Dr. Ellie Swann has come home to Bluelick, Kentucky, to open her own practice when she overheard her longtime dream man, Roger, has broken up with his fiancée Melody. Apparently Roger wants someone scorching and adventurous in bed, and Melody didn’t fit the bill. Unfortunately, neither does Ellie. So when local bad boy Tyler Longfoot needs a favor, she barters with him: she’ll keep a secret, and he’ll be her sex tutor.
For all that this book, and this relationship, focus on sex, it’s the niceness of the characters that makes it work. I felt strongly that Ellie and Tyler were enjoying each other’s company beyond their sexual chemistry. When she wants to learn something new about sex, Ellie’s nerd instincts tell her to get a book of techniques that will drive men wild. Tyler, however, is uncomfortable with the idea that Ellie wants to teach herself how to make her partner crazy without a thought to her own pleasure. In particular, Ellie insists on trying Chapter 13 (anal sex), because “men love it.” Tyler worries that Ellie won’t enjoy it. When she bulldozes him into trying, I was ready for a ‘Wow, this is unexpectedly great!’ scene, but instead, Ellie doesn’t like it, and Tyler stops. Hotter romance novels rely so heavily on ‘we know these people are right for each other because everything they do in bed goes perfectly’, so I just loved seeing a couple respectfully and trustingly experimenting and then deciding that an act wasn’t for them.
If you’re a doctor, you probably won’t love the foundation of Ellie and Tyler’s deal (she won’t report his accidental gunshot injury in exchange for lessons). I also felt her father’s mental and physical health struggles were optimistically simplified, and the book as a whole is on the lighter side. That being said, though, Private Practice is a quick, sexy, and fun read, and I will definitely be reading more Samanthe Beck.
Buy it at: Amazon or shop at your local independent bookstore
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