I frequently peruse the “Coming Soon” page of one of my favorite publishers, Dreamspinner Press. Usually I am looking for the latest release from some well liked authors, but every once in a while something different will catch my eye. A few months ago as while I was perusing, an offering from a new author, Jake Wells, struck me. I really don’t know why I was captivated by this novel, but I immediately looked at the description and put it on my wishlist. It wasn’t an auto-buy or anything like that, but something I wanted to check out at some point. However, for some reason, it haunted me. I was just really intrigued by the book and returned to it time and again when I was looking for a book to read. Finally, I gave in to my curiosity and picked up the book.
Author: Jake Wells
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
From the Publisher
Zack Sheldon doesn’t have time to be lonely. He’s in his last year as a pediatric resident, almost married to the job, and busy with the joys and sorrows that come with providing medical care to children. Professionally, he’s confident, accomplished, and respected. But personally he’s too insecure to approach a sexy man like Sergio Quartulli, or even to imagine that Sergio might be attracted to him.
Zack spots Sergio from across the gym, and then a chance meeting poolside somehow turns into a date. Before Zack knows it, they’ve become a couple, but Zack’s white coat is his closet at the hospital, and committing to a relationship with Sergio makes it difficult for Zack to continue hiding behind it. On the other hand, he grew up in a small town where being gay was shameful, and he works in an environment that can sometimes be homophobic, so it’s hard for him to open up about who he really is. Before Zack can make a choice on his own terms, circumstances force him to make a decision. He can continue to hide, or he can step out from behind his white coat and risk everything for love.
White Coat is not a fast or light read, but in the end it is well worth the effort. I spent much of the book with a smile on my face. If you like banter between your characters, this book if full of it. I repeatedly found myself chuckling at the absurdity of said banter, but it was all in good fun. Trust me when I tell you that making me laugh, especially repeatedly, is not an easy thing to do. I think one of the reasons I liked the banter is that it wasn’t what I usually refer to “lowest common denominator humor” it was intelligent, light-hearted, self-effacing, and the kind of barbs I could see myself trading with family and friends. However, this is not a comedy by any stretch of the imagination. White Coat takes on some serious issues from pediatric cancer to homophobia and bigotry to self-loathing to the meaning of friendship and, of course, love. Wells had me alternately laughing and crying, smiling and screaming.
When we first meet Zack, you almost want to punch him in the face. He is not an easy person to love on the surface, but as you get to know him you understand why. That why and the how is what this book is about. Zack spends so much time trying to be the best doctor he can be, he literally wears it as a shield. You find out what kind of person he truly is through his interaction with his patients, but you also find out just how important his job is to his identity. He also spends a lot of time struggling with who he is outside the hospital. Those insecurities manifest themselves repeatedly in his interactions with the world in general. One day that world is turned up side down by this handsome Italian. As his relationship grows, you find out just how deep-seated his fears and insecurities are. You also see glimpses of him through Sergio’s eyes, and you know he is worth it. We watch him grow into himself. We watch him cower from the world. We watch him own up to who he is and who he loves.
White Coat is not perfect. It is Wells’ first novel and there are times that it shows. But the ride is so worth the effort in the end. I hope this isn’t the last we hear from this author.
Where to Buy
Wells is donating ALL royalties from the sale of A White Coat is My Closet to the Homeless Youth Project at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center (which I found out AFTER I had read it, but makes it just that much cooler 😉 ).
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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