Title: Without Borders: A Wanderlove Novel
Author: Amanda Heger
Release Date: April 19, 2016
Source: Diversion Publishing
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.
I hadn’t heard about Amanda Heger’s debut Without Borders until just a few days before it was set to be released, but the moment I heard about it I knew it was my kind of story. And I wasn’t wrong. Once I started reading Without Borders I had trouble putting it down.
Annie needs a recommendation letter for her med school application and to get it she’s spending the next four weeks in the Central American rainforest going from village to village to hand out mosquito nets and teaching locals about safe sex. There’s a lot that Annie expected about the rainforest, but Felipe and her feelings for him were not on that list. Though he doesn’t like it, Felipe puts up with the volunteers that come and go because it’s what allows his family’s clinic to operate. When one of those volunteers is the girl he had a crush on as a teenagers, Felipe starts to think that maybe this brigade through the rainforest won’t be so bad. Annie and Felipe are both pushed out of their comfort zones but maybe they’ll be able to help each other find their way.
When I first read the synopsis for Amanda Heger’s Without Borders, my first thought was that it sounded exactly like an Emilie book. My second was that it reminded me of the short-lived TV show Off the Map about doctors operating a clinic in the middle of the South American jungle (also known in my mind as what Zach Gilford did for a while after Friday Night Lights ended). The combination of those two things was enough for me to want to read Without Borders. And so I did. And I found myself having difficulty putting the book down. And wanting to travel to the South American jungle no matter how many unsafe situations the characters in the book found themselves in, but that’s a different story. For real though, I loved Without Borders because it felt like it was really different from what I’ve been reading lately. It had what felt like a really unique premise and setting that just really worked for me. My favourite part of the Without Borders? The romance. If you are looking for a story where the two love interests jump into bed or act on their feelings right away, go look somewhere else. This is not that book. Without Borders was the kind of slow-burn romance that I love. Sure, the story basically takes place over 28 days, but it’s an intense 28 days which is why it felt like it took much longer for things to happen between Felipe and Annie. But I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Things had to happen the way they did and the story just wouldn’t have felt the same if their relationship had been rushed.
To say that Annie got a bit of a culture shock when she arrived in Nicaragua would be a slight understatement. It was interesting to see the way her views and opinions changed over the course of the story as she was immersed in this new culture. It was one of those things where at first I wanted to believe I would do better than Annie if I were in her shoes, but the more I read, the more I realized that I would have reactions very similar to hers. No matter how open-minded you are, you often can’t help but fall back on what you know instead of trying to understand this new and different culture. And that led to a few culture clashes between Annie and Felipe. Because let’s just say that Felipe wasn’t always the most open person with the American doctors he had to deal with during his brigades. But try as he might, he couldn’t deny his feelings for Annie, feelings he’d had since he was a teenager. Despite their differences and the way they clashed because of their different background, Annie and Felipe just worked and I loved seeing them happy. Though as much as I loved Annie and Felipe, the person I couldn’t get enough of was Marisol, Annie’s best friend and Felipe’s younger sister. I honestly cannot wait to read her story because I just know it will be entertaining as hell.
I am so beyond happy that I found out about Amanda Heger’s Without Borders because I loved this story. And it’s got me looking forward to what’s going to come next form this new author. I already know that I can’t wait to read Marisol’s story in Semi-Scripted.