Hello, and welcome back! The weather here is very early-summerish, warm and sort of sticky, but not unbearably so. Yet. I've been reading like crazy the last couple weeks, but it seems like my stack here on the desk isn't getting any smaller. I wonder why?
This time out, I have a new anthology edited by Lori Foster, called Tails of Love (Berkley). This one has ten new romances in it, each starring someone's furry friend. Foster's 'Man's Best Friend' kicks things off with Erin Schuler stumbling on a stray dog and needing Gary Rutledge's help. Only she's been avoiding Gary and the emotions between them. Stella Cameron's 'A Knotty Tail' has two newly-adopted dogs teaming up with the snobby cat next door to try to bring their owners, nurse Rose and comic artist Simon, together for a well-deserved happy ending. Kate Angell's 'Norah's Arc' has Norah Archer butting heads with contractor Mike Kraft when her goat keeps escaping and damaging the construction area next door to her petting zoo. Dianne Castell's 'The Pursuit of Happiness' has werewolf Rex Barkley (yes, really) trying to persuade his girlfriend Jane Louise Garrison to help him end the curse that turns him into a furry critter once a month. But Jane doesn't think there really are werewolves. 'Atticus Saves Lisa' from Ann Christopher has Lisa Evans forced to deal with Cruz Shaw, her brother's best friend. But her brother's monkey Atticus is about to give her a lot less room for refusal. Marcia James's 'Rescue Me' has former pro-football player Adam Baumgardner meeting up with the woman whose heart he broke when he takes a stray to the nearby shelter, which happens to be run by Claire Mendelsohn. Donna MacMeans's 'Lord Hairy' has Hannah Waverly dealing with her wretched stepmother as well as a giant stray dog she's found and is calling Lord Hairy Ashton, and wait till she meets the real owner of the dog. Sarah McCarty's 'Danny's Dog' reunites a married couple who're about to be divorced, but when Kathy has nowhere to keep a seriously wounded dog, she has to turn to her husband Walt, who wants nothing more than his wife back. Patricia Sargeant's 'Scaredy Cat' features a cat adopted by Kendra Willis, and his matchmaking attempts with Paul Strahan, only Paul lives in the block where the gang of bully cats have their territory. Sue-Ellen Welfonder's 'A Man, A Woman, and Haggis' takes us to Scotland and a ghost dog and a real-live dog bent on righting a long-ago wrong with a present day Jilly Pepper and Kieran McColl. I always love Lori Foster, and hers is a great story. My next favorite is the Welfonder; she's a terrific author and not getting nearly the recognition she deserves yet. After that, my next fave was a real surprise; I'm not a McCarty fan, but this story is so emotionally gripping, I wanted more. It's by far the best thing I've read from her (and I've read more than a few of her books); if everything she wrote was like this, I'd be a fan. Donna MacMeans is another great author, and her story is hilarious. All the rest are good stories, though I have to say, I'm not generally a big fan of animals in stories having story viewpoint (unless the animal in question is a shapeshifter who's the hero/heroine), and there are a couple instances of that here. Frankly, the book is well worth the money and time, and the authors are all donating some of their proceeds from the book to an animal adoption group, which makes it even better. This one gets four of Cupid's five arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!