Once Upon a Puppy
by Lizzie Shane
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Pub Date 25 May 2021 | Archive Date 01 Sep 2023
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 80 members
With a title of "Once Upon a Puppy" you know you are in for a fluffy, sweet romance. Connor is a lawyer with a plan for everything in his life. He works hard and expects everything else to fall into place. He adopts Max, a full grown Irish wolfhound, and doesn't have time to train him. Deenie Mitchell is a free spirit with wanderlust. She has returned home from traveling to be with her beloved aging aunt. She is glittery and plans princess birthday parties in addition to helping her friend set up a dog adoption business. Connor hires Deenie to train Max.
Connor and Deenie are opposites especially at first. Throwing in a fake dating troupe that is advantageous to both, it is hard to separate the lines between friendship and more. This is a clean read for language and intimacies occur off the page. I enjoyed both main characters especially as there were real back stories for their life choices. Family members, friends and even dogs make the book have more depth than I was expecting.
This is a happy, low angst romance. Especially enjoyable for those wanting mature people but not explicit descriptions. Second in the "Pine Hollow" series but I easily read as a stand alone. Thank you to NetGalley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for an ARC ebook in exchange for a honest review. (4.5 stars rounding up)
I really adored The Twelve Dogs of Christmas by Lizzie Shane and was so excited when I saw the series was continuing with Once Upon a Puppy. We follow free-spirited Deenie and her complete opposite Connor as they decide to fake date. They do this so Connor can make partner at his firm by showing he's well rounded, and so Deenie will have a date to her sister's wedding festivities. Cue the sparks!
If you are someone who hasn't tried a small town romance book I highly suggest starting with this series. Once Upon a Puppy can be read as a standalone if you haven't checked out the first book yet, but I did love following the characters in town in this second installment. This book felt so cozy and was very comforting, which everyone could use right now. I really loved the opposites attract energy between Deenie and Connor and how they individually grew throughout the story. Of course I loved Connor's adorable giant dog, Maximus. If you want a book that feels like a big warm hug, check out Once Upon a Puppy!