Rating: 4/5
Steam: 3/5
Trope: Enemies to lovers, meet cute, Friend Group, Medical Romance, Co-workers, Slow burn, rom-com,
Series: Summer Nights Book #3 (standalone)
Trigger Warning: Topics of Mental Health; PTSD and depression

I am so happy to finally have Sonya’s Story.  She was a quiet subtle character in the first two books. She has this quality of being a rock for her friends. The one who is always at the ready to step in.  The mention of her fiancé in the background of the 1st two stories had me hoping he would not be her HEA.  There was something off and boy were we right! 

Flying home from Hawaii after her ex-fiancé calls off their elopement wedding 20 minutes before the ceremony, Sonya Pope isn’t having a great day. When a passenger has a medical emergency on board, she jumps into action, only to have “Dr. Travis” dismissively mansplain the situation to her. Much to her shock and surprise, Travis turns out to be her new intern at the hospital where she is a nurse manager in the psychiatric ward. Travis needs Sonya to pass him through his internship, and Sonya needs Travis to show her boss that she’s ready for more responsibility at the hospital. When sparks begin to fly that neither can deny.

The Exception is a slow burn romance, Sonya and Travis start out as enemies to lovers in a pretty explosive meet-hate. Mansplaining and all! But slowly the evolution of their relationship changes.  The book transforms into friends to lovers. This pair is full of chemistry and bleeds from the pages.  I love that they see each other completely for who the other is, and they like to challenge and push each other’s buttons, but also know when to support each other through rough times. Their date around D.C. had all the feels!

Sonya’s character is one of the most relatable characters I have read in a long time. A master list maker, she takes comfort in solving problems. She is disciplined, predictable and lives for routine.. One of the things about Sonya is she loves BIG and cares greatly.  Her journey of self-discovery she goes on is magnificent. Travis’ charm is such a help to get her where she needs to be.

I loved Travis. A former combat medic in Afghanistan, he is still working to adjust to live in the civilian world. I adored how Trav just wanted to settle down and have a family. Both Sonya and Travis have complicated family lives – Travis will never live up to his neurologist father’s expectations for him and Sonya’s father is in an in-patient facility suffering from PTSD and depression. Their support of each other was sweet and heart-warming.

Sonya and Trav are seemingly opposites, but with a fundamental truth in common – their deep need to care for others. There is so much to this book but none of it outshines the other. It is the perfect equation that leads to a much-needed HEA.