Monday, August 25, 2014

Book Review: Shelter Me

Shelter Me (Second Chance Ranch, #1)Author: Catherine Mann
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Berkley
Series: Second Chance Ranch # 1

From USA Today bestselling author Catherine Mann comes this beautiful, heartwarming novel about a returning military officer, the daughter of his fallen commander, and a very special dog with a mission. For fans of Jill Shalvis and Susan Mallery.

Nestled in the sunny fields of Tennessee lies the McDaniel family’s Second Chance Ranch Animal Rescue. Two new arrivals are on their way, but only one is the four-legged kind.

Staff Sergeant Mike Kowalski wants only one thing after he gets home from Iraq: to sleep in a king-sized bed with clean sheets. But first, he has to hand off his fallen commander’s dog, Trooper, to his family without handing off his heart to Sierra…

Sierra McDaniel needs a break. Her family life is crazy, and when she’s not mucking out kennels, she’s slogging through grad school. Sierra certainly doesn’t want another dog, especially one that reminds her of her father. And she definitely doesn’t want to see Mike with that charming smile of his…

But Trooper has a mission of his own. Before too long Mike is moving to the ranch to lend a hand—and hoping for his own second chance with Sierra.

As if there weren’t already enough reminders of her dead dad. She blinked back tears. Was it so wrong to want some part of her life that wasn’t military issued and full of good-byes?

Sierra. The daughter of his mentor. Off-limits. Untouchable. And total Kryptonite to a man who’s spent twelve long months dreaming of her citrusy scent to escape the pungent stench of war.

Kneeling, she offered her hand for the dog to sniff before stroking his head. Her eyes glazed with unshed tears, but her ease with the strange dog was unmistakable. Her mom had a Dr. Dolittle gift.

Shelter Me was an emotional surprise for me, but a good one. Trooper, a four-legged loveable character, is on his way home from Afghanistan in order to be with the McDaniel family. Trooper lost his owner, Allen, in Afghanistan and now the family needs him to help heal and mourn the loss. Staff Sergeant Mike Kowalski’s ultimate goal is to return Trooper to his rightful place and to get back home to his own place as well. It is then that we learn the past between Mike and Sierra, our hero and heroine. Sierra and Mike dated before Mike left for Afghanistan and neither of them are ready for the feelings that are obviously trying to surface between them. Little do they know, Trooper the rescue dog has a plan of his own.

Sierra McDaniel has a lot on her plate. She is an ambitious character and this is what I loved most about her. She was, without a doubt, my favorite. She was dealing with her father’s death, attending grad school, and all while trying to help out at her mom’s animal rescue. Sierra is a character worth following. She has true grit and determination when it comes to all the things going on in her life. She really struggled with the idea of letting Mike in again and it was nice to watch her go through those emotions and really take the time to discover what was best for her. Her character was well-developed and truly a believable one.

This story is an emotional one. It is not only Sierra and Mike’s story but it’s a story of Sierra’s entire family and of Trooper, Allen’s trusted companion. I usually hate books that make me cry, but this was much needed and the message behind this book was all too powerful. I later found out that this is going to be a series and the next book is set to release in January. It looks just as charming and as endearing as this one was and I highly recommend to any and every one. This is a story of more than just romance, but of real, solid, everlasting relationships as well.

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Berkley in exchange for my honest review***

1 comment:

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