DiscoverContemporary Romance

Could Be Something Good

By

Worth reading 😎

Enemies to lovers romance trope between Winnie and Daniel made the story enjoyable.

Synopsis

It was love at first brush-off...

Dr. Daniel Durand wanted Winnie Baker the minute he laid eyes on her. Never mind that she's his attending physician's daughter and a few years older than him. Giving up would've been the smart thing to do when the hot blonde midwife gave him the cold shoulder, but he never did give up easy. Can he convince her that he's just the arm candy she needs for that wedding...and get her to consider one of their own?

Winnie Baker isn’t taking her cousin to another wedding. And she's not going by herself, not with her ex-boyfriend promising to be in attendance. She moved to Timber Falls to focus on building her midwifery practice, not get involved with cute millennial boys. And yet, even this small rural hospital is feeling a bit crowded, with her mother and her proteges constantly underfoot...especially since she was supposed to be one of those doctors.

Could Be Something Good is the first book in the Timber Falls contemporary romance series. It contains mild cursing, a make-out scene involving melted butter and stolen moments in medical supply closets, but no open door sex scenes.

The popular trope of enemies to lovers is strong in this novel as Dr. Daniel Durand and Winnie Baker are anything but friends at the beginning of this story. While Daniel may have desired Winnie in a romantic way for whatever reasons he listed in this novel, Winnie was having none of it. It was also interesting that while Daniel believed he wanted Winnie to be his romantic partner, he listed seemingly superficial reasons for why this wouldn’t be possible. Instead, the main reason for why the relationship wasn't possible was because Winnie was not interested in the first place.


Despite that, Winnie and Daniel seem to come to some sort of truce when they have a moment of bonding over Mexican food, and they are able to get to know one another beyond the surface. Were the reasons for their animosity in the beginning only superficial, since they were able to bond over a meal? Probably, but this opportunity for them to get to know the other better made for an interesting story line and gave them a chance be a little bit more appealing to the reader as the story went on.


Another opportunity for the characters to get to know each other arises: Winnie needs to attend a wedding with a date since it won’t sit well to attend alone, and she doesn’t want to attend with either her cousin or her ex-boyfriend. Neither of those choices are good for her, and not wanting to go with either of them is extremely valid of her, especially with her ex-boyfriend not respecting her space and taunting her with his attendance at the wedding. Maybe it would be okay to have at least one ally at the wedding, and maybe Daniel’s company wouldn't be so bad for her.


This book was enjoyable for the most part and I think Winnie was a character that I couldn’t help but root for. Seeing her drive to build her practice and stay motivated even though it seemed like there were many obstacles in her way was great, and it made me like her arc a lot more than Daniel’s.


Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Reedsy Discovery and Tempest and Kite Publishing for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.

Reviewed by

My favorite genres are Fantasy, Dystopian, Historical Fiction, Sci-Fi, & Contemporary. I mainly read Young Adult. I identify as an #OwnVoices Reviewer for Japanese, Chamorro, Chinese, Spanish, Cherokee, Korean, Black, Fat Rep, Mental Illness, Bisexual, and Disability Representation.

Synopsis

It was love at first brush-off...

Dr. Daniel Durand wanted Winnie Baker the minute he laid eyes on her. Never mind that she's his attending physician's daughter and a few years older than him. Giving up would've been the smart thing to do when the hot blonde midwife gave him the cold shoulder, but he never did give up easy. Can he convince her that he's just the arm candy she needs for that wedding...and get her to consider one of their own?

Winnie Baker isn’t taking her cousin to another wedding. And she's not going by herself, not with her ex-boyfriend promising to be in attendance. She moved to Timber Falls to focus on building her midwifery practice, not get involved with cute millennial boys. And yet, even this small rural hospital is feeling a bit crowded, with her mother and her proteges constantly underfoot...especially since she was supposed to be one of those doctors.

Could Be Something Good is the first book in the Timber Falls contemporary romance series. It contains mild cursing, a make-out scene involving melted butter and stolen moments in medical supply closets, but no open door sex scenes.

“A little to the left.” Ainsley gestured over with her hand.

           Sweat dripping down his light skin, Daniel shuffled forward slightly as his dark-haired brother mirrored his movements, only backward. 

           “Hmm. Is that too far?” The petite blonde tapped her fair chin, standing in the middle of her apartment’s living room. “Can you move it back to the right?” 

           “Take your time, Slick, it’s not like this is heavy or anything,” Daniel quipped, grinning, adjusting his hold on the modern, gray Ikea couch. 

           “You’re being compensated, aren’t you?” Ainsley said, crossing her arms. 

           Daniel shook his head at her. “Buchanan, these hands are made to treat patients, not move furniture.” He paused when her gaze dropped to the floor. “Of course, your baked goods more than make up for it.” 

           She sighed and threw up her hands. “Okay, good enough. Come get your pay.” 

           He made eye contact with his brother Kyle, and they both gently set down their sides in unison. Despite being brothers, they didn’t look much alike: both were about the same height (6’1’’), but the resemblance ended there. Kyle’s dark hair and brown eyes took after their mother, while Daniel’s dirty blond hair and blue eyes looked more like their dad’s. Kyle’s hair was short, messy, but he did nothing to fix it. Daniel’s longer style was sliding out of the high top knot he’d put it in last night, and he took a moment to fix it before he followed them into the kitchen. Kyle, still wearing the suit he’d worn to the hospital, had already polished off his first brownie, and Daniel shook his head in mock astonishment when he caught Kyle watching Ainsley bend over to get the milk from the fridge. Kyle’s narrowed eyes told him he was not happy to be caught staring and Daniel chuckled. They both fixed their faces into a placid neutral as she turned back to them. 

           “I really appreciate this, you guys,” she said, as she tipped the milk carton. “Did I mention that? I appreciate you.” 

           “What are best friends for?” Daniel asked, bumping her shoulder with his. “I’m here for you. And Kyle’s here for brownies.” 

           His brother lifted one dark eyebrow as he reached for another treat. “I’m here for her, too. I just know a good thing when I see it.” Ainsley and Daniel both grinned at him. 

           “So you’re getting a new roommate, huh?” 

           She nodded, gesturing to the living room with her glass. “Just wanted to move things around in case she has furniture.” 

           “Is she new in town?” 

           “I think so? I don’t know.” Ainsley pulled out a package of chicken thighs and piled red peppers and sweet onions on the counter. 

           “Didn’t you interview her?” Kyle asked, and Daniel heard the discontented edge in his voice. 

           “Now, now, Grumpy,” Daniel said, grabbing another brownie, “Ainsley’s an adult. She wouldn’t cohabitate with anyone who’d harm her, I’m sure. And if she does, we likely won’t know until it’s too late, anyway.” 

           “It’s Timber Falls,” she said, rolling her eyes, “what’s going to happen? Is she going to drown me in the Santiam River? Bury me in the national forest, never to be heard from again?” 

           “A lot could happen,” Kyle insisted. 

           “Kyle, the only town more boring than this is actually named Boring.”

           “What does she do, your roommate?” Daniel asked through a giant bite. “Does she work in town?” 

           “She’s a doula, I think. Or a midwife, maybe? Can’t remember. Some kind of care-taking profession.” She turned to Kyle. “See? Very safe.” 

           “Or she has access to the medications to kill you in your sleep,” Kyle muttered, but only Daniel heard him; Ainsley was too busy searching her cupboards for a package of corn tortillas. 

           “We should probably get going,” Daniel said, wiping the crumbs off his hands and his shirt, glancing with masked amusement at his brother. He didn’t say the rest of what he was thinking: We should probably get going before Kyle starts audibly growling at the idea of someone living with Ainsley who isn’t him. 

           “Oh,” she said, her face falling, “I thought you were staying for fajitas? We have to celebrate your new residency thing!” 

           “Kyle’s got important brooding to do, I think.” 

           “Can’t you just stay for dinner?” she pleaded. “I’m trying out a new recipe and I need guinea pigs. Please?” 

           Kyle met Ainsley’s gaze briefly, then looked away. “You got any beer?” 

           Five fajitas, a Sprite, two more brownies, and a rom com later, Daniel headed down the stairs of Ainsley’s apartment, rubbing his overfull belly with regret. Somehow, he’d ended up on the couch in the middle between his rather agitated older brother and his very oblivious best friend. 

Daniel grinned at him. “You wanna talk about Ainsley?” 

           Kyle’s face gave away nothing. “Nope.” 

           “Okay. But I hear that too much pining can give you hives.” 

           “You’re the worst doctor in the world.” 

           “Just because you’re not a resident anymore doesn’t mean you know everything, Dr. Durand. Severe emotional stress can be a trigger.” 

           “I’m not distressed. There’s nothing to feel distressed about.” 

           “That’s funny,” Daniel said, as he unlocked his Volvo and slid inside, “because you seemed pretty distressed about her living with an unapproved roommate.” 

           “It’s just a stupid thing to do,” he griped. “You’ve got to vet people.”

           Daniel nodded, starting the car. “But you know Ainsley. She’s better at getting in over her head than all the city kids falling into Detroit Lake every summer.” 

           Kyle grunted in what Daniel assumed was agreement. 

           “If it’ll make you feel better, I’ll stop by and meet the roommate next week.” Daniel kept all hints of teasing out of his voice. 

           “It’s not about how I feel; it’s about her not letting a serial killer move into her second bedroom.” Kyle paused. “And get some references from the woman, for God’s sake.” 

           “I feel like Ainsley might take issue with you calling her roommate’s references…”

           “I’m not going to call them, I’m just going to internet stalk them to see what kind of people they are.” 

           “Kyle.” His brother turned to look at him. “Just ask her out already.” 

He turned back to the window. “She doesn’t see me that way.”  

Daniel wasn’t so convinced; she never made an effort to hang out with Kyle one-on-one, but she often suggested that Daniel bring him along. As far as he knew, she didn’t date because she was “too busy.” The busyness was largely of her own making, since she was on almost every committee in town that it was possible to join. If something was cooking around Timber Falls, Ainsley had her spoon in it. 

Kyle had been “secretly” pining for her for about eight years now. It was the worst kept secret in the Durand family, and no one could figure out why he never did anything about it. Their oldest brother Philip had asked him once and been met with grunting and several days of stony silence, so they’d mostly left him alone about it. 

Since Kyle had descended into thoughtful silence, Daniel did a little thinking of his own. He loved Ainsley; of course he did...but the idea of dating her was laughable. They were far too alike. And he enjoyed spending time with her, obviously, but he wondered if he wasn’t leaning on her friendship a little too heavily for female companionship. He’d gone on lots of casual dates, had some casual hook-ups, but hadn’t had an actual girlfriend in years. There were lots of reasons, of course; there was always a reason when you were in medical school. Even his undergrad had been tough academically...though the amount of time he spent biking and reading comic books probably hadn’t helped his studies. But he would do something about that, the dating thing. Just as soon as he figured out who to ask. 

He glanced over at Kyle, who was still ignoring him completely. It was too easy to mess with him; if he had feathers, they’d be constantly ruffled where Ainsley was concerned. 

“Well, if you’re not going to ask her out,” Daniel drawled, “maybe I should.” 

Kyle snorted. “Ha.” 

“Ha? What ‘ha?’” 

“She’d never go out with you.” 

Daniel pulled into the driveway of the two-story white farmhouse they shared. “How can you be so sure?”

“Go ahead. Ask her.” They both sat there as he texted. His phone swooshed. 

“Well?”

Daniel cleared his throat. “She replied with a gif of a baby falling over laughing. Then she asked if I’d been kidnapped and this was some kind of signal that I needed help.” 

Kyle grinned, then got out of the car and sauntered inside, whistling. 

About the author

Fiona West lives in the Pacific Northwest, and writing romance is her favorite thing, followed closely by reading, knitting and drinking tea while looking out the window. Her debut novel, The Ex-Princess, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was named one of their Best Books of 2019. view profile

Published on May 29, 2020

Published by Tempest and Kite Publishing

50000 words

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Reviewed by

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