This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Released on July 4, 2017
A second chance on love with some rescue animals? Sign me up, but that felt like a mistake. It was a delight to see rescue animals, it wasn’t so much a delight in the love and relationship side.
Craig Williams is going through a divorce and things just aren’t very upbeat. Now he is stuck taking his daughter’s Christmas puppy to a shelter. He just wants the problem to disappear when a fiery Megan Anderson unloads on him. Megan’s had a bad day taking in another animal to a shelter already over packed and running low on funds. While she usually has an even temper, this is just the last straw. After the first meeting I figured this story was doomed.
Craig was in a bad place to start with and then not in the right frame of mind for a relationship, which he tries to admit. He finds himself in the presence of Megan over and over. Craig is also dealing with a huge life changing, impactful situation that he clearly is still grieving over. Megan and Craig enter no commitment sexual relationship. And I wish I could say the sex was good. While it is not fade to black, it doesn’t get a girl excited either. Megan seems to like it though.
Craig also has a thirteen year old daughter and a ten year old son, whose twin’s death and lead to the breakdown of this family. We do meet Jillian, Craig’s ex-wife and while I understood why they ended up getting a divorce, it still kind of struck me that they were in love once and the death of their child has totally broken them apart. Craig seems like a reasonable guy for the most part. His ex we don’t get to know as much, but she seems to be the root of the problem between them. But again, this isn’t really the point of the story, more a I don’t know why Craig even got in a relationship with Megan. Or how he could feel so deeply so quickly after the divorce.
Megan is also dealing with her own issues. She resents her mom for moving on to quickly after her father’s death. She recently broke up with her fiance. Finally, she is now in charge of an animal shelter after the last one has a heart attack and decides not to come back. I can’t say she is hurting for money, but it isn’t something she throws around as she lives in an apartment that won’t let her take in dogs.
The two are attracted to each other, but keeping it a secret from everyone because it wasn’t supposed to be a life commitment or even dating. Craig’s daughter volunteers at the shelter after she came back for her puppy which had already been adopted out.
But here is one very hard issue I had in all of this, because it was passive aggressive. Craig goes on a trip with a buddy and Megan sends a package for him to open when he gets there. It’s contains condoms. Just because he was clean and banging her didn’t mean the ones he bang down there will be clean is her reasoning. Craig calls her on it and says he’s not interested in others. So this isn’t a serious relationship, he isn’t sleeping around. Megan wouldn’t confront the issue head on so she sends condoms to deliver a message. Never mind the fact they aren’t using condoms when they are together.
The other thing that got me and I usually don’t stuck on it, but there was a ten year age difference. Craig had 3 kids and was moving into the mid life. Not that he couldn’t find love, it just seemed he felt more manly with a younger woman. Megan was younger and wanted to find love and have a family. I can’t say Craig would have been against more kids, but you figure after 10 years of not having more, starting over isn’t what he is looking for.
A lot of things happens at the critical point in the books. A series of events that create the perfect storm. Once again Megan runs instead of dealing with it head on. She does resolve another issue in the process, but it felt like she didn’t even give Craig a chance and she was already finding him failing before he had a chance to prove her right or wrong.
Overall there were just too many of my issues with the story to find a lot of pleasure in the reading. Nothing is every easy in real life and this story does mirror life. Everything ends somewhat happily, but to get there took so much effort and sometimes some really dozy of solutions. Overall, it’s a good story, just lacked the greatness or even some good sex scenes to make me believe these two really couldn’t get enough of each other. Just wasn’t there.
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