Review: Sit, Stay, Love

Book Title: Sit, Stay, Love: A Novel for Dog Lovers

Book Author: Dana Mentink

Book Rating: ☆☆☆ (3 out of 5 stars)

Published: April 1, 2016

Synopsis: “Take one abrasive professional athlete, a quirky out-of-work schoolteacher, and an overweight geriatric dog, and you’re ready for a lesson in love…Tippy style.

Pro baseball pitcher Cal Crawford is not a dog guy. When he inherits his deceased mother’s elderly dog, Tippy, he’s quick to call on a pet-sitting service.

Gina isn’t thrilled to be a dog sitter when her aspirations lie in the classroom. Furthermore, she can’t abide the unfriendly Cal, a man with all the charm of a wet towel. But with no other prospects and a deep love for all things canine, she takes the job caring for Tippy.

As Gina travels through Cal’s world with Tippy in tow, she begins to see Cal in a different light. Gina longs to show Cal the God-given blessings in his life that have nothing to do with baseball or fame. When her longing blooms into attraction, Gina does her best to suppress it. But Cal is falling in love with her too…

Discover the charming story of Tippy, the dog who brought a family together.

Cal Crawford is a successful and well-known professional baseball player; he’s a rough-around-the-edges type of guy with a past, and who doesn’t let people into his life easily.  When his mother passes way, he inherits her elderly dog named Tippy.  Cal is definitely not a dog person, but he just can’t seem to let go of the little dog, holding on to her as a last connection to his mother.  Because of his career and his lack of patience, he hires a dog sitter to help him care for Tippy.

Gina is the exactly opposite of Cal in every way: She is warm, friendly, aspiring teacher who knows nothing about sports, and is absolutely a dog lover.  When Gina is hired by Cal to care for Tippy, their relationship starts as just a mere tolerance for one another.  Later, as they bond over Tippy, their relationship blooms into a sweet romance.  They both help bring out the best in the other, with Cal providing Gina stability and comfort, and Gina helping Cal to open up and experience the blessings that God provides.

This isn’t a book that I normally would have picked out for myself, but I was drawn in by the sweet dog on the cover.  If you are looking for a breezy story with a lot of heart and clean romance, you should give this one a try!  There are some minor issues with the plot, and it took me a while to warm up to this quirky story, but it was an enjoyable read. Overall, this is a fun and sweet Christian romance novel.  This would make a quick beach read for the summer, and yes…it is a perfect story for any dog lover!

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley.

Review: Hello Love

Book Title: Hello Love

Book Author: Karen McQuestion

Book Rating: ☆☆ (2 out of 5 stars)

Synopsis: “A year after the death of his wife, Christine, Dan is barely holding on. But one thing gets him through the long, lonely nights and that is his cherished dog, Anni. When she is stolen from his front yard, Dan and his daughter, Lindsay, are devastated. Meanwhile in another part of town, Andrea Keller is recovering from the heartbreak of a messy divorce. After she rescues a defenseless dog from an abusive tenant, her life changes in ways she never could have anticipated.”

I first want to mention all of the things that I did like about this book, because it was pretty cute.  Although easy to predict, it was quite a sweet idea for the two main characters to be brought together by the dog (Anni).  Secondly, I like the idea of the two main characters getting their second chances.  Dan’s wife had passed away the year before and Andrea was healing after a messy divorce.  It’s nice to think that you can still find happiness after experiencing such heartache, and these two characters definitely deserved some happiness.

On the other hand, while likable enough, Andrea and Dan were very flat and predictable characters.  In fact, it seemed as though all of characters were either just good or just bad with no gray area or unique personality traits, making each character either a complete stereotype or just an empty shell.  And this novel felt as though it was drawn out much longer than it needed to be.  When the readers don’t even learn that the couple in the romance novel are even dating each other until (literally) the last chapter in the book, there is something wrong there.  I know that there were a lot of near-misses between Dan and Andrea initially, and I suppose that the author was just trying to build up the anticipation of the reader or something, but it left me completely unsatisfied.  We watch these two characters struggle (not to mention everything the poor dog goes through!) and suffer through their sadness for the entire book and then only get a few pages to see their happiness?!  That was not what I was hoping for with this book, and it left me extremely disappointed.

Disclosure: I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.