Book Review: Deliver Me [Holmes Brothers 1]

cover-deliver me

Title: Deliver Me [Holmes Brothers 1]

Author: Farrah Rochon

Genre: Medical, Romance, African-American, Contemporary

Rating: 3 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

LEAVING AN IMPERFECT PAST…

Monica Gardner is starting over. The broken-hearted St. Louis native has nothing left at home any longer: her future is being an ER doctor at a New Orleans hospital. Her first day makes for a bumpy start as she continually runs into handsome but irascible Dr. Elijah Holmes—a man who could make her change her mind about finding true love.

FOR NEW EXPECTATIONS

For years, Dr. Eli Holmes has been living up to his own high expectations—and is burning himself out in the process. The only time this “Super Doc” ob-gyn slows down is to notice the beautiful eyes of a newcomer, Dr. Gardner. He’s pleased to know that she’s more than just a pretty face, she’s also an ace physician. When they work together, sparks fly. But with both Monica and Eli trying to hard not to fall in love, they realize they can’t resist this affair of the heart.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

This was a bit of a lack-luster read for me. The writing was clean, and technically, well done. The book kept a pretty even pace throughout as far as the tension was concerned, and I never felt like I was being dragged along.

The story itself was a bit cliché and formulaic, I admit—but I’ve never been one to turn up my nose at what works. Yes, the “fake boyfriend/girlfriend” thing has been done to death in romance literature, but there’s a reason for that: it’s cute, and it sows tension. My biggest complaint about this book, was that the romance itself, as well as a few tidbits I’ll get into, were rushed.

First off, I do not appreciate opening a book on a scene where the author is blatantly trying to deceive me, as was obvious with the very first page.

SPOILERS: The author wanted me to believe that going into this story, the main male lead was taking advantage of a teenage girl, and they were about to have sex in the back seat of a car in an alleyway.

Of course, I quickly realized that wasn’t happening at all—but it still irked me that the author had tried it. It was a dirty tactic, especially at the beginning of a romance novel. In an erotica, I probably would have let it slide, but it certainly didn’t sit right in this instance.

From there the story delves into a passion-filled romance between the two main characters, Eli and Monica, and while the pace is rather well set in the first half of the book, by the second half, things are going out of control. Literally from one chapter to the next the main characters went from fake relationship to having sex. It was that quick – and not in a steamy “this was bound to happen and we just couldn’t stand it any longer” sort of way. Monica had complete reluctance about the relationship in one moment, and then next was stripping off clothes. It felt horribly rushed, as did the ensuing sex scene.

Now, I appreciate a good not-too-explicitly-worded sex scene. (I’m sorry, I can admit that once the language of the scene starts sounding like a dirty porno, I’m not interested. I don’t particularly care if what they’re doing is explicit—more power to the characters!—have some class.) Explicit wasn’t this books problem… instead, it almost felt as if the author was very shyly trying to skim over the sex as quickly as possible. I don’t know if she found writing sex to be embarrassing, but that’s how it felt. It was over in the blink of an eye, and on the story went. In fact, from that point forward, all the sex scenes were conveniently skipped over entirely. It felt really odd for a romance like this to skip all the sexy bits… that usually only happens in YA fiction.

Another sticking point for me was the odd bits of story that were obviously thrown in to sow tension…but didn’t quite make it. For one, the story between Amanda and Jeffrey. It had absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the book except that Eli was their doctor. Other than that, it didn’t tie in at all. The two characters never met the rest of the cast, and had nothing to do with the relationship between Eli and Monica. It felt like filler that’d been thrown in to fill space. Another of these points was the psychotic ex-girlfriend of Eli’s. She showed up in the first few chapters of the book and I really began to think that there was going to be a tension-filled subplot of this stalker following him around and perhaps even attacking Monica.

SPOILERS: Instead, the girl (whose name I can’t be bothered to remember… she was only mentioned twice) didn’t show up again until after 80% of the book was finished (I’m not kidding, I looked at the page number)—and then, only to make Monica upset. She never showed up again, Eli never explained her presence to Monica, and the stalker ex-girlfriend never attacked anyone or caused any further trouble.

The whole point was completely glossed over, and it was left feeling unfinished. Everything was tied up in a neat little bow immediately after, and the story ended.

Overall? The story was decent. It was a quick read, it was interesting to read through… but I don’t know that I’d read it again. I prefer a little more substance to my reads, and a little less skimming. In the end I was left with a book that felt very much like the author had stopped half way through, took a deep breath, and then scrambled to throw the rest of the story together so she could move on to another book as quickly as possible. I don’t think enough attention was paid to wrapping this story up after the first half.

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