Title: I Heart Boston Terriers
Author: Rick Reed
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A guest review by Sirius.
Summary: Beautiful and very satisfying short story about man and dog finding each other and love along the way.
Love at first sight can work for dogs as well as humans.
When Aaron finds Mavis, an emaciated and timid Boston terrier, at a pet adoption fair, his heart goes out to her—irrevocably.
When Christian, who is manning the adoption fair for the Humane Society that fateful autumn Saturday, finds Aaron, his heart goes out to him—irrevocably.
I Heart Boston Terriers is all about embracing love, whether it’s for someone who walks on four legs, or someone who walks on two. The Boston terrier Mavis’ journey back to wholeness and finding her forever home runs parallel to the story of two men discovering one another at just that perfect moment—a moment that defies logic, propriety, and common sense.
But then when do the dictates of love follow a rational course?
Come along for a journey about a man and his dog and see how that journey teaches him the truth about love and making a caring connection that just might last a lifetime.
This is only my second story by Rick Reed and overall I really liked it, but I had some niggles with it as well.
The blurb basically gives you the gist of it; we get to see how Aaron’s desire to give Mavis a home eventually makes him a better person and helps him find love. I really liked how Rick Reed wrote a very emotional story, but at the same time avoided an overabundance of angst in it. I shed a tear or two when I “met” Mavis for the first time and got to think back about abused animals in real life and that it means a lot when we can help even one dog or cat, or any abused rescued animal. But “Mavis the dog” as a character in the book really came alive on the pages and she just felt so warm, so real, so alive that I think l fell in love with her myself. I liked how Aaron showed the better qualities of his character when he decided to take Mavis home, but more importantly when he showed the desire to continue taking care of her.
I also thought that the connection between Aaron and Christian, while fast, felt very believable and genuine. I thought it was a very smart choice to make Christian a person who loves and cares about abused dogs so much, and it was as if Mavis was literally bringing those guys together and helping them to find love for each other. As I type, I can’t help but wonder whether I am describing a Hallmark Special, but no, it wasn’t.
The conflict of the story has Mavis front and center, and while it also felt very realistic to me, the so called “villain” of the story was my main niggle. It is not that I do not realize that those things do happen and people unfortunately do react that way in real life, but it is a 360 switch in this character’s behavior that made me scratch my head a little bit. At the same time Aaron’s doubts, which are connected with his very real living situation, seemed appropriate and again added a realistic touch to the story.
Of course it all ends well and I was grateful for that. Mavis was just too adorable and I wanted her to have her happy ending. I love that cover by the way.