The Vets at Hope Green: Escape to the Country by Sheila Norton
Publisher: Ebury Digital
Publishing Date: 19th January 2017
Series: The Vets at Hope Green #1
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review, thank you!
Number of pages: 328
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction
Buy the Book: Kindle
PART ONE of a heartwarming and inspiring story about living the simple life and the joy of animals. Perfect for fans of Appleby Farm, Ivy Lane and Alfie the Doorstep Cat
Working as a receptionist in a London vets, Sam is living far from her idea of a simple life. She’s always broke, rents a tiny flat and is constantly arguing with her boyfriend. But the worst part is that her career is going nowhere. She wants to be a vet, but the most contact time with the animals she has is a quick hello when she books in their next appointment.
Something’s got to give, so when her parents suggest visiting her Nana Peggy in a small quiet picturesque village, she agrees, thinking a bit of R&R could do her good.
But rest and relaxation may not be the order of the day. Poor Nana Peggy’s lovely dog Rufus is unwell, and Sam can’t help but grow fond of him. With the help of Joe the local vet, a charming yet strangely distant man, Sam sets out on looking after him, despite her London life trying to call her back…
I haven’t read a Shelia Norton books before, am not really sure why? If her other novels are so cosy and lovely written as “The Vets at Hope Green” than I’ve missed tons and am going to make up for this as soon as possible. Moreover, I love animals so this novella being about vets could work really well for me. Well, this is what I hope for, at least 🙂 And, as it turned out, it was a great introduction to the series, a feel – good, quick read. Tad predictable, tad too sweet but overall a nice, cosy novella, offering you a few moments of relax, rest and escapism.
Our main character, Sam, always wanted to be vet but right now she’s working as a veterinary receptionist in London. She’s dating Alex – they’ve been together for a while but Sam starts to think that this relationship doesn’t have a future – that is, until something happens that makes her to think everything over. A visit to her grandmother couldn’t be planned for a better moment, then – Sam is hoping to recharge her batteries and make some important decisions in the countryside. Long walks with her grandmother’s spaniel Rufus, sea air, Nan’s company is all what she needs right now. What she doesn’t need is problems and a new village vet, Joe Bradley…
The story ends, of course, with a cliff hanger, as it well can be expected in a series, and naturellement it made me want to read the story further. Moreover, I fell for the characters and I like Sam very much – I found myself keeping my fingers crossed for her, admiring how she dealt with the stressful situations, how she was around other people and animals. You could feel she has a big heart made of gold. There was some jumping to conclusions on her side, I suppose, as I think that one of the plotlines is going to turn a little differently than she thinks, but let’s just wait and see. Joe, on the other hand, the enigma vet in the town, was driving me crazy – he may be good around animals, and it is something already, right, but his hot/cold blowing was incomprehensible for me and it annoyed me a little. I am guessing there must be a perfect reason for him being like this but as yet it was not revealed. So patience, my friends, patience.
I also loved the setting of this novella – the gorgeous, coastal countryside of Hope Green in Dorset where everybody knows everybody else, and the feel – good community spirit was visible there. Heck, when people say how sorry they are because your dog has just died, they must be lovely folks to live around, right? No wonder Sam felt immediately at home there – I felt immediately at home when reading it!
So yes, it was a very promising start to the new series, methinks. What is great is the fact that as much as I am guessing how some things are going to develop there is also a lot of potential and the story can really go in multiple directions. It was a light, easy, sometimes too far – fetched, yet interesting read and I am looking forward to reading it further. It was not a story full of twist, turns and fireworks but it is clear that it was not meant to be like this, and sometimes it’s great to read such an easy, light novella. There is this overall feel – good factor to it, cosy atmosphere and even though it looks predictable, it didn’t bother me so much. Looking forward to part 2!