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Emergency: Wife Lost and Found, by Carol Marinelli, is a Harlequin in the Medical Romance series. It was published in August 2012, and is currently available as a free ebook. Medical Romance is a very old category, and on my next trip to the used book store I’m going to see if they have some older ones. I assume these used to be Doctor/Nurse romances, and that the Doctor/Doctor relationship in this one is a nod to modernity, if not reality.

Although this is a relationship between doctors, they are by no means equal partners. When they meet, he’s an ER doctor and she’s a traffic accident victim. This is a second chance for them – they were married ten years ago, but the stresses of an ectopic pregnancy drove them apart. Now they are older though not necessarily wiser. There’s a lot to be said for going back to an ex: the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t, she said, sounding just a tad cynical. The challenge is determining whether the things that brought you together are stronger than the things that drove you apart. Those issues are resolved here, though not in a completely satisfactory fashion.

As for the characters, in addition to being a great doctor our hero is very good looking and has apparently enjoyed a great deal of female company since losing his wife. He has no flaws, unless you consider the lack of ability to look after his own apartment a flaw. He has a housekeeper, which allows for some dialogue and mildly amusing situations, but augers ill for his future wife’s role in the house. At the time he meets his former wife, he has a steady girlfriend, but she soon suffers the fate of Rosaline.

James is certainly caring – as his ex-wife recovers she moves into his apartment, and then he gets her a job at his hospital. She is both homeless and unemployed. As I said, this is not a relationship of equals, and probably violates various ethical codes for doctors. It is a romance so we suspend our disbelief, even to the point of believing the characters when they both decide they deserve a “good-bye” session of lovemaking. If you are going to have sex with an ex, at least one of you should be honest enough to realize that it can mean many things, and none of them are good-bye.

The medical aspects of the story are not limited to the setting. Like the romance or the employment, I’m not sure how realistic the medicine is, but one does get caught up in the pleasure of everything working out. I just wish the woman had achieved a little more than being rescued.

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