REVIEW: The Baby Doctor by Fiona McArthur

In brief: Sienna Wilson doesn’t want to leave her high flying obstetrics director position to investigate birth defects in remote Queensland, but needs must. Especially when they come with Sergeant McCabe to help out…

The good: This book has everything you need and then some – drama, romance, friendship and happily ever after.

The not-so-good: I didn’t want it to end.

Why I chose it: Really love Fiona McArthur’s books (a must read for me!) – thanks Penguin for the copy (and quote!)

Year: 2017

Pages: 336

Publisher: Penguin (Michael Joseph)

Setting: Sydney and outback Queensland, Australia

Rating: 10 out of 10

The Baby Doctor was a perfect read at the perfect time for me. I wanted a book that was smart, sexy and dramatic but never expected to find all that and more in the one story! I honestly didn’t want this book to end, I enjoyed it so much. The characters are strong, the plot is a delight and the romance is hot yet sweet. Plus it adds a medical mystery! That all adds up to a book that is just right for me.

The central character is Dr Sienna Wilson, who some may remember from Red Sand Sunrise as Eve’s sister. Sienna’s a bit of a prickly sort; she loves her heels, fast cars and city living. The one thing she is definitely not up for is a trip to the outback, but her sister’s mother-in-law has enough money to demand that Sienna is released from her job as Director of Obstetrics in a Sydney hospital. So somewhat reluctantly, Sienna puts her coffee machine in her Mustang (yes, you read that correctly) and drives to central Queensland. Only two things are motivating her: to find out the cause of microcephaly (small head from abnormal brain development) in a number of local babies and that her casual fling, Sergeant Douglas McCabe, also lives in the tiny town of Spinifex. What Sienna gets in town is completely different. Douglas is very conscious of his standing in the tiny town and isn’t open to her living in his house, nor flaunting their relationship. She also didn’t expect a pregnant woman with a secret and a gruff publican with a heart of gold, both who become good friends. There is drama aplenty in Spinifex, as Sienna researches the potential causes of the birth defects and Maddy’s secret becomes harder to hide.

I really liked Sienna in Red Sand Sunrise as a no-nonsense, blunt doctor with no maternal tendencies whatsoever. It was great to read that she was finally getting her own story! She’s stubborn and unwilling to bend (think heels in the desert) but she’s tenacious and loyal to those she loves. It was also great to see Eve again and catch up with her life post her happy ever after. While I adore Sienna, I also had a very soft spot for Douglas. He’s a man with two very different sides to him – the conservative, tough policeman and the soft, caring man underneath. His actions definitely make him a hero in my eyes!

The Baby Doctor is full of drama, but Fiona McArthur writes in such a way that it didn’t seemed forced or too much. It felt like a logical progression of the plot with nothing out of place. (Plus, you just know that nothing will be simple with Sienna around!) Adding in the characters of Maddy and Alma added in extra layers of friendship, making Sienna seem more real (and less tough). I enjoyed Maddy’s story nearly as much as Sienna’s! She was coming from a completely different place with different problems yet the two characters complemented each other.

The Baby Doctor is one of my favourite reads for 2017 – brilliant story, great characters and unputdownable!

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