What they say: Four little words, uttered by her husband…
‘Oh my god,’ he gasped into her shoulder. ‘Shannon!’
There’s just one problem: her name isn’t Shannon.
Rewind six months and Scarlett and Rufus aren’t in the honeymoon stage anymore so much as the honey-should-we-bother phase. Desperate to get their sparkle back, Scarlett has plotted, planned and waxed more than any woman should have to, but none of it is working. Which makes it very hard to start the family they want.
At least her business is going strong, even if her marriage isn’t. She and her best friend spend their days tangled up in dog leads and covered in fur. Scarlett/ is the fairy dogmother, training hopeless pets like compulsive eater Barkley, impulsive Romeo Murphy and bossy Biscuit. Meanwhile, her best friend walks the dogs and pines for the man who doesn’t know she exists. Thank goodness the women have each other.
If only Scarlett could work out how to get her marriage back on track. But Rufus isn’t sharing his feelings with her. He is, though, sharing with her best friend. Her best friend, Shannon.
The Review: First off let me direct to previous books by this author that I’ve reviewed here and let me tell you I didn’t actually realise she had so many books out and they cover so much from romance to comedy to romantic comedy that I think you’d be hard pressed not to find something you’d love in her repertoire! But, as usual, I digress.
I have to admit when I a) saw this cover and b) heard that the book was by Michele Gorman aka Lilly Bartlett, I did a little happy dance (I actually truly do these. Yes! In real life!) and agreed straight away to review this, a book choc full of dogs!!!
So of course the whole story isn’t about dogs, this is the story of Scarlett and her best friend Shannon (both tell us the story in third person in the book. Actually my only issue at all was for some reason my dense head couldn’t move from Scarlett to Shannon for the first half of the book because both their names began with the same letter. This does seem a really dumb thing to nitpick over, but I was flummoxed at times and I was a little bit gutted as it took over from a read that was totally my thing and that I beyond enjoyed) and the man in the middle, Rufus.
Scarlett and Rufus are trying for a baby but the strain of it is starting to show and Rufus seems to be getting fed up of it all while Scarlett is trying to handle the stress by herself. I loved the way the infertility was dealt with and really felt for both of them, feeling sorry for each in equal measures. In the midst of all of this is their mutual best friend Shannon, who isn’t fully in the know as to what is going on, but is getting some of it and trying not to take sides. There is then of course the love interests. Shannon is pining over a guy she sees most days who she’s never spoken to, while the introduction of characters through Scarlett’s work made me fearful for whether Scarlett’s marriage would actually take the test it was being put through, or if there was another guy on the horizon.
Of course by now I still haven’t spoken about the dogs!! Scarlett is a dog trainer. I loved meeting the animals and their owners, a slight caveat, there is a lot of them, so people who don’t like a ton of characters need to beware, but I felt I definitely got to know them as the book went on, really rooting for some of them (look out for Margaret!!) The comedy was nicely done, with a fair few smiles along the way (of course, it being doggy related!) I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it’s very much recommended. Thanks to the author for the book in return for an honest review.
About the author
Lilly Bartlett’s cosy romcoms are full of warmth, quirky characters and guaranteed happily-ever-afters.
Lilly is the pen-name of Sunday Times and USA Today best-selling author, Michele Gorman, who writes best friend-girl power comedies under her own name.