Friday, June 18, 2021

Book Review: Lost, Found, and Forever

By Sara Steven

Justine Becker could not be more in love with her rescue dog, Spencer. He's her best friend and colleague at her dog supply store, Tricks & Biscuits, in upstate New York. When she discovers a heartbreaking social media post trying to locate a dog that looks suspiciously like Spencer, Justine realizes that her beloved pup might actually belong to someone else.

Her worst fears are realized when she and Spencer meet up with Brooklyn-based Griffin McCabe, and he wants Spencer back. He claims he is the dog's rightful owner, and has the paperwork to prove it. But Justine refuses to roll over and let him take Spencer without a fight.

It's not easy juggling Spencer's burgeoning new career as a dog actor, along with the demands of her life upstate, all while constantly trying to prove she's a better pet parent than Griffin. Their not-so-friendly competition teeters on the edge of flat-out hate, so when romantic feelings for Griffin catch Justine off guard, she needs to determine if it's all part of his plot to win the pup back, or if the guy who was good enough for Spencer might also be good enough for her. (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

Lost, Found and Forever offered me so much more than what I had anticipated. To be honest, I didn’t read the synopsis before digging in, and I figured it would be an adorable read because it centers around an adorable dog. However, I didn’t know that I’d end up on a roller coaster ride of emotions, starting when Justine faces potentially losing her beloved fur baby, Spencer.

Griffin lost his own beloved dog, Leo, which is traumatic enough. But when he finds out that his best friend is alive and well and has been recently adopted by Justine, it turns into a conundrum. Who does the dog truly belong to? In the moments between Justine and Griffin, where they are battling it out and trying to top one another in order to secure the ownership of Spencer--or is it Leo?--, I felt a lot of nervous energy. I could only imagine what it would feel like to go through something like that with one of my own pets, and it’s hard to know for sure who the dog should truly belong to. 

On top of that, Spencer has not only become an important part of Justine’s life, but he’s also become a lifeline. Having recently gone through events that created PTSD, losing Spencer would mean more to Justine than merely losing a beloved pet. It doesn’t help that she’s beginning to see the good parts to Griffin, too, only adding to the confusion. Is he someone she can trust? Or, is it all in the name of pet ownership?

Once I started in on Lost, Found, and Forever, I had a tough time putting it down. At nearly every turn, there was a heightened moment that kept me on edge and kept me guessing as to what decisions Justine would go with, and if Griffin would become a friend, or more, to her. If there could be some way to reach harmony, even in a tough situation where the right choice isn’t an easy one to make. Justine’s story was a delightful surprise, well worth the five stars I’ve given it!

Thanks to Berkley for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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