|Features a dog, a teen mother, a baby, and much more!|
October 2015, Lake Union Publishing, 304 pages, Ebook, Review copy
Alex Halstad, a childless-by-choice interior designer and dog mom, is a true perfectionist. But her orderly life turns chaotic when the teenage daughter her husband, Barry, never knew he had shows up on their doorstep...with a baby girl of her own in tow. While Alex’s dog enthusiastically welcomes the new arrivals, Alex struggles with the loss of her steady routine. She desperately needs peace and quiet to get her business back on track before Barry finds out she’s spent most of their savings. Meanwhile, the arrival of the girls stirs up old insecurities, and Alex can’t help but worry that Barry’s ex will make an entrance too. With her tidy life a distant memory, will Alex be able to learn from her dog the true meaning of love and acceptance?
I grew to like Alex quite a bit once she started being less of a perfectionist. That took forever! I think her perfectionism annoyed me as I used to be like her, but I'm learning to go with the flow and stress less if things don't go to plan. I loved seeing the slow growing friendship between her and Wren because of Ruthie's cuteness. I was melting everytime Ruthie got page time - she's too sweet to be mad at, especially as she doesn't mess up Alex's house on purpose (nor does Wren for that matter, although Wren lacks some maturity and thoughtfulness for others which comes with life experience.
Wren is going through a tough time, which Alex doesn't completely understand and leads to many misunderstandings, but I promise by the end you will love what happens! I felt sorry for Wren in some respects, but she was being quite a teen in other ways that were annoying, by not thinking of how her living with Alex had a huge impact on her life. Alex finds it hard because she isn't used to human children of any age, so hasn't had the experience needed for dealing with all the trials she faces (not that anyone ever has total experience!).
Both Alex and have much to learn from each other, and despite their differences are there for each other when it counts, as is the ever present Marie, a lovable canine even from my pro cat eyes. Marie is the glue the mishmash of characters need to coexist. I have to admit I don't think a cat could do what Marie does, unless it was a big cat, because cats are so different to dogs in their abilities. Animals play such an important role in our lives that it makes sense having a story focusing on them - one for the reread shelf!
Find out more on Jackie's website.