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Dr. Matilda Schmidt is not having a good morning. A stained blouses, messy toddler, and marital tension collide to form a perfect storm of self-doubt.
Were the life choices she'd made the right ones?
A mysterious new supernatural patient is about to make the good doctor face those choices head-on, and give her a chance to stand on the other side of the fence. But is the grass really greener, or is it just a weedy mess of murder and hot sex?
"Before I had switched to non-human clientele, I had counseled women in my position by the dozen. Exhausted. Overwrought. Attempting to balance new motherhood with a career and a family. Of course, most of those women hadn't been married to hit men, nor did their careers involve interfacing with non-corporeal beings that could potentially end all life as we knew it. That probably meant something."
Once again, Cynthia St. Aubin is able to marry the absurdity of events with unexpected emotional depth.
On the surface, this is a post-script chapter to the Disordered series; one more crazy supernatural patient to twist our post-partum doctor in the winds of her own psyche. As a faithful reader of the series, (and admittedly, fervently Team Crixus! MatiXus 4evah!) I loved this nod to those of us that wondered, "What if...?"
The HEA we all imagined met with the reality of day-to-day life of a married couple. Matilda and Liam have their share of frustrations balancing life with work - natural / supernatural therapist and hit-man-with-a-conscience, respectively. Add a toddler to the mix, and Dr. Schmidt's frustration, resentment and lowered self-image become relatable. Doesn't everyone wonder if the choices they've made are the right ones, especially in moments of self-doubt?
Short but unerringly sweet, and funny on levels ranging from slapstick and sarcasm to wry and thoughtful, this glimpse into Dr. Schmidt's version of "What if...?" carries all the hallmarks of the previous books. The same strings that tug on your heart pull your lips into a grin, and yank a laugh from your core. St. Aubin's effortless prose brings every scene a depth of mental images that feel like you're watching in Hi-Def 3D (is that a thing?).
In a world of run-of-the-mill supernatural beings, St. Aubin once again presents us with a surprise. Her signature character-cum-plot-device, who is mysterious, yet oddly whole, blends science theory with fantasy in deft exposition that doesn't leave your mouth dry and your brain twitching. It does, however, cleverly offer Dr. Schmidt an opportunity she's not given a chance to pass up.
For reasons of personal character fandom, it did make me a little sad, but that is all my own, and has nothing to do with the quality of the work.
I love this series for its masterful blend of humor, emotion, and intelligence. And I'm happy to say, this book didn't disappoint!