REVIEW: The Doctor’s Surprise Family by Mary J. ForbesThursday, August 27, 2009 1:00
I generally like the ‘reunited lovers’ plot line. Especially if the lovers in question were high school sweethearts. This is the third book in Forbes’ Home to Firewood Island series. I read the first two books and enjoyed them, so I figured I’d like this one as well. Sadly it didn’t work very well for me.
I expected to like Kat based on her character in the previous books. Unfortunately she didn’t live up to my expectations. She started out strong – though wounded by the loss of her husband – and seemed to just kind of fade out the more attached she became to Dane. I was surprised at her lack of backbone when it came to standing up to Dane. There were several times where I thought he needed to be taken down a peg in regards to her son, or where she needed to push him on the issue of his past and/or their relationship, and she failed. Instead of coming across as strong, it was more like she needed a man to make her complete.
My biggest issue with her, however, was the way she reacted to her mother and the secret she kept. Kat never knew who her father was. Throughout the two books this has been a major source of contention between her and her sisters with their mother. Her mother refused to name the man and Kat spent her whole life feeling like an outsider. The man is finally revealed in this book and Kat’s reaction was..totally flat. After storing 20 years of hate and frustration toward her mother for refusing to tell her who her father was, for her to just say, “eh, ok. I forgive you” seemed totally out of context. I expected quite a bit more from her.
For Dane’s part I thought he had a lot of potential, but I don’t think his PTSD was fully explored. We definitely saw that he was tortured and traumatized by what happened to him in Iraq, but I don’t think the resolution was as well done as the trauma itself. For most of the book he’s closed off and bitter, especially with Kat’s son. While in the end things worked out, I wasn’t completely convinced of his change of heart.
On the other hand, taking on this type of story isn’t easy and I do think Forbes did a good job of showcasing the troubles faced by both Dane and Kat. I just wasn’t convinced of the resolution on either side.
I did enjoy Kat’s relationship with her son. As a former single mother I know how hard it can be to raise a child on your own. Though Kat struggled at times, I think she did a good job of dividing her time between her guests and her son. The relationship between the sisters is also showcased well. I also thought the town and its inhabitants were well written and added flavor to the story.
Although there were parts of this story I liked, overall I was disappointed in the lack of spine shown by the heroine and the way the hero constantly clammed up and refused to speak.
YOU CAN’T HIDE FOREVER
When Kat O’Brien saw the rain-soaked stranger pull up on his motorcycle, her instincts went on red-alert. Except he was no stranger. He was Dane Rainhart, hometown war hero…and Kat’s girlhood crush. Now the single mother was more intrigued than ever by this sexy, powerful man who as already bonding with her son.
After being wounded in the line of duty, Dane needed a place to mend-and hide away from the world. Instead, the haunted military doctor was falling for the much-too-attractive widow and her boy. Perhaps it was time they both faced the past and took a second chance at happiness-together!
Read an excerpt here (scroll down).