Author: Amy Lane
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Length: 170 Pages
Category: Holiday Romance
At a Glance: A sweet Christmas story to add to your list. Go get this one, guys.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Carter Embree has always hoped to be rescued from his productive, tragically boring, and (slightly) ethically compromised life. But when an urchin at a grocery store shoves a bundle of fluff into his hands, Carter goes from rescuee to rescuer—and he needs a little help.
Sandy Corrigan, the vet tech who helps ease Carter into the world of dog ownership, first assumes that Carter is a crazy-pants client who just needs to relax. But as Sandy gets a glimpse into the funny, kind, sexy man under Carter’s mild-mannered exterior, he sees that with a little care and feeding, Carter might be Super-Pet Owner—and decent boyfriend material to boot.
But Carter needs to see himself as a hero first. As he says good-bye to his pristine house and hello to carpet treatments and dog walkers, he finds that there really is more to himself than a researching drudge without a backbone. A Carter Embree can rate a Sandy Corrigan. He can be supportive, he can be a hero, he can be a man who stands up for his principles!
He can be the owner of a small dog.
Review: Sometimes a bit of fluff is just what the doctor ordered, and this week has definitely been one of those weeks, am I right? So, I queued up Amy Lane’s Freckles this past weekend, in the hopes that it would be just exactly the light read that I needed—and it was. Short, angst-free, CHRISTMAS-y (perhaps the most important part), and lovely, it did just the trick to lighten my mood, even if only for a bit. Oh! And, I almost forgot to mention the other best part…Puppy! Freckles the puppy is pretty darn sweet, no doubt about it. You’ve got to be pretty hard up if a loveable two-pound ball of fluff can’t make you smile at least for a little while!
As is always the case in Lane’s books, the characters are extremely well-developed. I immediately felt like I knew Carter and Sandy—and even Sandy’s niece, Alexis—and had no issue with being dropped right into their stories. When we meet Carter, for example, it only takes a few pages to learn how stuck and unhappy he is both personally and professionally. His boyfriend of just a few months has just left him, and he is going through the motions at the soul-sucking job that he hates. His boss is a complete douchebag with zero redeeming qualities, and the cases he’s forced to take are a depressing misuse of his talent as a lawyer. Something has got to give.
In fact, something does eventually give, and the aforementioned two-pound ball of fluff is the catalyst for that change. The scene where poor Carter gets suckered into becoming a dog owner is quite funny. Suddenly stuck with a tiny creature—which he isn’t sure is actually verifiable as a dog at first—he is forced to make an emergency vet visit when he notices a creepy crawly in the poor dog’s fur. Enter adorable MC number two…Sandy.
Sandy is currently a vet tech who, at thirty-three, has gone back to veterinary school. Unable to enroll in more than a couple of classes a semester due to having to work full-time, he’s on the slow track, but he’s going to get there eventually. Sandy has a heart of gold. Though he initially thinks Carter is a hopeless ‘crazy pants’ who has no hope of being a competent pet owner, he quickly realizes how earnest and kind Carter is. Sandy recognizes the funny, sweet man underneath the straight-laced, unhappy attorney. And, once Carter has someone to appreciate his quiet strength and see his potential, he starts to blossom. Carter’s growth throughout the book, and how he comes to finally realize how much he has inside him to give, was probably my favorite thing about the story.
“Carter didn’t need a magic carpet, or a backbone transplant, and apparently his soul was just fine as it was. But oh, how he really need to be the sort of man who could keep someone like Sandy in his life. The sort of man who could care for a small dog.”
One of my other favorite things about the story is Sandy’s niece, Alexis, the dog walker. Alexis is fantastic. She’s an utter delight, and she and Carter strike up an unlikely but fast friendship. I love how Carter helps her, and how she helps him in turn. She was just a very fun, real character who brought another breath of fresh air to an already lovely story.
Go get this one, guys. I completely adored both main characters, as well as little miss Freckles. A sweet Christmas story to add to your list. And, twenty percent of the proceeds go to The Trevor Project! A win-win!!
You can buy Freckles here: