Puppy Love by Lucy Gilmore
Publisher & Release: Sourcebooks Casablanca, May 21, 2019
Time and setting: Present Day, USA
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Book Length: 384 Pages
Heat Level: 1 Flame
Rating: 4.25 Gold Crowns
These adorable service puppies
are matchmakers in the making...
are matchmakers in the making...
When Sophie Vasquez and her sisters dreamed up Puppy Promise-their service puppy training school-it was supposed to be her chance to bring some good into the world. But how can she expect to do anything when no one will take her seriously?
Enter Harrison Parks: a rough, gruff, take-no-bull wildlife firefighter in need of a diabetic service dog. He couldn't be a more unlikely fit for Sophie or Bubbles-the sweet Pomeranian she knows will be his perfect partner-but when Sophie insists he give them both a shot, something unexpected happens: he listens. Even better, he keeps on listening, even as Sophie and Bubbles turn his lonely, uber-masculine world upside-down.
As it turns out, they all have something to prove...and more than enough room in their hearts for a little puppy love.
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From what can gather, Puppy Love is the debut novel for Lucy Gilmore, and the first book in a series. I’m glad I accepted an offer from the publisher to read and review in advance of publication. My opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way.
Puppy Love is a fast-paced romance with lots of laugh-out-loud moments. The characters are engaging, and the plot is unique. The bantering between the hero and heroine is natural and delightful. Ms. Gilmore certainly tells an amusing, yet heartfelt story, and her writing is emotionally-charged.
Sophie Vasquez’s character is a sweetheart, and I fell in love with her immediately. As a cancer survivor, she’s been sheltered and protected most of her life. At times, she feels a bit smothered, but her love for her family keeps her from voicing her desire to live free from the shelter that encircles her. She’s determined to break free and sees her chance to do so when she has the opportunity to work with Harrison Parks and the puppy she’s identified as the one to most likely fit his needs, she grabs it with gusto. I adored her feisty attitude and her persistence. What an awesome character!
Harrison Parks is not your run-of-the-mill hero. He’s rugged instead of handsome, he’s a bit of a grouchy bear, and while he presents a tough-as-nails persona, he’s actually insecure. He doesn’t believe anyone will ever want him. After all, his mother deserted him and his father, when he ends up in a diabetic coma as a very young boy. He feels a great deal of pain and abandonment, which he hides from everyone. I loved seeing him fall hard for not only Sophie, but the ball of fluff, Bubbles, an adorable Pomeranian.
I enjoyed the premise of dog trainers who unite service animals with their right partners. Sophie’s sisters are lively, and I look forward to reading their love stories. Ms. Gilmore shows a great deal of talent with character development, for not only her main characters, but for the secondary ones as well. From Harrison’s grumpy father to Sophie’s meddling mama, they are all engaging.
The romance between Sophie and Harrison is more sexual than I initially expected. The passion ignites quickly and burns hot. It’s playful and fun. While I’m not a fan of the f-bomb, Ms. Gilmore manages to use it to enhance the feisty Sophie’s adventurous side.
If you’re looking for a romance that will put a smile on your face and have you chuckling as you read, while still managing to touch on plenty of deep emotion, then you will love Puppy Love. I can’t wait to read the next book in this delightful and funny series. Happy reading!