cover image Head Over Paws

Head Over Paws

Debbie Burns. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $7.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-4926-7287-6

The heartwarming fifth entry in Burns’s contemporary Rescue Me series (after Love at First Bark) sees man’s best friend play Cupid. Olivia Graham gave up her dream of being a veterinarian for a career as a middle school math teacher, but she still volunteers as a driver for an animal shelter in the St. Louis suburbs. When her car breaks down mid-assignment, handsome vet Gabe Wentworth is sent to pick her up, and they wind up working together to free a dog trapped by a flood. The shelter takes in the dog, Morgan, who functions as an intermediary between the hesitant couple, bonding them together despite their romantic hang-ups . Quiet Gabe was hurt by his previous girlfriend, and Olivia broke off her engagement, leaving them both simultaneously eager to pursue a relationship but nervous about commitment. This staid but pleasant story features plenty of winsome canine characters and some realistic discussions about the compromises necessary to make a relationship work. Burns is sure to win over dog lovers and fans of Kristan Higgins and Jill Shalvis. Agent: Jessica Watterson, Sandra Dijkstra Literary. (May)