Series: Cyrus Mills #2
Format Read: eGalley
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:
When Dr. Cyrus Mills returned home after inheriting his estranged father's veterinary practice, The Bedside Manor for Sick Animals, the last thing he wanted was to stay in Eden Falls, Vermont, a moment longer than absolutely necessary. However, the previously reclusive veterinarian pathologist quickly found that he actually enjoyed treating animals and getting to know the eccentric residents of the tiny provincial town-especially an alluring waitress named Amy.
So Cyrus is now determined to make Bedside Manor thrive. Not an easy goal, given that Healthy Paws, the national veterinary chain across town, will stop at nothing to crush its mom-and-pop competitor. And the rival vet practice isn't Cyrus's only competition; a handsome stranger shows up out of nowhere who clearly has a mysterious past with Amy. To top it off, Cyrus finds himself both the guardian of a very unique orphaned dog and smack in the middle of serious small town drama.
This charming sequel to The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs is a wild and delightful ride through one jam- packed week, where Cyrus must figure out how to outsmart the evil veterinary conglomerate, win back Amy's heart, solve several tricky veterinary cases, find a home for an orphaned dog, and detangle himself from an absurd case of mistaken identity. DOG GONE, BACK SOON brims with Nick Trout's trademark humor, charm, and captivating animal stories, and is proof that all dogs, lost or not, on four feet or two, deserve a second chance.
How could I resist that face? Add in the title and I almost didn't care about the blurb. :D I didn't realize that it was the second book in a series but after reading this one, I'm hooked.
Animals, more animals, a romance, a homecoming, family problems, small town New England life - all tropes and themes that appeal to me. Cyrus took a bit of time to warm up to and I never really did warm up to his love interest, Amy. Cyrus is socially challenged, nosy, blunt, and an introvert. The combination makes him difficult to know, both for the reader and the other characters, but the more time we spend in his head, the more I got to understand and like him. Amy is also blunt yet secretive, annoyingly coy, and sends mixed messages romantically. When we find out why, part of me understood where she was coming from and part of me thought she should have held off on getting involved until her situation was straightened out. I was a little uncomfortable with the level of interest Cyrus has for Amy, it bordered on stalking at times; Trout was treading a fine line and some readers may not care for it.
I shrug and wonder how Amy might reply. "Some people say I'm nosy. I prefer curious. I've always liked solving any kind of puzzle."...For half a minute, Stash and I survey the property. Amy's right. I am inquisitive. I'll even accept stubborn and relentless. But there are times when this approach to life can come in handy. And maybe this is one of them.
While there's a romance, the story is not primarily a romance. Cyrus is undergoing something of a mid-life crisis, although it's unclear what his age is, maybe late thirties? He's made some major life changes and reading about them, and the challenges they present to his comfort zone was interesting and engaging. Despite himself, he gets involved with people and local events. At times, with the combination of animal cases and life anecdotes, I felt as if I were reading an updated James Herriot book. Another character even compares Cyrus, unfavorably, to Herriot. The evil conglomerate story is over the top but the peeks we got into into veterinary practice were interesting and almost made up for the soap opera-ish drama.
Trout has a wonderful way with description:
Lewis gives me "the stare." I've seen it before. It's like being injected with truth serum, the way its kind intent makes you want to find the right answer...the cold has already ripped off my ears, chewed away my entire face, and begun to feast on my brain..."The bar was packed and I couldn't make them out, except some guy with an annoying, distinctive laugh." Lewis offers a sage nod. "Let me guess, braying donkey meets croupy pig?"
Combine that with deft characterization and smooth pacing and "Dog Gone, Back Soon" is an enjoyable story that has me wanting more.