A woman inherits a pack of purebred show dogs, a mansion, and a whole lot of trouble.
Jocelyn Hillier is used to working hard. Together with her mother, she runs a laundry business in Black Dog Bay, Delaware, washing sheets and towels for the “summer people” who vacation there. A chance encounter leads to Jocelyn’s meeting Mr. Allardyce, the owner of several pedigreed Labrador retrievers and the fanciest of fancy shore-side mansions. Although Mr. Allardyce hates most people, he takes a liking to Jocelyn—or at least to how she treats his dogs—and hires her to give them some much-needed attention and exercise. When Mr. Allardyce suddenly dies, he leaves all of his money to his dogs…and he appoints Jocelyn as the dogs’ guardian. Overnight, she gains access to a mansion and more money than she’s ever dreamed of. The story starts out a bit slow, but it picks up when Liam, Mr. Allardyce’s estranged son, shows up. Liam is rude, annoying, and contesting the will—but he’s also very cute and strangely charming. As he fights with Jocelyn over the house and money, she starts to realize that he may have better intentions than she thought. Kendrick (Once Upon a Wine, 2016, etc.) creates fun and engaging characters, particularly Jocelyn. She’s willing to take care of everyone in her life, from her new dogs to her mother, but she never comes across as annoyingly perfect—instead, she’s a snarky hard worker who would do anything for her animals. The budding romance between Jocelyn and Liam is compelling, but the story really excels when Jocelyn interacts with her hilarious best friend, Bree. Although Kendrick does address some heavier topics, like absent fathers and socio-economic differences, the bulk of the story is a lighthearted take on family, friendship, and the importance of real, honest human (and canine) connections. Dog lovers and rom-com fans will find lots to like here.
A funny and touching look at family and forgiveness—with plenty of dogs.