That Boss of Mine

My Man Pendleton

Her Man Friday

The Sheriff & the
Imposter Bride

Society Bride

Dr. Irresistible by Elizabeth Bevarly
(Silh. Desire#1291, $3.99, R) ISBN 0-373-76291-7
A decade or so ago, doctor/nurse books were one of the staples of category romance. Now such stories are much rarer. If you have a yen to revisit this particular relationship updated with lots of contemporary sexual tension and more, then pick up Dr. Irresistible.

Dr. Seth Mahoney is a brilliant neurosurgeon. He is blond, handsome and single. He has no trouble attracting women with one exception; he can’t get to first base with nurse Prudence Holloway. He asked her out about two minutes after being introduced, then about five minutes later and again and again and again. Perhaps one reason Prudence turned him down at first was that she was involved with someone else. But when that someone ditched her upon discovering her accidental pregnancy and left her alone and pregnant and then a harried single mother, Prudence kept on saying no to Dr. Mahoney.

Then, one day Prudence runs into an old high school “friend” in the hospital. Said friend is just delighted to see Prudence again. Why Rachel Dubrowski Debbit can’t imagine how Prudence -- voted Most Irresponsible by her classmates -- ever managed to become a nurse. Rachel would have expected good old Prudence to find herself seduced and abandoned, a poor struggling single mother.

Overhearing Rachel’s snotty attack, Seth steps in and introduces himself as Rachel’s doctor husband and speaks fondly of their nine-month old son Tanner and their huge house in Cherry Hill and all of Prudence’s charitable activities. An astounded Rachel informs Prudence that she must bring her husband and son to the high school’s upcoming tenth reunion.

Prudence is actually touched by Seth’s unexpectedly coming to her rescue. She has every intention of telling Rachel the truth, but she just can’t bring herself to confess that Irresponsible Prudence has met all of her classmates low expectations. So she finally agrees with Seth’s plan that they attend the reunion together.

Of course, pretending to be husband and wife means that they have to really get to know something about each other. Prudence can no longer keep Seth at arms length. And Seth knows how to use those arms once he gets close enough.

Dr. Irresistible is full of Bevarly’s fast paced humor. She can be very funny and the repartee between Seth and Prudence often zings. But Bevarly also creates two interesting and complex characters with real fears and problems rooted in their pasts.

Seth represents what is becoming the prototypical contemporary romance hero: a man who just loves the heroine’s child and who will clearly be a marvelous father. As I have said before, the ubiquitousness of such a hero suggests something very profound about the hopes and fears of American women as the 21st century begins.

I must admit that Bevarly’s hospital setting is not very clearly developed. The reader can scarcely tell that the hero is a doctor and the heroine is a nurse. Seth seems to have a lot more free time and a lot fewer demands than most surgeons I know. In fact, Dr. Irresistible is basically a two character story, with baby Tanner and nasty Rachel playing at most cameo roles. Still, I found Dr. Irresistible a fast-moving, enjoyable story.

--Jean Mason

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