Rating: 4 stars
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Once again we head to Ellery Mountain and the ever-growing population of gay men who end up inside this small town. This time we are introduced to the man who will become the sole preoccupation of Dr. Liam Wolfe. Mitchell Askett is no stranger to Ellery, having grown up there and coming from one of its wealthiest families. However, time has not been kind to Mitch or his sister, leaving them both with addictions they must grapple with, unfeeling parents, and a lovely child who happens to now be in Mitch’s care as he heads to the very cabins of which he is now half owner.
That’s right, we finally meet the man who helped Daniel and his mother Brenda out by buying up half the rights to their family’s luxury cabins. And while Mitch wants to become more than an owner on paper, his little niece is terribly ill and he is plagued by demons from his past that may mean his time in Ellery will not be the safe haven he desires most. When he and Liam meet there is, as always, an instant attraction, but Mitch is so very aware of his shortcomings and tries his best to elude the persistent doctor. But Liam has a mind of his own and he wants Mitch, flaws and all, and is determined that Mitch at least give him a chance to be the one thing that goes right in Mitch’s life—the one thing that stays and puts down roots.
As always, we are talking instant attraction when we discuss these sweet little novellas written by R.J. Scott. In this case, I found the normal chase scene to land his man was written with greater restraint than usual. I appreciated how flawed Mitch was and the sensitivity that the author used in writing about his addiction and his genuine remorse over a past that was less than stellar by anyone’s measure. The tenderness Mitch showed for both his little niece and his ailing sister was heartfelt and had depth, giving us a keener sense of Mitch’s overall character.
In fact, it was Liam who I felt seemed a bit shallow. I came away from this story knowing little about him other than the idea that he loved Mitch and wanted him to stay. All in all, this was a well-rounded story—with a bit more depth than the previous one in the Ellery Mountain series and characters that were finally not so easily fixed. The addiction didn’t magically go away and this made The Doctor and the Bad Boy a much more compelling read in my opinion.