Review: The Doctor's Discretion by EE Ottoman


Title: The Doctor's Discretion
Author: EE Ottoman
Date of publication: 28 Nov 2017
Genre / Themes: Historical romance / Trans characters

Author's links: Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads
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My rating: 4.5 Stars


New York City, 1831.

Passion, medicine and a plan to break the law ...

When Doctor William Blackwood, a proper gentleman who prefers books to actual patients, meets retired Navy surgeon Doctor Augustus Hill, they find in each other not just companionship but the chance of pleasure--and perhaps even more. The desire between them is undeniable but their budding relationship is disrupted by the arrival of a mysterious patient at New York Hospital.

Mr. Moss has been accused of being born a woman but living his life as a man, an act that will see him committed to an asylum for the rest of his life. William and Augustus are determined to mount a rescue even if it means kidnapping him instead.

Their desperate plan sets William and Augustus against the hospital authorities, and the law. Soon they find themselves embroiled in New York's seedy underworld, mixed up with prostitutes, spies, and more than a lifetime's worth of secrets. When nothing is as it seems can they find something real in each other?


This is my second book EE Ottoman, the first being Documenting Light, which I loved, and this one was just as good. It's a historical trans romance involving two doctors and a patient they save from being sent to an asylum for living as a trans man.

Without revealing much of the plot since there is quite an intriguing suspense/mystery there, I'd describe this story as one about empathy and compassion and kindness and treating everyone as equal human being.

I enjoy the author's writing which is both tight and somewhat lyrical. It draws you in and makes you care deeply for the fate of the characters. I liked how the story brought together the personal and political without becoming preachy. The politics of the day are inescapable for everyone but they are even more intruding into and shaping (for better or worse) the lives of people like William and August and Moss.

It's fast-paced, dynamic story interwoven with a tender romance. The characters are not idealised, they make mistakes and learn and grow and the reader is taken along for the ride. Their daring escape takes them outside their everyday routines, placing them in extreme circumstance where they show their humanity and empathy and this is the element in the story I loved the most. Seeing how people can be do good and follow their moral code and take a stand against inhumanity, degradation and inequality in whatever small way they can, it was so uplifting.

In addition to William and Augustus (and Moss), there is also a great cast of secondary characters who add richness to the story.

It's a fantastic read, complex and poignant, tender and intriguing, rich in historical detail which I greatly recommend to all fans of historical romance.

Purchase links: AMAZON / IBOOKS / B&N / GOOGLE PLAY / KOBO

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