Dawn Vasquez never takes life too seriously. But when she rescues a golden retriever named Gigi, Dawn begins to imagine what it’d be like to settle down and let someone rely on her for a change. Unfortunately, Adam Dearborn–a handsome, hopelessly buttoned-up cattle rancher in need of a guide dog–has also fallen in love with the little ball of fluff and stubbornly insists that no other animal will do.
Adam isn’t sure what drives him to fight to keep Gigi for himself, but he suspects it has something to do with his growing–and unfortunate–attachment to Dawn. Her whirlwind spirit and sunny disposition might make her a delight to be around, but they also make her unsuited for the difficult life of a rancher. He should be able to put her out of his head. But what’s a love-struck cowboy to do when what he wants and what he needs have never seemed so far apart? And can he allow himself to take a chance on everything Dawn has to offer: puppy kisses, puppy love…and her.
Title: Puppy Kisses
Series: Service Puppies / Forever Home #3
Author: Lucy Gilmore
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: June 30, 2020
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
My Rating: 4.5 stars
‘Puppy Kisses‘ is the third title in the ‘Service Puppies / Forever Home‘ series – and really all you need to know to fall in love is…Puppy! Okay, maybe there’s also a stubborn rancher smitten with a woman he’s convinced is not able to be serious about ranching. Perhaps that woman might agree on principle but she’s ready to try – especially if that keeps her around one small bundle of mischief, fur, and puppy kisses galore… and maybe the rancher, too.
I had such a fun time back in this world again. Come on, adorable puppy, stubborn man, sunny woman – what is not to love about that outline? I know, right? Well, I was hooked on this series once again – little Gigi drew me in but Adam and Dawn kept me in their world just to see who could outlast who – the stubborn or the sunny disposition. I adored them all, and I’m not ashamed to admit that. (And really, Adam, since when does upbeat, seeing the bright side of life, or just being happy say a person cannot handle the hard work of ranching? Hmmm?) Stubborn man.
There were times in ‘Puppy Kisses‘ that I had to remind myself that Adam is blind. He knows his ranch, he knows his cattle right down to the mischievous one he’s named Dawn. As the parent of a physically disabled son, I think we (general we) don’t give enough credit to people who figure out how to live a full life on their terms without a fuss made about that fact. Adam is a perfect example of that to me.
I adored Dawn. She knows what she wants, she lives her life in a way that brings her joy – and there is nothing at all wrong with that. And she wants Adam in her life, convincing the stubborn rancher is going to take some work but she’s in this for the long haul – no matter how often Adam tries to push her away ‘for her own good’.
And Gigi – just a cute, wiggly, ball of fur and puppy kisses. And devoted to her humans, both of them.
The secondary characters made this world so very real, the emotions between Adam and Dawn could be felt (even if we couldn’t always see them), and the bond between man, woman, and a dog just grows stronger throughout ‘Puppy Kisses‘. It is perfect? No, it’s a rare book that is – but it felt real, like neighbors down the road, and that matters more to me in the long run than anything else. I enjoyed myself with these characters, and I believe you would as well.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
Available in paperback, audio. and your favorite e-reader. Mine is the Kindle.