by Susan C. Daffron
on July 2013
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
For more information about this book:
Kat Stevens is a slightly insecure, mostly bored technical writer who likes her cat a lot more than her boss. She hasn't laid eyes on her great aunt Abigail since she was eight, so she's stumped when she inherits Abigail's house in the small hamlet of Alpine Grove. Kat's uncomplicated life gets decidedly less so when she discovers the inheritance comes with some hairy conditions: four dogs and five cats that her aunt wanted her to love as her own. Of course, the house smells like a barn-with a touch of antique skunk-and, naturally, has serious roof issues. And that's before the three-legged cat gets stuck in the wall and the shower goes kablooey. When Kat meets Joel, an unemployed techie type with no love lost for his sister, Kat looks past his obvious flaws, given his timely and desirable skill set: a talent for fixing things (and his own tools). Despite out-of-control dogs, cat fights, dust dinosaurs, massive spiders and an old grizzled hippie passed out in the yard, Kat discovers the tranquility of the forests of Alpine Grove starting to seep into her soul. And why she can't she stop thinking about Joel?
A Not So Romance with…Pets
This is my first ever 1/2 star review and I am trying very hard to pinpoint my issues with the book so be patient. Um…where to start. This book didn’t get started until about 1/2 way through the 300 pages so lets start there. Don’t get me wrong. I finished the book so it wasn’t awful but it was billed as a Romantic Comedy. It just wasn’t what I call a romance unless you count how the female lead loves her pets. I also didn’t find anything in the story really funny. Not even a chuckle. I really wanted to like this book because I am a huge animal lover. Don’t ask me how this got 81 5-star reviews on Amazon.
Kat- Technical Writer who inherits stinky house full of pets from aunt who ends up being her Grandmother….Yup…that sums it up. 17 words to sum up 300 pages.
Joel- Unemployed Engineer living in shack in the middle of nowhere. Be still my beating heart (note sarcasm here?).
Kat is leading a lonely, single, average life. Crap job with crazy boss. Apartment that is being turned to condos. Spunky friend. Basically, Jane Doe Average…like most of us in the world. Her aunt that she hasn’t seen since she was a kid dies and leaves her a house full of animals but she can’t have the money part of the inheritance until her aunt’s best friend deems her worthy. Kat hems and haws for most of the first 1/2 of the book about whether to leave her current life and take the house, pets and challenge. Then she meets the animals and falls in love with them.
After having issues getting work done on the house, she meets Joel and he comes to help her out. Joel is in an on again/off again relationship (currently off) with a super model…Yeah right…moving on..who comes to town and they break up for good.
While Joel is having his romance drama, Kat finds out she is adopted and the woman who she has known as her aunt is really her Grandmother.
Joel and Kat end up together living in Chez Stinky. Kat gets the inheritance. Together they are going to open a pet boarding facility. The End.
So here is what I liked. Descriptive. Animal personalities well developed. Story gets resolution on all fronts.
What I didn’t like. No romance. I mean, Kat kisses Joel. It is suggested that Kat and Joel sleep together by the “waking up together” scenes (reference Hallmark movie plot here).
My biggest issue with this story is that it is not what I would call a romance. In fact, the romance with Joel is more like a distant sub-plot. It is more in the lines of a story about a woman and her pets where the woman happens to meet a guy and get in to a relationship. Sadly (or not so sad depending on your take), I found the pets the most compelling characters in the book.
Maybe it is because this story is too much like every day, real life. Maybe it is because the romance of the story is between Kat and her….cat…and the other animals she inherits. I don’t know but I can’t recommend it to anyone and I wont be reading anything else in the series.