The happy atmosphere in the Barleybridge Veterinary Hospital is disrupted with the arrival of Dan, the new vet. Luckily he is just the locum until a new appointment is made but his locum status does not prevent him from speaking his mind, making unreasonable demands and generally upsetting the calm running of the practice. When, in his first week, he succeeds in losing a most important client by his arrogant behaviour, the wives connected to the practice vow to do everything they can to stop him becoming a permanent member of the team. But Kate finds she likes his approach to life. When her father dies unexpectedly, the mother she has never met appears to claim her. Torn between love for her stepmother Mia and a need to know her own mother, Kate has a traumatic time. Dan, with a sad secret of his own, helps her come to terms with her new situation and introduces her to the real work of a vet - working with sick and troubled animals. There's Sunny Boy the bull, Copperfield, a cruelty case cat, Perkins the Airedale, Galaxy, a superb horse and Cadbury the Labrador. Tender, funny and full of the warmth that has made Rebecca Shaw's Turnham Malpas novels into bestsellers, Country Wives, the second in the Barleybridge series, is another winner.