Opposites attract when a straitlaced lawyer and whimsical party planner must fake-date as co-parents of a rambunctious Irish wolfhound in the second book of this im-paw-ssibly charming small-town romance series. Connor Wyeth has a plan for everything. But when he adopts Maximus, an unruly Irish wolfhound mix, he gets more than he bargained for. If he doesn't act fast, the big dopey mutt is going to destroy his house. The only person Max ever listens to is the volunteer who used to walk him at the shelter—a perennially upbeat woman whose day job is planning princess parties for little kids. Connor couldn't ever imagine that she'd be able to tame such a beast as Max, but he's desperate enough to try anything. Deenie Mitchell isn't looking forward to spending more time with uptight, rules-oriented Connor—no matter how attractive he is. But when her sister announces her engagement, Deenie realizes he's the perfect person to impress her type-A family. When she learns he needs a plus-one for his law firm's work events, an unlikely alliance is formed. But as they play the perfect couple, the friendship—and the feelings—that are forming start to feel all too real. Opposites may attract, but can the man with a plan for everything and the misfit who makes her own rules ever find common ground?
Shane returns to Pine Hollow, Vt. (first visited in The Twelve Dogs of Christmas), for a doggone enjoyable contemporary romance. Connor Wyeth's fianc e 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. \n
Opposites attract + puppy
After loving first book in this series, The Twelve Dogs of Christmas, I was happy to return to Pine Hollow to follow up on the lives of the dogs (and their newly adopted owners) that were introduced in that book. This second book in the series focuses on Ally's best friend, Deenie, a free spirit who is temporarily in town to spend time with her great aunt, and Connor, a slick, workaholic corporate lawyer, who adopted Maximus, a goofy, untrained, 140-lb part Irish wolfhound at the end of the first book (mainly after being goaded into doing so by Deenie).
Predictably, it's not going very well for Connor or Maximus. After a training session in which Deenie subs for the regular dog obedience instructor, Connor gets the brilliant idea of hiring her for private lessons with Maximus. The only problem is that Deenie and Connor have clashed from the moment they met due to Connor's buttoned up, hyper-organized approach to life vs. Deenie's free spirited, travel oriented one.
As they spend more time together, Deenie's laid back attitude works its magic on both Maximus and Connor. After getting into a fake relationship to appease her family and the partners in his law firm, they inevitably give in to their attraction and end up in a relationship for real, the only question is how will they resolve the basic conflict in their opposite approaches to life?
As in the first book, the main characters were both likable and relatable, there was plenty of doggie action (mainly Maximus, but some of the others pups make appearances also), and the story was sweet and heartwarming. The next book looks like it will feature Elinor, the librarian, and Levi, the police chief and I'm looking forward to it. Although I'd recommend reading the first book since it was so great, this book does stand alone and it would be easy to jump in here. My thanks to Netgalley for an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions in this review are my own.