Cover Image: An Atlas to Forever

An Atlas to Forever

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Member Reviews

When I read the dedication I knew this book was gonna be something special. Not only did the author do an amazing job by writing full dimensional characters but they also managed to perfectly capture what it is like to work with animals with a past. It's not often that authors get animals right in books and I appreciate these details.

Ellie has just lost her best friend and her last wish was for Ellie to take care of her dog Atlas. Not sure she's up to the task she does it because Iris was her ride or die and she will fullfil her last wish even if it takes her way out of her comfortzone.

Hayden is a vet and animal behaviourist. She hasn't had the easiest past and it has led her to conclude she's better off alone.

These two just click from the start and I love how they work together to make life easier for Atlas. It isn't always easy but it's so clear that these two have so much love to give not only to their pets but also to each other. Of course love isn't always easy and past patterns and fears are hard to break through.

I enjoyed going on this ride with them and can only recommend it.

An ARC was provided to me via Netgalley in return of an honest review.

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This was a really cute story. I love anything with dogs in it, and Atlas was so darned cute, if a little sad, but his two mommies helped him tremendously. He also helped them as well. There's quite a bit of push and pull between the main characters, who become friends with benefits first, and then slowly fall for each other, and then the angst and drama starts. I liked both characters, but at times they both seemed kinda immature and wishy washy. But, all in all this was a really good story. I recommend this book, and I look forward to what's next from this author.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I was unable to download and read An Atlas to Forever. Congrats on publishing and I look forward to finding it out in the world to read!

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"An Atlas to Forever" is a heartfelt and emotionally charged novel. I did cry more times than I care to admit while reading tis book. I guess I was shocked at how beautifully the author, Krystina Rivers, explores the complexities of grief. It felt so real, so raw.

In the book, Ellie Efron, inherits a dog from her best friend in the world, who's died of an aneurysm. The novel takes readers on a journey as Ellie, a successful but overwhelmed real estate developer, navigates the challenges of caring for a troubled canine companion.

But let's be honest, readers will swoon over Hayden Brandt, the animal behaviorist that swoops in and saves the day. I want to take my dogs to Dr. Brandt for treatment!

The chemistry between Ellie and Hayden is palpable from the start, and the novel skillfully weaves their personal struggles with the shared task of helping Atlas overcome his traumas. The portrayal of Atlas as a central figure in their relationship adds a unique and heartwarming dimension to the story. I mean, write a book with dogs and you're automatically getting a minimum 4 star.

The narrative effectively captures the transformative power of the bond between humans and animals, showcasing how the unconditional love and needs of a furry friend can lead to personal growth and healing.

The supporting characters, including the grumpy cat Chelsea, contribute to the story's charm.

Thank you NetGalley, Krystina Rivers, and Bold Stroke Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Hayden Brandt has had it rough. Her father died when she was quite young leaving her with a mother who never got over losing her husband so one of those ways was never settling down in any place for too long. After her mother passed Hayden lived with her Grandmother. Staying in one place was a real treat but that all came to an end when her Grandmother died when she was only seventeen years old. So she did what her mother did and just kept moving, where along the way she became a therapist for dogs. Now she settled in Chicago for the past few years but was starting to feel the urge to get on the road and start over again.
Ellie Efron had a good life, a family she was close to and a job she loved. Ellie was in real estate, taking a build and turning it into a building people could use. Working with her friends Skye and Bailey she has built a thriving business. Life was good but that all changed when her best friend Iris passed away suddenly leaving Ellie broken-hearted and the owner of Iris’s rescue dog. Ellie didn’t dislike dogs but had never envisioned herself as a dog owner so she took him home with her and after a few days she came home to find her home wrecked. Something had to be done so what better than a therapist for Atlas. Who better that Hayden.
While the story seems familiar. Like most Romances you generally know from the first who falls for who. Ms Rivers has done a great job making this journey to the end a very enjoyable read.
ARC via NetGalley/Bold Stroke Books

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An Atlas to Forever beautifully weaves a tale of heartbreak, warmth, and the transformative power of the bond between humans and dogs. Ellie’s journey, prompted by a last request, unfolds with emotional depth. Atlas, the rescue dog at the story's core, becomes a compelling symbol of loyalty and healing, his separation anxiety resonating profoundly. The narrative skillfully explores themes of impermanence through Hayden, an animal behaviorist with a poignant past. The chemistry between Ellie and Hayden was so strong, adding a layer of complexity to their evolving relationship. In this emotionally charged story, grief, love, and the promise of a forever are masterfully interwoven, leaving readers deeply moved by the characters' struggles and triumphs.

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Can i say i got hooked from the very first introduction and lovely cover? YES. The picture is simple, but delivers enough the content and even attraction of this love story.

Even if im not really a dog person, I was easily fall for Atlas and his hot mom, Ellie. At 40s, after a tragic death of her best friend, Ellie still found her way to adjust life and took care of her bff dog, Atlas. From a single woman with zero experience for pet, Ellie really did her best befriending and loving Atlas. Hayden, a pro animal behavourist, appeared to help so much.

This story is like a journey, each character finds their own ways to see how far they could go. For Atlas to adapt to a new home, new owner. For Ellie to find forever love in her busy life. For Hayden to find a real home, somewhere she can finally belongs. I think its a great message, with cute interactions that helps me understand more about puppy world. However I find it a lil boring how long it took for Hayden to break her fence inside her heart, to truly love Ellie after all this deny-push and pull- actions during all months.

Anyways if youre looking for a cute story with adorable biggg puppy, 'an Atlas to forever' might be a good choice for a warm & chill day.

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There’s a cute dog on the cover so of course I had to read it! The synopsis is heartbreakingly adorable and gave me such high hopes for this book, I really should’ve expected more pain! A very emotion filled, wholesome and sickly sweet romance, a little predictable but lovely.
This was so, so close to my heart having lost my cousin at only 23 to the same thing early this year, so this book was just absolutely heartbreaking.
I did think it was a little unrealistic how sanely she was acting for how close it had supposedly been, I feel it would have been better to start the book after a few weeks had passed since losing Iris.
Nobody is this cohesive this close to losing somebody they love, especially suddenly.

Pretty accurate on the dog behaviour, and lovely reactions from characters to the behavioural issues, they are always understanding/soothing rather than angry.

Hayden is so adorable, she had been through so much and carries that trauma into her (lack of) relationships. Insisting for so long that she can’t do a real relationship.
She gets jealous but wont act on it because she doesn’t think she can be what Ellie wants and just wants her to be happy, it’s so adorable.
They both try to respect each other’s boundaries despite the fact neither of them really want to stick to them, they start as strangers, then friends, then a OTO (one time only) fling… which somehow keeps extending… So it’s pretty slow burn.

“I don't trust anyone can stick around. Even if they want to." Ellie's heart dropped. "Oh, Hayden."
When she saw tears shimmering in Hayden's eyes again, she pulled her into a hug. The hug she'd been wanting to give all evening. Atlas pulled at the leash for half a second before lying against the back of Ellie's leg, pushing them closer. "Everyone has to die, and we can't choose when, but it doesn't mean they didn't have value in our lives, it doesn't mean we should walk through our lives as an island."

Trigger warning- previously mentioned death of a best friend (sudden brain aneurism) and explicit scene of pet death, not Atlas! (old age, found sleeping)

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Ellie is mourning her best friend Iris who died of a brain aneurysm. Iris requested that Ellie takes her rescue dog, Atlas, a dog who has a great deal of behavior and anxiety issues. Ellie is in over her head so she goes to animal behaviorist and meets Dr. Hayden who although good at her job is also fill with anxiety since losing everyone she loves. Ellie and Hayden feels a attraction and even though Ellie is looking forever and Hayden is not because she fears of losing someone but this doesn’t stop them from giving in and as they say they only giving in because of Atlas sake. I like how both characters continue denying that’s it’s more between them this was emotional roller coaster with a life changing experience and intimacies between them was hot. I love the dog Atlas and grumpy cat Chelsea how they help characters along.

I received an ARC copy of this book from the Publisher via Netgalley and voluntarily leaving my review.

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I’m not an animal owner but enjoy reading books about animals and their owners and this was no exception in that regard. The difference in this story was the insight it gives to the complexities of animals behaviours which can adversely impact their and by default their owners lives.
In this story the MC’s own behaviours were impacted by their lived experiences - one being relationship averse - whether that be friends or lovers and the other wanting what she her parents have, a loving relationship with longevity.
The story is well written, not without angst but also well written love scenes and a great storyline which, together with great characters is woven into a really lovely story.

This is an honest review. Thanks to Bold Strokes Books and NetGalley for the ARC.

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This was a very emotionally deep book. Even though there was the immediate mutual attraction, it was a very slow burn that continued on until truths could be realized.
Ellie Efron’s best friend, Iris, died of a sudden brain aneurysm, leaving a request that Ellie adopt her huge rescue dog, Atlas, a dog with a great deal of behavior and anxiety issues.
Ellie was advised to set up an appointment with Dr. Hayden Brandt, a strikingly beautiful animal behaviorist, leading to extended time together as Haden worked her expert skills on improving Atlas’ behavior.
As for personal relations, Ellie wanted to find her forever, but wasn’t sure if she was ready. Hayden, on the other hand, after being completely orphaned by the age of 17, had too much fear and anxiety about loving and losing again. She wrestled with this throughout the book.
As strong as they were in the stance against a relationship, the two would reach a point where they couldn’t resist each other and succumb to their sexual desires, always agreeing that was the last time. After all, they were just friends in a relationship for the benefit of Atlas.
Hayden continued to make it clear that she was not open to anything long-term, and Ellie continued to state that she did want her forever love, but wasn’t ready to date.
The hot and steamy intimacy’s continued, followed by denials at what was really happening. I think the author did a marvelous job creating the points of rebuttal that gradually broke down their arguments. It was a HEA and watching it happen is what moved me, at a certain point, to tears.
I really enjoyed this book and thank Bold Strokes Books and NetGalley for the arc in exchange for my honest review.

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An emotional roller coaster with a focus on dogs, An Atlas to Forever is a sweet and sad Sapphic romance with a small age gap.

After Ellie's best friend dies and leaves her a massive dog, Ellie seeks help from an animal behavioralist named Hayden to train the dog. Hayden is used to moving around every few years, and she's starting to feel the itch again until meeting Ellie. But will it be enough to triumph over Hayden's past?

I love stories that have dogs play a big part. I liked the relationship between Ellie and Hayden overall, especially with their animals. I think the book could have used some more editing as there were a couple consistency issues in Hayden's background. I did like how grief was handled. Overall, would recommend.

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(3.5 Stars) Ellie Efron unexpectedly inherits a dog when her life long best friend dies unexpectedly. She knows nothing about dogs but she is willing to give it a try. Atlas, the dog, turns out to be a large, 100 pounds, mix breed that is a reactive rescue dog. A friend suggests seeking help from an animal behaviorist. Hayden Brandt doesn’t believe in long term anything. She is alone in the world as her parents and grandmother died before she finished her schooling. She gives her love to animals. I’ve never heard of an animal behaviorist and the work sounds fascinating.

Ellie would like to find someone to be her forever person. Hayden never looks for more than a night with a person. But together as they work with Atlas they form a friendship that slips and slides into more. It’s a story of opposites and can Ellie really believe in anything permanent when her life has trained her otherwise. There is grief, comforting, talking, friendship, passion and of course a dog. I didn’t love the angst moment as I thought they’d already covered that ground a lot.

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Everyone should have an Atlas when it comes to love.
This was a super sweet love story with such a sensitive and misunderstood “Atlas”.
Ellie, lost her best friend overnight and feels the same way!
She is disoriented and a large part of her heart was stolen from her with the death of Iris.
Iris left a letter, asking that Ellie take care of her recently adopted, big and extremely sensitive dog „Atlas“.
She is shocked and a little desperate. However, the first look into his big, sad eyes immediately melt Ellie's heart.
The challenge of living with him brings her to Dr. Hayden Brandt, an animal behaviorist and a beautiful and extremely hot woman.
Sparks fly right from the start, but different reasons lead to a long, rather difficult path to each other...
It's about fear of commitment and fear of loss. This romance is a slow burn and love from the first moment, at the same time!
The intimacies become more needed and hotter every time! They range from beautiful and gentle, to extremely hot!
It’s a wonderfully written love story with life changing decisions to make and lots of love of all kinds.
Thanks to the Author Krystina Rivers and Bold Stroke Books for the ARC!

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Couldn't resist this book with the cute dog on the cover and he really is the star of this book helping two women both with commitment issues build their connection. There are some lovely family scenes in this book, many great scenes with Atlas the dog and also Chelsea the grumpy cat. I wasn't always convinced by Hayden's avoidance of commitment but was moved by her exploration of how grief led to fear towards the end of the book. A light read.

With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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This book centers around Ellie who inherits a big dog Atlas and needs help with learning to deal with, well dogs in genera and his specific issues. This is where we meet Hayden and she is the answer to a lot of things in Ellie's life. The romance between the two is very well written, it had a realistic feeling when it came to bumps in the road and setbacks. Also the plotline with Atlas is like you would expect, no magic solutions but putting in the work and I loved the fact that he wasn't a prop used for the first meeting and then hardly ever mentioned again, but he keeps playing a big part in the story as he should. Every dog owner knows your daily routing almost revolves around the dog and this is a big pet peeve of mine in some other books.
So if you like romance and dogs you can't miss this one!

***Thank you Netgalley and Bold Stroke Books for giving me the chance to read and review this book ***

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A giant soulful dog with behavioral issues and a hot vet. What more can you want? This is a friends to lovers, one night to forever to dive right into.

I received an advance review copy for free and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Ellie is going through major grief when her best friend dies suddenly. What she didn’t expect is said best friend to leave her a dog. And not just a dog, but a gigantic boy with swoony eyes and a lot of baggage. Ellie isn’t even a dog person! However, she will do anything to honor her friends last wish and promises to take care of Atlas, the enormous dog. When one of her friends advices her to take Atlas to a dog behaviorist, she doesn’t expect to fall for sexy dr. Hayden as well as for Atlas.

Dr. Hayden is a nomad since she lost all her family while still being a teenager. She promised herself never to let anyone in, ever. Not for friendship and definitely not for romance. That way she can’t get hurt anymore when people inevitably leave her, again. But when her new client comes into her office all flustered and her hunk of a dog takes a enormous shit on her office floor, she can’t help it. Ellie and Atlas take her heart by storm. Is it enough to throw all her self set rules out the window?

Rivers knows the way to a women’s heart. She describes Ellie’s and Atlas’s journey with heart and humor. It will have you laughing out loud and feel all the feels. And when Hayden and Ellie finally give into the sparkling attraction you’ll jump for joy.

The connection between Ellie and Hayden is instantaneous, but when they finally decide to give it a try Rivers paints a perfect picture of the ways their connection grows even deeper the moment the walls crumble. They are perfect outside of the bedroom and are sizzling hot inside of it (or the kitchen, or livingroom, or hot tub).

It wouldn’t be a true sapphic romance if things didn’t go sideways at one point and boy, they do. I was literally yelling at Hayden to get her shit together and give into love. I think it helped 😉

An Atlas to Forever is a lovely read, especially if you love dogs. Curl up on the couch with a good glass of wine and please, indulge!

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This is a story of women with a dog, in this case the dog is the center of the relationship since the owner, Ellie, has just inherited it after her best friend has died, , with all the pain that entails and without knowing how to give him what the dog, Atlas, needs. And Ellie contacts Hayden, who is a veterinarian specializing in animal behavior. The two of them couldn't be more different, Ellie is a successful real estate developer, with spectacular and super-luxury projects, who seems overwhelmed by the fact of having to take care of a dog. Her grieving for her dead friend also makes her more vulnerable. Ellie, on the other hand, is a serious woman who does not intend to play games or flirt, especially with a client. She is reserved because of her past, with many family losses, which has turned her into a kind of hermit with no social relationships, only the occasional bar hookup that only lasts as long as the fuck lasts. But Atlas, without doing anything special, just being a dog who needs education, is going to unite them more and more, to the point that they are going to ignore their age difference, their difference in status, their difference in priorities in life. If only because they feel good together in a casual relationship. But casual usually doesn't last long. And misunderstandings, doubts and conflicts appear that cause the inevitable drama. In my opinion it has been an interesting story.

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A classic romance novel. Well developed characters that you just have to love. And who doesn’t love a HUGE dog?!

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Ellie Efron inherits a one-hundred=pound dog named Atlas when her best friend in her early forties unexpectedly passes away. The dog has pretty severe reactive behavior issues and it's recommended that she take Atlas to a vet behavior specialist. Hayden Brandt sets up appointments for Atlas' behavior improvement sessions and Ellie is a key part of these sessions. The chemistry between Ellie and Hayden is instantaneous. However, Hayden does not do relationships and only has one-night stands when the mood strikes. We find out that this stems from grief over family members who have passed away and left her during her youth.

Ellie and Hayden make an honest attempt to stay away from one another, but behavior sessions at her office lead to other work with Atlas at Ellie's condo. Eventually the two women grow close and can't fight their attraction any longer. They agree on one time and then back to friends. This obviously turns into more. The rest of the book deals with the fallout of their non-relationship.

I enjoyed the book, Atlas was adorable, and the story also heavily featured Skye and Bailey from Last New Beginning as a friend of Ellie's. 3.75 stars

I received an ARC from Bold Strokes Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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