For Shay Appleton, it’s love at first sight when a gorgeous stray dog is brought into the animal shelter where she works. She just knows he’ll make a terrific watch dog—and with an abusive ex who won’t let go, she needs all the protection she can get. But Shay never suspected that her new pet is actually a trained police K-9 named Bogart—until Bogart’s even more gorgeous, human partner shows up on her doorstep.
Officer James Cannon is one tall, strong alpha male who’s convinced that Shay stole his dog. But once he gets closer to the suspect, he realizes that this stubborn, independent woman not only needs a guard dog, she needs James as well. It seems that someone from her past is stalking her, and threatening her life. When danger meets desire, will James risk his career and his best friend…to protect the woman who’s stolen his heart?
Romantic suspense is in desperate need of some fresh ideas, and I guess a K-9 unit would do the trick!
A new-to-me author, I didn’t know what to expect, but I requested the book for review because it’s a genre I want to read more of.
There was a lot to like here, and there were also some of the problems I see pop up time and time again in these books. However, the author held my attention better than many who write books like these, and while the poor heroine seriously couldn’t catch a break (tragic pasts are practically compulsory in the genre!), the action kept me reading.
Animal lovers will probably be particularly attracted to this new series. The dogs play a big part in the action. I don’t know the first thing about dog training, but I’m going to take a guess and say the author did some really good research both into the training and the police.
Both main characters (three, if you count the dog!) were smart, decent people and likeable. It’s not as common as you might expect!
For the most part, the author is also good at the thing that determines how much I like or dislike a book in the genre: she keeps the suspense there in every scene, at the back of the characters’ minds if not always at the forefront. She also gave her heroine a few excellent reasons to dislike the police, so when she was reluctant to go to them, I believed I would have acted exactly the same way she did. She never struck me as too stupid to live.
However, her reasons to distrust the police were huge and many, and the tragic past was pretty heavily heaped on. I don’t know how thrilled I was by the beautiful blonde villainess (two of them, actually), but it’s a cliché that always jumps out at me because I find it so frustrating.
I liked the author’s writing style, and it got me through the book very quickly. I was never bored.
One thing I could have done without was the absolutely, totally unnecessary sex scene at the end, which came a few hours after the heroine was beaten up, shot and hurt in the forest. Unnecessary sex at strange times is one of the biggest problems with the romantic suspense genre in general, and I wish it had been left out here.
I did like this book, and am glad I gave a new author a chance. I’d be interested to see where she goes with the next book.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.