Veterinary intern Emily can’t believe she wound up in the small
town of Sunshine, Idaho, instead of the Los Angeles clinic she had
always imagined. Now she has to put her plans to move to L.A. on hold
for a whole year while she fulfills the obligation of her vet school
Then Wyatt, her gorgeous one-night stand from a Reno vet conference,
introduces himself as her new boss. And Emily is just as drawn to his
seductive looks and quiet strength as she was on that very steamy night.
She soon learns that Wyatt isn’t just a laid-back doctor, but a
delicious alpha male tempting her away from her carefully laid-out
“I wanted to thank you for having me, Dr. Connelly—” Emily Stevens
broke off and shook her head. Not quite right. She tightened her grip on
the steering wheel in the parking lot of her new job.
“I really hope to make a positive impact—” Nope, even worse. No one
liked a brownnoser. She cleared her throat, looked into her rearview
mirror and forced a smile. “I’m thrilled to be stuck in West Nowhere,
Your own fault.
She drew in a deep breath, applied lip gloss—because everyone knew
that was the same thing as courage—and got out of the car. It was early
autumn, and the chill in the early morning air only served to remind her
just how far from Los Angeles she really was. She drew a deep breath,
taking in the towering, intimidating Bitterroot mountain range,
backdropping what could only be described as a vast, wide open valley of
the most pristine, remote land of meandering rivers and lakes she’d
ever seen. Emily figured it was filled with bears and wild mountain
lions, and probably Big Foot for all she knew.
Having come from the land of freeway overpasses and interchanges, the
wildest animals she’d ever seen were of the two-legged variety.
In front of her was Belle Haven, a wood and glass building housing an
animal center run by Dr. Dell Connelly and his two brothers, Brady and
If only Belle Haven had been her number one choice on her list of dream jobs.
Or even last.
But it hadn’t been on her list at all.
She sucked in a breath. She could do this. She had to do this. In her
first year of vet school, she’d accepted one of only two available
grants. The repayment was a year of internship at either of the two
animal centers who’d donated the money, and she always paid her debts.
She’d hoped for LA, not Sunshine, Idaho, but that’s what happened
when your mom’s multiple sclerosis flared up right before you left for
college and you ended up doing school half-assed while trying to keep
the rest of your life together—the other scholarship recipient got their
Shit happened, and Emily knew that better than most. Shit happened,
people got sick and died, you picked yourself up and kept going.
What was one year anyway? And besides, by tonight it would only be three hundred and sixty four days left . . .
Pulling out her phone, she accessed her calendar, the one she’d
labeled The Plan. It kept her sane, listing everything that had to be
done, including her goals. More recently she’d added a list of the pros
and cons of Idaho, though so far only the con column had anything in it.
Under today’s goal she’d typed: make a good impression.
Huh. Not nearly as helpful as she’d hoped. Next time she’d have to be
more specific. She slipped the phone back into her pocket and kept
The property was immense. Besides the big, main building, there was a
barn, and pens off to the side. There were three guys in the first pen,
two of them working a few horses, one leaning against the fence taking
notes. All looking like they’d walked off a Marlboro Man photo shoot.
Not something she saw in L.A. every day . . . She pulled back out her phone and added her first check to the pro column—hot guys. She was still smiling when she entered the front doors to a large waiting room area.
Sprawled out in various positions on the floor were a golden
retriever, a collie mix, two pissed off cats in carriers, and . . . a
The pony stood next to a chair, calm as you please, while the woman holding his reins sat flipping through the latest Women’s Journal.
Not something you saw every day . . .
The front counter was a wide half circle, behind which was a woman
working two computers and her phone at the same time. She was a
strawberry blonde, beautiful, cool as a cucumber as she ran her world. A
parrot was perched on her printer and a cat dozed in her lap.
This tugged another smile out of Emily. Animals owned her heart,
always had. Hot guys and animals . . . a damn fine combination. Feeling
better, and far more confident, she moved toward the counter.
The biggest St. Bernard she’d ever seen came around from behind it and gave her a friendly “wuff.”
Emily patted it on the head, and the St. Bernard “wuffed” again.
“Gertie wants you to pay the toll,” the receptionist said, nodding to the jar of doggie treats on the counter.
Emily gamefully pulled one from the jar and offered it to Gertie. The
dog took it, slobbered her thanks, and lumbered back around the
counter, where she thudded to the floor, making the ground shake.
“Graceful Gertie,” the receptionist said with a laugh.
“Wuff,” said Gertie.
“Wuff!” said the parrot in a perfect imitation of the dog.
The receptionist smiled. “No cookies for you, Peanut.”
“Boner,” Peanut said.
The woman slid the parrot a long look. “We’ve discussed your language.”
Peanut gave a startlingly human sounding sigh and fell silent.
The receptionist turned back to Emily with a smile. “How can I help you?”
“I’m Emily Stevens, the new intern.”
“Oh good.” She looked vastly relieved. “Dell’s been asking every five
seconds if you’re here yet. It’s been chaotic since Olivia left to have
her baby last month—”
A man stuck his head in from a hallway off to the left. Emily
recognized him as one of the guys from out front, the one who’d been
“She here yet?” he asked.
“As a matter of fact,” the receptionist said, and pointed to Emily. “Emily, meet Dr. Dell Connelly,” she said.
“Great to have you,” he said. He had the coloring of a Native
American, with dark eyes that cut straight to hers. “Sorry ahead of
time, but we’re jumping right into the fire this morning.”
This only made her feel even more comfortable. “I live in the fire,” she said.
“Perfect. We need two extra hands in delivery. I’ll catch up with you
later on everything else.” He gestured for her to go down the hall.
So down the hall she went. She passed a few exam rooms, an x-ray room, what looked like a staff room, and then a surgical room.
The back door was opened, flapping in the wind.
“He’s in the last pen,” someone in scrubs said, pointing outside.
Feeling a little bit like Alice in Wonderland must have after she’d
fallen down the rabbit hole, Emily headed out the back door and to the
A man was there, on his knees, at the back end of a sheep. He wore
cargo pants and a doctor’s coat over broad shoulders, his wavy
sun-kissed brown hair a few weeks past needing a cut. There was
something oddly familiar about it, something familiar about him.
The sheep’s head was down, her belly was clearly swollen with pregnancy, her sides heaving.
“You’re doing great, Lulu,” he murmured, stroking her sides. “Such a good, sweet girl.”
Lulu bleated weakly.
“I know, baby,” the man said. “Almost there, promise.” His tone
changed then, still low, but now he was talking to Emily. “Welcome, New
Girl. Can you come closer, or are you going to help by osmosis?”
At the sound of his voice, Emily felt the shock of familiarity reverberate through her as she moved into the pen.
“Glove up,” he said, still not taking his eyes off his patient. “Back
pocket.” Keeping his hands on the sheep, he elbowed his jacket off one
Emily stared at his butt, now revealed. It was a great butt, as far as they went. Really great. “Um—”
“We doing this today?” he asked.
Biting her lower lip, she reached out and snagged the gloves from the
back pocket of his cargoes, doing her best not to cop an accidental
feel while she was at it.
“Good,” he said. “Now get ready to help catch.”
She pulled on the birthing gloves as the sheep emitted another bleat,
this one sounding so pain filled that she winced in commiseration with
“Hurry up, New Girl,” the guy said. “Find your sea legs. Poor Lulu here isn’t going to wait for you.”
Emily eyed the muck in the pen, and then her new pants suit, which
had been bought with the Beverly Hills clinic in mind, where she’d
envisioned herself treating the pets to the stars and looking glam while
He moved over to make room for her and she kneeled at his side in
time to literally catch the baby sheep and lower it to the ground.
The next half hour was a bit of a blur. The second kid arrived in the
wrong position, so she found herself up to her elbow in sheep.
“Close your eyes,” her mentor instructed.
She did, and he was right. It was much easier to “see” with her hands
when her eyes were closed. The uterus tamped down hard on her arm, hard
enough to bruise for certain, but she managed to guide the baby out.
She stared down at the wiggly mass of goop and felt her heart stutter
with the miracle of birth.
They helped Mama get her babies cleaned up, helped the babies get on
all four wobbly, stick-thin legs, watching as they took their first sips
from Mama. Covered in hay and muck, and sweating like crazy, Emily’s
eyes misted with the beauty of it all.
Then she became aware that the man next to her had gone still. She
felt the weight of his gaze. Yeah. At some point in the past half hour
he’d figured it out, too.
Taking a deep breath, she looked up and met his familiar
whiskey-colored eyes, which were narrowed at her in a squint. He was as
filthy as she, but somehow he still looked hot as hell.
He opened his mouth to say something just as someone joined them. Dr.
Connelly crouched low at her other side, grinning at the sheep. “Nicely
No longer in pain, Lulu bleated happily at the praise.
He turned to Emily next. “Sorry we didn’t get acquainted before we threw you to the wolves. I’m Dell Connelly.”
Extremely aware of the man still on his knees next to her, staring
openly at her now, Emily started to thrust out her very messy,
still-gloved hand to Dell. “Oops— Sorry.”
Dell smiled. “No worries.”
“I wanted to thank you for having me here, Dr. Connelly,” she said,
struggling to remove the gloves. She was about as graceful as Gertie.
“Dell,” he corrected, and eyed her new and now filthy
business suit with a quirk of his lips. “We’re pretty casual here. Try
jeans tomorrow.” He nodded to the man on the other side of her, the one
who’d carefully settled the new kids with their mother. Emily could see
his T-shirt beneath the opened doctor coat now, stretched over his broad
chest, loose over his abs. The shirt said: Trust Me, I’m a Vet.
“So you met Dr. Wyatt Stone,” Dell said. “He’s going to be your
immediate supervisor for the duration of your internship, and you’ll be
shadowing him. I’d trust him with my life, and certainly to have my back
in any situation that arises here, and you can, too.”
Oh boy. With no choice but to actually finally face this head-on, she
looked Wyatt in the eyes. Oh yeah, it was him. Her one and only
one-night stand from her one and only vet conference three months ago in
I am a huge fan of Jill Shalvis and this series is one of my favorites. I am a big animal lover so this series is one that sucked me in. I read this during one of our crappy weather days where my son and his friend couldn’t play outside.
Right from the beginning, I was laughing. Peanut, the parrot, has a tendency to be vulgar and takes the tension right out of the room. Gertie, the big loveable dog, is a big softie that makes me want to hug her and not move!
When Emily doesn’t get the big internship that she wants and ends up in Sunshine, she also wasn’t expecting to see her one night stand from a Vet conference at the same Vet office. Wyatt wasn’t expecting to see Emily show up when he is helping a goat give birth either.
I really enjoyed watching Emily and Wyatt find their way at the office and then after work. Wyatt wants more from Emily but once Emily makes it clear that her days are limited and that she knows exactly how many days are left. Watching Wyatt break down Emily’s walls and then Emily being confused about what she wants made for some great dialogues and how they managed to overcome and break through to each other was a great thing.