cover image Once upon a Puppy

Once upon a Puppy

Lizzie Shane. Forever, $8.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-5387-3590-9

Shane returns to Pine Hollow, Vt. (first visited in The Twelve Dogs of Christmas), for a doggone enjoyable contemporary romance. Connor Wyeth’s fiancée dumped him via Post-it note two weeks before their wedding. A year later, the driven lawyer is still coping by burying himself in work, planning to dive back into the dating pool only after he’s made partner. But after Connor adopts Maximus, a 140-pound Irish wolfhound who still thinks he’s a puppy, the dog becomes a wrecking ball to Connor’s well-ordered life, and he turns to shelter volunteer Deenie Mitchell for help. Free-spirited Deenie makes a living planning princess parties for kids when she’s not volunteering or traveling the world. The pair couldn’t be more different, but Deenie agrees to help Connor, both by training Maximus and—after Connor’s bosses express concern about his work/life balance—by posing as his girlfriend at work events. Connor and Deenie’s developing relationship strikes every emotional chord, with irresistible chemistry and realistic speed bumps. The endearing characters will capture readers’ hearts from the first page, and a subplot about Deenie’s aunt, who has Alzheimer’s disease, is especially well handled. It’s hard not to fall in love with this spirited tale. [em]Agent: Michelle Grajkowski, 3 Seas Literary. (June) [/em]