I usually love O’Reilly’s heroes, and this one was no exception, but my disappointment rested on the heroine’s character, and the unfinished business between them, and of the hero’s past as well. Despite my disappointment in this story, I so love O’Reilly’s characters that I’ll pick up her next book without hesitation.
Edie is moonlighting for a night as a cab driver when she picks up Tyler at the airport. He’s a highly-trained surgeon who specializes in cardiology and is in New York City for a short stay while he competes for a fellowship at a local hospital. He’s competing against a pile of other doctors, but there’s one in particular that he really loathes, and of course he’s ready to show up and show off at every opportunity. Edie takes him for a wild cab ride through most of the five boroughs, since the fare from the airport to the city is a fixed rate, and somewhere along the ride they begin to fascinate each other. The night culminates in a rather naked and explosive fashion at the hotel where Tyler is staying, the sex-drenched Belvedere.
The heroine, Edie, was a superblown over-the-top character who at times seemed to do no wrong in the eyes of anyone. I liked her but I was also exhausted by her, and questioned her judgment. She’s mistrustful of her father, who is a surgeon as well, and adores her mother, who loves her husband but is very, painfully neglected by him. Edie and her mother have a very close relationship, which I enjoyed, except that they tend to skirt around painful topics, or touch on them and fly away to ‘everything is ok, let’s have a rich lunch’ land. Edie is very, very, very, very wealthy, and uses her resources to buy a diner, which is unique in a way that I don’t want to spoil.
Tyler is steady, hurt by a longstanding wrong done to him, and brilliant at what he does. He tolerates no distractions from his goal – winning the fellowship – and is fascinated by the human heart as a muscle. Of course the obvious trope is there: he understands the biologic and electrical functions of the heart and how to repair it, but he’s not much for emotions or even relationships, and Edie, being the perfect eager fixer-type that she is, offers to give him lessons on relationships. Tyler, for his part, wants to be near Edie, superficially because he wants to get in her pants but soon enough he acknowledges he has reasons beyond the mere pantular.
The two problems I had were the unfinished business that existed between Tyler and his brother and their family. So much is revealed in the end that has to be continued in the next book that I wasn’t sure of the hero’s feelings, his emotional stability, or his happy ending. His story was resolved enough for my satisfaction.
The other problem I had was that in the end,
the heroine too easily adopts the life she had feared, with so few compunctions about aligning herself with the type of relationship she has long abhorred.
She struggles with feeling selfish for wanting and expecting the hero’s time when he’s off saving lives as a surgeon, and places everyone else’s happiness above her own in a gesture that seems selfless but ultimately is not really that selfless at all. Edie is happy when she’s needed, and “need” and “want” are big themes in this short novel.
The wildly different aspects of the heroine’s character weren’t resolved or unified enough in the end for me, and neither were the hero’s personal pains and past hurts, and while I wanted them to be together and be happy, the final scene, wherein the heroine calls her mother for commiseration, did not do much to restore my confidence in their happy ever after. I am guessing I’ll see more of them in Tyler’s brother’s story, and I wanted Tyler and Edie’s story to be complete in itself.