Kelsey is the lead adoption coordinator for High Grove Animal Shelter, and is feeling like she’s at a crossroads in her life. She left college abruptly after a humiliating post-coital rejection from her best male friend that sent her into a major depressive episode, but has been more or less content with her job. Her boss, Megan (who’s story was in the first book), has noticed her unease and a major project has fallen into her lap, and she eagerly assigns Kelsey to the task. What is the project, you ask? Rehabbing dozens of dogs who were in a cruel fighting ring.
Of course, Kelsey can’t do this alone, and ex-Marine Kurt ends up stepping in to help after an unfortunate meeting at the warehouse where the dogs are being temporarily held. (Yep, she barfs all over his shoes after being completely unprepared to see the injuries these poor pups have.) Kurt is just as reluctant to be rehabbed post-military as some of the dogs, but Kelsey’s calm nature and the old mansion that becomes the dog rehab headquarters begin to win him over.
I read the first book in this series several months ago, and was pleasantly surprised. This book has a more interesting plot, however there were some technical aspects that fell a little flat. Sometimes it was difficult to tell where the POV was coming from. There was also a third POV, from the wonderful neighbor, Ida. I didn’t particularly mind her POV being in there, but it’s generally a thing that in a romance novel, only the players in the actual romance get a POV. If this is something that bothers a reader, it would likely take them out of it.
I also found some of the dialogue to be stilted and almost like something a therapist would say. The cadence of the language isn’t natural. They seem to talk too much for there to be any conflict at all. Of course, the majority of the conflict is Kurt’s inability to open up, but when he does, it seems like he goes from mute to chatterbox almost instantly.
This is also a very sweet romance. There is a sex scene, but there’s very little of it on the page. I know this will appeal to some readers!
I really, really enjoyed this book. It’s much sweeter and non-angsty than I usually like, but it had an interesting story and the characters were fun to hang out with for a little while. I’m interested in reading more of the stories from this series, especially since I read recently there are supposed to be 6 of them. I hope Patrick gets a book, because he is a great character.