First Do No Harm – Emily Smith

Pierce Parker left Atlanta after her girlfriend broke her heart and moved to Boston where her cousin Galen (you’ll remember her from All of Me if you have read it, which I haven’t) helped her get a job as a physician assistant. Once settled, she feels ready to date again but no one feels right, until she meets Cassidy Sullivan, a new emergency medicine resident. The two women hit it off right away, but Cassidy’s past and Pierce’s insecurities threaten their relationship.

A word of advice: when a woman looks at you with “longing? Curiosity? Fondness? (…) whatever it was, it was intense”, do not assume she’s “just a coworker, or maybe a friend at best”. Especially if you’re a character in a lesbian romance novel. It makes no sense.

The main problem with this novel is that it’s frustrating. I could get over the characters’ immaturity, we all have our journey and some take longer than others (and Cassidy’s got excuses). That’s okay. The story itself is okay – with some really moving parts –, the characters didn’t grab me but they’re okay too. My problem is more with the writing itself, or the editing, I don’t know exactly. Some things don’t make sense, and after a while, it gets annoying. One example: Pierce knows she’s good in bed because many of her former lovers have told her so (yeah, she can be a little obnoxious when she’s talking to herself, she’s a lot more charming with others) then a few chapters later, she’s trying to remember “anyone who might have said she held any kind of skills whatsoever under the sheets”. And why does she need her cousin’s advice on what to do with a woman if that advice is what the reader has been told she’s been doing all along? That’s just one example but there are other times where the characters contradict themselves and also quite a few repetitions – I’m not talking about voluntary stylistic ones.

I have read worse books but this one is annoyingly inconsistent. There are a few strokes of brilliance here and there, but not enough to choose First Do No Harm over most of the novels being released right now.

2 stars

First Do No Harm @ Bold Strokes Books

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