A temporary condition, she’d intended to be there only long enough to leave again. But then she met him. Pursuing her dream of becoming a veterinarian, when Cassie Hastings took an externship in the tiny town of Pantula, Texas, she never planned on staying. For a girl staunchly opposed to change, moving some odd thousand miles away from home to a population boasting more heads of cattle than people and an apartment housed on top of an animal clinic, it promised to be a steep learning curve. She would have handled it all better, (she would have!) if it hadn’t been for Brannt McDowell, one of the town’s most prosperous cattle ranchers—and her most stubborn client. He was moody, arrogant, infuriatingly witty…and altogether devastating. Pitted against the knowledge that her rotation lasted only eight, short weeks, and an ever-increasing attraction to one another, tempers soon flared and sparks ignited between the sparring partners. Cassie had gone to Pantula to learn about large animal medicine; she’d gone there to glean independence in the wide open air; she’d gone there on a dare. Falling in love hadn’t been part of the plan. She did it anyway. Now she’d have to choose between the place she’d always thought she’d be headed, and the home she suddenly didn’t want to leave.