Reviewed by Debs Carr
When animal welfare officer and part-time fire-fighter Jack Miller storms into Tessa Wilde’s wedding and announces that her fiancé, Nathan isn’t quite what he seems, he triggers off the concerns that Tessa has been working hard to ignore. When Nathan still can’t say those three little words, Tessa decides that marrying him would be a dreadful mistake.
She moves back in with her family while Nathan goes on their honeymoon and as she tallies up the mountain of debts Nathan has amassed in her name, she has find a way to cope with the loss of her house, her car and the future she’d imagined with him.Tessa finds that trying to recover from her heartache while living with her sociable parents is a little too much to bear. Her aunt Fifi runs an animal sanctuary and wanting to help her niece and make the most of Tessa’s veterinary nursing abilities, she offers her a home, albeit an unfinished one and an unpaid job setting up and running the sanctuary. Unfortunately for Tessa this also means that she’ll have to spend time with Jack, but she’s determined to keep him at arms length and never forgive him for ruining her big day. At least, that’s her intention, but as Jack helps her rescue frightened and damaged animals, Tessa can’t help being affected by his compassionate nature and determination to do the right thing.
Jack’s strong, dependable character and his relationship with his sister Libby who suffers from epilepsy is wonderful. Libby yearns to be independent, but finds Jack's constant concerns about her welfare suffocating. Although Tessa’s been hurt by Nathan’s underhand actions, she enjoys the isolation of her new home and the affection she receives from the animals. I loved Tessa's gradual realisation that she feels more for Jack than she expected to. She has a good although sometimes awkward relationship with her large, mainly female family, especially with her exhuberant, amateur dramatic-loving father. The animals play a strong part in this book, from the aggressive and abused Dolly and unfriendly Buster, to Tia who has been loved too much and is now overweight and unwanted.
This is a fun rural adventure with a determined veterinary nurse, a handsome, rugged, part-time fire-fighter and a cast of animals that you want them to rescue.