A Beautiful Story
Today I have the pleasure of reviewing Amanda Hager's debut novel WITHOUT BORDERS. There are books that are meant to rile you up; books that take you on an emotional rollercoaster; and then there are books that as you read through the pages you hope no one will bother you. You hope they'll just leave you alone. You want to find your favorite sofa, have hot coffee supplied to you on a perpetual basis, and if possible, a bit of rain outside would bring the whole experience together. You just want alone time with the book. That is how I felt when I read WITHOUT BORDERS by Amanda Hager.
But it has more than just that: you'll laugh (trust me, Annie's "Anal Problem" will make you choke on your coffee) and you'll be at the edge of your seat (Day Ten -- pregnancy -- nuff' said!).
I highly recommend this story if you love good stories. If not, then you probably found my site by accident :)
Excerpt (from "Day Ten"...)
The girl strained and cried out, and it took everything Annie had to keep her upright. Felipe and the midwife swapped positions with every contraction, taking turns at easing the infant into the world. But with every push, Felipe’s face darkened and the midwife’s voice grew shriller as she half cried, half encouraged her daughter.
Annie had no idea how long it had been since they’d arrived in this dim hut, but every second that passed with those arms and legs dangling outside the womb made her heart ache.
In a rare moment between contractions, Felipe and the midwife began arguing. They pointed and stomped and shook their hands as the words flew between them.
Angela sagged in Annie’s arms, pale and sweaty.
“What’s going on?” Annie asked.
For a moment, the arguing stopped and they both stared silently at Annie.
The girl’s mother pointed and nodded at her, shrieking in Spanish, but Annie didn’t understand a word of it.
Felipe held up a hand. “We are having some trouble delivering the baby’s head.”
The midwife yelled and pointed again, and before Annie could ask what she was saying, the woman stood and nudged her out of the way with her rotund mid-section. She looped her arms through Angela’s and took the girl’s weight.
Annie stumbled, her muscles too tired to change position. She squeaked to something that resembled standing, but her back refused to straighten. Felipe looked at her, eyes flashing with fear.
“We need you to deliver the baby,” he said.
###I'm telling you, this scene will stay with you for a long time! Don't eat Nutella when you're on this chapter! Just a fair warning :)
For Annie London, a month in a Central American rainforest means handing out mosquito nets, giving medical aid, and teaching children about the birds and the bees. With any luck, it will also land her application in the “accepted” pile at a top tier medical school. But as soon as she steps off the plane, Annie realizes her bug spray, feeble Spanish, and medical supplies won’t help her deal with her new feelings for Felipe—her best friend's older brother, who's much hotter than she remembers, and who also happens to be the doctor in charge of the trip.
Gawking “volun-tourists” may keep his family’s medical clinic afloat, but Dr. Felipe Gutierrez doesn’t have to like them. Or the way they make snap judgments about his practice and the people he cares for. But when his old crush, Annie, shows up to volunteer, her killer curves and kind smile fan the embers of a flame Felipe didn’t realize he’d been carrying. A flame that makes him question all his preconceived notions.
As ideas and cultures clash, Annie and Felipe must decide how far outside their comfort zones they are willing to go—both for their work and for one another.
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Amanda Heger is a writer, attorney, and bookworm. She lives in the Midwest with three unruly rescue dogs and a husband who encourages her delusions of grandeur.
Her debut romance, Without Borders, is forthcoming from Diversion Books. The story was inspired by the summer Amanda spent in rural Nicaragua, eating gallo pinto, speaking mangled Spanish, and showing high school students how to slide condoms onto over-sized plantains.
Her stories are represented by Jessica Watterson of the Dijkstra Literary Agency.
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