June 10, 2013

Secrets, Surprises & So Many Animals

City Girl, Country Vet by Cathy Woodman

Release Date: September 2012
Publisher: Hachette | Hyperion
Pages: 384 pages
Source & Format: Bought; Paperback
Amazon | Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads)
London veterinarian Maz Harwood has learned the hard way that love and work don't mix. So when Emma, her best friend from vet school, asks her to look after her practice in the English countryside for six months, Maz decides that is just the change of scenery she needs. But country life is trickier than she could have imagined.

It is one thing to trade her smart heels for wellies; it's another to deal with unwelcoming locals, an intense rivalry with the town's other vet practice, and worse yet, the realization that her friend's practice is in as bad a shape as Maz's own broken heart. Things get even more complicated when she meets her rival's dashing son, who is totally unsuitable as a prospect... or is he? Can Maz win over the locals, save the lives of her patients, keep Emma's practice from going under... and find love again?

Thoughts on City Girl, Country Vet
Book cover love strikes again! This was in the Target book section (one of my favorite places to check for new books - there are always things I haven't heard of before that totally appeal to me), and I had to buy it based solely on my love for the cover. Add to that the fact that it is set in England! That's totally a "I want to buy it" word for me.

City Girl, Country Vet is about Maz Harwood, a veterinarian in the city who wants to get lost after her divorced boyfriend (also her boss) breaks up with her to reunite with his wife. Needless to say, she doesn't want to stick around for the humiliation that follows. As luck would have it, her best friend needs her help. Emma has opened her own practice, for small animals, in the country. The stress of running the clinic on her own has finally gotten to her, and she's begging Maz to come and offer some relief.

Come to find out, Emma wants to take a six-month leave to travel with her husband. Maz agrees since she doesn't know what else to do with her life, but she's not too keen about taking over for her friend. The worst part? After Emma's gone, Maz realizes that there's a lot more going on behind-the-scenes than Emma ever let on.

Unfortunately, this book was a letdown for me. I felt like it moved really slow and suffered from a lack of focus. There were numerous animal stories going on - to the detriment of the larger plot. Things just didn't seem developed enough, and that included the characters.

I found Maz often annoying, and I was downright shocked at how Emma kept so many important secrets from her friend. Her whole excuse of "I just didn't realize how bad things were" felt like such a cop-out, and I was legitimately surprised that it didn't seem to affect her relationship with Maz in the least.

There is also a huge focus on the tense relationship between Emma's vet practice (Otter House) and an older, more established vet. The two vets seem to hate each other and feel no qualms about making that very clear. In such a small community, I found it really weird and unprofessional.

Of course, Maz finds (potential) love in the country because obviously this book needed an additional storyline. Unfortunately, the love story was really under-developed, suffering the same fate as everything else going on. It wasn't believable at all, at least to me.

I did expect this to be a sort of happy read, and I was surprised that it's actually kind of depressing. From troubles with the practices to the deaths of some of the vet's patients, I felt really tense while reading this and didn't really look forward to picking it up.

From what I can tell on Goodreads, this is the first in a series that was first published in the U.K. (with six total books at this point). Only the first has been published here in the U.S., and it thankfully ends with most of the different plots wrapped up enough that there's no need to continue on. I wish I'd love this book more (since I still think the cover is adorable), but that doesn't mean it won't work for others!

10 comments:

  1. Oh no. But it looks sooo cute. Sad to hear it didn't rock.

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    1. I KNOW! The cuteness was so misleading.

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  2. Looks like it would be a cute read -- that's too bad it was more depressing than cute. :( Love the cover, though!

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    1. So do I! I was particularly disappointed in it since the cover was so adorable!

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  3. I hate when this happens. It is such a cute cover, and I like the idea, too. But I can't stand the problems you mention here, so I think I'll pass.

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    1. Yeah, I hate when it happens too! It's so frustrating when you're really excited about a book only to be letdown.

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  4. It's too bad it's a bit disappointing, because that cover is so cute! It also sounds a bit like The Holiday, except with veterinarians.

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    1. It is a little like The Holiday but with veterinarians! Except not as cute/happy - haha!

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  5. The cover is definitely misleading! I'd expect this one to be fun, quirky and cute -- and the pets. But it sounds like it's a lot more serious than I'd like, which kind of makes me sad.

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    1. Yeah, it was fun at times but a lot sadder/more depressing than I'd imagined it would be :(

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