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Sit! Stay! Speak! by Annie England Noblin
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Sit! Stay! Speak!

by Annie England Noblin

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Addie Andrews has inherited her Aunt Tilda’s house in tiny Eunice Arkansas, so she moves from Chicago, and the painful memories there, to refurbish the homestead and heal from her wounds. Of course, she finds that the peace and quiet of a small Southern town is just a myth; there’s plenty going on and everyone seems to know her business. When she finds an injured pit bull puppy, she comes to the attention of local hunk Jasper Floyd, and things get complicated.

Oh dear … The best part of this novel – and unfortunately is a small part – is Felix, the pit bull puppy; and I say that even though I’m not a “dog person.” I knew going in that it was chick lit, and I wasn’t expecting great literature but this was really bad. The characters are cardboard, the plot is nonsensical, the relationships are unbelievable and the dialogue is tortured and clichéd.

On the plus side, Felix is a great dog, earning the book 1 star. It’s a fast read, and it satisfied several challenges. ( )
  BookConcierge | Oct 16, 2016 |
Good book. Loved the pictures. ( )
  staciew30 | Jun 13, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book from LibraryThing in exchange for a review.

From my first glimpse of the cover of this book to the end of the story, I was captivated. Author Annie England Noblin captured my heart as she told the tale of Addie Andrews, who was determined to undertake the project of refurbishing her beloved Aunt’s small home. Trying to escape her own problems, Addie finds herself smack-dab in the middle of a problem of a different sort. Whoever would have thought the little town of Eunice, Arkansas, hid its own deadly secrets?
From her crazy across-the street neighbor to the puppy she rescues, this heart-warming story will have the reader laughing out loud one minute and rooting for Addie the next, as she tries to find out who’s behind the things happening in Eunice. Along the way Addie finds a place to belong, a town full of friends, and a man she can love.

I can't wait for this author's next book. ( )
  RLJM | Nov 6, 2015 |
A bit predictable but the dog makes the book! ( )
  Dianekeenoy | Oct 14, 2015 |
Although we often try to escape our problems by running away from them or finding something else to focus on instead, the issues we're ignoring stay with us. In fact, they might even be joined by new and different problems in our new place or situation. Eventually we have to face everything, and that is made much more comfortable by the presence of people we love and especially by a beloved pet. It is only by facing our pasts that we can build a future. We all deserve a second chance. In Annie England Noblin's debut novel, Sit! Stay! Speak!, every character, including the dog, is trying to make a second chance work.

Addie Andrews has inherited a house from her great-aunt Tilda so she moves from Chicago to small town Eunice, Arkansas. She only intends to be there for as long as it takes to clear out Tilda's house, fix it up, and sell it. While she's in the house, she remembers snatches from the 12 summers of her childhood that she spent with Aunt Tilda, happier memories than the melancholic memory ambushes of her fiance Jonah. One evening, as she walks along the Mississippi River, she stumbles across a young, abused pit bull tied up in a garbage bag and left to die. Rushing the animal to the vet, she finds out that he has also been shot. This visit to the vet changes everything about Addie's life in Eunice. She ends up adopting Felix; meets Wanda, the vet receptionist who becomes her best friend; and first lays eyes on Jasper Floyd, a local farmer who sparks her interest and whose family is the wealthiest in town. It also puts her on a collision course with a nasty piece of work who is likely the one who wanted Felix to die.

Addie is incensed by the fact that someone would treat a defenseless animal the way that Felix was treated and she is determined to root out the evil, inhumane perpetrators. But Addie is sticking her nose where it's not wanted and while Wanda and Jasper seem to be on her side, she also barrels along making enemies. Her plan to sell the house after she fixes it up goes very slowly and she starts to settle into this small, gossipy town, wondering what she means to Jasper and vice versa. At every turn, various people warn her off of her renegade investigation into what is going on that almost left Felix dead but she apparently doesn't trust any of these people enough to heed their advice, landing herself in danger over and over again. The pain in her past is also slowly exposed, especially as she gets closer with Jasper.

Addie is often a frustrating character. She rescues Felix and recognizes that something terribly unsettling is going on in this town but she is too naive to acknowledge the fact that she doesn't understand all of the undercurrents and history and so she barges forward without thinking or considering. Her zeal for rescuing dogs and getting justice for them is admirable but her methods leave a lot to be desired, embroiling ever more people in her unthinking actions. The remaining cast of characters is a little bit boilerplate feeling: the hot but sometimes distant love interest, the devoted best friend, the caricaturish evil baddie, the very attractive and possessive competition for the love interest, and the rest of the quirky, small town, Southern eccentrics. The plot was generally predictable but did still have a few unexpected moments in it that saved it. The mystery of what happened to Jonah was not really a mystery and might have added more to the book if it had been addressed head on as something that Addie wanted to shy away from instead of presenting it as something to be uncovered. Of course, since Aunt Tilda was a phemonenal cook and Addie is a dismal one, there are the requisite recipes for scrumptious sounding Southern foods that are always popular in women's fiction. Despite problems, ultimately this was a nice tale of healing a broken heart, starting over, and the second chances we should all get in life. ( )
  whitreidtan | Sep 29, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062379267, Paperback)

Echoing the novels of Mary Alice Monroe, Allie Larkin, and Holly Robinson, this charming debut novel tells the unforgettable story of a rescue dog that helps a struggling young outsider make peace with the past.

Addie Andrews is living a life interrupted.  Tragedy sent her fleeing from Chicago to the shelter of an unexpected inheritance—her beloved aunt’s somewhat dilapidated home in Eunice, Arkansas, population very tiny.  There she reconnects with some of her most cherished childhood memories.  If only they didn’t make her feel so much!

People say nothing happens in small towns, but Addie quickly learns better. She’s got an elderly next door neighbor who perplexingly dances outside in his underwear, a house needing more work than she has money, a best friend whose son uncannily predicts the weather, and a local drug dealer holding a massive grudge against her.

Most surprising of all, she’s got a dog. But not any dog, but a bedraggled puppy she discovered abandoned, lost, and in desperate need of love. Kind of like Addie herself. She’d come to Eunice hoping to hide from the world, but soon she discovers that perhaps she’s finding the way back—to living, laughing, and loving once more.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 01 Jul 2015 15:00:39 -0400)

"This ... debut novel tells the ... story of a rescue dog that helps a struggling young outsider make peace with the past"--Amazon.com.

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