The two main characters in this Christmas in Manhattan story have very different views about what they want out of life. Dr. Helena Tate tries to be positive when she envisions what the future will bring, while Dr. Elijah Davenport feels he will always be alone and never have a wife. But when a celebration has them in close contact for an extended period, the simmering attraction they both feel turns into an almost uncontrollable desire for them to be together. What happens when they give in are days filled with delight until old fears resurface. The seasonal aspects in the book certainly had me smiling as I watched the couple enjoy various festivities during their daily lives. The storyline is also very emotional and truly compelling. Susan Carlisle makes every development in CHRISTMAS WITH THE BEST MAN believably realistic and constantly captivating. While part of a continuity, the book is understandable without reading the prior books.
After an emotionally distressing incident when Dr. Helena Tate was a teenager, she has tried to move forward. Though she is a successful emergency room doctor, there is no one special in her life at this time. Yet she hopes one day to find a man with whom to have the family that she desires. While Helena does often interact with Dr. Elijah Davenport at Manhattan Mercy hospital, his reputation of not wanting to settle down with one woman lets her know they can never be anything but professional coworkers.
When Elijah’s twin brother gets married and he along with Helena are attendants, there are several playful moments after the ceremony which have them really noticing the other for the first time. The couple then seem to come in contact more often at work after the wedding. Although there is certainly much physical longing between Helena and Elijah, his attitude about relationships is nothing like hers, so she feels giving in to the strong pull will only result in future misery.
Holiday stories are always a favorite of mine, and I had a great time visiting several decorated sights in New York along with the characters. The latest Christmas in Manhattan installment even has a wedding that was imaginatively seasonal. How Helena reacts to the snow had me grinning, since I am also a southerner. When it comes to any medical procedures, each problem is handled in a way which had me convinced every detail is accurate. Getting to see these two dedicated doctors during a crisis let me know just how much they cared about their patients.
From the start of CHRISTMAS WITH THE BEST MAN, I really like Helena and Elijah. While both have a good reason for letting an event cause them anguish in the past, she has not let it dictate much of her current life as he still does. These two individuals will have to do much soul-searching before their short fling can become more than a few days of pleasure, and Susan Carlisle gives each much to ponder when unexpected feelings are experienced. I thought all responses were spot-on for the happenings in their lives, and a few reactions left me worrying how everything would ultimately turn out for the spirited Helena and Elijah.
I voluntarily reviewed the book, and all comments are my honest opinion
Series: Christmas in Manhattan
Publisher: Harlequin Medical Romance
Releases: November 21, 2017
Author website: http://www.susancarlisle.com/
Rating: 4.5 Stars