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Prince Charming, M. D.
by Susan Mallery
(Silh. Sp. Ed. #1209, $4.25, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-24209-3
***
Prince Charming, M.D. is the second book in the Prescription: Marriage series. From Husband to House Calls by Christine Flynn was the first book. The series will conclude with Christine Rimmer's Dr. Devastating. Three nurses, upon graduation from nursing school, make a vow never to get involved with doctors, a vow which lasts maybe a page.

Dr.Trevor MacAllister is returning to Honeygrove, his hometown, to practice medicine. Nurse Dana Rowan has heard this information from most of the female staff at Honeygrove Memorial Hospital. He's the current source of gossip, but Dana wants no part of the new heartthrob on the scene. Years before, Trevor had been her first lover. She'd been a high school sophomore and he a senior when news of their being lovers had spread through their school like a raging river. Dana blamed Trevor for spreading the tale, not believing him when he vowed his innocence. Since then, she's ignored Trevor and has tried to forget about him.

What this means is that we've started with the Big Misunderstanding, lasting over a decade, and her attitude means that more will occur. Now, he's back, living next door to her while his house is being built.

The story is entirely an internal conflict book. Dana is the contributing factor to the conflict. The plot skips from one potential problem to another. I spent a great deal of time waiting for the big one to erupt. And it does! Dana alternately believes the gossip about Trevor or doubts that they, from dissimilar backgrounds, have the basis for a continuing relationship. This one step forward, three giant steps back scenario became really tiresome.

Dana is judgmental and will not listen to him. When she asks Trevor if he married his ex-wife because she was pregnant, he takes umbrage over the comment. Personally, I didn't blame him. Dana's been taking little potshots from the beginning, denigrating him at almost every turn. If this were a legal eagle book instead of a romance, this guy could get a new trial. He's been convicted from the getgo.

This convoluted logic should give you the gist of what's problematic about Prince Charming, M.D. As Dana's two nurse friends listen to her latest tales of woe (translate that to her perceived inadequacy), she explains that Trevor's treating her differently than before. Katie from book one mentions that maybe Trevor really cares for Dana, and he's giving the relationship time to develop.

Dana's response is so lame. "Maybe he decided he didn't want me after we'd done it and he knew what he was getting."

Here's how I see this story. We've got a caring, sensitive physician the story's saving grace who's interested in a woman who's judgmental, knows how to carry a major league grudge, is unyielding, has a problem with compromises, is uncaring about his feelings and is overall a pain in the rear. Trevor deserves better. If he's a fairy tale kind of guy, she is, too. I can see her gazing into Snow White's Mirror, chanting: Mirror, Mirror on the wall . . . some days I have no sense at all.

--Linda Mowery


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