Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Book Review: A Fresh Start at the Wagging Tails Dogs' Home

By Sara Steven

There’s no place like home… Although dog trainer Sally is relatively new to Wagging Tails, the team she works with have quickly become her family and the dogs her friends.

But when Andy, the one that got away, turns up for a brief respite from the city, she is at a crossroads. As tempting as a life with him is, she loves her home of West Par, and anyway, she has responsibilities here.

Number one on that list is ensuring the dogs' home stays in business. A developer has been sniffing around wanting to buy the land, and the team is worried.

Sally will do anything to save her home and her friends’ livelihoods but the lure of reuniting with her lost love is strong. Is there a way for her to have both?
(Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

The Wagging Tails book series can be summed up in one word: cozy. It’s why I’ve read every single book. And this go around, we get to see the world from Sally’s perspective. Sally used to live a more mainstream lifestyle, with a background in legalities, but there was something magical about West Par and Wagging Tails. The opportunity to work with dogs and to open up her own business as a dog trainer feels like a dream come true–so much so, that the life she used to live can get to feeling like it is a distant memory lived by someone else. Until she runs into her ex-boyfriend, Andy.

Her former world and her current one collides in an instant, bringing back a lot of past pain and heaps of regret. There is a reason she considers him as the one who got away. It was sweet to see how the two characters cautiously work towards trying to bridge the gap in their relationship, but at the same time, Andy’s behaviors are odd and at times, off putting. When they are spending time together, he receives phone calls that cut their time short. It always feels like there’s something more he wants to tell Sally, but he never seems to get it out–only to assure her that things are fine, even though she knows it can’t be true. 

Has he truly forgiven her for the past? It weighs heavily on Sally. Not to mention the recent drama with a developer who stops at nothing to try to convince the owner of Wagging Tails to sell. As the chapters unfold, the future of Wagging Tails becomes a real concern. Sally and the crew will do everything they can to ensure the safety and security of their beloved dogs’ home–I really loved the surprise birthday party they threw for one of their own, and the callback to some of the familiar dogs I remember from other books in this series. It was a really nice touch, and helped to show just how important it is to save this home! 

There were many different factors and themes at play within A Fresh Start at Wagging Tails Dogs’ Home. The need for security and trust–no matter the type of relationship you’re in. Solidifying what truly makes YOU happy, even if it might not make sense or meet the approval of others. And doing all you can for those you love and cherish, whether those you loved come in human or canine form. This was a great addition to the Wagging Tails book series–a definite five-star read!

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

See Sara's reviews for the other books in this series:
The Wagging Tails Dogs' Home
Chasing Dreams at Wagging Tails Dogs' Home

Sarah Hope has been dreaming up stories ever since she was a child. She remembers many a family stroll when she’d daydream up her next story adventure.

As an adult, she prefers to write romance novels and novellas with a Happy Ever After ending. She has two main romance series, the Escape To... series that focuses on single mums taking a chance and fulfilling their career dreams as well as finding love, and The Cornish Bakery series, that follows a busy bakery in a beautiful fictional bay in Cornwall.

Sarah lives in Central England with her two children and an array of pets and enjoys escaping to the seaside at any opportunity.

She has also written some women’s fiction books.

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