And Call me in the MorningRating: 4.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance
Length: Novel

Eli was a police officer shot in the line of duty.  His marriage was already on the rocks when he was shot and subsequently decided to go back to school and become a doctor in his 30s.  The decision turned out to be the last straw for Eli’s wife Marybeth.  Dr. Zane Novia met Eli when he was shot and encouraged Eli in his pursuits, mentoring him through medical school.

It appears that everyone else sees what Eli and Zane have been missing, the looks, the attraction, the depth of their current relationship.  Frustrated with yet another round of comments about he and Zane, Eli storms out of a brunch date with friends only to be followed by Zane who proposes an experiment. Zane, ever the medical professional, needs proof of his and Eli’s feelings for each other in the form of a kiss, and what a kiss it is.  Further kissing leads Eli to conclude that kissing Zane is better than kissing his ex-wife.  They have that spark, in abundance.  Neither knows what they are doing but Zane is confident they can figure it out, together.

Zane’s pet project, a free clinic, is at risk of closing due to budget cuts.  He is disenchanted with the capitalistic bent of the health care system and just wants to help those in need.  The threat of closure leads Zane to investigate other options, such as Doctors Without Borders.  Eli hears rumors of a teaching position opening up at Eli’s alma mater, Duke University, and seriously considers taking the job.  The men aren’t sure they are ready to make it work together. But when Zane ends up rushed to the hospital, they realize just how important they are to one another.

Poor oblivious Eli, best friends with self aware and confident Zane.  Listening to the two of them is like listening to an old married couple, which is exactly what all of their friends believe they are, even if Zane and Eli don’t realize it themselves (although we do eventually discover that Zane has had more than friendly feelings for Eli for years, awww!).

The premise was refreshing, men in their 40s coming out, for lack of a better term, since sexuality is not black and white as proven by our “shades of grey” guys.  Eli is confused, almost annoyingly so, and much slower to accept his feelings for Zane, but realizes he is way past the point of no return.  Out of fear, Eli wants to keep his relationship with Zane a secret but understands that that he and Zane cannot stay hidden forever.

Let’s chat about men and their penchant for not communicating.  These guys are just ridiculous in this regard and it is any wonder they have made it this far.  Zane feels like he has one foot out the door, Eli is the same, and unless they can get all of their secrets out in the open, they are doomed.  This aspect of the story bugged me.  TELL Zane what is going on with the job at Duke.  Even Zane, who appears to have all of his plans out in the open turns out to have secrets of his own.

Further to the communication issues, the guys need to realize that sex is not the solution, no mater how frequent, energetic, and fulfilling (hee hee) it may be. I also want to address Eli’s  dreams and daydreams starring Zane.  Okati manages to create situations in Eli’s mind that are appropriate for his knowledge and experience level (none), which worked well for me, because fake sex in a daydream is just silly.

There were also a nice variety of secondary characters in And Call Me in the Morning, each with their own quirks and individual behaviors, which contributed to the depth and authenticity of the story.  I also liked the writing style and did not see any issues with the editing (I am picky that way).

I really enjoyed And Call Me in the Morning. It caught my interest from the first paragraph and didn’t let me go until the final word. I have no qualms about recommending this book if you like friends to lovers coupled with seemingly insurmountable odds, and silly men not talking about important stuff.

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