Title: By the Numbers
Authors: Chris Owen and Tory Temple
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 158 Pages
At a Glance: This story grabbed my attention at the meet-cute and word “puppies”, and turned out to be a simple and sweet and lovely little read.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: When Nathaniel, aka Deuce, arrives home to an apartment building on fire, he can only think of one thing: his pregnant dog. Luckily firefighter Trey Donovan rescues her, and Nathaniel is exceedingly grateful. In fact, he tracks down Trey’s station so he can show his gratitude properly—and explore the connection he senses between them. Trey’s interested, but a less-than-friendly ex-wife and the seven-year-old daughter he’s raising make things… complicated. Between everything on Trey’s plate and the newborn puppies Deuce must care for—while homeless—finding common ground won’t be easy. But the spark of attraction between them is too enticing to be allowed to fizzle.
First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2011.
Review: Reading the blurb and seeing that Trey and Nathaniel (“Deuce”) meet while Trey saves a pregnant dog had me raising my hand (internally, of course) and saying, “Yes, please.” Because PUPPIES!!! And, let’s be real, Firefighters saving animals is always a plus.
I’m a dog lover, and, even more so, have puppies on the brain. Since my husband is currently making me hold out on another dog in the house, I got to live a little through this heartwarming romance of Trey and Deuce’s, and watch their romance grow amidst the shenanigans of puppies and a cute little girl. The cuteness was all over the place!
There is no overt angst between the two protagonists, just a slow and sweet build to romance. There is family drama, but, all in all, I felt the entire situation was written in a lifelike way, giving depth to the situation and the characters’ behavior. I give kudos to the way the divorce and subsequent aftermath between Trey and Holly was portrayed, as well as how things unfold once Deuce enters the picture. It was written in a way I could totally picture some of my friends, who have been through similar situations, in the different roles at play in this book, and them having similar thoughts and reactions. What I really liked? Trey and Deuce did that little thing called communication. It’s amazing how in most stories that tends to be the catalyst for so many problems; that whole “if they just would have talked to each other, this could have been avoided” scenario I play in my head can get kind of old. In this case I was glad that situation never came up. Both Trey and Deuce explained their feelings, or tried their best to articulate them, and even more awesome was the other person did his best to listen with an open mind.
There was a lot of sweet moments, a few serious conversations, a couple of sexy times and a lot of adorableness throughout this story. At times, it was a little bland for me, but sort of like real-life bland moments. I also think it was because I was trying to read this exhausted after several long days of work, and it was hard to stay focused without anything really big happening.
Though the story does include a lot of time with puppies (YAY!), Lacey (Trey’s daughter) and Holly in the background, the biggest chunk is Trey and Deuce’s romance building from the moment they meet in what could have been a tragic situation, to being acquaintances, then friends, then more.
Give this a one shot if you are someone who adores puppies as much as I do and are looking for a feel-good, simple romance that’s low on the angst level. It’s a realistically written plot, and I found it to be a simple and sweet and lovely little read.
You can buy By the Numbers here: