Title: Caring for Riggs (Love Off Leash)
Author: Bonnie Dee
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: May 15, 2017
Page Count: 99 pages
Reviewed by: Lili
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Love dogs and smoking hot men? The Love Off Leash series is for you. Different authors. Unrelated stories. Shared theme of new love and pets.
Love, loss and finding a forever home.
After years abroad, Kyle Skelton returns to New York to plan his grandfather’s funeral. Weighed down by guilt about neglecting the prickly old man who once looked after him, Kyle is determined to find a good home for Gramps’s senior dog. The last thing he needs as he confronts his complicated past is the distraction of the handsome next door neighbor who’s been taking care of Riggs.
Darrell Baines is prepared to despise his neighbor’s grandson on sight. He believes this stranger is only interested in valuable things Vince may have left behind. But after witnessing the renewed bond between Kyle and Riggs and learning more about the unhappy teenager who fled New York years earlier, Darrell’s hard stance softens. It’s easier to forgive when Kyle is heaping blame on himself.
Darrell is almost too comfortable in his quiet routine, while Kyle has never found a place that felt like home. As these opposites walk their dogs together, unexpected friendship grows. A late night adventure adds passionate fuel to the fire, but Kyle is only passing through so a chance for anything more than a fling seems impossible.
When Kyle’s never-met father arrives for the funeral and Rigg’s health takes a turn for the worse, Kyle’s emotional turmoil reaches critical mass. Will his fragile new bond with Darrell be the powerful lifeline he has always needed?
I was so excited to see a new Contemporary by Bonnie Dee! She’s the author of one of my favorites M/F Contemporary Romance Novels Finding Home, so when I saw Caring for Riggs come up, I jumped at the chance to review, and so glad I did! Caring for Riggs is the story of Kyle who left everything behind including his Gramps at a young age. He’d always told himself that he’d come back but never did until fate forced his hand. His grandpa had passed away alone with his elderly dog, Riggs. When he returned, he met his Gramps’ neighbor Darrell. Darrell had taken over helping Gramps and Riggs and harbored some resentment towards Kyle for not being there for his grandpa. What ensues is an emotional story of forgiveness, second chances, and new beginnings.
What I loved:
-The story hooked right from the get go. Sometimes it takes a few pages to feel the story and writing out before settling in, but I was able to jump right in.
-Dogs. If I see a dog on a cover chances are I will stop and read the blurb.
-Relationship development. For a novella, Kyle and Darrell’s relationship was exceptionally written. We felt their attraction, we saw them get to know each other, and we saw their connection in and out of the bedroom.
-No contrived drama. This emotional story was surprisingly low angst and had a slice of life feel to it. Though be warned- there will be tears!!!
-It also made me think. It made reevaluate my turbulent relationship with my father. If something were to happen… how would I feel about not having been a part of his life… and things of that nature.
-The end. I’m a sucker for a great epilogue, and this was a goodie! I love when we’re given glimpses into couple’s future and this one well, I don’t want to spoil, but I’ll say it made me teary.
All in all, I give Caring for Riggs to enthusiastic thumbs up. It’s hard to deliver a full story in under 100 pages, and Bonnie Dee did just that. She gave us a beautifully written novella about family and love. 4 Stars.