Reviewed by Morgan
Title: A White Coat is My Closet
Author: Jake Wells
Narrator: Randy Fuller
Heroes: Zack Sheldon/Sergio Quartulli
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: Book – 358 Pages / Audio – 13 Hours and 36 Minutes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Book – October 24, 2013 / Audio – October 1, 2014
Available at: Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Audible and iTunes
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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.
Review – Book: In the first 25% of the book, the bulk of the narrative is setting up Zach. He’s a doctor. He’s insecure. He likes hot men.
The middle 50% is a little relationship building between Zach and his new lover, Sergio. He meets Sergio at the gym and then later the pool. It’s a slow build – the first date goes on for pages and pages – but their banter is witty (if a little corny), and their coming together is sweet (the sex is fade to black essentially). There is a lot of Zach’s professional world – his bigoted supervisor, his friends, the kids he meets/treats, the medicine. Zach feels a lot of conflict because his social world is totally isolated from his professional one. While he is insecure socially, he’s very secure professionally. This really represents his main dilemma.
The last 25% is the best part of the book. He and Sergio are falling in love,and it’s really sweet. There is a “come to jebus” moment when Zach essentially denies Sergio and the two break up, but when he is essentially forced out of the closet in order to do the right thing, he realizes he has been hiding in there for no good reason.
In the last few pages we see a new Zach, he’s friendly, open, honest and free to be in love and a good doctor.
I think that this is a really, really good book in need of a good editor. It’s too long. It’s too involved (though the medicine is interesting, it’s distracting and pulls you from the love story). I almost want to label this gay fiction rather than gay romance. There is so much more about Zach evolving as a person, as a doctor and as a gay man, and his interactions with Sergio are really just a piece of that puzzle. Since the sex is fade to black essentially, it doesn’t satisfy in that area like many other m/m books do.
So… as a m/m book I’d give it a 3/5 stars, but I’d bump it up a little as gay fiction to a 3.5 or even a 4.
Review – Audio: Randy Fuller does a solid job. I didn’t like his “Sergio”, it felt awkward and forced, but for the most part, he fades into the background and lets the story tell itself. He isn’t my favorite narrator, but I wouldn’t avoid his works in the future.
I give his narration 3 of 5 stars
Overall Impression: It was good!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*