A New Leash on Love
Y’all, category romances are such a crapshoot, aren’t they? Even with the guidelines that Harlequin gives us for each of their particular imprints, the themes and styles vary widely. This can lead to incredible discoveries and excitement – I discovered Sarah Mayberry and Jill Shalvis in categories, for example – or it can lead to forgettable tales. If you haven’t guessed by the tone of this introduction, A New Leash on Love was the latter.
Matt Fielding is retired from the Army and has moved home. He promises his niece that he’ll find her a puppy, so he dutifully heads to the local shelter. Low and behold, who is running that shelter but his high-school girlfriend, Claire! The puppy he picks needs some serious training, and Claire offers to help. One thing leads to another, sparks fly, etc. etc. etc.
That is, to be completely frank, the entire plot. It’s a sweet read full of animal antics and second chances. There are readers for whom this will scratch several itches – sweet, gentle reads, with limited conflict, set in a really small town. I have, in fact, reviewed books with those characteristics and liked them quite a bit. The problem with this one is that it was the extreme sanitized version of all of them. The sweet became saccharine, the gentle became boring, the limited conflict became eye-rollingly quaint, and the small town felt like it was manufactured in the merchandise section of a Cracker Barrel.
I was so bored with these folks that I would have DNFd it, were I not reviewing it. If you read this one and liked it – can you tell me what I missed?