Author: Laura Caldwell
Published: July 29/14 by Harlequin MIRA
Genre: contemporary romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Stylist Jessica Champlin knows it takes more than a darling goldendoodle to save a marriage. She and her ex-husband, investigative journalist Sebastian Hess, had too many irreconcilable differences for even their beloved dog, Baxter, to heal. So they've agreed to joint custody, and life has settled into a prickly normalcy.
But when Baxter heroically rescues a child and the video footage goes viral, Jess and Sebastian are thrown together again, and her life takes some very unexpected twists. The line of dogwear she creates becomes wildly successful, and suddenly she's in the spotlight with everyone watching—the press, the new guy she's seeing, Sebastian and the past she never imagined she would face again. Soon there's only one person by her side—and it's the person she least expected. She's willing to open up to a new normal…just as long as Baxter approves.
I know we routinely say ‘I didn’t see that coming’ when reading a book that takes an unexpected twist, but Caldwell takes that to a whole new level. When I say I didn’t see that ending coming, what I mean is ‘never in a million years could I have possibly fathomed this story taking that kind of a twist.’ At the same time, it works perfectly. Caldwell has gradually built us up in such a manner that when you see how things end, it’s really the most logical conclusion.
Caldwell’s mellow writing style and upbeat attitude really draw you to the main character. Her attempts to overcome much of what she is living through as well as being a better person for herself mesh perfectly with this style and are quite charming. At the same time, the emotional turmoil brought forth through her relationship with her ex-husband breaks your heart. I love how Caldwell develops her past and her present, as well as the way that they crash together. The manner in which the rest of the cast is developed is similarly enlightening. You get to know many of them quite well, each adding to the story in their own way.
As a whole this was a fantastic novel. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys romance, dogs, and a big surprise. I definitely can’t wait to read more work by this author.