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Puppies and more

A Puppy And A Christmas Proposal Book Cover A Puppy And A Christmas Proposal
(Mills & Boon Medical)
Louisa George
Fiction. Romance
HarperCollins UK
November 28, 2019
192

Her ex-fiancé... ...is giving her paws for thought! Alex Norton devastated Beth Masters when he told her he could no longer marry her. The last thing she wants this Christmas is to come face-to-face with him, clutching an adorable puppy! Warm-hearted vet Beth can’t say no to a four-legged patient in need but she’ll need to guard her damaged heart from delicious doc Alex. Which becomes impossible when he finally reveals the reason why he left…

A nicely written romance with the twist of testicular cancer which affected the menfolk of a certain family and the impact that it would have on their future life – assuming that they survived. But it is worth noting that the general 5-year survival rate for men with testicular cancer is 95%. This means that 95 men out of every 100 men diagnosed with testicular cancer will live at least 5 years after diagnosis. The survival rate is higher for men diagnosed with early-stage cancer and lower for men with later-stage cancer. Unfortunately it can spread to the lymph nodes if not caught quickly and this makes it more dangerous. It most commonly diagnosed between 15 and 40 years of age.

Without this sub story we have a more normal romance which could have become rather sickly as puppies are rather Xmas obvious.

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Weddings and Animals

Meant To Be Yours Book Cover Meant To Be Yours
Susan Mallery
Fiction, romance
HarperCollins UK, Mills and Boon
October 22, 2019
464

Renee can plan the perfect wedding, but does love always go to plan? Wedding coordinator Renee Grothen isn’t meant for marriage. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, plan. But she never could have planned on gorgeous, talented thriller writer Jasper Dembenski proposing—a fling, that is. Fun without a future. And the attraction between them is too strong for Renee to resist. Now she can have her no-wedding cake…and eat it, too. After years in the military, Jasper is convinced he’s too damaged for relationships. So a flirtation—and more—with fiery, determined Renee is way too good to pass up…until his flame becomes his muse. Renee is an expert at averting every crisis. But is she finally ready to leap into the one thing that can never be controlled: love?

Here we have an author and PTSD and Dog meets a Wedding Planner with a Mum who can… (spoiler not included).

It is this Mum who gave her daughter serious issues with her won relationships – the daughter loses boyfriend after boyfriend… Absolutely love the Mum here!  And what she discovers.

Now Happily inc, a wedding themed town, I can believe in but could never live there… Overall a nicely written story with an unusual setting and wacky ideas – for weddings! I just had to assume that people had actually done this, and sure enough there were several Pinterest pictures of a Zebra theme but no actual zebras in these pics…

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Middle of a Jungle: USA style

The Mammoth Murders Book Cover The Mammoth Murders
Minokee Mysteries, Book One and Two
by Iris Chacon
romantic comedy, animals
Delia L. Stewart, Miami
Pub Date: 01 Nov 2019

A blind deejay (Shepard Krausse) and an invisible librarian (Miranda Ogilvy) from a tiny, rural Florida town try to solve a double disappearance connected to a recent canoe trip. It ain't exactly "Deliverance," but there's a heap of trouble brewing fer these folks -- some of it human, some of it animal, and all of it deadly. Shep and Miranda rely on their sense of humor as they face dangerous fossil poachers -- but even that is difficult when their engagement is broken amidst a river of troubles. This is Book 2 in the Minokee Mysteries series.

Shep's Italian friend (Carlo Fratelli - cook, chauffeur, valet, & ladies man) aids the couple in their adventures. Shep's animal friend, Zeus, a huge and independent Maine Coon cat, is so clever, he sometimes seems clairvoyant.

The Coffee Ritual ladies of Minokee add their quirky personalities and folksy wisdom to help Shep & Miranda iron out the bumps in their lives. Martha, Bernice, Wyneen, and Charlotte (average age 74.3) gather every dawn on their front porches to sip their coffee while they wait for the sight of the blond Adonis (Shep) jogging past their Magnolia Street cottages.

Shepard's absurdly wealthy, snobbish, and domineering mother (Hermione Montgomery-Krausse) is always behind the scenes, attempting to direct the course of Shep's career. Hermione wants Shep to become a politician, like several of his ancestors. At the very least, she wants her son to become a television commentator. With his blindness, his noble family connections, and his golden good looks, Shepard would be recognized by future voters - which will not happen if he stays in radio.

The shy Miranda shows a surprising inner strength when confronting Shepard's officious mother, and Hermione has been forced to admire the librarian. Hermione vacillates between trying to separate Shep and Miranda or trying to marry them - on Hermione's terms.

Miranda's difficulties with Hermione are compounded when Miranda's parents arrive unannounced from Miami. Dr. Rosario Ogilvy, Miranda's mother, is a soulmate for Hermione Montgomery-Krausse, while Dr. Ezekiel Ogilvy, Miranda's father, sides with his daughter (and Hermione's son) against the two matriarchs.

The serio-comic family battle continues in the background even while Shep and Miranda risk their future and their very lives attempting to find the killers responsible for The Mammoth Murders.

I fell in love with Miranda. I am reviewing here both books one and two in the series.

 I agree her description of Shepard made him seem hot but a beard – not for me. Apparently a good set of abs though, I can see why the Ladies of Minokee liked to watch him run past.

I read book 1 and couldn’t wait to get my hands on book 2. Unfortunately for me, some of the quaintness and curiosity had gone as we now knew about Minokee and Shepard and Dave and Pietro and Miranda’s parents – although we only met them in the second book.

But the storyline is about how people should not be judged by their external appearances. It is their inner being that is important and it is this inner being of Miranda that Shepard falls in love with and brings out in her, so she stops being the Librarian Mouse and becomes the Librarian Lion instead.

And in book 2 we meet Zeus. He is a wonder. And I look forward to reading about his adventures in future books.

This is a series I shall follow.

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I want a kitten!

The Wallflower Wager Book Cover The Wallflower Wager
Girl Meets Duke
by Tessa Dare
Romance , Women's Fiction
Mills & Boon
Pub Date 13 Aug 2019

The addictive new Regency read from the New York Times bestselling author that’s perfect for fans of Georgette Heyer!

They call him the Duke of Ruin.
To an undaunted wallflower, he's just the beast next door.

Wealthy and ruthless, Gabriel Duke clawed his way from the lowliest slums to the pinnacle of high society—and now he wants to get even.

Loyal and passionate, Lady Penelope Campion never met a lost or wounded creature she wouldn’t take into her home and her heart.

When her imposing—and attractive—new neighbour demands she clear out the rescued animals, Penny sets him a challenge. She will part with her precious charges, if he can find them loving homes.

Rising to the challenge, Gabriel, who wouldn’t know a loving home from a workhouse, is bewitched by the shyly pretty spinster who defies his every attempt to resist. But now she’s set her heart and mind on saving him…

Not if he ruins her first.

What if you really really don’t want to be married and are waiting out your Seasons until your parents are too bored to keep paying for them? But you would really like to keep every sad or hurt animal that you find. Especially kittens – lots of them. And will even go so far as to rescue a man!

But then your parents decide to do something about you? Send you away… because you are not really trying to get a husband are you? Or will you try?

I like this style of fiction – always have since Georgette Heyer times and these series of novels are only reminding me of her but with a small diversion towards modern times – the heroines are less missish and more feisty and not afraid to have sex with their suitors.

I am also, always a sucker for stories with cute animals and hedgehogs in pockets are the best yet.

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I like Llamas

Reinventing Hillwilla Book Cover Reinventing Hillwilla
Hillwilla #3
Melanie Forde
animals, llamas, farms, family drama
Independent
November 4, 2018
340

Life on a llama farm, set in remote “Seneca County,” West Virginia, transitions from contented to chaotic in this final novel in the Hillwilla trilogy -- all under the watchful eye of canine guardian Ralph. Five years after we first met northern urban transplant Beatrice Desmond, she is finally adapting to her mountain hollow among the wary “born-heres” and is more open to the blessings in her life. She has developed a rewarding mother-daughter relationship with troubled local teenager Clara Buckhalter and is inching toward marriage with dashing, but complicated entrepreneur Tanner Fordyce. Meanwhile, Clara sets off on a productive new path, one that would have been unthinkable had Beatrice never come into her life. All of that progress is suddenly jeopardized by Clara’s scheming mother Charyce. Ultimately, the upheaval touched off by Charyce’s schemes serves as the catalyst for new beginnings for the Seneca County misfits (even Ralph).

I was aware that I was ‘dropping in’ to an existing series but normally any author of a series plans for this, with each book having its own storyline. In this series, this was not the case. I found myself thrown into the continuing storyline as though this was a rather large book  that had been chopped up because it didn’t fit a preconceived length.

There was some explanation of what had come before but this didn’t seem to fit naturally into the storyline, more that it had been inserted in as an after thought.

However, the storylines began to gel about half-way through to make an ending to this series.

I did have a point of query in this story though. Sophie the llama they finally adopted was found to be pregnant as she gave birth. Llamas take 11 months to complete gestation and during her life Sophie had been a guard llama – where therefore had she found a boyfriend? An intact male – as the majority of guard llamas would not be intact.

In many ways I like the story and the llamas – I like their wool – who I found rather endearing. I was intrigued by the concept of guard llamas and checked them out. They are a real thing. It seems that their size and smell makes them so strange to the natural USA predators of sheep and cows, that they scare most of them away.

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