What she discovers is the possibility of a new, deep love with Eadie McClintock, a young woman struggling to raise her baby nephew while hiding her brother from the men determined to send him off to the war. Shunned by the town, however, Eadie refuses to have anything to do with May – for the new doctor’s own good.
Which leaves May with an impossible task. How can she win the trust of the town when they are so set against the one person May wants to be closest to?
‘Are you the new doctor?’ Astonishingly blue eyes stared out from under a hat at May and she realised with a start that it was a woman. A woman with a rather striking face, straight dark brows, high cheekbones.
May had to search for her voice. ‘Yes,’ she said, feeling interest and curiosity curling inside her belly. ‘I didn’t realise there was going to be anyone here to meet me.’
The woman – because she was definitely female, despite the men’s clothing, trousers and a thick sheepskin-lined jacket – shook her head at May.
“I’m not a welcoming party.’ The eyes blinked, squeezed together, then opened again, and May caught herself thinking they looked tired, and shadowed, burdened. She held her coat tighter and pressed a surreptitious hand against her heart. She cleared her throat instead and searched for her best professional voice.
‘So how can I help you then?’ she asked, allowing a smile. ‘Since you seem to have very lucky timing?’ The wind blew ice into her ears and she shrugged down deeper into her coat.
The woman caught her movement and winced. ‘You’ll want to get warm and you’re probably tired, Jack said you were coming up from Dunedin today…’
‘Jack?’ May didn’t know any Jack. The woman’s voice was nice though, sort of low-pitched and…almost musical.
‘Works at the feedstore.’ She shifted on her feet as though impatient, then took a step forward. ‘Look, I know you’ve only just arrived, but I need your help.’