A charming debut about a young woman, the troublesome men in her life and the dog she gets to replace them.
Savannah should be happy that her two closest friends are getting married. Janie (really more like a sister, Savannah grew up on Janie’s family estate—her mother was the housekeeper) is marrying Peter, Savannah’s best friend from college. The only problem is that Savannah has been nursing a secret love for Peter for years. Savannah is racked with guilt; lusting after Janie’s new husband isn’t part of her life plan. When Peter almost makes a drunken confession of love to Savannah on his wedding night, and when Janie’s mother offers Savannah a six-figure check to leave the married couple alone, Savannah embarks on a bender with surprising results. Drunk and watching a Rin Tin Tin marathon, she decides she needs a dog to fill the void and orders over the Internet a $6,000 German Shepard from Slovakia. When he arrives, he is enormous, highly trained (Savannah has to learn his Slovak commands) and a bit too high-strung for condo living. She takes the newly christened Joe to Dr. Alex Brandt, a young, ruggedly handsome vet who takes a shine to Savannah. If this were all, there would be little to distinguish it from the well-worn territory of light romances, but Larkin complicates things in interesting ways. Savannah becomes increasingly class conscious—as the housekeeper’s daughter, Savannah has endured a lifetime of letting Janie get her way, of Peter’s parents disallowing him from dating lowly Savannah—and now in a budding relationship with down-to-earth Alex, Savannah is beginning to question what kind of strange triangle she, Peter and Janie formed. As Peter and Janie become more demanding and unhappy—they’re not used to life without Savannah to fix things—they begin to jeopardize the good thing she’s got going with Alex. Maybe Joe will save the day.
Smart and with emotional depth, this is a cut above the romantic comedies that flood the market every summer.