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Tuesday, 8 November 2011

It's a Vet's Life by Cathy Woodman

It's a Vets Life

Long, irregular hours; occasional risk of injury; and often smelly and dirty. Job satisfaction guaranteed. This is the life Maz Harwood signed up to when she became a vet, and she has never regretted it. She now has a beautiful baby boy, George, and she will be marrying fellow vet, Alex Fox-Gifford, at Christmas. But recently things have become difficult. Because between arranging the wedding, performing life-saving animal surgery, and taking care of George, there hasn't been much time left for poor Alex. So Maz decides to take things into her own hands - with terrible consequences for all concerned. As Christmas draws near, Maz realises that she's going to need more than a miracle for her and Alex to make it up the aisle and rekindle the love they had once shared.

I am a big Cathy Woodman fan. She has written three books previously, two being about the Otter House Vets and the other being The Sweetest Thing, set in the same fictional village of Talyton St George but centring on other characters. This book returns to the vets surgery and to Maz and Emma. Although this book continues with characters already met in previous books, it is not imperative that readers read the previous books first.

This book begins about 21 months after the end of Must be Love, Maz and Alex have their son, George, born during a terrible flood at the end of the previous book, and still live in the barn in the Manor grounds, where Alex's parents live. Throughout this book, Alex's parents play a big part, especially Alex's father, Old Fox-Gifford, a vet who is growing older but is unwilling to slow down, take a back seat in the practice and although I was shocked by the outcome to this part of the book, I thought it was believable, and when I looked back on it, I was  sure this would be how it would have been in real life, considering how Old Fox-Gifford behaved and lived his life. 
Day to day life at Otter House Vet's is also a big part of the story. A new locum, Will, has been employed to take on some of the load. However, Maz's business partner Emma also becomes pregnant during the book and has to take a reduced role during the day too. There are the usual tales about the vet's patients throughout the book and these inject lots of humour but also some tears too.
The other storyline is Maz and Alex's upcoming nuptials - as I was reading the book I was unsure whether this would end up being a happy ending and I don't want to ruin the story for readers but as has been the case in Maz's life, nothing runs smoothly.

I really enjoyed returning to Otter House Vets and revisiting the characters. The book really is like meeting old friends and I would love to live in Talyton St George, a busy village with a welcoming community. Cathy Woodman has really embraced the villagers and I like that many of the regulars return in this book, Clive and Edie from the pub return in this book and unfortunately they have more heartache. There is again the Village Show and these sound like great events to attend.

This book is set during the autumn and winter months and is the perfect book to curl up with other the dark winter evenings.

The writing style of Woodman's is really easy to read and is like a comfy pair of slippers that I know I can pick up and loose myself in. I am definitely looking forward to Cathy's next book which will be released early in the next year and finding out what the residents of Talyton St George are up to next.

Thank you to the author and the publishers, Arrow Publishing, for sending me the book to review.

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