Saturday, 9 January 2010

Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts by Lucy Dillon

*****
Rachel's aunt leaves her a house, a kennel business that takes more abandoned dogs than paying guests and Gem the Border Collie.  It's not a good time for Rachel, she's just split from her gorgeous boyfriend, given up her fabulous PR job and flat, she's nearly forty and is not a dog person!
Aunt Dot had a magical way of matching rescued dogs with their new owners but it's not just the dogs that need help.  As she gets on with things and tries to move on, Rachel finds that that there was also more to her aunt than either she or her family knew.
Zoe’s ex-husband gives the children a puppy, but she's the one mopping up the puddles! Bill the doctor can't find the perfect woman then meets Lulu the poodle, whilst his friend Johnny and Natalie are trying for a baby, but will they find a four-legged friend to substitute?
So that's the overview...what did I think?  I loved it!  It's a cliche, but it is a heartwarming, caring book to snuggle up with.  Reminded me a bit of Katie Fforde, which isn't a surprise as it's her comment on the cover!  The cover itself is very pretty (sadly, I do often judge a book by its cover, at least until I've reached page 50!) and made me pick it up off the pile of TBR a lot quicker than some of the other less attractive ones which have permanent squatting rights on my spare bedroom floor.
As I read more and more chick-lit (and get older!) I find I prefer slightly older heroines who have lived a bit, have a sorted professional lfe but are still a bit of disaster in their personal life. (Any similarities?!!)  Rachel starts off as quite awkward and spiky but quickly softens, especially as her relationship with George develops.  George is a lovely character (despite the red trousers) and just my type...if only!
The other characters link well and are just as engaging.  Zoe the single mum coping with her difficult ex, two boys and a leaky lab pup is realistic and equally clueless.  Bill the doctor seemed a bit one dimensional at first but grew on me by the end.  Johnny and Natalie fit many stereotypes of the professional couple struggling for a baby, but I can forgive that as it was so well written.  Couldn't quite love Bertie the Basset as much as everyone else, but he's written with real affection (the author has one!).  My only wish is that I found out more about Megan, she had the potential to do more, but maybe that's another story.
I enjoyed The Ballroom Class, but thought this was better.  I would highly recommend it!