“Happiness is a warm puppy.” ― Charles M. Schulz
Author: B.G. Thomas
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 276 Pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: There’s been little love in H.D. “Hound Dog” Fisher’s life since the death of his beloved mom when he was a boy. Bounced around the foster care system, he ran away as soon as he could… and took the foster dog with him. As far as he’s concerned, only dogs have no ulterior motive, never hold a grudge, and offer unconditional love. Now he helps run a no-kill shelter and leaves relationships where they belong: in the back room.
“Bean” Alexander settled in Kansas City to open his coffee shop after years of traveling. He never expected to open his heart too. When a man with a grudge takes a swing at H.D. while in line at Bean’s shop, Bean jumps to intervene.
So taking a hit for H.D. gets Bean noticed, and H.D. feels obligated to pay a debt. But then the unexpected happens. A series of misadventures causes H.D. to open up—but falling in love makes him turn tail and run. Trust is a tough road to travel. Will good friends, a dog named Sarah Jane, and a bit of folk magic be enough to bring Hound Dog and Bean a happy ending?
Review: From the moment that Hound Dog refused to let someone adopt Sarah Jane (a rather cute little dog), and then I discovered why, I knew I was going to like this character. Hey! What can I say? I’m a responsible animal lover who believes that animals adopt the owner and not the other way around. I also appreciate the mention of shelters that rescue abused and mistreated animals and have a no-kill policy.
But getting back to H.D., aka Hound Dog, aka Hillary Dameron… As I read more about him, I found him to be anything but dull. It’s not often I warm up to someone who believes that one night stands are the life for him, but I’m also one who believes when someone says “I love you” it’s a promise and if the promise is broken enough times by everyone who says it, trust can become quite an issue. So I found myself feeling a lot of empathy towards Hound Dog as I learned more about his background.
Now Bean, aka Dean Alexander Jr., comes off as someone you’d love to have as a friend. In fact, putting himself in front of a fist meant for Hound Dog is how Bean caught Hound Dog’s interest, and basically how these two come together, when Hound Dog comes into Bean’s shop to buy coffee. Even though Hound Dog can take care of himself, he just finds it hard to believe someone would actually do that for him. So he starts to pay it forward by returning an act of kindness—taking care of Bean while he’s recovering from a possible concussion.
Bean is totally captivated by Hound Dog…but Elaine, a friend of Hound Dog’s, warns Bean to take things slowly with Hound Dog, or he’ll bolt.
Here comes the really sweet part…so Bean starts the slow process of courting Hound Dog. Oh… now you’re singing my song, because I. Love. Stories. Like this! Plus, I have the added bonus of learning more about my favorite beverage…Coffee!
So if you’re in the mood for a sweet romance with a little bit of angst and a touch of mysticism, this one comes highly recommended. For me, it’s a 5 Star read. It just pushed all the right buttons.