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Thursday, August 6, 2020

Small-Town & Puppy Love: Paradise Cove by Jenny Holiday & You Lucky Dog by Julia London



Hi, friends!

Posting a double review today because I'm behind on reviews. First up, I share my thoughts on Paradise Cove, the second book in the Matchmaker Bay series. Next, I review You Lucky Dog, a super cute book with a dog swapping meet-cute.

Let's get to the reviews!



PARADISE COVE

by Jenny Holiday
Series: Matchmaker Bay #2
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: July 28th 2020
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★1/2
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷✷
Amazon - The Book Depository - IndieBound

Jenny Holiday writes some of my favorite romance novels. I really enjoyed her foray into writing a small-town romance with the first book in the series, Mermaid Inn. Paradise Cove was a delightful installment though I did have a minor complaint.

We meet Nora, a well-established city doctor, who has just moved to Moonflower Bay after her last relationship goes sour. She's trying to settle in her new home when she finds herself befriending the town loner, Jake. I loved the pairing of the quiet and intense hero and the peppy and sunshine heroine, so I was loving every moment between Nora and Jake. It was lovely to see Jake open up to someone after having suffered such a horrible tragedy in his life. The chemistry between the two was palpable throughout the whole book and I so enjoyed watching them connect on both a physical and an emotional level. The romance was a slow-burn that budded from a sweet and open friendship, so if you like those, you're going to enjoy Paradise Cove a lot. 

It was a shame when a trope I'm not particularly fond of in romance novels popped up. I was thrown off and I have to admit to being unhappy with Jake's reaction to the situation. I can't go into the details of it because of spoilers but it did dampen my enjoyment of the book a bit. It's obviously a personal preference and it may not bother other readers. That said, I did love everything before that thing happened. I love the meddling matchmaking elders in Moonflower Bay. They were so nosy but also adorable. :)

Even though Paradise Cove didn't 100% work for me, I do recommend picking it up if you enjoy small-town romances or if you're a fan of Jenny Holiday. She is a very talented author. 

***

YOU LUCKY DOG

by Julia London
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Publication Date: August 25th 2020
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★1/2
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷1/2

I picked up You Lucky Dog for the two puppies on the book cover and I was not disappointed. What an adorable little story! It left me with a smile and feeling very happy! 

The premise of You Lucky Dog is so cute! Two basset-hounds get swapped and end up with different owners after their dog-walker is arrested. The two pups could not be more different in temperament and Carly immediately notices that the energetic dog waiting for her at home is not her usually calm Baxter. Turns out, Hazel, aforementioned energetic dog, belongs to Max, a neuroscience professor. In the process of getting their respective pets back, Max and Carly find themselves being attracted to each other and forge a friendship. Their romance was pretty low-key. Their attraction to each other was almost instant and so may not work for every reader. I thought they were cute together and I enjoyed the banter they shared.

There's a lot going on with both of these characters. Carly desperately wants a publicist job in NYC. She is stuck working with 2 clients who don't make it easy for her. She also faces financial issues and may have to move out of her beloved little cottage. Not to mention, she also has to deal with her parents, who are a piece of work. Max is up for tenure at his university but he has some tough competition. Max also has an autistic brother that his father is taking care of. I appreciated the insight into families handling adult autistic children and how it can impact the different relationships around you. It did feel like there was a bit too much going on with them in their own lives at times, which took away from the romance. Now the real stars of this book were Baxter and Hazel, the dogs. They were so adorable and just the best addition to You Lucky Dog

All in all, You Lucky Dog was a sweet story and I enjoyed my time with it. The puppies will definitely have you smiling as will the romance. :) 

Have you read anything of these books? Do you enjoy pets in romance novels?
Let me know in the comments below!