I am not usually a romance reader (I prefer zombies, explosions, space battles, etc.), but my friends at Sourcebooks are devious. They periodically send out emails inviting readers to try a new book or series at a great discount. I read the second book in this series, Puppy Christmas, after one of those emails. I thought, "Cute puppy, cute single dad, dedicated dog trainer...why not give it a try?" Of course, once I read it, I had to backtrack and read the first one and then w--a--i--t for the third one because I was hooked. (Like I said, they are devious over there at Sourcebooks.)
In this third installment, the most free-spirited of the Vasquez sisters gets into a bit of trouble while on a rescue mission with her friend. Through all the twists and turns of their getaway with the rescued dog, Dawn and her cohort wind up heading for the friend's family farm and the friend's eldest brother, Adam Dearborn. Dawn and Adam seem like a totally mismatched couple, and a neglected and sickly puppy seems a poor choice for a guide dog, but readers will be rooting for everything to work out for the characters in spite of misunderstandings, creepy stalkers, fear of harnesses (that would be the dog Gigi), and cranky neighbors.
Gilmore writes characters that are complex and believable - even when they do things like discuss the time they ran off to join the circus. Both the Vasquez and the Dearborn families have siblings that are close, but very different from each other and the interplay between the brothers and sisters is as much a part of the story as the romantic relationship or the bonding with the dogs from the Vasquez business.
Highly recommended for anyone who loves a story with a good dog (or more), and who enjoys when opposites really do attract in the best way.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley for review purposes.
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