Review of ‘Perfect Match Book One’ by Mildred Gail Digby.
This was different from the usual romance books I get to read. Although still a medical romance, the setting made it seem far from what we are used to.
Megan Maier is a pediatrician returning to work after losing her partner the previous year in an unfortunate accident. She is taken by Syler Terada, a pediatric surgeon with dashing, androgynous looks. The attraction is immediate and was mildly disappointing since it happened on the heels of Megan’s panic attack. However, the rest of the interactions are great and not rushed, so overall the romance was done very well.
As mentioned above, the singular element in the book is the Japan setting. I was not sure initially where they were as it was only clear that Megan had been in Thailand the previous year. I also could not tell which language they were referencing. The narration is obviously in English, but there are Japanese words sprinkled throughout the story. The author, later on, mentions that the characters were speaking Japanese at times and even mentions how English and German are other languages spoken at the hospital. I enjoy other languages, wanted to see how Japan’s medicine was portrayed and certainly, the author showcased her knowledge of Japanese, but these words were a reading disruption for me as I did not have a clear translation readily available for many of them and I frequently found myself searching for definitions on the internet.
The second aspect of this unusual setting is the workplace, the Ruth Kurtz Jewish Hospital. I am not very familiar with the Jewish religion so there were some things that I also ended up looking up. Mostly though, it was interesting to see how their faith influenced their daily lives.
The lesbian lifestyle seemed more regimented and with more labels than what I’m used to and I’m not sure if this was simply because of a more conservative culture, a smaller town setting vs a more progressive city, or to a lesser extent, the Jewish community. At times it was a little difficult to relate, like when the author talks about Megan’s marriage being arranged, something I have no real life experience with.
Another very important thing to point out is that this book is the first of a series. Unlike some series where at least part of the story wraps up, this one is simply the beginning of a longer story. Although the initial narrative for a few storylines is written and the setting and characters are given shape, none of the conflicts got a resolution. The romantic relationship is not completely defined. Megan’s character seems to have a secret that she feels will derail the relationship. We will have to wait for a future installment. There are also other good secondary plots in the book but again, we will need to wait to see what happens in the next book or books. If you need closure, this is not the book for you.
Overall it was a solid first installment that leaves the door wide open for future books and several serious topics to tackle. 3.5 stars
ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.