Paws and Prejudice
Hearts of Alaska #2
By Alanna Martin
Author’s Website: alannamartin.com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
It’s up to a trio of adorable rescue huskies to make two lonely hearts in a coastal Alaskan town realize that true love is worth too much to turn tail and run.
Glaciers have nothing on Kelsey Porter when she decides to freeze someone out. After getting burned once, she’s not about to let it happen again. And right now all that icy contempt is focused on one annoyingly attractive and entitled interloper: Ian Roth. Not only is he looking to take advantage of her quaint, coastal community, tainting the small-town charm of Helen, Alaska, but he has committed the one crime she can never forgive—he doesn’t like her dogs.
Unlike what Kelsey believes, Ian loves Helen’s charms as much as she does. That’s partly why he’s determined to open a brewery there, and he’s not about to let anything or anyone stop his dream from coming true. But he didn’t count on the beautiful, prickly woman getting under his skin. Or having to be within hand-biting proximity of her three huge huskies.
When Kelsey’s family conscripts her into helping Ian get his brewery off the ground, she finds herself caught between a rock and a hard . . . muscular . . . man who has a fear of dogs. But the longer they work together, the more she can feel herself begin to thaw. Now she’ll have to choose: let sleeping dogs lie to protect her heart, or mush head-on toward love. (Goodreads)
Paws and Prejudice, the second book in the Hearts of Alaska series, is my first exposure to the writing of Alanna Martin. I was surprised and overjoyed with discovering this new to me author and her very easy to read, relatable, humourous and romantic story! There was just enough “heat” in this Alaskan-set story for my tastes. I did start this series with a bit of trepidation – as I was coming to it starting in book 2 – but I need not have worried. I may not have all the background of life in small town Helen, Alaska but I was provided with enough backstory so that I never felt like I was missing something (especially once I clued in about the Porter and Lipin feud, which essentially an old and ongoing feud that has torn the town apart). The story flowed effortlessly.
The story begins with Kelsey Porter being annoyed with her father for offering her writing services to help a new brewery (Ian Roth – co-owner) in town with their website and press releases in addition to an article for the local paper. I loved the three reasons she articulated internally for not wanting to do the work:
- First, she wasn’t about to confess that her alleged work experience was a lie;
- Second, she was already extremely busy; and
- Three, and perhaps most importantly, Ian was a jerk who didn’t deserve what little free time she had. Her reasoning was that he had shown zero interest in her dogs, and that spoke of a cold, unfeeling heart in Kelsey’s mind!
From these thoughts, I quickly realized that Kelsey and Ian will most definitely be romantic participants in this story, peaking my interest as to how that would come about given Kelsey’s vehement dislike of the man. I could sense a fun-filled ride – and I was not disappointed J.
Kelsey is hiding her true profession as a writer of romance novels about a pack of husky shifters living in the Alaskan bush from the entire town, including her own family, at least until Ian inadvertently discovers her secret. So, what is a sensible gal to do? Not panic since Ian promised not to tell. But of course, you know this will weigh heavily on Kelsey’s mind from now on.
Ian also has a secret. He is deathly scared of (you guessed it) …. Dogs. This explains his brush off and avoidance when out and about in the town. When Kelsey finds out – they strike a deal whereby Kelsey will help Ian get over his phobia. Now of course, as they work together on this, feelings between the two begin to develop. It is a fun journey, which I totally enjoyed reading. The chemistry between Kelsey and Ian is palpable. I enjoyed their journey from misconceptions (re: her puppies) to friends and then some.
There are also many other wonderful characters in the town of Helen! I especially liked Nate – Kelsey’s brother who moved away from Helen to pursue his dreams as he had sage advice for Kelsey (and he is featured in book 3 of this series as it happens). Of course, I loved Romeo, Juliet and Puck – Kelsey’s huskies.
Alanna Martin’s writing style was the perfect mix between fun, with a side of frivolity and some unexpectedly delightful literary references; from Shakespeare to Austen (as can be seen by the title) as well as the names of Kelsey’s.
If you enjoy romance with a side of comedy with twists and turns to a HEA, puppies and an interesting location, then Paws to Prejudice is a great read. I look forward to the next book in the series, Love and Let Bark. I would like to see where this feud is headed