Monday, November 26, 2018

Mutts and Mistletoe by Natalie Cox

Holiday reads have begun!  If you follow the Bookalicious Babe on Facebook, you've seen my previews of some of the holiday books I'll be reading this month. Who can resist dogs on a book cover? Not me. This may be my favorite holiday book cover.

Charlie lives in London, and just broke up with her cheating boyfriend. She plans on spending the week of Christmas hunkered down in her apartment watching her favorite movies and drinking wine. Her plans are drastically changed when a neighbor has a gas explosion; Charlie's apartment is damaged, and she has a concussion. Jez, Charlie's cousin, arrives to whisk her away to the countryside, to stay at Cozy Canine Cottages for a few days, watching over Charlie while she mends. 

Charlie is not a fan of dogs. Or the countryside. And horrors, Jez doesn't have a T.V. Jez's long distance budding relationship with a scientist stationed in Lapland revs up with an opportunity to spend two weeks together. When help to run the doggy daycare falls through, Jez begs Charlie to do it. With just a few dogs to take care of, it will be a snap. Charlie gives in, and decides to stay and be in charge. After all, how hard can it be? Dogs just eat, sleep, and poop, right?

Charlie is charmingly awkward. She's got no clothes with her, so she has to continuously raid her cousin's closet. She's ordered a TV to be delivered so she can watch her planned movies, and stocked the kitchen with frozen pizza and chardonnay. But there is that pesky problem of annoying the local vet Cal (who Charlie calls Bovine Cal), who has blazing blue eyes and really sexy forearms. Charlie just can't seem to get anything right with Cal, who appears randomly at Cozy Canine Cottages and always seems to catch Charlie at her worst moments. 

Jez flies off, and after only one day alone with the dogs Charlie's already taking on more than she should, with sometimes disastrous results. But she's also figuring out that her London life isn't so grand and maybe, just maybe, dogs aren't so bad to be around. 

The dogs in this novel are darling, and all with distinct personalities. I don't want to tell you about them, because I want you to have the delight of discovering these dogs and let them worm their way into your heart like they did mine. I'm a dog lover, and even though I haven't had a dog since my teen years, I hope some day to have one again.  

This is a delightful quick read, with a cast of characters that are charming, and a setting that is not your typical Christmas setting. Sometimes it takes removing yourself from the usual to reveal what really makes you happy. Charlie, Cal, and the doggies of Cozy Canine Cottage get a thumbs up from me!

Rating: 4/6 for a charming holiday novel about being out of your element and finding that's exactly where you want to be. Full of quirky, sweet dogs with personalities ready to melt your heart.You don't have to be a dog lover to enjoy this holiday novel. 

Available in paperback and ebook

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