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Playing Doctor*

Sweet, Gentle Romance that Focuses on Family

In this small-town romance, the heroine returns from the big city in hopes of landing a job as the hospital director of her hometown’s hospital. Also up for the job is her old friend, Trace, whom she has always had a serious crush, but things went sideways when they were teenagers. He is now a single dad and thinks the desk job would be better for his daughter as he could keep more regular hours doing that rather than as a surgeon. The book shows how the hero and heroine rekindle their friendship and how it comes to be something more. This story is about family on several levels. First, of course, there is the very important relationship between Trace and his daughter, Dakota. It’s his concern for her that drives him to consider taking the desk job even though he enjoys being a hands-on doctor. It’s also about the support that family can be for each other. Trace’s mother works to provide a stable home for Dakota along with her son, taking care of the little girl after school and when Trace is working. Trace really couldn’t do it without his mom. I don’t a hundred percent like the way the book ended. While an HEA seems in place at the end, the book ends much too abruptly. I would have liked to have seen a glimpse of the couple’s future life together. I also don’t think the time frame for Trace to become a doctor is correct; he would have had to get through regular college, medical school, residency, and internship to be a surgeon. That said, this is a sweet and gentle romance with a focus on family, and in general, I found it a very good read.