January 2, 2017 Blitz, Book Review 0 ★★★★

One Careful Owner by Jane Harvey-Berrick

four-stars
One Careful Owner by Jane Harvey-Berrick
Published by Self-published on January 2, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 234
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“Take me, all of me, broken and in pieces, or say to hell with me.”

WARNING!
This book will break your heart!
From the best-selling romance author of THE EDUCATION OF SEBASTIAN comes a sexy, heart-breaking and heart-warming story about one man and his dog. (Standalone)

Alex is lost and alone, with only his dog, Stan for company. He doesn’t expect kindness from anyone anymore, but sometimes hope can be found in the most unlikely places. He has a second chance at happiness, but there’s a dark side to Alex, and a reason that more than one person has called him crazy.
Single mother Dawn is doing just fine. Except that her ex- is a pain in the ass, her sister isn’t speaking to her, and her love life is on the endangered list.
At least her job as a veterinarian is going well. Until a crazy-looking guy arrives at her office accompanied by an aging dog with toothache. Or maybe Alex Winters isn’t so crazy after all, just … different.
Dawn realizes that she’s treated him the same way that all the gossips in town have treated her—people can be very cruel.

Contains scenes of an adult nature.

This is a standalone novel with no cliff-hanger.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.



By SparklesI have to admit that One Careful Owner was not the story I was expecting. Dawn is a single mother and a veterinarian in a small town. Her status as a single mother and the circumstances leading to her pregnancy meant that she’s been in the center of the gossip grapevine for years.

When Alex first moves to town, his wild appearance and his apparent lack of social skills land him on the top of the gossip topic list. He seems to only want to talk to his aging dog Stan but when Stan gets sick, he has no choice but to head into the vet clinic where Dawn works.

Both Alex and Dawn have been dealt a more than crappy hand at life, and this has shaped their approach to people. Where Dawn had to function and be a good mother to her little girl, Alex had nothing left but Stan to keep him sane. With different issues to overcome, they’ll have to fight with everything they have to get a chance at a future together.

“We could be a complete car crash,” she whispered.

“Then let’s be the best fucking car crash we can be,” I begged.

I really enjoyed this story. Heartbreaking at times View Spoiler » it was also filled with hope and brightness that overcomes the blackest darkness. When you find something worth fighting for, it doesn’t matter if it’s yourself you have to beat, you can do it.

I found Alex incredibly cute and charming but he was also pretty bossy and a bit alpha which was very much appreciated.  How he kept reaching out for something good and still had hope after all he went through was really awe-inspiring.

“We weren’t perfect, but we didn’t want to be. We were real and honest and probably going to make each other crazy. And stupidly happy.”

Dawn was a nice, sweet, and caring person who was also a great mother, always putting her daughter first. I sometimes resented the way she reacted to some situations regarding Alex.  Though she kept scolding herself for acting like everyone else in spite of how much she had hated it when they did it to her, she kept jumping to conclusions time and again. I could relate to where she was coming from but I like my heroines to be all in with their partners unless there’s a really strong reason.

With a bit of suspense while we waited for the unveiling of both Alex and Dawn’s past, some action, family struggles and some really hot sexy times One Careful Owner was an amazing read and I absolutely adored Stan’s PoV chapters which were just plain genius.

Rating: 4 “The Silent type” Stars

 
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He still reminded me of a Mountain Man, and he appeared to be wearing the clothes that I’d thought were rags. His long, shaggy brown hair and thick beard hid most of his face. A shudder of apprehension ran through me.
He seemed just as ill at ease as he had been by the lake, his eyes darting around restlessly, but then he walked around to the passenger door and I lost sight of him.
When he reappeared, he was carrying a large dog, one that easily weighed 80 or 90 pounds. He must have been strong because he carried the weight easily. I recalled the thick slabs of muscle that sculpted his chest and arms when I’d seen him earlier. Yes, there was no doubt that he was strong, but as he held his pet, his hands were gentle.
I watched his chin bob, and I realized that he was talking to his dog.
Carefully, he set the animal on the ground and fixed a leash around its neck.
The dog immediately sat down and refused to budge. His coat was thick and looked glossy and healthy, his muzzle starting to gray. I guessed he was part retriever, part mastiff—large and solid. And heavy.
Ashley giggled as the man tugged on the leash, but the dog still wouldn’t move. The man stood still, looking at his pet, his hands on his hips, then he shook his head in defeat. Bending down, he scooped up the dog again and shouldered his way through the door into the office.
Now he was closer, I could study him in more detail.
His hair was a tangle of light brown with sun-blond lights, still uncombed, an off-putting mess of wild, crazy curls. His clothes were even worse now I could see him wearing them, unkempt and torn as if he’d given up, but they were clean. And when he stopped in front of Ashley, I caught the faint scent of soap and laundry detergent—no cologne. This man was a paradox.
Ashley smiled tightly from her position behind the reception desk.
“Mr. Winters and Stan, is that right?”
He nodded but didn’t speak, still holding his dog in his arms. His face was grim, as if he’d never smiled, never thought of smiling.
So this was the man who’d bought Old Joe’s place? I immediately felt guilty that I’d assumed he was trespassing and camping illegally. I didn’t know that somebody had already moved into the property. Technically, I’d been the interloper this morning. I felt like such a judgmental bitch. But he’d really scared me, and I hadn’t been thinking clearly.
“I’m so sorry,” Ashley said with fake sweetness, “but Dr. Petz, our male veterinarian, had to go out on an emergency visit. Dr. Andrews over there is available.”
He turned to stare at me and his body stiffened. I saw a flicker of recognition in his eyes before he dropped his gaze to the floor again. I thought for sure that he’d turn and walk out, but then he glanced at his dog and I saw the expression soften in his curious golden-brown eyes as he peered up at me and nodded slowly.
“Great!” said Ashley, her gaze glancing across to me. “I’ve got basic information from your email, but if you could just fill out this form and…”
“Maybe you’d like to bring Stan into the examination room, Mr. Winters,” I interrupted quickly. “He looks rather heavy.”
The man blinked twice, but carried the dog inside without commenting or even looking at Ashley.
“Rude!” Ashley said, not quietly enough, and although I agreed, I shot her a look and took the form from her.
She leaned toward me, her eyes wide as her voice dropped to an urgent whisper.
“I’ll keep my ears open, Dawn. He looks kind of weird. You know, serial killer weird.”
I pressed my lips together and followed my new client.
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 Jane is a writer of contemporary romance fiction, known for thoughtful stories, often touching on difficult subjects: disability (DANGEROUS TO KNOW & LOVE, SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM); mental illness (THE EDUCATION OF CAROLINE, SEMPER FI); life after prison (LIFERS); dyslexia (THE TRAVELING MAN, THE TRAVELING WOMAN).
She is also a campaigner for former military personnel to receive the support they need on leaving the services. She wrote the well-received play LATER, AFTER with former veteran Mike Speirs. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk1CyB8c0xA )
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four-stars

About Sparkles

Don't let her sparkles fool you, give her an Epic Epilogue or she'll take you down with her ninja moves...

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