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Puppy Love

Forever Home #1

by Lucy Gilmore

No matter the job, no matter the need

These service dogs in training will always fall in love at first bark.

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.

I think my favorite part (outside of Harrison’s love for Bubbles) is how these two managed to see the true person underneath the other’s skin.  Harrison is gruff and not a very good people person, but he’s got a big heart and a strong sense of dedication.  He was raised by a man who wasn’t much for softness but that didn’t mean he wasn’t loved.  Unfortunately, it means that, combined with his size, he tends to be a bit gruff and intimidating.

There’s something about Harrison that brings out the best (or worst) in Sophie from their first meeting.  Sick as a young child, she’s spent her life being taken care of and, even now, coddled.  Only Harrison doesn’t have a clue what her past was like, so he just sees a spitfire who is willing to give him a little grief over a puppy.  It’s so appealing to her to have someone treat her like she’s strong, and having seen something more under all that crustiness, that she can’t help but be drawn to Harrison.

These two going at each other (in a bit of verbal foreplay) is such a hoot.  Left alone, they rub sparks of all kinds and start to develop a certain amount of respect & understanding that just heightens their attraction.  Throw in an adorable ball of fluff and Gilmore definitely delivers a ton of entertainment for her readers.