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Thursday, March 1, 2007

Deliver Me by Farrah Rochon

After being dumped by her boyfriend and passed over for yet another promotion, Monica Gardner moves to New Orleans, determined to make a name for herself as the new attending ER physician at Methodist Memorial Hospital. As for men--she's through with them. But when given the chance to chair the hospital's annual charity banquet, Monica must elicit the help of gorgeous Ob-gyn Elijah Holmes.

Eli will do anything to thwart his matchmaking Mama's plan to reunite him with his high school girlfriend. So, when the sexy new ER doc asks for his help in planning this year's charity banquet, Eli devises the perfect scheme: He'll help put on the best banquet the hospital has ever seen, if Monica poses as his new girlfriend. But when Eli finds himself falling in love, he realizes convincing Monica of his true feelings may be his greatest delivery yet.

This is Farrah Rochon's first published novel. I read it last week, but I held off on reviewing it because I wasn't sure exactly how I felt about it. I think, based on the first few chapters of the book and the cover, I was expecting something a bit deeper, a bit heavier and a bit darker. The truth is, it's just a light and fluffy read. Which is fine, but since I was expecting something totally different, I was very disappointed when I finished the book. After thinking it over for a few days, and doing a quick re-read, I now realize it was my own expectations that ruined the book for me.

I'm a huge fan of the primetime drama Grey's Anatomy, and I think I expected something along those lines when I started this book. Although there were some medical aspects that seemed similar, overall the story was much less dramatic and much more fun.

Monica Gardner leaves St. Louis to start over in New Orleans, partially to get away from her demanding family, and partially to forget about her ex., a man whom she'd been with for a number of years and who cruelly left her. She's determined to make a name for herself at Methodist Memorial, and she's even more determined to avoid men.

Dr. Eli Holmes is known as "Super Doc" around the hospital, because he seems to perform heroic deeds on a daily basis. He's not in the market for a permanent relationship, and he's about ready to kill his mother for trying to set him up with yet another woman - This one a former high school flame who seems to have lost a few braincells in the intervening years.

When Monica is offered the position of director for a charity event at the hospital, she readily agrees. Her only problem? One Eli Holmes. It seems the sexy OB-GYN isn't interested in helping her with the charity event. Mostly because he doesn't think they'll be able to save the free clinic attached to the hospital and he feels he needs to devote his time to finding new care for his patients. But all that changes when his mama turns on the heat about his ex-sweetheart and he sees the perfect out in Monica Gardner. So he makes a proposal. If she'll pretend to be his girlfriend and get his mother off his back, he'll agree to throw the best charity event the hospital has ever seen.

Monica reluctantly agrees, but they're both more than surprised when they find themselves falling in love.

The Good: The relationship Eli had with his family, most especially his brothers, was wonderful. From what I understand, this is to be the first book in a trilogy with stories for his 2 brothers and I can't wait. His young niece was also adorable.

Monica's friendship with her sister-in-law was great, too. They had a tight bond with each other that reminded me of the relationship I have with my closest friends.

There was a secondary romance that I found rather intriguing. A pregnant patient of Eli's and her husband were on the rocks, and watching them come back together was great. At times, I was more interested in what was going on with them than with the main characters.

The Bad: I'm pretty anal about certain things, and one of them is TSTL heroines. Although Monica didn't quite cross the line into Stupidville, she came very close. Several times while reading I was very tempted to throw my book across the room. I managed to restrain myself, but it was a near thing.

I also found the writing to be a bit immature. For a first novel, I'd say it was alright, but not even to knock my socks off. There were a lot of typos and grammatical errors, which may not bother some people, but I'm anal enough that it took me right out of the story every time.

The Ugly: There were too many questions left unanswered. I don't mind being left with a bit of a cliffhanger when I know there will be connecting books to follow, but only a handful of the loose ends in this story were tied up. Such as Monica's relationship with her parents, among other things.

The last few chapters felt extremely rushed, which was terribly unfortunate. What could have shaped up to be a sweet, wonderful romance instead left me feeling rather confused and unsatisfied. If I had to make an educated guess, I'd say that Ms. Rochon needed to wrap the story up and sacrificed her HEA to do it.

For example: There was a BIG MISUNDERSTANDING with Eli's ex. She came to the house and basically screamed at Monica to stay away from "Her" man. Eli then worries over it and Monica runs away, but there was never any resolution with the ex. We didn't see her or hear about her again after that. I would assume that if she was that desperate to keep Eli, she'd have played a larger part in the last half of the book. Instead...nada.

I could give many other examples, but I'm sure you get the point.

Overall I'd say the story was a bit contrived but still enjoyable. Nothing you should lose sleep over not having read, but if you see it on the shelf of your local bookstore it wouldn't hurt you to pick it up, especially if you're in the mood for a quick, light read. You can buy it here or here.

3.25 out of 5

Just another reminder: Despite the dark, serious cover and the title of the book, this is a very lighthearted read. Don't be deceived as I was.

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Blogger Grace said...

First of all, great review Holly!

Second, I haven't read this one yet but if I do come across it, I'll probably pick it up.

Similar to you, I don't like having questions left unanswered. BUT! I am keen to read about Eli and his relationship with his family. You know tight family relationships and brother trilogies are right up my alley! ;)

March 1, 2007 at 4:18 PM  
Blogger Farrah Rochon said...

Thanks for the review, Holly. I'm honored that you picked to read Deliver Me, and I certainly appreciate the good, the bad, and the ugly. :)

I totally understand how the cover could be a bit deceiving. It's something I had an issue with for that same reason. Actually, I blogged about it some time ago. Unfortunately, most authors, and especially newbies like me, don't have a say in their covers. I'm stoked I was able to keep my title.

Even though I vowed I would never read Deliver Me again, I may have to do a reread to see if I can spot those loose ends you mention. I can see where you were going with the ex-girlfriend, but truthfully, I didn't think she deserved anymore face time. The one thing that's stopping me from rereading are those typos and grammatical errors. After going over the galley proofs with a fine-tooth comb, I feared they would still end up in there.

Lastly, I'm so happy you enjoyed the characters, and the Holmes family as a whole. While I'm partial to Alex (whose story I'm currently working on), I think Toby was a great hero, too. I'm sure you'll enjoy his book.

Again, thanks for the review!

-Farrah Rochon

March 4, 2007 at 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Victoria Stead said...

I for one am glad that there wasn't more of the ex in the story... I am not a fan of huge drama scenes in books and backstabbing ex's are a great example of that. I am less likely to re-read a book that has more of that in it and was pleasantly surprised when there was only one little issue like that. I also don't mind the lose ends because I figure/hope that they are things that will be addressed in the next book. If there are no lose ends how plausable is it to link the books?

Kudos Farrah

March 5, 2007 at 9:02 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

You'll love the relationship between the brothers. This is definitely your type of book/trilogy. :)

Thanks for stopping by. Please don't misunderstand my review. I did enjoy the book. I'm just one of those people who likes everything wrapped up nice and neat in a pretty little bow.

As for the ex, I tend to agree with Victoria. Nothing irritates me more than seeing an ex pop up again and again, constantly interfering with the HEA. But because she was the reason Eli and Monica had such an issue, I'd hoped to see, if nothing else, Eli confront her. I don't think she needed to be the focus of the story, but I guess I just wanted to see him (hmm, or maybe Monica?) confront the ex and tell her to scram.

Of course, that's just my opinion.

Hi Victoria, Welcome to our blog.

As I said, I agree about the ex thing. But the other questions that were left unanswered? Well, it was just too much. They weren't things that can be cleared up in following stories, but things that were directly related to the H/H.

March 5, 2007 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger Farrah Rochon said...

Holly, no worries. I love a good debate over books, and I'm just SO excited I can finally do so with my very own novel. :)

Can you tell I'm still just a wee bit excited over this first sale? LOL.

Sorry, but I doubt any of those lingering questions you have about Monica will be cleared up, but you do get to see a happy Monica and Eli in the next book.

You give me something to think about as I'm revising Toby's book and writing Alex's. Do a better job at tying up loose ends. Thanks!


March 5, 2007 at 3:57 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

I'm sure you are. It must be very thrilling to see your own name on the cover of a book. I'd be ecstatic!

I'm glad I could help. If you're interested, you can email me and I'll try to explain a little better what I meant. I know I didn't do a great job of it, but I try not to include TOO many spoilers in my reviews, which is why I don't think I explained very well the issues I had with the loose ends.


I'm not trying to be overly critical, I swear! lol

March 5, 2007 at 4:30 PM  
Anonymous Kyrah M said...

Hi, I just found this page and had to stick my comments in here ;-). I read Deliver Me on a plane ride from NC to CA, and the time was, IMO, well spent. I really liked the book, really really liked the H/H, loved the lighthearted moments, & am looking forward to reading more about the brothers (they are the kind of family that I enjoy a *lot*). Maybe it helps that I've never watched Grey's Anatomy, LOL? I was expecting a fun, lighthearted (for the most part) read and feel that's what I got. I also was very pleasantly surprised by the secondary romance. Overall, I liked Deliver Me a lot, and plan to recommend it to my fellow romance readers.

March 6, 2007 at 7:11 AM  
Blogger Dylan said...

Hey sweets,

Another fantastic review, you did a great job! I loved how honest your views are, you tell us what you liked and what you didn't like and why you didn't like them...so who's the McSteamy? You know I love me some McSteamy, but well, you've never steered me wrong before, I think I'll hold off on reading this review for a little bit.

Oh and Monica is one of those heroines, huh? She walks the thin TSTL line, huh? It's a good thing, she didn't cross over the line and actually become one, cause that for real would have killed any kind of hope that I'd read this book.

But, you saved it...I'll definitely keep this in mind for books that I'll read sooner or later.

Great review sweetie!

March 6, 2007 at 12:06 PM  

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