Narrator: Karen White
Series: Animal Magnetism #5
Published by Berkley on July 1st 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Barnes & Noble
From the New York Times bestselling author of Rumor Has It and the Lucky Harbor series comes the story of a woman whose world is turned upside down by one night's torrid fling...
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 scholarship.
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 plans...
This series by Jill Shalvis is directly in my wheelhouse – hot guys and animals. There’s not much else I need, either in my books, or in my life. And Wyatt Stone is most definitely a hot guy. Who’s a vet. Sooooo… yeah. Pretty much my ideal book boyfriend. He’s prone to wearing silly t-shirts to work that say things like “Vets Do It With Heavy Petting” and “I Like Big Mutts”. He’s tall, built, sandy-haired, and wears glasses. Pardon me while I swoon. He could have used a beard, though. In general, most romance heroes could be improved with a beard. All of the single women (and, I’d be willing to bet, a few of the not-so-single ladies) in town are heavily invested in Wyatt as one of the last single, successful, attractive men in the town. They’re constantly coming by the vet’s office and leaving casseroles, which strikes me as hilarious. I don’t know how they do things in Sunshine, Idaho, but around here, women do not announce their intentions with tuna fish and lasagnas.
Belle Haven Clinic in Sunshine, Idaho is not Emily’s first choice for a veterinary internship location, but due to some timing issues, her first choice, Los Angeles, is given to someone else. This gives her issues mainly because it means she has to upset her carefully constructed plan, and Emily does not like to deviate from a set plan. She lives and dies by her plan and her calendar, and nothing throws her off balance like a change to that plan. (I said the word ‘plan’ so often so you would understand how often Emily talks about hers).Getting to Sunshine and finding out she would working for her one-and-only one night stand definitely throws her off. She and Wyatt met and slept together at a vet conference in Reno, parting in the morning with nothing more than fond memories, not even last names. So neither of them was expecting to ever see each other again.
I loved these two as a couple. Emily was wound so tight for all the wrong reasons, convinced that the health and wellness of everyone around her was dependent on her and her ability to do everything. She needed someone to force her to allow them to help her out once in a while, and to see that those around her, specifically her dad and her sister, can get by without her. Wyatt was absolutely that guy. She turned into a mushy mess when he was around, saying things she never intended to say, and completely unable to control herself. The chemistry between them was electric; it fairly crackled through my headphones.
That said, individually, I liked these two a little less. Emily made a lot of judgements about the lives of her family, especially her parents that were unfair and unfounded. Her mother died a few years ago after a long battle with MS, and Emily had convinced herself that if only her parents had worked harder and saved more money and been more responsible, her mother would have had a life she loved. Completely missing the fact that her mother had exactly that. She loved Emily’s father, Emily, her sister, their house, and her life. To Emily’s mind, the fact that they didn’t have a lot of money translated to her mother being miserable and having no security or comfort. Emily wanted the internship in LA not because it was the best place for her or her favorite place, but because it would pay the most and to her, having that money means security. Toward the end of the book, she sits in her dad’s home and tells him that if he’d worked harder he could have had more. She rattles off a string of things he doesn’t have that she thinks he wants – bigger house, more room for his rescue animals, etc – and can’t understand when he tells her that he doesn’t want any of that. She also ran really hot and cold with Wyatt. Mostly hot, truthfully, but she was constantly trying to end their relationship. And never really for any reason other than that he didn’t fit into her plan. I could have bought that she wanted to end it because he was her boss, but her plan reason didn’t sit well with me. Her internship was scheduled to last for a year. A lot can happen to a plan in a year.
And Wyatt – well, Emily was his employee. That’s always a grey area for me, especially when one is the other’s direct boss. But it’s hardly the first time that’s happened at Belle Haven (Dell and Jade), though I don’t know if that’s exactly the same. Dell is one of the vets in the clinic, and Jade is their office manager. He’s not directly or soley responsible for her employment. I don’t know. It’s a grey area, not a black and white line. He’s still dealing with his ex leaving him for her dream job with Doctors Without Borders. He really loves Sunshine, Idaho and is settled there. He wants a woman who wants to settle there, too, and Emily is obviously not that woman. Once he realizes he wants her to be, though, he doesn’t say anything. His reasons were clear, but two people not willing to take a risk is a bad combo. Someone has to say something!
All in all, though, I really liked this book. The side characters were fun, too, and I’m sure Wyatt’s sisters are getting their own books soon, which I will quickly be picking up. If you haven’t read any Jill Shalvis yet, you really need to.