A Daddy Sent by Santa by Susan Carlisle
Contemporary category romance released by Harlequin Medical on October 16, 2018
Falls for a big-city doc…
Nurse Lauren Wilson is used to doctors coming and going in her Oklahoma town — and doesn’t expect prestigious Boston doc Paxton Samuels to be any different. Until they’re snowed in together and their sensual tension reaches boiling point! But knowing Paxton is due to leave after the festive season, can Lauren risk giving him her heart and her little boy a daddy for Christmas?
This book was in my physical TBR pile and I received it in a book subscription box. I did not finish this book. I read a little past the halfway mark then couldn’t take it anymore. I would be hate-reading if I kept going. I underlined more and more sentences in disgust? Outrage? Disappointment? All of the above? These characters and story did not work for me.
Most of what I read is from Paxton’s (the hero’s) point of view. I did not like Paxton. He’s whiny, “oh poor me” with his thoughts. He goes to Oklahoma around Christmas time to serve as a small town doctor for one month to lick his wounds after a bad breakup in Boston. In his head, he whines about that and he whines about how he’s let his parents control his life (his interpretation is they forced him to get engaged to Gabriella, his ex-fiancé). In my head I’m yelling “you are a grown man! Take control of your life! Stop blaming everyone else!” There’s a lot of whining.
Lauren is the heroine and serving as his nurse. To me, there wasn’t enough character development for her in what I read. Paxton thinks about her in contrast to Gabriella and it’s bad. Really bad. In Paxton’s head, Gabriella is depicted as a vain, superficial socialite who did him wrong. His ego and pride were damaged! Boo boo! Ugh. Maybe Gabriella’s parents are like your parents and pressured her into the marriage. Maybe she felt cornered and wanted some fun before she was tied to you in a loveless marriage so that’s why she slept with someone else! Did you ever think about that, Paxton?
As far as Lauren, from Paxton’s POV she’s really stroking his ego. One example of Paxton’s inner monologue—
“It was nice to share a conversation with a woman who made him smile when he went out the door. Whenever he’d left Gabriella, she had been complaining or telling him what social engagement she had decided they would attend next.”
Lauren does not exist to make you smile! Women do not exist to make men smile! And maybe Gabriella nagged you about social events because you forgot or never made plans on your own What about that, Paxton?
When Paxton meets Lauren’s 2 ½ year old son, he tells the kid to call him “Paxton” instead of Dr. Samuels and “The look he received from Lauren made him think he’d said something wonderful.” What? Why?! There’s no evidence Lauren and her son are mistreated or ignored or whatever by the town or her family. Why would this be a big deal to cause Lauren to look at Paxton that way? There’s no explanation at this point and I can’t imagine Paxton is the only hot guy she’s been around that talked to her son.
An example of Paxton’s fragile male ego when he’s trying to open the stroller the first time—“He couldn’t look like less of a man because of a stroller.” Wow dude. And it’s not jokingly or self-deprecating. He’s being serious.
Another gem from Paxton’s POV—
“The sunlight reflected off her [Lauren’s] soft skin, giving her a healthy glow. She was nothing like the make-up-dependent women he was familiar with.” I have a two-word response to those lines I won’t write here.
“She giggled. A real giggle…Women around him had made a noise like a giggle as a way of getting their way, but Lauren’s was one of pure pleasure.”
Saint-like Lauren versus those other manipulative witches. **Screams and pulls out hair in rage!**
Things went down hill rapidly for me. The first third of the book was ok but things went sideways quickly. The above passages are all within 10 pages! Right now I want Gabriella’s story way more than learning how Paxton and Lauren end up together during Paxton’s one month assignment. Lauren seems to exist solely to appease Paxton’s fragile male ego and pride and provide the magical kid that’s going to change his mind about wanting children! Nope. Not for me. I hope things turn around in the story but I’m done. I don’t even care enough to read the ending. Back to books with protagonists that don’t make my head explode in anger.
You can buy a copy here.
I loved this review! Thank you, Babs! And thank you for your honesty! (Gosh – that’s a LOT of issues in 10 pages…) :X
I’m having a lot of trouble wrapping my head around the “one month visit” thing – like … IS that a thing? It seems … anyway.
So – yeah. I can get the family stuff, but (I think we’re on the same page here) I *HATE* the “all women excerpt for the heroine are evil” thing. I think a lot of tropes that weren’t ever that great in romance REALLY aren’t working now, so here’s hoping for positive change!