Being a veterinarian in the late 1800’s is difficult enough, but for Jillian Matthews it’s impossible. Not allowed in the vet schools, she trained at her father’s side until she had the skills needed to move west. Jillian accepts an advertisement for a position in Montana, using only her initials which happen to be same as her father’s. Convinced that in the untamed west, her skills will be valued and appreciated, regardless of her gender, she’s quickly proved wrong.
Wade Parker is sure the pretty redhead claiming to be the vet he sent for is one of his ranch hands’ practical jokes but the fiery woman very quickly puts him in his place. His impression, however, turns south when the animal she operated on later dies. With a ranch on the verge of bankruptcy, losing an animal was the last thing he could afford and he can’t help thinking the old vet, the male doctor, wouldn’t have let his animal die.
With Wade’s initial reaction guiding them, the town is quick to want Jillian out. But the more Wade gets to know Jillian, the more he sees her grit and compassion, the harder he falls for her. When Wade realizes he was too hasty in his judgment and urges the town to give Jillian another chance, he makes more than few enemies. Enemies that would do almost anything to get her out, and to make sure Wade doesn’t take her side again. Soon threats turn to violence and both Wade and Jillian must make a stand. The problem is, at what cost?
American Frontier , late 1800s
Heat level: 2
Reviewer rating: 5 Stars/Top pick
Review by Tara
I loved this heroine. She’s everything I like and look for in a heroine: strong, spunky, ready to take on the “man’s world.” She struggles to be a doctor and prove herself in a time when that just wasn’t done, when women belong at home having babies. Actually, I liked TWO of the women. A local saloon owner, Silver, ’bout stole the show. I suspect book two is about her. I hope it is.
But this story is about Jillian. She gets a veterinarian job in Montana by using just her initials. When the townfolk realize their new vet is a woman, some of the men aim to run her out of town. The town mayor is behind it; the cruel pranks, anyway, but someone with a much darker heart and vendetta is planning to take it a step further…
While fighting to prove herself and wondering how she’s going to get work in a town that refuses to hire her, Jillian finds herself falling for Wade, but Wade’s already lost one women–he thinks–to a career. He don’t plan on losing another…or hurting his daughter.
Lots of turmoil, emotions running high, sexual tension, and just enough mystery/suspense to keep readers wondering. There’s a side story with Silver and also, Wade’s mother. I thought it sweet that Wade’s mother was finding love again too.
The historical setting was perfectly done with horses, saddles, saloons, barn dances. The only thing that made me frown was Jillian’s willingness in the end to give up something for a man. Hmph. But when she stands up to a shady character that means her harm and performs a brave act, I loved her all over again.
I look forward to the second book, which I suspect involves Sheriff Shane and Silver.
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