Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Shay Michaels is a animal rescuer with a past she desperately wants to escape. Her heart is bigger than her house, and that keeps getting her in trouble as she tries to save every animal she can.
Jonah Baudouin is a cop trying to run for sheriff, but it doesn't help that the town's most infuriating resident is his neighbor. It probably doesn't help that he can't stop thinking about her either.
When Shay finds herself in trouble with the law yet again, it looks like she'll be getting to know the sheriff's department on a more personal level.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Date Read: April 29, 2018
I've had this from NetGalley for a little over three years now, since this was one of the first galleys that I got when I started this blog.
I'm not usually a romance person, especially when it's just straight-up romance. It just doesn't really appeal to me, but it can be a palate cleanser at times. Mostly though, I picked this up because I knew that there would be dogs in the story and that was my main priority.
The story started out pretty well and managed to keep at a steady, consistent pace throughout. I was worried that there wouldn't be much conflict because the synopsis sounded fairly simple. But once the stakes were set, the story did a good job on following through and building the required tension.
I really liked that our female lead, Shay, was an animal rescuer. It made for a really interesting plot because I've never read anything like that before (granted I've also only read like 25 romance books in my 20 years of life), and I love dogs more than I love most humans in my life.
I liked how Shay and Jonah got to know each other and how they started to let their walls down around each other, cause it didn't feel like one of those cliché moments where all the stars aligned for them to have that special conversation where they magically know everything about each other. This was natural. It didn't feel forced when they started to learn more about each other.
The attraction was very clearly only on a physical level at the beginning, but I liked how that grew into more than just sexual tension. I think they did a good job of getting to know each other in that span of time, especially because most of the book takes place in a few weeks. Sure, there was a heck ton of sexual tension, but it wasn't the only thing they liked about each other. I think that how they grew to care for each other was well-written and well-paced.
There are some steamy scenes, and that's something to note if you're uncomfortable with content like that. I didn't have a problem with it, as the build-up to the sex scenes were mild and spread out. There are two actual sex scenes in the book, but they're not that explicit. The intercourse itself wasn't described in huge detail, but there are some people who might be uncomfortable with how the foreplay was described. Still, it wasn't anything explicit when compared to smut or erotica (neither of which I've read, but this was mild, so it makes sense).
I think the conclusion could have been a little bit longer, but I liked where it ended. I just wanted it to be done in more than 2 chapters. I wanted to know how this book would lead into the next one, and that's one of the things that I wish was better set up here. I know that the books are interconnected, but I wish that there was a clearer connection as to what the next book will entail.
I liked Shay well enough as a protagonist. I think it's her love of animals that really gets me because I love animals too - mostly dogs. I thought that she had her priorities right, putting what she loved before the potential of a guy being interested in her, which was a nice change from most other romance novels I've read.
Jonah took a little while to warm up to, and I didn't really like his perspective in the beginning, but he grew on me. I think that he had more character development than Shay did, but that was mostly because he needed more of it. They complimented each other well, and for that, I do like Jonah.
5 stars. It's the first in a companion series that is companion to another series, but really, this can be read as a standalone. I enjoyed it and I think it's worth a try for people who like a mild steamy romance.