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Pug Actually By Matt Dunn

Pug Actually‘Pug Actually’ is the latest book by Matt Dunn.

Loyal rescue pug Doug wants his adoring owner Julie to find unconditional love and happiness – and he knows she won’t find either in the arms of Luke, her married boss. Doug is terrified that Julie will become a lonely cat-lover if she stays single too long, but he can’t let her fall for any more of Luke’s empty promises. Julie needs to move on – and Doug is convinced that Tom, a newly divorced V-E-T, is perfect for her (despite his questionable occupation). There’s just one problem: Julie and Tom can’t stand each other. Doug doesn’t quite understand the quirks and complexities of human relationships, but he won’t let that get in the way of his mission to bring Tom and Julie together. After all, being a ‘rescue’ works both ways.

It’s been a while since I’ve had the delight of reading a book by Matt Dunn. So when I was offered a chance to read his latest book, I jumped at the chance.

The story is seen solely through the narrative of Doug, a rescued Pug who has a good instinct and sense of smell. He loves his owner Julie and dislikes her boyfriend, a married man called Luke who’s just stringing Julie along and when they finally break up. Doug is delighted as this is the perfect time for Julie to find someone else and uses his match making skills to pair Julie up with a man called Tom and even though he’s a V-E-T, Doug thinks they’re perfect for each other.

I adored this book, it’s a cute and quirky love story that instantly brought a smile to my face. Having the narrative seen through the eyes of a Pug made for adorable reading as we saw the world through this tiny dogs’ eyes and how he wanted to put his owners world to right. He’s witty, fun and always up for a walk even when his little legs are tired. I loved how he saw the goodness in Tom and confronted his fear of the vets as well as getting himself attacked purely for Julie to spend some time with Tom.

I liked Julie, she lacked confidence and didn’t see herself worthy of love or full time relationships and was content with the short morsels that Luke threw at, she finds solace in drink and it was lovely to see her grow in confidence and begin to warm to Tom. Luke was extremely dislikable and I loved Doug’s interactions with Luke as their dislike was evident from the very start. The story doesn’t just focus on Julie’s relationships but also her dad’s, who’s also still grieving the wife he lost many years ago.

It was lovely to sink back in a book by Matt as his books always bring a smile to my face and they are so cleverly written. upbeat story about love, moody cats and a kind Pug called Doug, ‘Pug Actually’ is a pawsome story that was deliciously fun and filled with warmth and wit.

You can buy ‘Pug Actually’ from Amazon.

Dog Days By Erica Waller

Dog Days‘Dog Days’ is the latest book by Erica Waller.

Dog Days is a novel about those small but life-changing moments that only come when we pause to let the light in. It is about three people learning to make connections and find joy in living life off the leash.

I spent a lazy Sunday with my head in this book. A beautifully written story tackling sensitive subjects such as grief, mental health, domestic abuse as well as sexuality.

The story is seen through the perspective of three characters, George, Lizzie and Dan. Grumpy old man George, who throughout the story made me think of George from the Pixar film called ‘UP’. George has a gruff and ignorant nature and is at a loss when his wife Ellen dies suddenly. George is used to having Ellen, making his meals, washing his clothes and without Ellen there to do these things for him, George’s life stops at a standstill with only a beautiful little Dachshund puppy called Poppy to keep him company. Ellen thoughtfully bought Poppy as something for George to focus on as well as help him lose weight and get some exercise. It’s at his lowest that Betty comes into George’s after receiving complaints about Poppy’s barking and comes to George’s rescue much to his disgust. Betty is a warm-hearted and bubbly woman who loves to help others and the pair of bicker constantly with George protesting against Betty’s help and Betty fighting against with wonderfully sweet and creative language.

Lizzie has turned up at a women’s shelter with her little boy called Lenny, but has yet to reveal her story. She’s a quiet intense woman who misses her old life of being a primary school teacher and is at her most comfortable sharing facts and information with people. She’s not a dog lover but part of leaving at the shelter is to take elderly Jack Russell Terrier called Maud for walks. Maud knows that Lizzie isn’t used to dogs and does all she can to offer friendship and comfort to Lizzie.

Dan is at crossroads with his sexuality and when Atticus comes to his counselling sessions, Dan has to finally confront his thoughts much to his own fears. Dan is a wonderful character, he’s kind, shy and outspoken Atticus helps Dan finally feel comfortable with himself. Dan has a beautiful Golden Labrador called Fitz, a loyal companion who accepts Dan, no matter his sexual orientation.

All three people are facing real struggles in their lives and as they face them, there’s a four legged there to offer a hug or lick at their lowest ebbs. I absolutely adored this book and I found myself racing through it, purely for George’s perspective as he was the most amazing character. He’s a traditional man, with an old-fashioned mindset. Ellen did everything for him but he cared for Ellen in his own way, crafting pieces of furniture for her that made her delighted. His relationship with Betty was truly clever and fun reading as they battled with each other, but they brought some joy and company to their lives. Out of the three characters, George was the man with no interest in dog but as the story progresses, we see the shutters come down and he grows to love the tiny dog and the company she provides. Another beautiful element to the story, was the inclusion of letters to George from Ellen that she left for him after her death. These letters make for tender reading, as she’s offering guidance and support with gentle reminders of things that need sorted. These letters usually arrive when George is at his lowest.

As a dog lover myself, this book wholeheartedly proves the comfort and companionship that dogs provide, they offer no judgement and will love you unconditionally. This book was a joy to read from the start to finish. Filled with wit, tenderness and moments that will genuinely break your heart and give you hope, Ericka has written a book that handles hard hitting issues with grace and sensitivity, ‘Dog Walks’ is a book that stays with you long after you reached the final page.

You can pre-order ‘Dog Days’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 11th March 2021.

Pedigree Mum By Fiona Gibson

Pedigree Mum‘Pedigree Mum’ is Fiona Gibson’s third novel.

When Kerry Tambini upped sticks with her family to a new home on the coast, she couldn’t have been happier. Then her husband Rob made the biggest mistake of his life. Stranded with her children in snooty Shorling, Kerry has plenty on her plate. So how can she say no to her kids’ pleas for a dog when they are missing their father terribly? As Kerry juggles hectic family and trying to fit in with the local pedigree mums, she soon finds herself adopting a hyper dog. But will this wayward hound lead Kerry to new love or has she bitten off more than she can chew?

‘Pedigree Mum’ is a wonderfully warm-hearted and refreshing story that will entertain you throughout. Filled with interesting characters that make the story fun. Kerry as a lead character is a great strong independent mother and wonderfully creative. She is the perfect lead, taking her husband’s deceit in her stride, she adapts to her new seaside life with ease with little fazing her or bringing her down. Rob, as the unfaithful husband, is the ideal villain, dealing with his sudden predicament with guilt and wonder, it was hard not to feel pity or anger towards the Italian lotario. Packed with characters that will make you smile, the story is cleverly written with wonderful dialogue and interweaving stories, as Kerry deals with inquisitive children, a handsome clown and a loveable, overactive dog who has a fear of loud noises.

A must read for all dog lovers, as Buddy is particularly adorable ‘Pedigree Mum’ is an amusing read that will have you giggling the whole way through.

You can buy Pedigree Mum on Amazon and is available from good bookshops.

Finding Mr Flood by Ciara Geraghty Redesigned Cover

Finding Mr Flood

If you didn’t get to read “Finding Mr Flood” by Ciara Geraghty the first time round. Then, good news as it’s being re-released this Thursday, July 19th with a lovely new cover. I absolutely love this cover, beautifully illustrated with images of Paris and of course loads of dogs.

For those who missed out, here’s my original review of the story:

“Finding Mr Flood” is the second book I have read by Dublin author Ciara Geraghty and just like the first book, it was a heart warming and funny read.

“Finding Mr Flood” tells the story of sisters Dara and Angel and their mother Mrs Flood. Thirteen days before she was born, Dara’s father Mr flood walked to the shop to get a packet of cigarettes and was never seen again. Her older sister Angel needs a new kidney and everyday the family wait for the call from the hospital hoping that one will become available soon. While they wait for this all important call, they all try to carry on with their lives as much as they can. Mrs Flood with her mobile hairdressing business and Dara works in the local dog pound with her friends Tintin and Anya and cares for each dog as if they were her own.

Their lives are uncomplicated until one day Angel gets sicker and the need for a new kidney gets more urgent. So Dara decides that she is going to find Mr Flood and see if he could be a possible kidney donor, so with the aid of quiet private investigator Stanley Flinter, they embark on the mission, which could quite well be impossible. As she struggles with this journey, she begins to discover things about the father she never knew and the person she thought she was.

I loved this book, it was a such an unique story with so many interesting characters. Ciara has a wonderful flair at creating characters, where you can see a little bit in yourself in each of them. Particularly with Dara, she was such an inquisitive character in her simplicity from how she dealt with the dogs to how she dealt with humans. The Dublin humour and sayings throughout the book made me laugh, especially with the scenes with Dara’s colleagues and Stanley’s flatmate Sissy.

Finding Mr Flood is a lovely read, that is sometimes sad, but often funny. A book that I would recommend to anyone and everyone.

You can buy Finding Mr Flood on Amazon and other good bookshops.

Keep your eyes peeled on Handwritten Girl over the next few days as I will be announcing a “Finding Mr Flood” give-away!