Emily has decided to take a sabbatical from her job as a midwife after having a run-in with a local OB at a home birth. The unit she works for is on shaky ground due to opposition from the local Dr's. When Emily is offered the chance to spend the time off in Scotland working as a cook on a puffer (steamboat) she accepts the offer. Her old friend Rebecca owns the boat with her husband and Rebecca's pregnancy is making her unable to keep up with the kitchen on the boat. So, off Emily goes to help out.
All is not perfect on the puffer. Emily has to share a tiny space with sulky coworker Billie. Rebecca seems to be trying to fix up Emily with her brother in law, Alasdair, a slightly dour Scotsman who turns out to be the local GP. A widower, Alasdair has a young daughter who takes a liking to Emily much to Alasdair's dismay. As the time goes by, the two find more common ground and develop a bit of a romance. Still, Emily plans to go back home and Alasdair doesn't want to disappoint his daughter.
I really enjoyed this story. There was a nice blend of medical, romance, travel, even knitting themes throughout the book. I loved the way that Emily and Alasdair slowly find their way towards each other. I also enjoyed the descriptions of the places the puffer travels to as well as the whole idea of traveling by steamboat. As an American, this British vacation style just seems so interesting! Emily's need for a break makes perfect sense and her final decision about her future stays true to her personality. I'm so happy that Katie's books are becoming more available in the US so more readers can enjoy this wonderful author!