In The Doctor's Bed
by Brenda Jackson, contemporary (2011)
Kimani, $6.25, ISBN 978-0-373-86220-7


I tell you, I am bowled over - knocked off my feet! - when I discover that Brenda Jackson plunges right into the heart of the story instead of starting off In The Doctor's Bed with five chapters of our main characters cooing with their brothers, sisters, best friends, neighbors, and penpals over how awesome everyone is. While the main characters are naturally more gorgeous, talented, capable, and awesome than you and me can ever dream of being, the author show me how they are amazing instead of telling me non-stop. Seriously, In The Doctor's Bed is almost quaint in how Ms Jackson balances beautifully the art of showing and telling in her storytelling that I am moved to wish that more authors in the Kimani stable will take their cue from her.

That aside, this story is a bit of a mess where the plot is concerned.

First, the story. Jaclyn Campbell is an intern in Hopewell General. That upscale Virginia hospital has strict anti-fraternization rules, which makes it most inconvenient for Jaclyn as she and the head resident Dr Lucien De Winter... hey, don't laugh, that's really his name. At least, there's nothing in this story that says that it isn't. Perhaps "De Winter" is a common family name in Jamaica, from which our hero hails from? Anyway, Luke and Jaclyn would love nothing more than to play doctor with each other, but doing so would put their careers at risk. Oh, what to do? They go ahead and do it anyway. If they don't tell, nobody will know, right? Well, it won't easy. Both of them will be roped into testifying when a doctor they had a hand in getting fired sues the hospital. Then there is that convenient female villain type who is determined to get Jaclyn fired by spying on her and Lucien.

If I have made the story seem more happening than it actually is, well, I'm saying it now that the story is actually more focused on the slow burn of Jaclyn and Lucien trying to fight their attraction until they finally give in, after which it's great sex after great sex. Any conflict that arise in this story seems like a mere plot device to move the relationship along, and the conflict is soon forgotten once the objective has been met and Tab A has filled Slot B, so to speak. I'm not sure how accurate the representation of a hospital's anti-fraternisation policy is in this story - the hospitals I've worked in in this part of the world don't ask whether you are sleeping with your colleague as long as you don't tell - but I do wonder whether a consensual relationship between two sane and likable persons who have more than once proven to be a cut above other doctors would be so offensive as to warrant a dismissal. At any rate, a solution to this problem is obvious, and therefore, it's just a matter of our two main characters hanging in there and having fantastic orgasms in the process until it's time for the happily ever after.

The plot isn't much, so what makes this story worth reading - apart from its lack of the usual filler clutter that typically fills a Kimani romance - is the wonderful chemistry between Lucien and Jaclyn. Not only do their attraction sizzle, they work and play well together, and both are mature people who would no doubt be able to handle the pressures of their work. Therefore, it is so easy to believe that they really will stay together for a long time. If they aren't so one-dimensionally awesome, I may actually believe that they are real people.

Its weak plot really sets back In The Doctor's Bed considerably, but I enjoy reading the romantic aspects of this story so much that I'm inclined to be generous this time. That fact that it is focused, cleanly written, and absent of annoying filler scenes only amplifies my enjoyment. It will do, oh yes it will.

Rating: 80


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