, the thrill of secrecy, and the way that even the smallest of moments can mean so much.
The nervousness in his tone touches and excited me at the same time. He does feel something. Before I can overthink it, I reach for his hand and entwine our fingers. For an instant, he stiffens, but then his hand closes around mine and he brings my hand up to his lips…
“I wish we’d met at a different time and place,” he murmurs, closing his eyes.
Despite the slow burn though, fans of more sexy romances will still be rewarded with heat and passion in this book. And readers who like a bit of an edge to their stories will be happy to know that the second half of the book certainly takes a more suspenseful turn that eventually leads into a heart-warmingly romantic epilogue. And can I just say that I seriously love it when authors specifically write this exact kind of epilogue — one that is set a few years into the future where you can get a real glimpse into the HEA. It’s like a solid reassurance that everything the couple fought for and worked through was worth it. Epilogues have always been a huge plus for me in books! I almost always feel like something is missing without one and so it was so wonderful to read such a beautiful one in this book!
If you’re looking for a sexy, suspenseful, and romantic new book, definitely try this one!
When we’re alone inside, I lay my palm on his forearm and meet his eyes, letting my feelings shine through. It’s so good to let my guard down, just for a moment. His eyes are warm with affection, but there’s still restraint in his expression. Even stolen moments here are risky.
“Someday,” he says softly. “Someday, we’ll be more than this.”
Rating: 4 — 4.5 stars. Standalone Adult Romance.