Harlequin Mills & Boon, £3.30, ISBN 978-0-263-88595-8
Contemporary Romance, 2011
Fiona McArthur’s Harry St Clair: Rogue or Doctor? has a simple story line. Midwife Bonnie McKenzie is taking some R&R in Bali when she bumps into Harry St Clair, a hot tourist with whom she has a passionate affair until she discovered that he is a doctor and overreacted at being “lied at”. But since he’s a doctor, she’s not getting away from him anytime soon, especially when he ends up affiliated at the Australian outback medical facility that she ends up joining later in the story.
Oh boy, it seems like there is at least one problematic birth in every other chapter in this short book as Bonnie and Harry have to come to the rescue. Indeed, there are more delivery emergencies here than there are romantic moments. I wonder whether the author had too much fun doing her research and ended up getting too enthusiastic about sharing the medical procedural stuff with her readers. The non-stop drama is actually the only thing that keeps the story going, because the romance is actually weak.
Harry and Bonnie basically go around in circles in the entire story. Harry just keeps acting like an emo twatwaffle for so long that he starts coming off like a wimpy crybaby after a while. I know, it’s hard to lose loved ones, feeling all helpless and guilty because he can’t save them, but Harry just puts on that whiny sad whining act for so long that he becomes a tedious character to follow.
Bonnie is one of those rare heroines who would put their foot down when the heroes get really annoying, but in her case, she responds to Harry’s nonsense by overreacting. She usually blows things out of proportion, and instead of telling Harry off, she’d just ditch him and flee the scene. Every single perceived infarction by Harry is Such a Horrible Thing, so much so that it’s like Harry had personally violated her sensibilities, killed her dog, and stole her car in one swoop.
And it doesn’t matter how many times or how far Bonnie flees the scene. The author keeps coming up with reasons as to why Bonnie will bump into Harry again down the road, therefore recycling the whole tedious circular drama between those two until the very end.
Ultimately, Harry St Clair: Rogue or Doctor? is such a tedious bore of a tale.