"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."
Pages: 348 pages
Publisher: Michelle Beattie
Published: November, 2011
Form: E-Book (review copy through the author for an honest review)
Genre: Western / Romance
Amazon: Buy / $5.74
Excerpt: The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Chapter
“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 and proves him wrong. 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.The characters: Jillian wants to change the world she lives in, she wants to be able to do what she sees as her calling. The times aren’t quite right for it, but the resistance she faces doesn’t really get to her, she know she's good at what she does. Jillian pigheadedly pushes forward until things finally begin to give.
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?”
Wade is a widower, a father of a small girl and the way he’s been burned he doesn’t want a relationship, but he can’t get Jillian of his mind. Wade’s stubborn, at times even rude, but warms up towards the end. Watching his internal struggle is sometimes even amusing, he wants Jillian but does everything stop himself.
I would have hoped a little more softness from them, but with their backgrounds it makes sense that things needed to build up.
The plot: Tricking people of the small town in Montana to hire her as a vet, under the assumption that she’s a man, ends up biting her in the butt. Townsfolk refuse to accept her and use her services.
It’s true that circumstances like these actually convinced men that women could do the jobs as well, when there weren’t men around to do them. This book has a "Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman" feel to it, if you liked the show you’ll enjoy this book as well!
The writing: The writing is very calm and nicely drawling, it’s not fast paced, but has a nice bit of action in it to keep the reader reading, Another Chance is more a character driven hardships and trials type of story. There was one thing that prevented me from going with the flow of the story, the text was at time underlined which broke my concentration from the mood of the story - but this is fixed for the Kindle Edition on Amazon, so you needn't worry about it.
Another Chance gives you a western, with a woman needing to prove she can belong, and a man who needs closure on his wife’s death to move on and realize it’s not so bad to fall in love again - and enough townsfolk and one with a bad enough grudge to cause some major trouble.
Michelle Beattie also graciously agreed to make my blog a little more interesting with this Guest blog, who knew Cowboys and Pirates had so many things in common! ;D
Pirates and Cowboys-They're More Alike Than You Think
- a guest blog by Michelle Beattie
I've published three pirate novels so far (with the plan to finish the series to total five books) and now I've published a historical western. At first, this might seem strange. There's quite a stretch between seventeenth century pirates and nineteenth century cowboys. Or is there?
Sure, most cowboys in the "wild west" had likely never seen an ocean, never mind lived most of their lives on one, but it goes deeper than that. And after being asked, "why pirates?" and "why cowboys?" I decided to examine my love of these two a little closer and what I found explained why they are both so special to me.
- They made a living despite the risks, the odds, and the elements. Let's face it; neither life could have been easy. Plowing fields by oxen or horse, homesteading a property from nothing and doing it without cranes, bulldozers and tractors. Living with thirty or so men on one ship, day in and day out. Getting shot at, being hunted. It wasn't easy. Books and movies make it seem romantic, but what they did just to survive took guts. Lots of it. I admire that.
- Despite their sometimes savage-like behavior, pirates lived by a code (the articles they signed when they joined a vessel). Maybe it only made sense to them, but there was honor and trust. In order to be successful they had to work together. So like a rancher with his hands and his family. They honor each other, respect each other's contribution and reciprocate that with loyalty. They know that alone they can't make it work, it takes them all. And if you help me, I'll help you. A shame that way of thinking is eroding. We're all so busy now that it's hard to drum up the time, sometimes, to help others. And yet we should.
- They're timeless. Cowboys and pirates have been around for centuries, capturing the imagination of everyone, young and old. Most child imaginable has played Cowboys and Indians, played pirate like Captain Hook in Peter Pan. Maybe we wouldn't want to live their lives completely, but how many of us wouldn't give a day or two to live as one? I know I would!
- They know what they want and they go after it. They don't let anything stand in their way and they continue to work at it until they've achieved it. How sexy is that?
- And lastly, they're sexy. Oh, come on, you know it's true. At least in our imagination (and thanks to Johnny Depp!) The shirts billowing in the wind? The hats? The swagger? The way they have with the ladies? Romanticized or not it works for me!
( to get two extra entries onto the giveaway answer this guestion! )
If you’d like to win an e-copy of Another Chance,