Julia Devon continues to disappoint her father, and is thus banished from Kettering when her sister Christine marries before even having a London debut. Sent to her cousin, Virginia’s, in Bath, Julia is prepared to help her cousin through a most difficult time. Unexpectedly, she discovers that the physician attending to her cousin’s dying husband is none other than the man whose love for her began her descent from her father’s good graces. Julia, who struggled with her own feelings for Doctor Nathaniel Hastings, attempts to put aside the pain she caused for them both to support her cousin. For Nathaniel’s part, he also prioritizes his patient but cannot seem to stop thinking about the young lady who took his heart in London and carried it all the way to Bath.
What is The Gentleman Physician about?
This installment in the Branches of Love series is about the eldest Devon sister, Julia. Julia is reunited with the man she fell in love with during her season in London, though unexpectedly, as he is the physician caring for her cousin’s dying husband. Despite being in Bath purely to serve Virginia and help her through the difficult loss of the baron, Julia can’t help but be drawn again and again to Nathaniel. Especially when he agrees to help Julia and Virginia against an unexpected adversary.
Genre: Historical Romance
I’m guessing from the summary alone this is a pretty self explanatory genre.
Tropes: Reunited Love
The big trope in this book is the reunion of Nathaniel and Julia, who have been pining for years over one another and are finally able to see one another again. This love story is championed by all of the side characters, too!
Plot: Julia Chooses the Most Inappropriate Time to be Romantic
I mean, granted, the circumstances were unavoidable. But yes, a fair amount of discussion is given over to Julia mulling over the fact that she’s feeling romantic while she’s in Bath to help her cousin face her husband’s death.
Thus far this series is well written, features interesting and pleasant main characters, and highlights loving relationships in both the main and side characters’ lives. This book in particular was a good combination of serious subject matter and the lighter feelings of the romance between Nathaniel and Julia. I felt the grief and death of the baron were handled beautifully and though sad, it definitely added to the romance to set it against such a difficult backdrop.
Though I understood the point, it did kind of weird me out that the backdrop of Julia’s love story was in fact her beloved cousin’s grief. Julia is absolutely respectful of Virginia’s pain, but it still makes for a difficult bag of emotions.
I’m not sure I understood why the conflict with Macon was involved. The baron’s brother looms as a sort of antagonist during the story, appearing so long as to make Virginia’s life more uncomfortable. This takes up a fair amount of the story towards the end, as several interactions are fueled by attempts to help Virginia keep her children and secure their inheritance. But the subplot goes nowhere essentially, remaining unresolved at the end of the novel. It just didn’t feel necessary to include since the same result of Virginia leaving Bath could have been accomplished in an easier way.
This series has been a delightful surprise as a whole, and I’m so glad this book followed up to The Social Tutor so strongly. I’m really enjoying the delightful characters Britton creates, and I appreciate that Mr. Devon aside, most everyone acknowledges marriages of love as the preferred situation. I think Britton has a better grasp on the time period she writes than most authors of the same genre, and it’s reflected in the interesting details included in this book from Nathaniel’s use of hand washing to the attitudes of nearly all the side characters in this novel. This is definitely a feel good series including some very lovely couples, and I’m happy to continue on to the next book!
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