Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Released on April 3, 2018
A mass rescue operation of dogs abused in a huge dog fighting ring bust for a local St. Louis area shelter leads a sweet yet closed off woman and a scarred and rudderless man a new chance right along with the rescue dogs. I saw the blurb and it was all over. I had to give this new to me author and series a go.
Sit, Stay, Love is the second book in the Rescue Me series. Fortunately, it works so well as a standalone because I spotted the blurb and didn’t have the patience to go back and start from the beginning though I suspect Megan and Craig’s book was a sweetie, too.
So, this one begins when a call goes out to local dog handlers, shelters, and volunteers to step up when a hug dog fighting ring is busted up. Megan thinks this is a great opportunity for their shelter to reach out and for her best gal bud, Kelsey, to have an opportunity to get out of her rut and expand her horizons to partner with an experienced dog handler to begin rehab on several of the fighting dogs.
At the same time, Kurt returns to the area to visit family now that he’s out of the Marines before he heads west for a job doing anything, but working with dogs. Being a K-9 handler with several tours under his belt has left him raw after the lost of human and canine friends. But, he can’t look away when he spots optimistic, but woefully out of her league Kelsey looking over the dogs with his old mentor to take back to her shelter. Kurt knows that hugs and kisses and big doggie wishes are not going to cut it.
I know it sounds crazy, but I was actually wary about this book It was laid back and sweet and engaged me from the beginning. I kept waiting for it to morph into some sort of soap opera. Yes, Kelsey and Kurt have their hang-ups. Yes, they didn’t always see eye to eye on the rehab work. And yes, there was a green-eyed monster moment. But people! This book about adults had the adults acting like adults. I mean… shazam. I know you’d think that’s kinda a given, but its not. I think I fell in love with this book for almost that alone. Okay, not really. There was more to love.
Kelsey and Kurt were fantastic. Their separate stories and their slow build romance was developed and paced just right. I know this story is not loaded with drama or pulse-pounding excitement, but it was subtle with natural rises and falls of conflict and resolution throughout the story. It was sexy, but again, this was understated letting the relationship develop first.
And the dogs. They weren’t just wallpaper for the people story. I adored seeing their individual characters fleshed out. Oh, and let’s not forget Mr. Longtail, the cranky Maine Coon cat who ran the place and took an immediate liking to dog- guy Kurt. I enjoyed getting glimpses of the training work, but I also appreciated that the author showed just how much work shelter volunteers put in. They aren’t just cuddling the cuties all day, though they do that, too. And what a fun variety of folks to fill out the cast of secondary characters, particularly Patrick.
So, it was fabulous. It was laid back and sweet, but not saccharine. Gently-paced character-driven romance that was definitely one to make me smile and swoon with the pups and people whose story it was. Those who enjoy light, but engaging contemporary romance should give this a try.
My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #112 CR
New Release #50
Literary Pickers #88 tropical fruit
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