Love is a Four-Legged Word by Kandy Shepherd
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: July 7th 2009
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For readers who loved Pug Hill-a charming romantic comedy debut novel about matchmaking and a millionaire mutt.
Romance is for the dogs...
Tom O'Brien is close to making partner at the hottest law firm in San Francisco, provided his newest client doesn't foul things up. Brutus Stoddard is rich and spoiled, craves attention, and drools. The fact that he's a dog doesn't help matters.
Brutus has inherited a multimillion-dollar estate from his late owner, as well as a pretty guardian named Madeline Cartwright, professional chef and the eccentric old man's surrogate granddaughter. Tom finds her-and her culinary creations- irresistible.
If Tom is to get that promotion, he has to maintain the terms of the will. That means keeping both Brutus and Maddy happy. He's trying his hardest to keep the arrangement professional, but with two clients this adorable, Tom's suddenly craving a different kind of partnership altogether.
I found the characters to be charming for the most part, though toward the end the heroine bugged me some. At first, Tom is convinced that Maddy is just a gold-digger who cozied up to an old man in order to get her hands on his millions. The fact that the old man in question left said millions to his dog only confirms his suspicions. When he meets her for the first time he’s surprised that she isn’t a blonde bimbo. Instead he finds a sweet, shy, girl-next-door type. I was annoyed with him over the way he acted toward Maddy, but it wasn’t long before I was cracking up over it instead. Because Maddy just wouldn’t fit into the pigeonhole he’d assigned her.
Maddy was upfront and honest. I really liked that she didn’t take any crap from Tom over her relationship with her landlord and surrogate grandfather. She called him on it right from the beginning, which was refreshing. I love that she was a chef and ambitious about her career. Unfortunately toward the end she kind of seemed to…turn into a girl. She started playing girl games with Tom and didn’t seem the same as she’d been in the beginning. Luckily the stupidity didn’t last long.
Other than that, I really liked Maddy and Tom together. They had great chemistry. I really believed in their relationship and enjoyed watching them work together.
The mystery wasn’t as well done. The actions of the villain and the h/h didn’t make much sense in that respect. For example, it’s obvious in the beginning who the villain is. But instead of calling the police or even being concerned, they both just ignored the situation. Later, when Maddy and her best friend are attacked, they ignore the situation again. As for the villain himself, he was almost cartoonish. Not only was he predictable, but he was just…silly. I didn’t understand why they didn’t just call the cops and be done with it. The end resolution was pretty great though. I especially enjoyed the courtroom scene.
Overall the romance was good but the mystery left quite a bit to be desired. I’d still say this is a pretty good effort for a debut novel.
3.5 out of 5