cover image Rescue Me

Rescue Me

Catherine Mann. Berkley Sensation, $7.99 mass market (304p) ISBN 978-0-425-26989

Mann doubles the magic for her marvelous second book in the Second Chance Ranch contemporary series (after Shelter Me). At Second Chance, dogs get a shot at a new life, and the humans who help them incidentally learn to fall in love again. Mary Hannah Gallo, a therapist volunteering at the shelter, struggles with memories of her own miscarriage while supporting her best friend’s pregnancy. Mary Hannah was in rehab for drug abuse when she lost the baby, and since then she has devoted herself to improving her life and helping others. She doesn’t dare get involved with AJ Parker, a former undercover narcotics officer battling burnout, but when AJ starts training a severely abused boxer named Holly, AJ and Mary Hannah keep getting thrown together in a variety of dog-related situations. The scenes in which Holly discovers that the world can be a safe and beautiful place are the most heartwarming in a novel saturated with sweet and touching moments. Mary Hannah and AJ know people make mistakes, and they make deeply admirable efforts to look past each other’s flaws with compassion and understanding. Even humans who aren’t fond of dogs will sob all over this tale of healing and hope. (Feb.)