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The Dog Park by Laura Caldwell
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The Dog Park

by Laura Caldwell

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This was a surprisingly clever modern romance novel about a woman who hasn't been lucky in love, but has a very eventful life. Although Jess and Sebastian are recently divorced they share custody of their beloved dog, Baxter. Through Baxter they stay connected. Jess has recently decided that she needs to move on from Sebastian and plans to live life to the fullest. When Baxter gets caught on video saving a little girl from getting hit by a truck, Baxter (Superdog) and Jess get launched into a world wide spotlight that opens many doors for her. And begins a whirlwind of life-changing events that seem to happen one right after the other. But, that makes for an interesting book, and one that, for a romance novel, is fast-paced and intelligently written. I'm glad I won the First Reads contest that connected me with this book. ( )
  mandersj73 | Apr 27, 2015 |
This was a cute doggie read about Jessica Champlin, her ex Sebastian, and their dog, Baxter. Her ex-Sebastion and her are still good friends, and share custody of Baxter... their parting was really due more to how secretive the nature of ex-Sebastion's journalist job was. Jessica simply could not handle not knowing where her husband was going and when he'd be back, etc. thus the breakdown of their marriage because he couldn't reveal certain details of his job to her.

I've decided that I like books that incorporate animals into the story as focus, and this story does just that. Baxter becomes "Super Dog" after saving a little girl from being hit by a car. Baxter's fame bolsters Jessica's business and thrusts her and Bax into the spotlight. Jessica meets a new guy and things start moving forward and looking up for everyone, but... there are some secrets from Jessica's past that threaten to expose her, and everything comes to a head when her new boyfriend is the one who exposes her to the world.

When Baxter is hit by a car in a hit-and-run, Jessica learns some important truths about herself.

Meanwhile, ex-Sebastion is going through a crisis at work and Jessica realizes how much they love each other. Can their love survive their secrets being revealed?

Let me just say that while I did not rate this 5 stars, that is not because it was a bad book. It just wasn't as riveting or suspenseful as what I normally like to read, so it was a little easier for me to put it down and read other things. A book that really grips me will take all of my attention away from all other books until it is finished, and this book did not do that. It was, however, a nice light distraction that I thoroughly enjoyed. I can't think of any major flaws with it, except that it might have been a little predictable. If you like chick-lit and romance, and/or books with pets as characters, you will probably enjoy this book a lot.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  recipe_addict | Sep 21, 2014 |
This is a very charming story about a dog and it’s two, who share the dog through a joint custody agreement. Though divorced, Jess and Sebastian still communicate regularly about Baxter, the dog they purchased during their marriage. Neither has moved on and are both trying to do just that. When Baxter’s antics during a daily walk brings him and his two “dog parents” instant national acclaim, things change for everyone. This is a book I thoroughly enjoyed reading. The characters were well developed. The dog Baxter was especially well done. I enjoyed watching him as he and his owners went about their daily lives, each growing in their own way. However, this is also a story about soul-searching, healing and getting over things in our past that can impact our entire lives. As I read the story,I felt warmth for everyone involved, except Sebastian, mostly because I found it difficult for someone so in love that he could withhold such a big part of himself and his life. I could understand Jess holding back on her past but not him. Still, I found the story interesting and enjoyable. I think anyone who likes dogs (or other pets) would find this endearing. I received this from Goodreads to read and review. ( )
  KMT01 | Aug 26, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0778317145, Mass Market Paperback)

www.LauraCaldwell.com

A couple's best friend? 

Stylist Jessica Champlin knows it takes more than a darling goldendoodle to save a marriage. She and her ex-husband, investigative journalist Sebastian Hess, had too many irreconcilable differences for even their beloved dog, Baxter, to heal. So they've agreed to joint custody, and life has settled into a prickly normalcy. 

But when Baxter heroically rescues a child and the video footage goes viral, Jess and Sebastian are thrown together again, and her life takes some very unexpected twists. The line of dogwear she creates becomes wildly successful, and suddenly she's in the spotlight with everyone watching—the press, the new guy she's seeing, Sebastian and the past she never imagined she would face again. Soon there's only one person by her side—and it's the person she least expected. She's willing to open up to a new normal…just as long as Baxter approves.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:20 -0400)

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