Reviewed by Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
Mitchell Brannigan is a veterinarian whose love of animals led to his opening a shelter for animals in need of a forever home. Unable to turn away an animal in need he finds himself at his maximum and needs to find homes for some of his animals before he runs out of room. When a knock on his door is an officer telling him that a complaint was made by his new neighbor who moved in with his infant daughter about the barking.
Beau Pfister made a promise to his best friend that if anything ever happened to her he would accept guardianship of her infant daughter Jessica, three months old. Of course, Beau expected that to never happen and if it did it would be far in the future but a drunk driver made him a single father with no experience in dealing with children, especially infants but his love for his new daughter caused him to learn fast.
Mitchell decided to knock on his new neighbor’s door and explain his situation and when the door opened, he came face to face with a man that he immediately wanted to know better. Beau apologized for complaining but the lack of sleep and the fact that Jessica would fall asleep only to wake up when the dogs began to bark frustrated him and he did something he never would have normally done. When Mitchell explained about his shelter, Beau was interested and the two men envisioned something more between them. Unfortunately, both men were carrying a lot of baggage since they were both in abusive relationships that left them afraid of making another mistake.
Beau adopts one of Mitchell’s dogs, a little chihuahua mix named Randi who, seeing Jessica, immediately becomes her guardian. Randi is small with a big heart and a lot of courage when it comes to protecting Jessica. Beau, Mitchell, Jessica and little Randi become close but still the two men hold back, the scars from abuse are not easy to remove and trust becomes hard. Then trouble starts, Randi is poisoned, both Beau and Mitchell feel that they are being watched and of course their ex’s immediately come to mind, Beau’s ex is still around and Mitchell’s has been gone for years but someone is sending a message, who is the question, and who is not something I will reveal.
I know that many people think that it is women who are abused and that men would just fight back but this story opens your eyes to the fact that abuse can happen to anyone and the scars are just as deep with men as with women. I, like millions of other people have seen the commercials about abused animals and the terrible conditions they live in but Mr. Grey brought a voice to this abuse when he explained the situation that caused each of Mitchell’s dogs to come to his shelter.
This was a beautiful story of overcoming abuse, of two men who each want to be in a loving relationship and have to put the past in the past. It also was a story that broke my heart when I came to see what a human can do to an innocent animal who just wants to be loved and loved back.