The fifth book in the Black Dog Bay series set in the idyllic town of Black Dog Bay, Delaware, is just as delightful as the others, if not more so. Author Beth Kendrick brings back some of the previous characters in their business owner roles and introduces us to longtime residents who are not tourists. Residents Jocelyn and Bree have lived in Black Dog Bay their whole life and watched it become a “tourist trap” catering to women who have been jilted by lovers, at the altar, or in long-term relationships. The town’s businesses all have a theme around destroyed relationships like The Whinery, The Naked Finger, or Jilted Cafe. But Jocelyn, her mother Rachel, and Bree are not part of the higher class of Black Dog Bay. They are part of the businesses that cater to the tourists who flock to their town ... the cleanup crew.
Everything changes for Jocelyn when she saves the local millionaire’s dog from sure death and she immediately becomes his dogs’ baby sitter. When he dies unexpectedly and names her as guardian of his dogs places her in charge of his finances, her life is turned upside down. The scorned son, Liam, isn’t happy and begins to make life difficult for Jocelyn. If he wasn’t so charmingly handsome, she would be more likely to call the police rather than invite him into his father’s, now her home.
As the battle over custody of the dogs and the house ensues, Jocelyn begins to learn what she really wants out of life. Her friend Bree and her mom begin to break out of their shells and explore new adventures and Jocelyn decides it might be a good idea to look for new opportunities as well, as long as she can keep the dogs.
Jocelyn and Bree are likable and realistic characters that you feel like you could be friends with. The dilemmas they face due to income and social class while living and working next to some of the wealthiest people visiting in their community are obvious.
The author’s predicaments and attitudes were spot on and, hopefully, will make some of us think differently while staying in a resort or renting a house on that next vacation.
As in her other books, there is a lightness to Kendrick’s stories that puts a smile on your face. The romances are flirty, but nothing you couldn’t let your grandma read.
Even if you haven’t read the other four books in this series, you won’t be lost as each stands alone, introducing new characters in a familiar place. But, I highly recommend enjoying each of the stories set in Black Dog Bay.
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This is the kind of book that will put you in a good mood and may just send you running to your nearest shelter to adopt a dog or make sure your own pets are taken care of in your will.