A MelanieM Review:The Doctor’s Secret (Copper Point Medical #1) by Heidi Cullinan

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The brilliant but brooding new doctor encounters Copper Point’s sunny nurse-next-door… and nothing can stand in the way of this romance.

Dr. Hong-Wei Wu has come to Copper Point, Wisconsin, after the pressures of a high-powered residency burned him out of his career before he started. Ashamed of letting his family down after all they’ve done for him, he plans to live a quiet life as a simple surgeon in this tiny northern town. His plans, however, don’t include his outgoing, kind, and attractive surgical nurse, Simon Lane.

Simon wasn’t ready for the new surgeon to be a handsome charmer who keeps asking him for help getting settled and who woos him with amazing Taiwanese dishes. There’s no question—Dr. Wu is flirting with him, and Simon is flirting back. The problem is, St. Ann’s has a strict no-dating policy between staff, which means their romance is off the table… unless they bend the rules.

But a romance that keeps them—literally—in the closet can’t lead to happy ever after. Simon doesn’t want to stay a secret, and Hong-Wei doesn’t want to keep himself removed from life, not anymore. To secure their happiness, they’ll have to change the administration’s mind. But what other secrets will they uncover along the way, about Copper Point… and about each other?

 

I found The Doctor’s Secret (Copper Point Medical #1) by Heidi Cullinan a very sweet, heartwarming new contemporary romance and a wonderful start to a new series. As a long time fan of Cullinan’s stories and characters, I have enjoyed the many nuanced and layered portraits she’s delivered over the years.   With the start of this series and The Doctor’s Secret, I found in Hong-Wei another such fascinating and indelible character. Hong-Wei or  “Jack” has so many facets to him.  Driven perfectionist, competitor, humble and guilt ridden son and man in search of himself and a new future.  Also someone proud of his past and his culture as well as his talents as an exceptional doctor.  All of which comes through beautifully in Hong Wei the man and and the story.

The story is at its strongest when dealing with the medical aspects through Hong-Wei and the hospital.  Whether it’s through his dealings with the staff, his setting up his surgical team, his expectations, and finally all the events that occur that showcase exactly how brilliant Hong Wei truly is….these scenes and sections are a highlight and revelation into part of the hospital drama most people never see.  It felt real, unbelievably stressful, and heart pounding.

Also fascinating, Hong-Wei’s attachment to a local Chinese Restaurant, its owners (even though Hong Wei is from Taiwan) and the information about how the workers are shuffled from restaurant to restaurant, their isolation, etc.  Sometime else I was unfamiliar with.

As strong a character as Hong-Wei Wu was, the other half ot the main couple, Simon Lane, came across, imo, as the weak link here.  Yes, he was sweet, He loves his Asian romances, and is a great nurse.  But, he says he loves his town.  That’s the reason he never left yet you never get why he loves it.  Sure his parents and friends are there.  But I never got a real passion for the place out of Simon.  Funnily enough, that came from Hong-Wei.  He grows to feel grounded there, and the feeling of true love for St. Ann’s, what it could be, all the new friends he’s made, the very town itself?  All that passion and love for a location comes from Hong-Wei and not Simon, the very person glued to this town.  He also seems to lack the ability to stand up for himself for most of the story, being agreeable when Hong-Wei declares that he will make sure Simon is ‘safe”.  I never found his total passivity attractive.  Especially next to the character with so much depth and nuance that is Hong-Wei.

It’s even worse when Simon’s friends Owen and Jared have better chemistry with Hong-Wei as well.  I suspect those two (separately) wil each have their own romances in the series.  I   am looking forward to Owen’s especially.

It wrapped up perhaps a little too neatly and quickly for me with the hospital drama although the romance side was a nice touch.  I anticipate seeing more of the board drama play out in the future novels in this series.  I can’t wait to see which romance comes next in the series.  And perhaps more of this couple as well.  If you love Heidi Cullinan and contemporary romance, this is a story you will want to have on your list to read.

The cover by Kanaxa is eye catching. The model absolutely works for the character of Hong Wei and the design is simple yet elegant.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | AmazonBarnes & Noble |

Book Details:

ebook, 250 pages
Expected publication: April 23rd 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
Original Title The Doctor’s Secret
ISBN 139781640808546
Edition Language English
Series Copper Point Medical #1
setting Wisconsin (United States)

Heidi Cullinan on Writing Medical Romances and her new novel “The Doctor’s Secret (Copper Point Medical #1) (guest post and excerpt)

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The Doctor’s Secret (Copper Point Medical #1) by Heidi Cullinan

Dreamspinner Press
Published April 23rd 2019
Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Sales Links: Goodreads • Publisher • Audbile • Ripped Bodice • Barnes & Noble • Google Play Ebook • Google Play Audio • iTunes • Kobo (US) • Kobo (Canada) • Amazon (US) • Amazon (Canada) • Amazon (UK) • Powells

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Heidi Cullinan here today talking about writing medical romances, and her latest novel, The Doctor’s Secret! Welcome, Heidi!

 

 

Writing Medical Romances

Thanks so much for having me today! I’m here to talk about my latest novel and first installment in the Copper Point: Medical series, The Doctor’s Secret, available now from Dreamspinner Press.

I’ve always wanted to write a medical romance series. My husband has been a clinical pharmacist for years, and I know simply from dinner table conversation that hospital workplaces are full of enough conflict and drama to fill a publishing house. But my husband also started out at a small community hospital, a critical access hospital in fact, which meant there were some quirky things from his experience I was dying to include, at least in spirit.

It’s an interesting thing to be married to a hospital pharmacist. The most notable is that every time I’ve had medical care—childbirth, gallbladder surgery, emergency care, hysterectomy—I’ve done so at my husband’s place of work, meaning he knew everyone and exactly how to navigate the system to ensure I had the best care. Whenever I’ve needed a specialist, I simply turned to him and asked who was the one he trusted the most. When our daughter was born at the aforementioned critical access hospital, I was one of four mothers delivering—meaning they were full up—and because Anna’s labor was so long, everyone was curious about “Dan’s baby” and her birth was announced over the PA. But that also meant they gossiped when Anna was off the chart for height and not on it for weight as a nine-month-old, and our doctor got a lot of nosey people asking if “that Cullinan baby is okay.”

My daughter has no fear of hospitals—it’s the place where she went until her teen years meeting her father for dinner when he worked evenings or where we had to go to drop off something he needed or give him a ride home. The hospital also takes Dan away for many holidays—sick people need care every day of the year—and which frequently asks him to work overnights.

The greatest problem with writing medical romances was getting the medical details right, and for that I had the best beta reader in the world. Especially in this book I needed to ask him so many questions I started to feel like he needed a byline. The drawback of a pharmacist husband is knowing I wouldn’t be allowed to fudge anything. Watching medical shows with him can be aggravating: “That drug is only available IV, where are they getting a pill.” “That’s something they would have picked up right away.” “Completely implausible.” You get used to it. But I didn’t want to hear that about my own work, which meant we had a lot of conversations about illnesses and how to make them severe enough to be dramatic but not so much that the scene would be impacted. Gruelling stuff!

I always knew the first book would be doctor-nurse. But I also knew I wanted to include a doctor not born in the United States, because even in remote areas of the country, many doctors are not white and are naturalized citizens, especially from Asia. In my husband’s first place of employment, a GP and one of the surgeons were both originally from mainland China.  In fact, the ER doctor the night my one-year-old daughter got scratched by a cat near her eye and on her forehead was Dr. Lin, and that was when I learned he’d previously been a plastic surgeon. She barely has a scar, thanks to him.

I made Hong-Wei Taiwanese, though, because I wanted someone local to interview, and a woman my husband works with is a first-generation Taiwanese-American. Tracy decidedly affected this book and the depiction of Hong-Wei in a huge way, and I will be forever grateful to her. I learned so much more from talking with her than I did from any book, website, or even interviews with people online. There’s just nothing like listening to someone’s story face-to-face.

I hope you enjoy The Doctor’s Secret and the rest of the Copper Point books! Enjoy your stay at St. Ann’s Medical Center. The doctors will be sure to treat you right.

Blurb

The brilliant but brooding new doctor encounters Copper Point’s sunny nurse-next-door… and nothing can stand in the way of this romance.

Dr. Hong-Wei Wu has come to Copper Point, Wisconsin, after the pressures of a high-powered residency burned him out of his career before he started. Ashamed of letting his family down after all they’ve done for him, he plans to live a quiet life as a simple surgeon in this tiny northern town. His plans, however, don’t include his outgoing, kind, and attractive surgical nurse, Simon Lane.

Simon wasn’t ready for the new surgeon to be a handsome charmer who keeps asking him for help getting settled and who woos him with amazing Taiwanese dishes. There’s no question—Dr. Wu is flirting with him, and Simon is flirting back. The problem is, St. Ann’s has a strict no-dating policy between staff, which means their romance is off the table… unless they bend the rules.

But a romance that keeps them—literally—in the closet can’t lead to happy ever after. Simon doesn’t want to stay a secret, and Hong-Wei doesn’t want to keep himself removed from life, not anymore. To secure their happiness, they’ll have to change the administration’s mind. But what other secrets will they uncover along the way, about Copper Point… and about each other?

The Doctor’s Secret Excerpt :

WuHong-Wei.

The surgeon’s name rang in Simon’s head as he drove home after dropping Hong-Wei off at his condo. Wu Hong-Wei.All night Hong-Wei had spoken perfect English, but when he said his Taiwanese name, his accent came through, and Simon got a ridiculous thrill.

Which Simon reminded himself he shouldn’t have. Setting aside the fact that Dr. Wu—Hong-Wei—the new surgeon—was practically his boss, there was the new policy to bear in mind. Even so, Simon still floated as he parked the car and drifted up the path into the house. He shouldn’t think about the man that way, but for tonight at least, he would allow himself to dream.

Of course, he needed to be careful how he fantasized. Simon had two roommates, Owen Gagnon and Jared Kumpel, his friends from childhood who were also doctors at the hospital. They were also two of the biggest gossips in Copper Point.

Owen and Jared were home, Jared in the kitchen washing dishes, Owen sprawled in the overstuffed chair with one foot on the ottoman and one on the floor as he surfed his laptop. Owen glanced up over the top of his glasses as Simon came in.

“The prodigal returns.” Owen removed his glasses and shut his computer. “So, what’s the verdict on the new surgeon?”

Jared wiped his hands on a towel and waved Simon over. “Come get your dinner first. I held it in the oven for you.”

“Oh, sorry, I already ate.” Simon toed off his shoes and hung up his jacket, determined not to show any signs of embarrassment. If they saw weakness, they would have no mercy. “I took Dr. Wu somewhere because he was hungry.”

Owen rubbed his hands together. “Excellent. This means you got moredish on him. Come on. Spill. Is he an arrogant asshole? I mean, to a degree it’s a given. He’s a surgeon.”

Jared pulled Simon’s plate out of the oven and put the food into a storage container. “I’ve met decent surgeons.”

“Your definition of decent doesn’t count. Youare an arrogant asshole.” Owen gestured impatiently at Simon. “Out with it. What’s he like?”

Simon sat in the corner of the couch and drew his favorite afghan over his legs. How could he describe Hong-Wei without sounding ridiculous? “He’s a little reserved, though he warmed up after I talked to him for a bit.” Though he was slightly aloof in a way Simon hadn’t expected to be so tantalizing. “He didn’t want to go to a fancy restaurant. He wanted to go to a pub-style place.” Simon searched his brain for more information. “He has a sister. He just finished his residency.”

He told me his real name.

Jared glanced at Simon, glass and towel in his hand. “I still don’t know why someone would come to Copper Point from Baylor St. Luke’s. Either he’s terrible, or he’s crazy.”

“Not a chance he’s terrible.” Owen rested his elbow on the armrest and leaned on his hand. “Beckert has been running around bragging about his catch ever since the hire was official.”

Jared snorted. “He might have seen Bayloron the app and lost his common sense.”

Simon thought of Hong-Wei, of the cool, confident way he’d handled himself at the airport, how graceful his hands were when doing something as simple as navigating a fork. “I don’t think Dr. Wu is incompetent.”

“He’s crazy, then.” Jared turned back to the sink. “I guess I don’t care, as long as he gets his work done.”

“You haven’t told us much about what you thought of him, Simon.” Owen pushed his glasses higher and raised his eyebrows at Simon. “You’re being quite cagey, in fact.”

Simon deliberately didn’t meet Owen’s gaze. “I think he’s nice. I mean, obviously I don’t know him well. All I did was have dinner with him and drive him home. He was quiet in the car. He was on his phone for a while, and he slept a little.”

He’d seemed to flirt a few times, but Simon had probably imagined things. At any rate, he wasn’t sharing that.

About the Author

Author of over thirty novels, Midwest-native Heidi Cullinan writes positive-outcome romances for LGBT characters struggling against insurmountable odds because she believes there’s no such thing as too much happy ever after. Heidi is a two-time RITA® finalist and her books have been recommended by Library Journal, USA Today, RT Magazine, and Publisher’s Weekly. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, reading novels and manga, playing with her cats, and watching too much anime. Find out more at heidicullinan.com.

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review:The Doctor’s Secret (Copper Point Medical #1) by Heidi Cullinan

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

When I saw that Heidi Cullinan was writing a new series I had high hopes and jumped on the chance to read the first book. And I was not disappointed at all. This story had engaging characters, substance, depth, an appreciation for K-pop music and Asian drama. In fact, I was so intrigued by the description of actor Aaron Yan I had to spend some time cruising Google. There was also a wonderfully complex cast of hospital-based characters and all the medical terms and info one would expect when one MC is a surgeon and the other a surgical nurse with two besties who are also doctors.

I have a Korean friend IRL whose personality is remarkably like that of Hong-Wei, the Taiwanese doctor who takes a position in a small hospital on Wisconsin’s northern peninsula. My friend comes across as somewhat aloof due to his upbringing—expected to overachieve from the time he was a child so he looks around in wonder when he sees others aren’t behaving the same way. Hong-Wei could have been my friend’s twin. Self-confident in his medical decisions, smart, honorable, respectful of elders, he has all the behaviors I have seen in my Asian friends.

Hong-Wei, also known as Jack, had his choice of hospitals after residency as he’s a highly sought after surgeon, however, he wanted to find peace and quiet so he could lick his wounds and recover from a traumatic hospital experience. It’s a total bonus that here at Copper Point he finds Simon, a handsome surgical nurse who’s smart and fun and totally into Asian drama and K-pop music.

It’s a match made in heaven—or at the keyboard of a highly creative author—and it worked well for me. Hong-Wei is brilliant and somewhat socially inept. Simon is intelligent and most definitely social as he’s known throughout the hospital and the town as a reliable, friendly guy. Their attraction is immediate—maybe a bit too instant, but considering I was engaged within a month, it’s certainly possible.

There’s plenty of action to keep readers interested with an underlying menace from the hospital board of directors who seem to have hogtied the hospital director and the HR director, who want to bring innovative change (and are likely future MCs). The most obvious issue that causes problems from the beginning is the rule prohibiting two staff members from dating. But there’s more and much of it involves the daily hospital operation and the reveals about Hong-Wei’s surgery specialty and reason for leaving Houston.

I totally enjoyed this story from Heidi Cullinan and I’m looking forward to more in this series. There’s a rich sense of culture and family and definitely an appreciation of Asian culture. I’m hoping secondary characters Owen and Erin take their hostility behind closed doors and that Jared and Nick quit their cold war. Tasty little teasing nuggets were dropped throughout the second half of this story. Now let’s hope we get the gourmet meal in future installments. This series promises to be yummy.

The cover by Kanaxa features a handsome Taiwanese man who bears a striking resemblance to the description of Hong-Wei in this story.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | AmazonBarnes & Noble |

Book Details:

ebook, 250 pages
Expected publication: April 23rd 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
Original Title The Doctor’s Secret
ISBN 139781640808546
Edition Language English
Series Copper Point Medical #1
setting Wisconsin (United States)