When I saw the cover of this book and read the description, I was immediately intrigued. I have a dog (a Pomeranian named Helga) and dogs have played an important role in my life since I was a kid. So, to say I am partial to a good dog story is putting it mildly. I was immediately hooked into the story though I did have some qualms about it as the story progressed.
Cora owns her own dog training business. She does great work and she is passionate about working with dogs and people to make sure the dog is comfortable. One of the most fun parts of this book is her encounters with her clients (Fran and her dog, Sydney, were one of my favorite parts of the book!) and how she treats each dog individually. You can clearly tell author Victoria Schade knows her dogs!
Cora is about to take a step out of her comfort zone. She is applying to be part of a dog training reality television show. Though she is unsure about it, she knows she has to show people the proper way to lovingly train dogs and NOT the monstrous way that her Russian dog training nemesis prefers. Add in two potential beaus and well, Cora has a lot on her plate.
Unfortunately, this is where one of my qualms sets in. I would not classify this book as a pure romance. It has strong romantic elements (which is just fine, I read plenty of books like this) but Cora gets involved with a guy who is already involved with someone. Charlie is handsome and sexy and is throwing out all kinds of signals Cora’s way. Unfortunately, he is involved and on the verge of proposing to his girlfriend as he tells Cora. This does not stop her from becoming involved with him. There is kissing and groping and well, cheating is not something I am a fan of in my books. I know perhaps it’s a “human” thing, a motivation for character growth but it really made me dislike Cora and Charlie. The other guy on Cora’s horizon, Eli, is sweet and he is fostering a dog that Cora rescued from an owner unable to care for her any longer. He is a nice guy all around. The choice is obvious. And the thing is, Cora knows it to an extent because her best friend and roommate, Maggie, tells her straight up that it is wrong to get involved with Charlie. Cora blames it on her hormones and being horny which was kind of lame to me.
But I did enjoy many elements of this book overall. I really liked getting to know all these doggy personalities and the owners who went with them. I feel like Cora really does stretch her wings when she applies for the reality television show (you’ll have to read to see how that pans out). And there is a nice forgiveness scene between Cora and Eli. It doesn’t absolve Cora completely (in my eyes) of basically being partner to a cheating scenario but I did appreciate that she tries hard to make amends to Eli once she realizes how much she has come to like and admire him.
So, Life on the Leash is a bit of a mixed bag. But an enjoyable one. It reads really quickly. I raced through this book in one afternoon. I loved the elements of Cora’s personality that shine through (when she talks French to dogs, her constant blushing) and I feel like though I got off on the wrong foot with Cora as a character, in the end, I did like the time I spent with her.
Life on the Leash may be a library book for some of you but I think if you enjoy doggy antics and seeing the dog training side of things (which is integrated really nicely by the way) then this book should be added to your to-be-read pile!
Life on the Leash is available now from your favorite book retailers.
LIFE ON THE LEASH
By Victoria Schade
On sale September 18, 2018!
Trade Paperback • Price: $16.00 • ISBN: 9781501191671
eBook • Price: $7.99 • ISBN: 9781501191688
Cora Bellamy is a woman who thrives on organization. She’s successfully run her own dog training business for years, perfectly content with her beloved rescue pitbull as the main man in her life. She’s given everything to her business, and her lack of social life (or slobber-free clothes) has been completely worth it.
But all that changes when she meets Charlie Gill, the hottest client she’s ever had. The only problem? Charlie’s taken. Luckily, Cora has a new friend—the sweet, lovably geeky Eli Crawford. More loyal than a retriever, he’s always there to help Cora with her problems, including her love life. That’s why she’s shocked to realize that even as things start heating up with Charlie, there might just be a more-than-friends spark between her and Eli, too.
As Cora’s life gets more tangled up than a dog walker’s leashes—and as she prepares to audition for a dog-training TV show that may irrevocably change her entire life—she has to figure things out before it all goes straight to the dogs.
About the Author:
Victoria Schade is an author, speaker and dog trainer known for her upbeat approach to living and working with dogs. She’s published two books, “Bonding With Your Dog; A Trainer’s Secrets for Building a Better Relationship” and “Secrets of a Dog Trainer: Positive Problem Solving for a Well-Behaved Dog.” LIFE ON THE LEASH is her first novel.
She’s a frequent resource for the media, including the CBS Early Show, The View, WEtv, and FOX. Victoria has been featured in The Washington Post, Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple Magazine, Reader’s Digest, The Bark, and many dog-specific publications. She currently serves as a pet expert for petMD and PawCulture, writing training and behavior content and appearing in educational videos.
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