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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Dog Park by Laura Caldwell



Release Date - July 29, 2014

Laura Caldwell
Harlequin/MIRA

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

When I first began reviewing, the one thing my editor told me was to only reveal the plot as is found in the first three or four chapters. Going beyond that she said can give away spoilers. The problem with this general rule of thumb is that so much more happens in The Dog Park, there are really three or even four plots at play, but I'll stick to the basic premise.

Jessica Champlin and her ex-husband Sebastian share custody of their dog, a mini labradoodle named Baxter. It's Jessica's time with Baxter, and they're doing their favorite thing. She takes Baxter to a nearby dog park. Her life changes on the way home. Baxter ignores her command and takes off running for young child. What she doesn't realize is that Baxter senses trouble and saves the young girl's life.

Soon, a video of Baxter saving the girl from the path of truck goes viral and Jessica's life is turned upside down. As a stylist for people, she never expected the collar and leash she'd made Baxter to gain the attention of the world, and requests begin pouring in. As Jessica and Baxter both become celebrities, they must prepare for additional changes their lives take as the weeks and months progress.

Most readers associate MIRA books with romance, and that is present in The Dog Park, but it's a little later to appear. In fact, there are two potential relationships in play, but I won't discuss them as they do not really come into play until later. The book does focus heavily on Baxter and Jess's lives, however, with a few surprises throw in. As a result, I found myself enjoying the story, but also curious at times as to when the true romantic angle was going to come into play.

In the end, The Dog Park was a pleasing read, but the actual romance played second fiddle to Baxter and Jessica's adventures, if you can truly call "adventures" and not "hurdles."

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