Series: Second Chance Ranch #1
Series: Second Chance Ranch #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: 8/5/14
Rating: 3 stars
From USA Today bestselling author Catherine Mann comes this beautiful, heartwarming novel about a returning military officer, the daughter of his fallen commander, and a very special dog with a mission. For fans of Jill Shalvis and Susan Mallery.
Nestled in the sunny fields of Tennessee lies the McDaniel family’s Second Chance Ranch Animal Rescue. Two new arrivals are on their way, but only one is the four-legged kind.
Staff Sergeant Mike Kowalski wants only one thing after he gets home from Iraq: to sleep in a king-sized bed with clean sheets. But first, he has to hand off his fallen commander’s dog, Trooper, to his family without handing off his heart to Sierra…
Sierra McDaniel needs a break. Her family life is crazy, and when she’s not mucking out kennels, she’s slogging through grad school. Sierra certainly doesn’t want another dog, especially one that reminds her of her father. And she definitely doesn’t want to see Mike with that charming smile of his…
But Trooper has a mission of his own. Before too long Mike is moving to the ranch to lend a hand—and hoping for his own second chance with Sierra.
I'm going to be honest, I wasn't the perfect audience for Shelter Me. The reason? So many dogs. I know it's really unpopular, especially since the memes on Facebook like to remind me that if I'm not cool with a creature that's just cleaned his bits lick my face, then I'm not a good human. And I'm okay with that. I don't hate dogs, it's just that whenever I'm around them, I break into hives, get wheezy, itchy, sneezy and extremely grumpy. My point is, since I'm not an avid dog lover, the fact that so much of Shelter Me revolves around a shelter, the many daily details of running a shelter, and that the dog on the cover even narrates a portion of the book, didn't exactly work for me. And I know the book does have a dog on the front, but I didn't pick up the all dogs, all the time vibe from the book description.
That detail aside, the love story between Sienna and Mike was so good. The McDaniel family's struggles with coping with the loss of a husband, father, son, was heartbreaking. The author did such wonderful job of creating a strong sense of the characters' emotions, how they struggled with their loss, and how determined they were to move forward, one day at a time. I liked that the McDaniel family's depression, disappointment, anger, and despair were in focus. To be honest, though I loved the human side of the story, a lot of it was overshadowed by the shelter and the dog. I love a good second chance romance, so much. I truly enjoyed the moments with Mike and Sienna and would have appreciated more of the focus landing on them more, rather than the various secondary plot points.
While I've shared aspects that led to my lack of true enthusiasm in regards to Shelter Me, I do believe it's a nice story. I think those who don't mind an abundance of critters would likely enjoy it a lot.
"Suppose I was trying to win you back to my...mattress, not out of impulsiveness--" he paused, squeezing her hand--"but because we had something good. And even if there isn't a future for us, I can't seem to let go of the past. What would you say to that?"
He couldn't deny how important her answer was to him--too much so.
"I would say I'm swayed." She stepped closer, until her breasts pressed against him, her face tipped up toward his.
He slid an arm around her waist, and she didn't protest or pull away, so he continued, "What if I moved my hand down your back?"
Sierra slid her hand over his shoulder to cup the back of his neck. "I would sigh."
I have two copies (one ARC) of Shelter Me to giveaway. Open to US only; must be 18+ years of age to enter.
About Catherine Mann