K-9 Rescue, #1
D. D. Ayres
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Date of Publication: August 26, 2014
Number of pages: 316
For Shay Appleton, it’s love at first sight when a gorgeous stray dog is brought into the animal shelter where she works. She just knows he’ll make a terrific watch dog—and with an abusive ex who won’t let go, she needs all the protection she can get. But Shay never suspected that her new pet is actually a trained police K-9 named Bogart—until Bogart’s even more gorgeous, human partner shows up on her doorstep.
Officer James Cannon is one tall, strong alpha male who’s convinced that Shay stole his dog. But once he gets closer to the suspect, he realizes that this stubborn, independent woman not only needs a guard dog, she needs James as well. It seems that someone from her past is stalking her, and threatening her life. When danger meets desire, will James risk his career and his best friend…to protect the woman who’s stolen his heart?
I am a sucker for a good animal story. That is what initially drew me into this series with the prequel, Necessary Force. My biggest complaint then? Not enough about the dog. That was so not a problem with this book. Thank goodness I went ahead and requested it from Netgalley.
The story opens with James Cannon out in the woods looking out at this tiny cabin. He suspects that the person(s) responsible for the dog-napping of his K-9 partner Bogart are staying in the cabin. But just as he is spying on the cabin, so is someone else. James is shocked down to his boots when Bogart comes out of the cabin barking and scaring off the intruder with the truck. More shocks keep coming when the woman calls Bogart to heel as Prince. He doesn't know what is going on, but he is sure of one thing, he is going to get his partner back.
Shay Appleton has not had an easy life. Finding Prince while volunteering in an animal shelter seemed like a dream. He has literally become her Prince in Shining Armour, with the way he protects her and gives her unconditional love. When Shay finds out that Prince is really the other half of a trained K-9 unit and she will have to give him up, it breaks her heart to have to say goodbye. And with Prince no longer there to protect her, she is in danger from her abusive ex-boyfriend. Thankfully as James is driving past her cabin on his way out of town, Bogart senses a problem and they manage to scare him off. For now.
Shay has huge amounts of baggage when this book starts. James wasn't perfect by any means, but didn't act the jerk beyond the first couple scenes. I liked that their relationship took some time to develop and they didn't jump in with insta-love, but let their shared love of Bogart, be the foundation for the relationship. Shay grew quite a bit in this book, especially once she had someone to believe in her. I will admit in the beginning, I didn't really like her, but she grew on me.
I was so glad to see the K-9 have a much bigger role in this book than the last. Bogart is a Belgian Malinois, similar in shape and coloring to a German Shepard, but a completely different breed. I really enjoyed learning about the breed as well as the different types of training that goes into being a K-9 unit, for both partners. If we can expect more books, comparable to this one, this series should be a very enjoyable read. I gave this book 3 stars.