Published by Lyrical Shine on October 9th 2018
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
IS LOVE GOING TO THE DOGS?
Head vet at the Forever Friends animal rescue shelter, Gabriel Moretti is known as the Dog Whisperer because of his gift for soothing rambunctious patients. But it’s the two-legged species that has him, and his libido, working overtime. Marla Popov single-handedly saved the shelter from financial ruin. But the bossy trust funder is even more irritating than her snooty Standard Poodle. You’d think keeping his attraction on a short leash would be a no-brainer for Gabe. Unfortunately, Marla is also
smart, beautiful, and intriguing . . .
Most of her life, people have been eager to tell Marla just what she wants to hear. So now that she’s nearing forty, she doesn’t expect to be refused—especially by a sexy younger man like Gabe. She also doesn’t expect it to sting so much. But when she discovers a scheme involving illegal dog fights, she gets a chance to show what she’s truly made of. And as she and Gabe team up to fight it, they discover a surprising respect for each other—and passion that might just grow into love. . .
~~Reviewed by Evelyn~~
FOREVER FOUND, the second book the Forever Friends series by Allyson Charles, drew me in from the description even though I hadn’t read the first novel. A dog lover through and through, I was intrigued by the story of a vet known as the Dog Whisperer and his work at the local animal shelter.
Hunky but grumpy Gabe Moretti was not proud of things that had happened in his past and, because of this, he decided to become a vet and donate part of his time working with the homeless dogs in the Forever Friends shelter. The shelter had recently had a complete makeover, courtesy of wealthy socialite Marla Popov. Gabe found Marla very attractive, but since she was several years older than he was, he couldn’t see any kind of serious relationship developing between them. They began a steamy, sex-only relationship and they also found themselves working together to bust a dog-fighting ring. Was this enough for both of them?
This book can basically be divided into three parts. There is the relationship between Gabe and Marla, the story of the dog-fighting investigation and the various stories involving all of the secondary characters. I was a bit nervous when I realized that dog fighting would be a major part of this novel. It is, however, a story that needs to be told since it is still happening. The story was told with concern and empathy, and while it was apparent that some dogs had been seriously injured, we were spared the details for the most part. Even though the solution to this problem was for-shadowed very early in the book, this storyline was solid and held my interest.
The various secondary characters were well-written and had major parts to play in this story. The people who worked at the shelter, Marla’s grandfather, Gabe’s disgusting uncle and cousin, and Marla’s extremely wealthy father all add to the depth and texture of the story. My personal favorites were Dax from the shelter who had many demons of his own to settle, and the two little old ladies from the home where Marla’s grandfather lived whose hobby it was to create cell-phone apps. Clever.
The relationship between Gabe and Marla should have been the strongest part of the story but I actually found it very disappointing. There were two steamy sex scenes, not because they were falling in love, but because both parties found the other hot and they wanted to have sex. Period. No romance. Nor did I really see any romance build as the story developed. I’ve never been a fan of sex for sex’s sake, and even though these characters do eventually end up in a romantic relationship at the very end of the book, I just didn’t buy it.
I would recommend this book with reservations. The animal shelter story and the dog fighting mystery were interesting, but the “romance” lacked romance. I’m undecided if I will be reading the next book in the series.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.