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Unleashed

by Rachel Lacey

Series: Love to the Rescue (1)

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233804,599 (4.4)None
"What happens when you find the right one at the wrong time? Cara Medlen has a serious case of animal attraction. And it's not because of all the foster dogs she's rescued. She's got it bad for her incredibly sexy neighbor. Her one rule: Don't get attached. It's served her well with the dogs she's given to good homes and the children she's nannied. Yet the temptation of Matt's sexy smile might just convince her that some rules are made to be broken. Matt Dumont doesn't need his skills as a private investigator to detect disaster on the horizon. Cara is everything he thought he'd never find-gorgeous, funny, and caring. But there's no way he can start a relationship just as he's about to move to another state. Talk about bad timing. As their attraction sizzles too hot to deny, they'll have to make a decision: forget the consequences and let loose, or forget each other and let go..."--Page 4 of cover.… (more)
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Showing 3 of 3
3.5 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review

Cara has just gotten back from her childhood friend's funeral, a friend she went through chemo with. It's been eight years of remission for Cara and with the added reminder of her friend's death she refuses to really live her life until she hits that magical ten year mark. The problem is that her photography business is starting to take off with or without her permission, two of her foster dogs are beginning to feel more like furever pals, and her sexy neighbor Matt may just be the one capable of getting past her barriers. Matt also isn't looking for anything permanent, his mother is having some health scares, he is going to be relocating to Boston very soon, and he is dealing with a P.I. case that may be more than it seems. They may not have time for each other but they definitely need one another.

Due to her health issues and the psychological fear they caused, Cara was a very guarded character which in turn made her a little hard to warm up to. As the reader, I never felt like I was with her in her trials and tribulations but instead a distant observer. The emotion wasn't quite there as Cara kept up her brick wall for a lot of the story. It was through her interactions and banter with Matt that the reader gains a connection. There are a handful of extended scenes where Cara and Matt get to shine and I really began to enjoy the story, I just wish there could have been a little more. Matt started off and was set up to be a very interesting character and again I wished the story could have delved into him more. There was some meat to the tangents dealing with his mother and Marine days but especially with the IED bombing that derailed his career, I wanted it to be ingrained with a longer connection to the story. Instead it’s a kept secret that keeps him guarded, a one night kind of deflating explanation, and then never to be dealt with again. The reader really gets to know Cara and Matt when they are together but there is enough of the story where they are separate to keep from truly embracing them.

There was a lot happening in this book and while all the story threads imposed on the romance at times, they were also very well written and coherently flowed perfectly together. As a dog lover I particularly enjoyed all the dog talk and rescuing shelter and abused boxers; if you're also a fan of doggies then this book should definitely go on your to be read list. I think if the author could have cut one or two of the side stories, Matt's crazy client, his mother's stroke, or Cara trying to rescue the two neglected boxers and substituted it with more Matt and Cara time it would have improved the story immensely. There was also a great deal of starting and stopping kissing between Matt and Cara that reached borderline annoying and felt manipulated; a little throw back to the days of "I want you but I can't possibly have you!".

Overall, Unleashed was an enjoyable read with adorable dogs whose personalities shine through enough to make you wish you could adopt them, a plethora of life issues, and leads that have chemistry when together. Additionally, there are some secondary characters that make enough of a splash, mainly Cara's friend Merry who runs the boxer rescue, to cause some curiosity and make this series worth watching the calendar dates for.
( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Feb 14, 2019 |
Cara had previously been sick, but is anxiously awaiting a ten year cancer-free-and-clear zone. She's been keeping herself from any long-lasting attachments just to be sure no one gets hurt. She wouldn't mind getting to know her sexy neighbor, Matt, better but she knows she's not ready for that yet. Matt has other ideas though and the more he gets to know Cara, the more he wants to spend time with her. She seems to keep finding herself in trouble and Matt always appears out of nowhere to rescue her…and her dogs. He wants to keep being there for her if she'll let him.

Unleashed is adorably sweet and one of the most romantic stories I've read in a while! Matt is the perfect hero, showing Cara tender loving care and some light admonishment for her behavior at times too. Ms. Lacey's plot is sensitive to both humans and animals, making the story interesting and thought provoking, all while engaging us with the hero and heroine's charming romance. Everything wasn't all peaches and cream and real issues came into play with the characters. That made the story very realistic, but enticing at the same time. Unleashed is well-written and Ms. Lacey shows us she's quite a talented author. I anxiously await her next romantic story in this wonderful series! 5 Stars!

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1089788832

http://www.amazon.com/review/R1N8OPK2OMEW2L

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unleashed-rachel-lacey/1119002722?ean=9781455582... ( )
  Bookshellz | Jan 21, 2015 |
I received this book from Edelweiss for the purpose of an honest review. I started this one because I knew it had just been released and I was slow in reviewing it. I was so happy I did. Not only is it set in North Carolina (which I love) but it's a great story. There's a lot going on in this one. You have the romance between Cara and Matt, you have the storyline following dog rescues, and there's an underlying storyline dealing with more. I won't say the more so that you can figure it out on your own. This is book one in the Love the Rescue series. I'm eager to read more in this series! The secondary characters including the dogs and cats are cute and add an extra touch to the story. The setting is realistic and believable. The characters are realistic and engaging. I found this one to be delightful and am eager to read more from Rachel Lacey. I highly recommend this one to any fan of contemporary romance, great characters, a realistic story, and a wonderful cast of animals. You'll fall in love! ( )
  WendyK | Oct 28, 2014 |
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"What happens when you find the right one at the wrong time? Cara Medlen has a serious case of animal attraction. And it's not because of all the foster dogs she's rescued. She's got it bad for her incredibly sexy neighbor. Her one rule: Don't get attached. It's served her well with the dogs she's given to good homes and the children she's nannied. Yet the temptation of Matt's sexy smile might just convince her that some rules are made to be broken. Matt Dumont doesn't need his skills as a private investigator to detect disaster on the horizon. Cara is everything he thought he'd never find-gorgeous, funny, and caring. But there's no way he can start a relationship just as he's about to move to another state. Talk about bad timing. As their attraction sizzles too hot to deny, they'll have to make a decision: forget the consequences and let loose, or forget each other and let go..."--Page 4 of cover.

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