Title: The Doctor’s Secret (Copper Point Medical #1)
Author: Heidi Cullinan
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: April 23, 2019
Page Count: 368
Reviewed by: Kristin F
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.0 stars out of 5
The brilliant but brooding new doctor encounters Copper Point’s sunny nurse-next-door… and nothing can stand in the way of this romance.
Dr. Hong-Wei Wu has come to Copper Point, Wisconsin, after the pressures of a high-powered residency burned him out of his career before he started. Ashamed of letting his family down after all they’ve done for him, he plans to live a quiet life as a simple surgeon in this tiny northern town. His plans, however, don’t include his outgoing, kind, and attractive surgical nurse, Simon Lane.
Simon wasn’t ready for the new surgeon to be a handsome charmer who keeps asking him for help getting settled and who woos him with amazing Taiwanese dishes. There’s no question—Dr. Wu is flirting with him, and Simon is flirting back. The problem is, St. Ann’s has a strict no-dating policy between staff, which means their romance is off the table… unless they bend the rules.
But a romance that keeps them—literally—in the closet can’t lead to happy ever after. Simon doesn’t want to stay a secret, and Hong-Wei doesn’t want to keep himself removed from life, not anymore. To secure their happiness, they’ll have to change the administration’s mind. But what other secrets will they uncover along the way, about Copper Point… and about each other?.
Blurb summarizes the premise well enough, so I won’t rehash.
This is my kind of romance – sweet, opposite characters, low angst, and just enough plot tension to keep the story engaging. I would also like a call out to using a minority main character in a small town setting – very refreshing.
My enjoyment noted, the plot did hit a couple of my quirks. This first one almost made me put the book down. I did NOT care for the way Jared and Owen “trapped” Hong-Wei and demanded to know what his intentions toward Simon were, only to follow up with the verbal threats that if Dr Wu harmed Simon, there would be consequences.
Seriously? Do people even do that anymore? I find it so demeaning on several levels and borderline bullying. Ugh.
But obviously I kept reading. Second quirk – the author completely skipped winter in Copper Point. For a character who has lived their entire life in warmer climes, their first Copper Point “Storms of November”, lake effect snow and negative temperatures is going to be a shocker. I would have liked to have seen some aspect of this written in.
Third quirk: “romance” went from mutual attraction to “dizzy with love” at warp speed. I felt settled in the romance so much as insta-love. But hey, this is a book and things need to move smartly along and that’s one way to do it.
Not a quirk, but an observation – usually reviewers are commenting on the accuracy of medical terminology and care. For me, it’s location – did the author (any author) correctly portray the real-life setting? Did they correctly portray the location so that a local won’t be put off, but delighted? Changing town names isn’t a problem, as long as the surrounding geography is correct. Yes, the restaurants in Duluth actually exist, drive times are correct, and closest hospitals mentioned were fairly accurate. This local gal was pleased.
Also noting – getting qualified medical staff in rural areas is a huge problem.
I did appreciate Dr. Wu struggling with his family situation, everyone upset about the hospital’s no dating policy, and how sometimes those around you create a new family.
So for myself, after everything is read and said, I enjoyed the story. A smart variety of characters, local setting, low angst, and engaging plot.