About a Dog
A Bluff Point Romance, Book #1
By Jenn McKinlay
Author Website: jennmckinlay.com
Fall in love with a little help from man’s best friend in New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay’s contemporary romance debut.
Mackenzie “Mac” Harris fled her hometown of Bluff Point, Maine, after being left at the altar–and seeking solace in the arms of her best friend’s off-limits brother. Now, seven years later, she’s back to attend her best friend’s wedding–safe, or so she thinks, from the mistakes of her youth.
But Gavin Tolliver has never forgotten the woman who has always held his heart. And when Mac rescues a stray puppy named Tulip, only Gavin, the town’s veterinarian, can help. With a little assistance from Tulip, Gavin vows to make Mac realize that their feelings are more than just puppy love… (Goodreads)
Jenn McKinlay has proven herself as an author of best selling cozy mystery series; she is now proving her versatility and talents as an author of what will be a best selling rom-com series. ‘About a Dog’ is LOL funny, promoting the pricelessness of old friends and how the love of a dog, or a man, can change the course of a woman’s life.
“Mac” Mackenzie left her beautiful hometown of Bluff Point, Maine seven years ago, after the most humiliating night of her life. Her fiance, Seth, left her literally standing at the altar as Jessie, a snooty old classmate, drove to the church in her hot convertible, honked the horn, the guy apologized on the run and left. With Jessie. Miserable and a tad inebriated, Mac’s friends Emma, Carly and Jillian stuffed her into the pickup truck of her best friend Emma’s younger brother, Gavin. Gavin, who was five years younger but always had a huge crush on Mac.
Still wearing her wedding gown, Mac sobbed on Gavin. When the tear ducts finally ran dry, Gavin kissed her…and much more. Mac did the ‘walk of shame’ home in the wee hours of the morning in her tattered gown, left town, and didn’t return. Seth and Jessie still lived there, as did Emma and Gavin. And there was no way Mac ever wanted Emma to know what she had done with her beloved little brother.
Fast forward to present day. Mac, a very pragmatic accountant – no more risk of heartache for her – has been dating Trevor for years. Her friends who have visited Chicago do not like him. Emma is getting married, and wants her best friend Mac to be her maid of honor. Trevor has asked that they ‘take a break’ while she is back in Maine and he is in London working a big deal. Delighted that Trevor won’t be there with Mac, Emma asks Mac to spend time with Gavin, and Emma will pair Mac with Gavin for the wedding events.
Mac isn’t thrilled, but knows that Emma had mopped up after Mac’s non-wedding after she left town and she owes Emma. All that changes when she sees Gavin. The adult Gavin, a veterinarian and one handsome guy. This might be harder than she thought. Until the morning that a puppy chose her to be her owner. It’s hard to say who Mac is more enamored of – Gavin or the pup she names Tulip. She had been doing very well at avoiding being alone with Gavin, but Tulip changed all that. Getting a checkup, finding out if the pup had a microchip, and how to care for her until they find her owner or her forever home. Tulip sounds like one of the most adorable puppies ever, and it is clear that the author loves dogs. Simply reading the antics of the pup, once she was sure she had Mac and Gavin wrapped around her paw, almost made me wish for a dog!
Emma is probably the person I like most, followed by Mac, Jillian and “the aunts”, Sarah and Charlotte. The aunts are a real delight; not only was it fun watching the things they were trying from their bucket lists, it was funny to see Mac’s reactions. It was interesting to see how Emma’s friends all want to keep her wedding perfect and the days leading up to it stress free, even though she is more resilient than they think. The author makes excellent use of dialog and action to define each person, and if we see anyone’s viewpoint at all it is Mac’s or Gavin’s. While Carly and Zach beautifully play off of each other and bring comic relief at times, it was at the expense of being a little too over the top regarding the blatant sexual innuendo..
The author has a mostly delightfully warm, funny, forever kind of romance novel that is also very much ‘about a dog’. The plot as it relates both to Mac finding a way to protect and keep Tulip, and for Mac to avoid Gavin while he pursues her results in sometimes intriguing, sometimes LOL funny. I very much enjoyed watching how almost all of the humans in Tulip’s life turn to mush around her, and loved how they all came to her rescue when necessary! I enjoyed seeing the author’s sense of humor; the imagination required to come up with all the situations is incredible. The sex scenes and various conversations are a bit TMI for this granny’s preference. This reader really was young once, yet even the young person trapped in this (gasp) older body was blushing, so little is left to the imagination.
The plot twists leading up to the culmination are scripted in a way I could not have imagined to bring the anticipated results. The end is very satisfactory. I highly recommend About a Dog to those who enjoy Ms. McKinlay’s writing, love dogs and contemporary romances served liberally with humor and side of spice, and who might have the kind of old friends who can be relied on.