If you lost both your spouse and your dog to cancer within weeks of each other, but you were sadder about the dog, would you tell anyone? Maybe your closest friends. Unfortunately, Jane Bailey’s closest friends are on the other side of the country. That’s where Jane plans to go now that she’s free to leave Philadelphia, the too cold, beachless, street taco-deficient city her husband dragged her to six years ago. But with no job prospects in her hometown of San Diego, Jane is roped into helping out temporarily at her uncle’s southwestern small-town B&B.
En route to her new role as innkeeper and breakfast chef, she finds a stray at a rest stop. With her heart in pieces from the loss of her dog, she’s determined not to let this mutt worm its way into her affections. She’s also determined to have next-to-no interaction with the B&B’s irritating guests, and the even more annoying handyman who lives next door. Can Jane keep her sanity—and her secret that she’s not really a grieving widow—while trying to achieve her dream of getting back to the place she thinks is home?
Read on for my thoughts on Rescue Me, Maybe. No true spoilers, promise.
Anyone who has ever had a pet can understand the devastation that their death brings to the heart. These fuzzy, furry (or scaley) critters capture our hearts like no human ever can. It’s a different kind of love maybe, but it’s true in a way no human love ever is. Can we say unconditional love? Yeah, you get my point.
It may sound strange that Jane mourns her beloved dog Barnum more than her husband’s passing. But she hadn’t fallen out of love with her dog, and she wasn’t planning on divorcing her dog when the cancer diagnoses came. She stood by him and mourned him in her own way, but her dog’s death hit her harder and deeper.
There is nothing keeping her on the East coast now, so Jane sets out on a journey West, back where she’s wanted to be for some time now. Sidetracked by agreeing to help out at a family member’s B & B while her aunt recuperates, Jane comes upon a starving, skinny stray dog. The tag says the dog’s name is Penny – and maybe she is a gift from Heaven. Soon Jane will begin calling the dog Maybe – she’s not ready to open her heart to another dog, but Maybe has other plans.
I enjoyed Rescue Me, Maybe very much. Less of a romance and more of a woman’s coming to herself story, this is a journey from sadness to acceptance and eventually to opening up to the possibilities. Jane will go from a woman who needs no one, keeps humans at a distance when she must interact with them to a woman at ease in her own skin, with the way that she has found herself at last. Maybe did indeed rescue Jame, perhaps more than Jane rescued Penny.
Told with humor, wit and the understanding of that special love of a pet, Rescue Me, Maybe is a tale of growth and love. I would recommend this one for anyone who enjoys novels that show a character’s development from sad and grouchy to at peace with themselves. The romance is on the lighter side, human romance that is, but don’t get me wrong the neighbor is swoon worthy. But the puppy love is abundant and healing as only a furry creature can manage.
*I received an e-ARC of Rescue Me, Maybe from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*
Available in paperback, audio and for the Kindle