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Friday, June 9, 2017

Review: About a Dog by Jenn McKinlay

A little comedy to go with a romance goes a long way to making a rough week end on a better note.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: May 30, 2017

Fall in love with a little help from man’s best friend in New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay’s contemporary romance debut.

Mackenzie “Mac” Harris fled her hometown of Bluff Point, Maine, after being left at the altar—and seeking solace in the arms of her best friend’s off-limits brother. Now, seven years later, she’s back to attend her best friend’s wedding—safe, or so she thinks, from the mistakes of her youth.

But Gavin Tolliver has never forgotten the woman who has always held his heart. And when Mac rescues a stray puppy named Tulip, only Gavin, the town’s veterinarian, can help. With a little assistance from Tulip, Gavin vows to make Mac realize that their feelings are more than just puppy love…

What’s it About? Poor Mac Harris has commitment issues. Seven years ago she got left at the altar and ended up spending some memorable time with her best friend’s younger brother, Gavin. Now Mac just wants to forget that happened but Gavin doesn’t want to forget, he wants to show Mac that their connection could turn into something more and it seems that the fates agree. Mac is back in town for her best friend’s wedding AND she’s found a cute pup named Tulip. Did I mention Gavin is a veterinarian? Yeah, lots of situations where these two end up in the same room.

Overall reaction to the story? About a Dog is one of those cute and fuzzy reads that you grab when you want something that will entertain but not get too heavy on the conflict. I enjoyed it more than I should but I do think the relationship needed more heat because it felt a little flat to me. With a set up like the best friend’s sibling trope, I expect more heat and definitely more tension between two characters like Gavin and Mac. However, even with the smoke but no fire romance, I still had a good time with this book. The characters are likable, and the situations while a bit unbelievable at times were entertaining and engaging.

Describe the hero in five words: Veterinarian. Sweet. Fun. Kind. Smart.
Did you like him? Yep.
Why? Some women love a man who loves babies. Me, not so much. It’s the men who love animals that get my engine going and a man like Gavin who works at saving them? Sign me up! This guy was a romantic at heart and he had no problem putting himself out there to show Mac that he was serious about wanting something real and lasting with her. How swoon worthy is that? Gavin knew that if he wanted a real chance with Mac that it was going to be an uphill battle but he totally went for it and I liked that about him, he didn’t shy away from the challenge that was convincing Mac that she could trust him.

Describe the heroine in five words: Smart. Loyal. Stubborn. Kind. Shy.
Did you like her? Yes.
Why? You can’t help but feel for Mac. She was left at the altar, had a booze filled one nighter with her best friend’s little brother, and now he wants a more permanent relationship with her. She’s in a tough spot but she manages to pull herself together to attend her best friend’s wedding. I liked her determination to make the people she cared about, in this case her best friend, happy by participating in numerous wedding centered activities. Not exactly fun for Mac at times but she wasn’t selfish enough to whine about it. She was inherently kind hearted but at the same time stubborn and afraid of what Gavin wanted and of course of putting herself out there again. I could understand that but come on girl, a veterinarian who isn’t afraid to put his heart on the line? She also needed to woman up towards the end, she kept quiet about some things that she really didn’t have a reason to keep quiet and almost lost everything.

Let’s talk about the romance: Okay so Mac and Gavin had a history, he had a massive crush on her when they were younger which turned into full blown love as an adult. Then when Mac got left at the altar she let her broken heart do the talking and slept with Gavin. He’s her best friend’s little brother AND he’s younger than her to boot so that makes him off limits in Mac’s mind for sure. But that doesn’t stop the mutual attraction. I loved that set up, the problem was that I felt there should have been more heat, more palpable tension between them than there actually was. That was the only mild disappointment in About a Dog. Other than that I enjoyed Mac and Gavin’s interactions with each other and their growth from friends to something more.

How about that supporting cast? Jenn McKinlay really knows how to bring in a memorable supporting cast! I fell in love with everyone from Gavin’s sister Emma, to friends Carly, Jillian Zach, and Sam, and especially little Tulip the puppy Mac rescues. All of them were warm, loving, and supportive even when they were dishing out reality checks. A lot of the laughs came from Mac’s aunts though; Sarah and Charlotte were a riot and a definite handful. I couldn’t get enough of them. They all brought a lot of heart to the story.

Click It or Skip It? Click it. About a Dog is one of those books that has a special kind of magic that makes you smile, love, and laugh all the way through.

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