Rating: 3.25 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
It is Alex’s first day at the clinic for his orthopedic surgery rotation and, after getting lost, he is running terribly late. Meeting Will Jackson, the hot doctor he is going to be working with, doesn’t make things any better, as Alex is immediately lusting after the handsome surgeon. Add to that the fact that he didn’t wear underwear today and Will wants him to strip down to demonstrate a hip exam. Alex can’t imagine things getting much worse.
Despite the rocky start, it turns out Alex isn’t the only one who feels an attraction between them. Neither man has much sexual experience and both are pretty certain the other isn’t interested, but eventually the guys get on the right track and are able to get together after Alex moves on from working under Will’s supervision. Things are going well for the two of them, but it is not all smooth sailing. A traumatic incident from Will’s past still haunts him, and an accusation of wrongdoing at the hospital threatens his job. He needs Alex’s support and help to move past these problems and pursue their future together.
I was attracted to The Surgeon’s Apprentice by the humorous bent to the story, and ultimately that is the part of the book that worked for me. The early scenes where Alex is stuck sans underwear and must disrobe for a practice exam cracked me up and there are lots of other places where I found myself chuckling at his outrageous behavior or amusing side comments. So I enjoyed the humor here and found Alex to be quirky and pretty entertaining.
Unfortunately, there was a lot here that didn’t work for me. I just never really felt any character development for either of these guys or a real connection between them. After dancing around each other for a while, their relationship then happens almost instantly, and they are living together and in love in a blur. But really it isn’t so much the speed as that I really felt no sense of them as a couple at all beyond the fact that they were both lusting for each other. No romance development, no relationship building. I can live without those things in my erotica, but not if I am then supposed to believe how connected and in love with one another they are.
From the sex end things felt similarly flat. We are told pretty clearly how hot for each other these guys are (and judging by the amount of time these guys spend wanking on assorted things and licking off the cum, they definitely are into each other). But unfortunately, I didn’t find their sexual encounters with each other very hot. I mean definitely dirty. These guys are pretty much obsessed with cum eating and there is an impressive auto fellatio scene. But for some reason, it never really rose above that to give the kind of heat I would look for in an erotic story.
The other thing I found very problematic was the disclosure of sexual abuse Will had suffered as a child. Throughout the book, we get these asides in italics, sort of internal thoughts or conversations from the guys that were usually sarcastic or humorous. But then suddenly there were a couple where Will appears to be having a mental conversation with an uncle that are thoroughly disturbing but not explained. At one point he “talks” with his uncle about getting up the nerve to pursue Alex and makes a comment about his uncle coming in his mouth. Later, after jerking off, his uncle “says” to him, “Well done, William. I wouldn’t mind a taste of that myself.” Ok, so these are not things to casually drop into the story with no context, especially a book that is fairly humorous. It felt inappropriate to the tone of the book, and shocking with no explanation of what was going on.
Later, we learn the full story of the persistent sexual abuse by Will’s uncle when Will tells Alex about it on their first date. It is horrible, and while not incredibly detailed, definitely spelled out. Will tells Alex, has a good cry, and suddenly it is pretty much all over. He is fine, he can put it behind him, and that one conversation with a guy he barely knows has somehow resolved this issue. At one point later the guys are talking about when they learned about the joys of eating cum (like I said, they do a LOT of that) and Will tells Alex “Well, I guess that’s something I have to thank Uncle Monty for.” Seriously, we are making jokes about how a grown man forced a child to give him blow jobs? I had such a hard time with this. A serious issue like sexual molestation felt so wrong in a book that otherwise comes across so lighthearted, especially given how casually it is all handled. And then we get this quick and easy resolution to any long term issues Will might have been suffering from, like all it takes is telling one virtual stranger and problem solved. This just didn’t work for me at all and felt so unrealistically portrayed and far too cavalier.
The last thing I’ll note is that this story takes place presumably in the UK and is set within their medical system. I found myself confused a lot of the time by the unfamiliar terms and situations that are not really explained. Now I have no problem with authors setting a book where they live and I certainly don’t expect every book to take place in the U.S. So this isn’t a criticism as much as to point out that as I reader, I struggled a lot of the time understanding what was happening in the hospital while the guys were working. For example, they talk about the “consultants’ locker room” and I didn’t know what a consultant was. So again, not a criticism of the book as much as to mention that I had a hard time following some of the work-related part of the story.
So this story had some nice elements with some fun bits of humor. But I definitely had problems with the relationship development as well as some severe issues with the abuse storyline. Overall my feelings on this one were mixed, and it is probably best suited for someone who is looking for some humor and sex and can past my other concerns.