Title: Bad Case of Loving You
Author: Laney Cairo
Publisher: Torquere Press
Buy Link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance, BDSM
Length: Novel (142 pages)
Rating: 5 Stars out of 5
A guest review by Alexi Silversmith
Summary Review: An absolutely charming romance about a medical student and a doctor, with light BDSM themes and lots of humour.
Matthew is a medical student, trying to ignore his various roommates’ wild parties and get through his classes. Andrew is his instructor, a doctor at a prestigious British hospital. They’re not supposed to be attracted to each other, but they can’t deny their undeniable chemistry.
They come together with a heat that surprises them both, and through doctor’s strikes, dealing with Andrew’s teenaged son, and hospital red tape, Andrew and Matthew learn to live, and love together. Is their relationship just what the doctor ordered?
Maybe it’s because this book is one of very few set in the UK (by a non-resident author) that completely convinced me. Maybe it’s because Laney Cairo seems to have done such a huge amount of meticulous research on the British National Health System and the BMA. Maybe it’s because this book is a BDSM romance that manages to get the balance of power in the relationship exactly right. Or maybe it’s just because the characters here shine like bright, perfectly rounded little cabachon jewels. Whatever the reason, I adore Bad Case of Loving You, and have read it at least six times.
Let me explain a little more.
Matthew is a hard-working, ambitious medical student living in less than ideal circumstances. However, he spends no time feeling sorry for himself. Instead he indulges in his need to dominate sexually whenever he can, and makes the best of his opportunities to learn.
Andrew is a slightly jaded doctor, struggling with the limitations of the National Health System and doing his best to teach his students to care about patients, rather than targets or figures. He’s reached a point in his life where everything has devolved into a series of dull routines, and the only bright spot seems to be his son from his previous marriage.
These two meet each other without any sensation of insta-love or even lust. But one day, for whatever reason, a little spark of attraction flares up between them. Both of them react cautiously, dancing around each other in a game of flirtation while trying to figure out if the other might feel the same. And then – with very little angsting or unnecessary worry – they launch into an affair which I can only describe as scorching, smoldering, red-hot and oh-mama.
What’s so interesting about the way the author portrays this relationship is that, although Matthew is the sexual dominent and Andrew the submissive, out of bed their relationship has a wonderful quality of give-and-take. Matthew is diffident, unused to real relationships, almost pathetically grateful for signs of affection, but at the same time confident in his studies and a tiny bit cocky about having pulled a Hot Doctor. Andrew is the more experienced and sophisticated partner, and his easy tenderness and ability to open his heart to a man so much younger is really moving.
The main theme in the story is of learning – learning about medicine, about relationships, about the world as it is and about love. Andrew teaches Matthew in many ways what it is like to be a man of integrity and compassion. Matthew shows Andrew a way back to the happier and more vibrant man that he used to be. But please don’t think that this book is a solemn, weepy kind of read. It isn’t. It’s full of humour, both broad and subtle, from the pair’s impromptu tryst in the men’s bathroom of the local pub that causes amusement to their colleagues, to the throwaway comments of patients and Andrew’s son.
There are so many lovely details in the story that I’d love to rave on about. The curry that Matthew and Andrew share in Andrew’s car. The half-finished note that Matthew writes to Andrew, which Andrew saves. The stunning painting that Andrew creates to represent his growing feelings for Matthew. They give the developing relationship such a depth and sense of reality that reading this book always cheers me up, no matter what.
If you haven’t gotten around to reading Bad Case of Loving You yet, I urge you to get your hands on it at once and give it a go. And if you have read it…do what I’ll be doing today. Dig it out and enjoy it again. Highly recommended.