Monday, October 30, 2023

Book Review: Chasing Dreams at Wagging Tails Dogs' Home


By Sara Steven

After a difficult break-up, Poppy is keen to put the past behind her and what’s better than some relaxing time with her aunt in the picturesque Cornish village of West Par. Life at her aunt Flora’s Dogs’ Home is anything but relaxing. When a poor little pup is stranded at the gates, Poppy takes them for a check up at the local vet, hoping against hope they'll be fine. And there she meets the vet who is so charming and experienced with the dogs, but selfish and – dare she say it – money-grabbing with his clients. But underneath that cold exterior, she's sure there's more to the story. If only she could convince him to open up. Because without him, the future of Wagging Tails isn't so assured… (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

I love the Wagging Tails series! Having read the first book, The Wagging Tails Dogs’ Home (reviewed here), I was excited to learn more about another character who is connected to this rescue. Poppy is Flora’s niece and can recall good times spent with her aunt, moments and memories that really helped to give Poppy a solid foundation in life when she felt she needed it the most. It’s what propels her to return to the Dogs’ Home, in order to in some ways, find herself again. I thought it was interesting that we learn more about the close relationship she shares with her aunt, a motherly figure who has always provided and taken care of her, yet now, it’s Poppy who comes to her aunt’s rescue, a change in familial responsibility. 

Along the way Poppy familiarizes herself with the other members of the Dogs’ Home, many of which she remembers as fixtures of her childhood. I thought that was a nice touch, aiding in Poppy’s need to find a place to grow roots. The Dogs' Home has always had arrangements with local vet clinics in order to provide for the animals, by way of reduced medical treatments and medicine. Yet the head vet at one clinic in particular has moved on, with the new vet (Mack) refusing to budge on offering any additional assistance or price breaks for the Dogs' Home. I could completely relate with how frustrated Poppy feels towards Mack. The reasons behind Mack’s choices are easily explained, but I sided with Poppy on this one.

When Flora finds herself in dire straits, it only adds to the tension between Poppy and Mack. Despite how wonderful he could potentially seem beneath the surface, it’s hard to overlook the steps that have led to Flora’s predicament. Poppy is often torn between pummeling Mack, and kissing him, an interesting juxtaposition. The budding romance between the two of them was simplistically sweet and adorable, and it was fun to see where it might lead, all things considered. I enjoyed the romantic angle, but the one I was more drawn to was the tight bond between Poppy and Flora. The role reversal between the two of them, with Flora needing to learn to accept help, and Poppy stepping in and doing what she feels she needs to do for her loved one, was pure magic. 

I liked this book just as much as I enjoyed the first one–I’m a huge animal lover, and this really hit the spot with fulfilling my need to see sweet animals loved and provided for, while also getting a taste of romance as well as familial bonds. It was a worthy five-star addition!

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Sarah Hope is the author of many successful romance novels, including the bestselling Cornish Bakery series.

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1 comment:

penney said...

Great review thank you