THE DOCTOR IS IN DEEP
Wishful, California, is 3000 miles from Dr. Emma Sinclair’s last job in a New York City ER. It may as well be another galaxy. Here, running her father’s clinic for a summer, Emma treats bee stings, stomach flu, and the occasional pet cat. Plus, she has to contend with patients like Stone Wilder: gorgeous, laid-back, and irritating beyond belief. The man laughs at her. A lot. And Emma loathes him. All except that tiny part of her that wants to throw him on her examining table and break every doctor-patient rule in the book…
When Stone tries to help Emma learn to loosen up a bit, he pictures white-water rafting or scenic mountain hikes. Not a mind-blowing affair that shakes them both to the core. Emma’s sure she has no place in a town like Wishful, but Stone knows different. Emma belongs here, in this town, in his life. And convincing this strong-minded, stubborn, sexy woman of that fact will be a challenge no Wilder man could resist…
Jill Shalvis had me at hello with this book. The opening scene is so good that you can't help but read on. It's funny as hell, it's witty, it's charismatic, there's sexual tension, there's sibling camaraderie and teasing (and how!) - all of my favorite things. By the end of that first scene, you know that Stone and Emma have this bantery, high-schooly, "I don't like you" (but I really like you) relationship going. And that Stone is deathly afraid of needles, LOL. An ongoing gag throughout.
Soon thereafter, they are together again, helping another character give birth. I have to quote. Shalvis writes the best out there. Humor mixed with the true emotion underlying,. Gets right to the heart of the character underneath. Jen always likes to talk about the adolescent humor brought out by Brockmann, Janzen and others. IMO, Shalvis is right up there with them.
(all quotes © Jill Shalvis)
"Guys." This was from Emma. "Come here."
TJ swiveled his head toward Stone in sharp panic. "She can’t make me."
Emma pulled on a pair of medical gloves. "I’m going to need one of you to strap on your big boy pants and man up. I need another set of hands."
One minute Stone was standing there thinking ‘fuck no’, and in the next, TJ ever so helpfully gave him a shove towards her.
Emma looked up and locked gazes with him, nodding her thanks.
Ah, hell. He wouldn’t have walked away from a stranger in need, and he wouldn’t walk away from this. Funny how he’d always thought he’d done it all in his thirty-two years, but as it turned out he hadn’t, and though he knew next to nothing about birthing a baby, he knew two things. One, it was going to be damned messy, and two, intimate.<>Right here. All you have to do is push and it’ll be over and you’ll be able to hold your baby."
"My baby," Lilah repeated weakly, sweat running down her temples.
"That’s right," Emma said firmly, hair falling loose, her clothes smeared with blood and her own sweat, kneeling on the blanket out in the wilderness that Stone knew she wasn’t too fond of.
It was fascinating to him. She was fascinating to him, and elegant and sophisticated, and so not the priss he’d thought. Not anywhere close.
"Your baby," Emma reminded Lilah. "There’s a big prize at the end of this hell, and it’s your beautiful baby. Now let’s do this."
Stone watched amazed as Lilah let out a breath, stopped crying and nodded. "Okay," she said. "Let’s do this."
It boggled Stone’s mind. Emma hadn’t coddled. It certainly wasn’t in her nature to be particularly sweet or gentle in her firm determination either, but she was undoubtedly extremely, undeniably kind as she bull-dogged through and got her way.
Right then and there, Stone felt a little catch in his gut. Not a crush, not exactly, but something that might be worse.
Far worse. Well this is going to be damned inconvenient.
Oh, Jesus. He saw blood and gore, and female parts stretched to limits that boggled his mind and made him want to beg for forgiveness for his entire race.
The screaming echoed in his head, which suddenly felt detached from his body, and if he’d been standing, he’d be flat on his ass by now, but he had Lilah squeezing the holy hell out of him, keeping him conscious--
"I’ve got her!" Emma said in triumph. She came up on her knees, cradling her bundle in a towel, vigorously drying the baby and suctioning the nose and mouth at the same time. She expertly swapped out the wet towel for a dry one as the baby began to wail. "A gorgeous baby girl," she declared, and set her on Lilah’s belly.
The baby squawked and let out a gusty cry.
Stone stared down at the sticky, gooped up baby in shocked awe.
A living, breathing person.
Emma was evaluating the baby for color, respirations, muscle movement, anything unusual as she clamped the umbilical cord, and then turned her attention to the placenta, while Stone’s head just spun.
It was truly the most amazing thing he’d ever seen, and he lifted his gaze to Emma and found her already looking at him, her eyes suspiciously bright and misty.
And then she did something totally unexpected. She smiled at him.
Yeah, she was tough as nails and cynical and blunt. And sometimes just a little mean.
And she cried over a newborn.
I just love, number one – the description of Stone’s reaction to Lilah giving birth. Made me laugh my ass off, as one who’s been there. But the emotion afterward. The way she's written it, with the paragraph breaks. The independent thoughts, one after the other. So perfect. You can just feel him falling for her. Right then. You know he’s a goner.
Jill Shalvis is a go-to author for me. She always delivers smart, sexy contemporaries with humor, sensitive but strong heroes and heroines and a delightful afternoon of reading. I never close a Shalvis book disappointed.
Instant Gratification is book 2 in a 3-part series about the Wilder brothers.
Instant Temptation (2010)