Reviewed by Helyce
Millie Switkowski arrives back in Bear paw following her first year of medical school to do her first clinical rotation at the local clinic/hospital. She’s happy to be home and is looking forward to being the best “man” at her friend Josh’s wedding. Josh would have had his buddy, Will Barlett, by his side, but Will couldn’t get time off from work so Millie was the next best thing. Millie is looking forward to getting over her huge crush on Will and is thrilled that he won’t be making an appearance. She’s in charge of the bachelor party and she plans to do it right. But all bets are off when Will finds someone to cover for him at the last minute and shows up in Bear Paw to stand up with Josh and Katrina at their wedding. If that wasn’t enough, Will accepts a position for the summer at the hospital and is charged with being Millie’s supervising physician. All her plans to get over Will suddenly seem impossible, especially after a misunderstanding has Will treating Millie like she’s just one of the guys.
I was very excited to return to Bear Paw, Montana. I love romance stories set in small towns and since I’d had a taste of Will Bartlett in book one, Montana Actually, I was looking forward to his story. We met Millie too, of course, but I found that I had created an incorrect image of her from book one. I don’t think I really grasped that Millie was a bit of a tomboy and not a girlie girl at all. So, it was really fun to get to know her this time around.
I found Millie to be an intelligent and strong woman who made me laugh so many times throughout this book. Especially when the author used a certain misjudgment that Will makes to help Millie on her path to getting over her crush. Having Will believe that Millie is a lesbian should make it easier for her to avoid him, but it actually has the opposite effect for Will and Millie finds herself spending even more time with him. I loved how this played out. We know Millie has a thing for Will, but watching Will struggle with his feelings for Millie while he thinks she’s not interested was both humorous and a bit emotional at times.
I really liked how the author approached Millie’s diabetes in here. Millie was diagnosed as a youth and has had to manage her diabetes for years. She had a bit of a rebellious period when she was in college, but landing in the hospital set her straight and she’s done well ever since. Unfortunately, she keeps the fact that she has diabetes a secret from Will and when he finds out, we see exactly why Millie felt the need to keep it a secret.
The road to Will and Millie finding love is well done in this story. I enjoyed that it was a slow build up; that in spite of the fact that will thought Millie was gay, he has feelings that he felt he couldn’t act upon. We also see Millie struggle as well–but she thinks she’s doing herself a big favor by not getting involved with Will. When Will learns that his assumption about Millie’s sexuality is incorrect, our couple find out how really good they can be together.
While all of this is going on, we are treated to a secondary love match between Ethan and Tara. Ethan is a good friend of Millie and is also the town’s librarian. He’s often the brunt of jokes with his peers, but he accepts each incident good naturedly. When he meets Tara, a new deputy in town, it’s under the some very embarrassing circumstances. I didn’t care for Tara initially and I certainly didn’t want her for sweet, kind-hearted Ethan. Tara is cold in a ruthless kind of way. She appears on scene emotionless and sort of blank. It’s clear that she has some issues in her past that have caused her to adopt this way about herself. I love how Ethan approached his attraction. He is open and honest and at one point just puts it all out there, then steps aside and waits for Tara to figure everything out. It was nice to see Ethan find love after always being everyone’s sounding board. And once Tara thawed out and let Ethan in, she became much more likable.
Ms. Lowe does a great job giving us interesting and different characters. She’s able to put a humorous spin on a serious subject such as diabetes. We watch Millie transform from being a bit closed off to being more open and accepting. We also see Will change in all kinds of ways as he adjusts to being in love and wanting to protect without suffocating. And we are gifted with a love match for our very lovable Ethan whose patience brings him love with a woman who’d pretty much written off ever finding someone to share her life with. Equal doses of humor and emotion give us a well done small town romance.