BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Friday, July 7, 2017

Review & Giveaway: A New Leash on Love by Debbie Burns

Review, Giveaway, A New Leash on Love, Debbie Burns, Bea's Book Nook
Series: Rescue Me #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: July 4th, 2011
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from the publisher:

First in a fresh contemporary romance series from award-winning debut author Debbie Burns.

Every heart has a forever home.

Megan Anderson loves the animals at her no-kill shelter. She’ll do anything for them—even go toe-to-toe with a handsome man who’s in way over his head. She’ll help him sort out his troubles, but getting too close to an adorable puppy’s human counterpart? Been there, done that, got burned.

When Craig Williams arrived at the local shelter for help, he didn’t expect a fiery young woman to blaze into his life. But the more time they spend together, the more he realizes it’s not just animals Megan is adept at saving—she could be the one to rescue his heart.

Soon, Craig and Megan find that the magic of unconditional love can do anything…even lead to their forever home.

My Thoughts:

How could I resist this sweet, cute cover? Or that adorable puppy? It promised to a sweet, cute romance. It was a little more intense than I expect in a cute and sweet romance but it was a hopeful story, full of heart.

Craig is recently divorced, and still figuring out his new life. Megan has been single for a year, since breaking up with her fiance. Their first encounter doesn't go well, with neither having a good impression of the other despite their mutual attraction. But they find reasons to bump into each other and then they get involved. Megan and Craig quickly develop strong, intense, passionate feelings about each other. Their feelings for each other help them to open themselves up and deepen other relationships in their lives. Burns skillfully portrays the ups and downs of relationships of all varieties and the importance of opening your heart.

Craig had a lot of baggage - emotional baggage relating to his failed marriage, and his determination to b an active part of his children's lives. He's a good father and he works hard at making sure that he and his ex are a united set for their children, despite the divorce. I appreciated that Burns didn't take the easy way of making Craig's ex the cold wife or the shrew or on any way evil. She was a good person dealing with the tragedies that life dealt her. Relationships amongst all three adults stayed civil and mostly courteous. There was no trash talking, and that was a refreshing change. It was the second romance I read recently where exes and their current partners had a civil, respectful relationship. I hope this is a new trend in romance! 

The animals and the shelter were more than just window dressing but were integral to the story. I have several friends who work in animal rescue and their experiences resonated with what Burns portrays. She gives us a fascinating look at shelter life and the intricacies of rescue work without overtaking the romance. With so much time spent on the animals, this may not be the book for you if you are not an animal person.

There was a trope introduced at about 60% in that I didn't like, it's one of my least favorites. And that one led to another least favorite trope - the big misunderstanding because they failed to communicate. You're adults people, talk to each other. From there, the story was wrapped up a little too neatly for my tastes. Soap opera elements, check. Annoying tropes, check. Happy ending, check.

"A New Leash on Love" showed us the possibilities in taking a chance and not giving up on life or love. It's ultimately a hopeful story. But it wasn't a wow, that's amazing story. I had trouble with how fast they moved and how quickly things became intense, especially when they were both on the rebound. But I loved the respectful interactions, and all of the animals. The next time you want a romance with substance, that's more than fluff (which I like sometimes, there's room for a variety of stories), and you love animals, pick up "A New Leash on Love".

A Letter from Debbie Burns:

Dear Reader,

Chances are you’ve been drawn to this book because you enjoy second chance love stories, whether they’re about animals, people, or both. It’s my hope you fall in love with the dynamic characters, both two and four footed, in A New Leash on Love as much as I have.

Writing this book enabled me to blend together two of my favorite things, a love of animals and a good romance. I’ve been an animal lover ever since I can remember. When I was 13, I began volunteering with a friend at a local rescue shelter. I’ve never forgotten the remarkable dedication of the people working and volunteering at shelters, helping to ensure surrendered animals get care and comfort while waiting for forever homes.

As I mentioned, I’m also a sucker for a good love story. I soak them up in both film and literature. I’m an eclectic reader and read a blend of romance, contemporary fiction, and nonfiction. I get the most enjoyment from books with love stories that are powerful enough I become convinced the world would be a sorrier place if the main characters hadn’t gotten together. I’ve read Pride and Prejudice three times, and most other Jane Austen novels at least once. I am awed by her accomplishments. Jane Austen wrote stories that have survived over two centuries and are still among so many people’s favorite novels. And of course, I enjoy reading the contemporary masters of romance as well. I’m also drawn to unique and quirky love stories like the one portrayed in The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind that leave me thinking about them for a long time afterwards. The love story featured in A New Leash on Love is one I hope you’ll cheer for, laugh with, and walk away from reading believing all is just as it should be.

To tell you a bit more about me personally, I’m a Saint Louis resident and native who has also lived in Georgia and Michigan. I’m the mom of two amazing teenagers. Being an integral part of their life journeys has been a profound experience. I try not to pass a single day without giving thanks for all the blessings in my world, and these remarkable young adults always top that list. Coming in a close second are my family’s two rescue dogs and willful Maine Coon cat. I’ve posted pictures and shared my dogs’ rescue stories on my website,

Like their human counterparts, the animals we share our homes with have personalities of their own. Our family’s trio of pets are no exception. To paraphrase Roger Caras, dogs (and cats) aren’t our whole lives, but they make our lives whole. There are times when I’m not excited to wake up before dawn to make sure the dogs have a good walk before I head out for the day, and times when I cringe at vet bill statements. However, when you strip away the investment of training, time, and money, you’re left with a companion who thinks you’re more awesome than a bowlful of gravy. And if you let it in, you’ll feel that same kind of unmasked adoration right back. If you ask me, that’s what it’s all about.

Happy reading,

Win One of Five copies of A New Leash on Love from the publisher. No purchase necessary. VOID where prohibited.

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