Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Book Review and Giveaway: Bedside Manners
If the age-old question men ask about women is, “What do women want?” then surely the age-old question we ask about ourselves is, “Why do we keep falling for jerks rather than the nice guys who want to date us?” It’s a scenario that even the smartest among us can’t avoid … even someone as smart and level-headed as fictional “Breakup Doctor,” the relationship therapist Brook Ogden.
We first met Brook in Phoebe Fox’s debut novel The Breakup Doctor (reviewed here), in which strong and solid Brook dissolves into a hot mess when her boyfriend dumps her after asking her to move in. Now starring in her follow up, Bedside Manners, Brook is again firing on all cylinders. Her radio show is doing well; her newspaper columns are highly regarded. And she’s even started a therapy group for men and women going through a break up (or just anticipating one.) Her personal life is also smooth, with best friend Sasha dating her brother Stu, and her own new relationship with good-guy Ben coming along nicely.
So naturally some kind of bombshell has to go off.
In Brook’s case, it’s in the form of ex-patient Chip Santana, with whom Brook got in a wee bit o’ trouble last book around. But Chip swears he’s changed, and he only wants to see Brook to get some coaching on how to apologize to his ex-girlfriends – especially the one he attempted to strangle. But Chip has always sent Brook’s hormones racing … even though she knows Chip is no good for her – or really for any other decent woman in the state of Florida. But as Chip continues to make inroads, Brook finds herself questioning her rock-solid relationship with Ben, and everything else she believes in.
When I reviewed The Breakup Doctor last year, I found Brook’s breakdown to be absolutely hysterical and I was happy to see that the book was the first in a series. This second book, however, while very well-written and nicely structured, just doesn’t have that LOL funny of its predecessor. Part of the problem is that Brook has recovered nicely from her post-dump breakdown, and she’s very thoughtful and logical about her conflict between Chip and Ben. That’s all well and good, but it’s not exactly funny. Most of the humor derives from the members of Brook’s therapy group, which is limiting, as the group doesn’t appear that often and its members don’t really develop beyond their individual problems. Still, the opening scene – where Brook helps a shy client find her way out of an S&M bar – is very amusing.
As the series progresses, author Fox may want to take her cue from private detective series. By concentrating on her crazy clients and keeping Brook’s dilemmas as a subplot, Fox can maximize the humor and minimize the internal teeth-gnashing. She might also want to take my advice about having Brook take on writers who are dejected by rejection from agents and publishers. I’m still getting those “no thanks” letters, and I could really use some help!
Thanks to Phoebe Fox for the book in exchange for an honest review. She is giving away an e-book set of The Breakup Doctor and Bedside Manners to a lucky reader anywhere in the world!
How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here.
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Worldwide. Giveaway ends March 29th at midnight EST.