Pets of Park Avenue
Stefanie London has an excellent ear for contemporary romance; her Paws in the City series is a light, breezy and fun romp through life in New York City. Pets of Park Avenue is a cute story about personal redemption and second chance love that is easy, breezy and nice to sink into, although couple of plot similarities between this one and the first book in the series kept me from giving this a higher grade.
Scout Myers has been labeled a screw-up for most of her life. Raised by grandparents who can’t stop comparing her to the mother that dumped Scout and her younger sister on them, she has a series of failed jobs and relationships behind her. Motivated by the hope of attaining joint custody of her sister, Scout decides to get her act together. Opportunity for career advancement presents itself through Paws in the City, the animal talent agency she works at. She devotes herself to the project, but a last-minute calamity forces her to look for a replacement pooch.
In desperation, she turns to someone she normally wouldn’t dream of speaking to, let alone begging for a favor – her almost-ex-husband, Lane Halliday.
Lane appears to be enjoying life sans-Scout. They’d only known each other for a month before letting chemistry dictate their quickie marriage and even quicker separation, precipitated by Scout’s self-hatred and some miscommunication. Lane agrees to work with Scout, which helps bring their spark back to life. Will she take their reunion as an opportunity to get back together, or will the divorce they’ve both long delayed finally swing into motion?
Pets of Park Avenue suffers to a degree when compared to its predecessor, as it repeats a plot point (single woman struggles to help raise her young sister) from the first book and has somewhat less engaging characters. Scout is whiny to a degree, but she’s easy to sympathize with; you root for her and want her to grow up, all in the same breath. It’s a story about growing up and facing the wind, so to speak, to better take flight on your own.
What makes up for it is Lane, who’s warm and lovely and interesting to follow, a fine hero worth swooning over. He’s delightful. And we get a lot of cute animals, as well. It’s a solid relationship that ends up evolving out and away from Scout’s self-recrimination into something fulsome, and is easy to smile over.
The New York setting is very well-sculpted, as is the universe of pet agenting and television, film and commercial production. But if you were expecting more Isla, Scout’s friend and heroine of the previous book, you won’t be pleased; she barely appears.
Pets of Park Avenue is such a sweet and well-sculpted romance. It’s not exceptional but still pleasant in the best of ways.
Buy it at: Amazon, Audible or your local bookshop
Visit our Amazon Storefront
Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by Firefox.org and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at http://thatbouviergirl.blogspot.com/, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thatbouviergirl or contribute to her Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/MissyvsEvilDead or her Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/missmelbouvier