Wren’s a tattoo artist and is covered in so very much ink. One day down at the tat parlor, she takes ill and has to go to hospital. The resident doc – tall, dark hair, midnight blue eyes – rushes her off for emergency surgery after diagnosis with a side of gawping at her artwork. He doesn’t perv, but he’s definitely intrigued by the colorful girl on the gurney. The next day, Wren is released and Lee finds her waiting outside the hospital – for one reason or another, she hasn’t got a ride so he drives her home.
They keep bumping into one another after this and flirting happens. But Lee has a girlfriend and when unknowing Wren takes a bag of fried peach pies (I don’t know what this unhealthy-sounding dish is, but I want it) to his home, prissy girlfriend answers the door.
She’s all kinds of stereotype with zero redeeming features; she’s frigid, controlling and mean and she looks right down her straight nose at Wren. Wren bolts and Lee chases her but decides actually, he’s better off sticking with the relationship he’s got. Even after eating the peach pie. (That sounds like a euphemism. It isn’t.)
The accidental meetings keep on happening, and finally Lee kisses Wren, but he’s still with Miss Priss so boo to that. Then he breaks up with the girlfriend and makes a play for Wren.
This was a problem for me. He should no way have kissed Wren before breaking up with existing girl. It’s a cardinal sin in romance novels for me, unless the hero is in the relationship against his will or someone is dying or something. Lee doesn’t even tell Miss Priss what he did and their break up is rather easy on him. He gets no punishment for this apart from the fact that getting it together with Wren proves a lot harder, but then that’s the meat of the book.
Now, there were a couple of other things that bugged me in the first half of this novel. Lee has to perform an internal exam on Wren to diagnose the bursting cyst on her ovary which he then operates on. Ew to all parts of that. Then when he takes her home she says her cat will probably have pooed on her bed in retaliation for being left alone, so Lee goes on a cat poo hunt, culminating in him cleaning the litter box for her. This too is ew and not sexy.
Then the writing style frustrated me a little. I don’t like being told what to think by the author. I’d rather the dialogue or action show me what the characters are like or what the mood is. In this book there’s a fair amount of stating the obvious going on, and I found it a little clumsy at times.
That said, I felt the book improved in the second half, and there were some nice scenes, like where they go kayaking together and when she sees his cool home for the first time.
Despite being a bit of a douche in his actions, Lee is pretty devoted, and it’s nice to read. He thinks Wren is unique and finds her and her tats amazing – bougainvillea up her arms, a tree on her stomach, a phoenix on her chest, birds everywhere. In real life this could be a hot mess, but the way it’s described sounds incredible, and it certainly does it for Lee.
Finally, Wren has an issue in her past which is the main relationship blocker. This is not a spoiler as it’s pretty clear from early on in the book that she suffered abuse as a child, and there were one or two sentences which were detailed enough to make me note a trigger warning, if such things affect you.
Overall this is an unchallenging read with pretty art and a devoted pretty doctor.
*ARC provided by publicist in exchange for an honest review
Click to purchase: Amazon
Leave a Mark
by Stephanie Fournet
Release Date: April 28, 2016
Publisher: Blue Tulip Publishing