This is the followup to Wake For Me, aka the “Girlfriend in a Coma” book. I enjoyed Wake For Me to an extent, until the end turned all crazy Hollywood movie. The author is an indie film director and TV producer, so she’s good at keeping the story moving. This book didn’t get quite so crazy at the end, but I still felt that the romance was neglected.
Traci Tanner is an ER resident, and she has Asperger Syndrome. Her father explained to her that it was like a super power protected her from a level of pain that most people have to deal with. She’s aloof and unemotional. She’s had to teach herself to read people’s expressions and practice her own in the mirror. “My best impression of a sympathetic person: eyebrows drawn together, earnest eye contact, a light touch of my hand.” Traci is also tall, blonde, and beautiful. Her coworkers nickname her the Ice Queen.
Conrad Brady is another resident who was a sidekick in the previous book. His father isn’t a doctor but plays one on TV, which probably helped Brady get into medical school. He’s the clown, the guy who drinks and parties all night but pulls it together for his shift in the morning. His medical knowledge might not be respected, but he’s liked by everyone.
Traci is a virgin, and her roommate tells her that she needs to remedy that condition immediately. So Traci meets a guy online and goes out with him, preparing for sex on their third date. When that doesn’t work out — despite her “smize” expression that she’s perfected in her mirror — she looks for another opportunity.
Brady happens to be sleeping in a call room. They don’t really like each other, but, “Traci realized that sleeping with Dr. Brady could actually be the simplest and most effective way of ensuring that he’d stay out of her way from now on.” That scene, with Brady calling her bluff until he realizes she isn’t bluffing, is pretty spectacular.
I thought that Traci was awesome. She was clinical and never embarrassed to ask questions. Take this conversation with her roommate:
“Tonight we’re going out stupid hot and getting white girl wasted.”
Traci frowned at Rachel over her shoulder. “Are you allowed to call it ‘white girl wasted’ when you’re technically not white? I thought you said racist jokes were only okay when you made fun of your own race.”
“Touche, oh politically correct one.” Rachel slapped her on the bottom, hard. “Correction — you’re getting white girl wasted. I’ll get Chinese-Native American wasted.”
Brady, on the other hand, was kind of a screw up. He knew it, too, and kept thinking that it was about time for him to not be a screw up, but he didn’t exactly change his ways to make that happen. He gets into an unbelievable yet dangerous situation which helps him straighten up and prioritize, but it also keeps him away from Traci.
So, the writing was hilarious and insightful. The high stakes drama was interesting but it took away from the romance. The romance was believable for a beginning, but then it was propelled by Brady’s plot and lacked emotional resonance. Which, I know, Traci doesn’t do emotion all that well, so I would have loved to see her and Brady have some kind of discussion about their feelings and their relationship status, to see her try to articulate things and to have Brady be adorable as he walked her through it all. I’m just not much of a high-stakes external-plot kind of reader, I suppose. But it was fun!
P.S. If you like doctor prodigy heroines with Asbergers (and who doesn’t?), check out Third Degree by Julie Cross, which I loved.
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Isobel Irons
Release Date: April 11, 2014
Publisher: Vivid Ink