Doc Showmance by Zoe Forward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to see what happened next!
Veterinarian Dr. Amber Hardin was in her final year of residency at a San Diego emergency hospital for animals that was also the location of a successful reality TV show. During her time there, she learned so much and her skills blossomed, and the television audience responded to her tough, no-nonsense approach to animal care, her clients, and their human companions.
Dr. Ian Todd had disappointed his mega-wealthy San Francisco family by following his heart into veterinary science but had found his own success as the host of Vet in the Wild, a popular exotic animal series that had him traveling around the world. Ian was chiseled and buff, and the camera loved him, as did the show’s many female viewers. But an off-camera incident in Columbia had the show’s producers reconsidering the future of the show and had put it on hiatus while decisions were made. The showrunners, needing something to fill the gap and re-ignite the producers’ passion for the project, decided a crossover season with Ian working at a certain San Diego pet ER reality show, including a romantic interlude with the rising star Dr. Hardin, would do the trick.
What the showrunners didn’t know was Amber and Ian had been highly competitive classmates in vet school, and they hated each other’s guts.
Doc Showmance was a fun and sexy enemies-to-lovers contemporary romance, and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough! Told from the point of view of both Amber and Ian, the story explores the realities of life making a reality TV show with all the humor and drama, laughter and tears, as the two main characters work out their pasts with each other and slowly to come to the realization that they may want a future together.
Amber is a spitfire with her heart focused on her animal clients and her human family of foster brothers and sister. She’s so vulnerable when it comes to Ian; it was almost painful to read about her having to get involved in the show with him. Ian regrets his past actions, embarrassed by the prank he’d been a party to, but craves Amber’s forgiveness for the entire story. They are surrounded by some great supporting characters, such as her foster siblings, as well as some truly awful individuals, his entire family, and their co-worker, Dr. Kovac.
I thought the reality TV show plot was fascinating as it gets the two former classmates together but adds to their confusion about what is real and what is artificial or for the camera. The story moves quickly while maintaining an incredible level of tension between the two. I enjoyed the enemies-to-lovers plotline, but this one is also a second-chance romance when the entire backstory is revealed. For those that need to know: this story contains adult language, explicit sexual situations, violence, and animals requiring emergency medical intervention.
There is a bit of a continuity issue regarding a confrontation with Ian’s brother, though. When it comes up later in the story, the individual responsible for what occurred switches from Ian to Amber and then back again. Also, I felt the ending was a bit drawn out, and although well written, it felt somewhat like it was just an opportunity to insert another, albeit great, sex scene.
I recommend DOC SHOWMANCE to readers who enjoy contemporary romances featuring enemies-to-lovers, second-chance romance plots, stories with pets, or a veterinary hospital setting.
I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the author through Xpresso Book Tours.