The Doctor Wears a Stetson by Anna Marie Novark

The heroine actually says, “Take me now.”

My original plan for this review was to lay my head down on the keyboard as though I’d fallen asleep and let the random characters speak for me, like this: vgftbzxdfh dskjfsuir eso9=-fsdklasejl;.

The Doctor Wears A Stetson hit all of my romance novel reading choice shame buttons. It was tedious and humdrum, but I still read it and was disappointed in myself for doing so. Technically, I read most of it, but not all, as I was not hopeful for improvement and if I am going to wallow in escapist genre fiction it should at least be good.

Looking on Amazon for a plot summary to decrease any effort associated with my review, I found the only interesting thing about this book – Novark wrote both “sweet” and “steamy” versions. “AUTHOR’S WARNING: This is the hotter and sexier version of The Doctor Wears A Stetson. The love scenes are steamier and more graphic. For a sweeter read, check out The Doctor Wears A Stetson in The Diamondback Ranch Sweeter Series.” For the record, I never want the sweeter read. 

Thinking it might be a fun departure for me, I bought The Doctor Wears A Stetson because it was free and had good ratings:

stetson

Either people are idiots or like different things, likely both.

From Amazon:  Jessie Kincaid was fifteen and innocent when Cameron asked her to the prom. She lost her heart that night, but his plans didn’t change. He left their small town to pursue his dreams. Seventeen years later, a trip home leads Cameron McCade back to Salt Fork, Texas and the newly widowed Jessie Devine. Since his return, the fire between them burns as hot as ever. Can they take up where they left off? Can Jessie risk her heart again?

The reunion plot is familiar set up, all romance plots are, but this one felt particularly plodding. Jessie and Cameron went on exactly one date in high school, granted it was the epicocity of a small town prom, but that was the extent of their relationship. It was their only interaction. I fail to see how someone you spent six hours with more than half a lifetime ago  can be the one that got away. The reader is meant to take to on faith that this was a love for the ages despite lacking evidence other than the characters claiming it to be so as the hero and heroine take turns having declarative thoughts and making statements of intent. Obvious and on-the-nose, Novark’s writing provided a boring, paint-by-numbers romance of quiet longing and sexual tension, although neither of those things was conveyed in a fresh or compelling way.

Trite and facile, the best I would allow The Doctor Wears A Stetson is that it was competent. Schlumping through in a state of ennui punctuated by desultory sighs, I was insufficiently motivated to go so far as rolling my eyes. Not even so bad it looped back around to fun, it had the banality not of evil, but of mediocrity. I couldn’t finish it, not even to be a review purist. I skipped ahead to the end to confirm that, of course, the heroine’s fertility challenge was of the bait and switch variety common to unimaginative romance and counted myself lucky to have missed the middle pages of Cameron and Jessie’s so-called relationship obstacles and got right to the specific happy ending that a reader could see coming a big sky country mile away.

Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful.

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