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Acute Reactions

(Practice Perfect #1)

3.31  ·  Rating details ·  262 ratings  ·  73 reviews
The man with allergies never gets the girl, at least according to the movies—and Portland restaurateur Ian Zamora wants to be the guy who gets the girl. So to rid himself of the sensitivities brought on by his sometimes-girlfriend’s cat, he makes an appointment with allergist Petra Lale. But he suddenly finds himself acutely attracted to the very woman who is supposed to b ...more
ebook, 302 pages
Published March 23rd 2015 by Crimson Romance
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Average rating 3.31  · 
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 ·  262 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Sam (AMNReader)
May 06, 2019 marked it as life-is-too-short
I don’t know what I was thinking. I can’t do doctor/ patient. The list of what I can’t do is very short, but that’s one of three categories. However, I can do it, at times, depending, so I’m a bit of a liar. This is the type I can’t do. I thought ok, great. She stops treating him, bunch of time passes, he’s the one pursuing...this just might work.

But. She thinks it’s unethical. (She’s the MD, my bad) she’s early in her career. She listed a lot of good reasons, and he dismisses them instead of he
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
A newly-minted 'allergist' heroine, a geeky restauranteur, an interesting secondary cast, and lots of cat dander make for an original romance. Enjoyed this fresh read from an author new to me. ...more
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
When I received this review request, the blurb charmed me so I thought I'd give it a try.

The man with allergies never gets the girl, at least according to the movies—and Portland restaurateur Ian Zamora wants to be the guy who gets the girl. So to rid himself of the sensitivities brought on by his sometimes-girlfriend’s cat, he makes an appointment with allergist Petra Lale. But he suddenly finds himself acutely attracted to the very woman who is supposed to be helping him take care of his probl
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
3.5 stars. Had a hard time connecting with Petra, the lead, but liked it overall. A very realistic romance.
Brandy Painter
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

The beginning was promising. I enjoyed the exploration of medical ethics, and the interactions between the hero and heroine. But the things went down hill in the back half of the book. I'm not a huge fan of drama rama and even less of a fan when that drama is caused by an evil ex-girlfriend. I don't feel that added level of conflict did anything for the story and it completely turned me off. I finished it, but with way less enthusiasm than when I began.
Leigh Kramer
I’m generally iffy with doctors as main characters because I used to be a medical social worker and am therefore keenly aware of what authors get wrong. And I avoid doctor-patient romances because that’s Ethical Violations 101. But I am interested in stories that actually grapple with ethics (although I’m not sure romance is the best place for this) and Ruby Lang is a favorite author so I thought it was worth giving this one a try. Plus, I loved the third book in this series.

So how this one do
This wasn't very romantic. h had too many neurotic hang-ups and I didn't like her friends and how she made every little thing into a mountain. I had to force myself to finish. The hero deserved better. ...more
While the story does lean a little too much on Petra's insecurities, I still really liked the couple's dynamic and this was a fun debut novel. I'll be looking forward to more from this author. ...more
3.5 stars

Ruby Lang is an author I've seen recommended on Twitter several times, and I finally decided to take a look at this series.

I'll start off by saying that I really like Lang's voice. She reminds me a bit of Jennifer Crusie (a compliment!). This book was funny and irreverent with a bit of angst thrown in (which is where it sort of lost me).

When Petra and Ian first meet, Ian is getting allergy shots so he can live with his then-girlfriend and her cat. Petra is his allergist. You can tell t
This feels like a weird thing to say about a romance novel, but I really liked the exploration of medical ethics? It's certainly a unique conflict for one anyway, even if it perhaps shouldn't be given the number of doctor/patient romances that exist.

But mostly I just liked both Ian and Petra who were just trying to do the best they could. I need decent human being romances right now, you guys. I need them badly.
Christa Schönmann Abbühl
Mar 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was an agreeable listen. I liked the main protagonists and enjoyed the different relationship dynamics with friends and family, the personal growth they both went through and some very cute scenes. The conflict felt a bit drawn out to me, maybe I would have preferred it as a novella. Also there were some of the things in it that make it harder for me to “believe” in a contemporary romance: like the kid giving advice to adults, the talking to by the best friend, the mean ex-gf, and yes, the ...more
Jan 04, 2021 rated it did not like it
man it’s a good thing i didn’t spend money on this
Mar 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fresh out of medical school Dr. Petra Lale is trying to figure out how to keep her solo practice afloat, learning how to market herself to patients, network with peers, and establish professional boundaries with the few patients she does have.

Ian Zamora is a workaholic restaurateur, disillusioned with himself, and trying to salvage the most serious relationship in years by undergoing immunotherapy to overcome his allergy to cats. But when Ian walks into Petra's office he has a hard time remembe
Apr 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-reads
For this month’s Literary Stylings challenge, I’ve got a love story. (Aw.)

Well, not just. It’s also a story about medical care, ethics, friendship, and really bad cookies: Acute Reactions, by Ruby Lang. [Disclosure: I’m internet friends with the author, but I was not asked to review this book and I did not receive any compensation for talking about it. I just know a lot of amazing writers.]

I really enjoyed this romance novel–-allergist Petra’s professional and personal self-doubt felt very famil
Melanie Greene
Mar 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Ian! Petra! I so enjoyed getting to know them both.

Ian's smart and sweet and competent and maybe a bit of a pushover when he should stand up for himself, a holdover from a childhood that left him in the wake of his parents' lives.

Petra's bright and driven and nervous that the big gamble she's taken with her professional life will fail, and after being the one all her life to take care of her family and friends, she doesn't know how to take care of herself (or trust her care to others) if disas
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a charming romance novel. I loved the Portland setting (disclosure, I used to live in the Willamette Valley, so I'm a sucker for the City of Roses), but more importantly, I loved the characters.
Ian Zamora is a career-focused restaurateur, and Dr. Petra Lale has just struck out on her own right out of medical school as an allergist. He comes to her practice for immunotherapy so he can deal with his girlfriend's cat, and then sparks begin to fly.
Ian and Petra's relationship felt natural:
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
First book completed for the Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon!

This book is so much fun but also complicated in ways I completely relate to. I particularly love how most of this book isn't the story about how Ian and Petra get together but actually about their relationship - and their lives outside that relationship.

I tend to mostly read historical romance but contemporary books like this remind me why I should branch out more - and I very much look forward to reading the next two in the series.

Also, S
Jun 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, 2018
Sometimes I was really rolling my eyes at how pedantic these people were ... I mean, do you read a romance novel for pedantry? ... but then I ended up liking their humanity and their quirks and how they had to work at love. So, 3.5 stars.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really great story with well-developed, interesting characters and a great supporting cast. The ex girlfriend thing was a little... ? But I liked everything else, especially the family dynamic.
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really cute, with excellent banter/dialogue. It dragged a bit for me at the end, but enjoyable.
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked this a lot, until about the 75 percent mark, when something happened that was patently ridiculous, to rush on the black moment.

The heroine is quite high-maintenance, but I still enjoyed her, and I loved the complicated friendships she has with her best friends. The hero was adorable, but far less interesting than she was. And there was a plot moppet who really needed to be in school more often than he was, but who did, for all that, feel like a genuine teenage boy.

I've already got the se
Oct 07, 2016 rated it liked it
An allergist is attracted to a restaurant-owning patient, and he's attracted to her, but medical ethics (dating a patient, especially when you're just starting your own practice) keep them apart. I enjoyed the sexual tension between sexy Ian and careful, pessimistic Petra, but Petra's worries strained credibility at times; I did not understand why even after Ian started seeing another doctor, she was still so hung up about potential conflict of interest issues. Petra's issues with her mom also f ...more
May 04, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5. Not badly written, but unfortunately, I must be something of a drama-monger because this is one of those books where the characters, relationship, plot, language is so every day and commonplace that I can't find enough enthusiasm for it. Much like books by Jill Shalvis, I finish up just feeling an overwhelming sense of Meh. It's not you, it's me. ...more
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
Oof, y'all.

I ... I mean, TBH I spent a lot - A LOT of this book thinking "every single one of these characters needs therapy." ... In fact maybe only the heroine's younger sister didn't fall into that category? Or the sister's girlfriend...

So I read the book 5-6 days ago and already can't remember the character's names. :X I remember how this book made me feel though which ... it started out pretty nicely. Then by I think I looked at it and it said 73% I was like "this is more like a punishment"
May 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Those who enjoy romances that explore the psychology and neuroses of relationships.
Recommended to Sandlynn by: Romance message boards and blogs.
I, myself, have mixed reactions to Ruby Lang’s Acute Reaction, published in 2015.

This book focuses on two smart people with a lot of emotional baggage who find acceptance and love with each other.

Petra Lale is a 31 year old allergist, who, unlike most of her medical compatriots, including her two best friends, decides to strike out on her own and open her own practice. 32 year old Ian Zamora is a restaurateur in Portland who spends more time attending to every detail of his successful business
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novella, romance, cbr11
Ruby Lang is one of the romance authors I follow on Twitter. One of my goals this year is to actually read the books they write. I’m mad at myself for not snapping up Acute Reactions last year. It’s so good.

The plot starts slowly as Lang introduces Petra and Ian, bringing them together as doctor and patient and then separating them into their lives. There are some significant roadblocks to their relationship:

Petra is Ian’s physician, there are professional issues.
Ian has a girlfriend
Ian has two
(4/2019) This was almost a DNF at Chapter 25, I may just skip to the end. Petra and Ian are well written and funny, i love Petra’s inner Hippocrates. But the growth they’re going through *stresses me out*. They just had the climactic “big problem” that precedes the HEA and my heart is pounding and I’m not having fun. Petra has anxiety. She has anxiety and that fact is u diagnosed and unexamined. I would hope figuring that out is part of her HEA? But in the meantime following her story is giving ...more
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Remember Lisa Lale’s number one edict from on high? Men are not to be trusted to make a woman happy.” “I have never said that.” “I don’t have my Portable Lisa Lale with me, so it’s not an exact quotation, but I think I’m familiar with a number of variations on this theme.”

Petra is just starting out with her own practice when restaurant-owner Ian comes in for allergy shots. The Hippocratic oath, family, and cat dander come between them as they start to realize how they feel about each other.

I fo
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a very pleasant surprise. I read about this book on Sarah Maclean blog, and decided to give a try. I had very low expectations after reading some harsh reviews. The book turned out really wonderful. I think Ruby Lang is a very talented writer. I loved that she avoided most of the clichés so common in romance. Usually we have a righteous heroine, a bad boy (turning good just for the heroine) for a hero, an always supportive bestie, and such, you know how it works. Nothing of this in Acut ...more
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
I've heard really good things about Lang, so wanted to start at the beginning. I really like the beginning of the book, but I grew to increasingly dislike the heroine for being (imo) unreasonable much of the time and for her inability to grow as a person. This was most evident to me around her relationship with her mother I dnf'd this around the 70% mark where (view spoiler) ...more
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Ruby Lang is pint-sized, prim, and bespectacled. Her alter ego, essayist Mindy Hung, has written for The New York Times, The Toast, and Salon, among others. She enjoys running (slowly), reading (quickly), and ice cream (at any speed). She lives in New York with a small child and a medium-sized husband.

Other books in the series

Practice Perfect (4 books)
  • Hard Knocks (Practice Perfect, #2)
  • Clean Breaks (Practice Perfect, #3)
  • Practice Perfect: The Complete Series

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