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Puppy Love

by Lucy Gilmore

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Forever Home (Gilmore) (1)

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353572,088 (3.68)None
When Sophie Vasquez and her sisters dreamed up Puppy Promise--their service puppy training school--it was supposed to be her chance to bring some good into the world. But how can she expect to do anything when no one will take her seriously? Enter Harrison Parks: a rough, gruff, take-no-bull wildlife firefighter in need of a diabetic service dog. He couldn't be a more unlikely fit for Sophie or Bubbles--the sweet Pomeranian she knows will be his perfect partner--but when Sophie insists he give them both a shot, something unexpected happens: he listens. Even better, he keeps on listening, even as Sophie and Bubbles turn his lonely, uber-masculine world upside-down. As it turns out, they all have something to prove and more than enough room in their hearts for a little puppy love.--… (more)
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sweet ( )
  Janicemo | Oct 23, 2020 |
Sophie Vasquez and her sisters run Puppy Promise, a service puppy training organization. (I would be much happier about this if they weren't presented as placing the service dogs as puppies. Organization-trained service dogs are rarely placed before two years old. Being "fully trained" means having the discipline and impulse control to behave properly in public. Don't bet on this before at least 18 months.)

That complaint aside, Gilmore does present Sophie as a capable dog trainer.

In this case, she's assigned to get Harrison Parks, wildfire firefighter, trained and bonded with his new diabetic alert service dog, a Pomeranian.

Harrison Parks is, not surprisingly, highly resistant to the idea that his service dog will be a little ball of fluff with a really good nose. He thinks he needs a truly manly dog, like a Great Dane or an English bulldog.

Harrison has been told he won't be doing anymore wildfire firefighting until he has a working service dog, after he went into a diabetic coma on a training exercise. Since this is what he lives for, that's a problem, and it means he's going to accept the Pom, Bubbles. After a struggle, of course, but he's going to accept her. The getting there, though, will be difficult, for him and for Sophie.

Sophie has had her own health issues, chiefly a long struggle with leukemia until a bone marrow transplant cured her. Now, her main struggle is with her sisters' and mother's determination to shield her from everything hard. Sophie isn't willing to accept this coddling that she doesn't need.

It's a well-done conflict, and a convincingly developed attraction and growing relationship, with the broader family relationships also well done. Recommended--but not for those who will be too frustrated by the idea of puppies being placed as actual, working service dogs.

I bought this audiobook. ( )
  LisCarey | Feb 16, 2020 |
Harrison Parks has been sidelined due to his diabetes. After lapsing into a diabetic coma while on the job, his boss demands he find a service dog that can alert him when his blood sugar is low. When he goes to the service center where the dogs are located, he is thinking that he will get a big, husky dog. Instead, Harrison walks out with a Pomeranian. The little female dog is nervous from the start. Nervous and clingy,

The woman who runs the center, Puppy Promise, Sophie Vasquez, needs to train Harrison and the dog, Bubbles. Not only does Sophie have a huge job ahead of her, she has to contend with her family, who are rather overprotective. This comes to no surprise, because Sophie was very ill with leukemia as a child.

Meanwhile, Harrison wants to get back out in the field. When this happens depends on how well he and Bubbles work together. It certainly doesn't come easy. However, the adjustment period is indicative of this example: The very first night, Harrison is trying to put Bubbles to bed. So, he sets up pillows at the edge of the mattress. After all, he thinks, babies roll, so puppies must roll too. But then Harrison worries that the pillows might suffocate the dog. So, on the very first night Bubbles sleeps on his chest. This is the beginning of an incredible bonding experience between man and his dog.

The way Harrison treats Bubble is in complete contrast to his personality. On the job, while training, he is tough as nails, even making grown men cry. Also, due to his health, and his experience with his mother, which is explored in the story, he has a wall around his heart. It was a true pleasure while reading this book to see both Bubbles and Sophie melt Harrison's heart.

This debut novel by Lucy Gilmore truly hits the mark. It is a warm romance, but also one that deals with some sensitive issues. As mentioned, Harrison's diabetes and how serious it is, and also Lucy's past illness and how she has worked hard to make her life er own. This book is balanced quite well, because the serious moments are interspersed with moments that will truly make you laugh out loud.

I am thrilled to have read Puppy Love and I look forward to the next book in the series, which is Puppy Christmas, due in September. Then there is Puppy Kisses, release date TBA.

Many thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion. ( )
  RobinLovesReading | Oct 25, 2019 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lucy Gilmoreprimary authorall editionscalculated
Sweet, LaurenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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When Sophie Vasquez and her sisters dreamed up Puppy Promise--their service puppy training school--it was supposed to be her chance to bring some good into the world. But how can she expect to do anything when no one will take her seriously? Enter Harrison Parks: a rough, gruff, take-no-bull wildlife firefighter in need of a diabetic service dog. He couldn't be a more unlikely fit for Sophie or Bubbles--the sweet Pomeranian she knows will be his perfect partner--but when Sophie insists he give them both a shot, something unexpected happens: he listens. Even better, he keeps on listening, even as Sophie and Bubbles turn his lonely, uber-masculine world upside-down. As it turns out, they all have something to prove and more than enough room in their hearts for a little puppy love.--

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