I’ve been having a great reading week this week, so expect a surge of book reviews soon!
One of my favourite things about book browsing in a bookstore (instead of online shopping) is the ability to discover new books that you have not heard of unexpectedly. I love peeking at the books on the tables that are laid out according to theme/genre because when you pick up one book that seems interesting, the book next to it will most likely be a great read too.
That is how I discovered this book— I was browsing the contemporary romance book table, and the dog on the cover immediately caught my attention.
by Sarra Manning
Edition: Hardcover, 400 pages
Publication Date: January 21st 2021 by Hodder
ISBN: 1529336554 (ISBN13: 9781529336559)
Margot and Will cross paths at the local dog rescue centre where – after a series of misunderstandings and a lot of consternation – they agree to foster Blossom (a staffy with a giant head, soft, floppy ears and kohl-rimmed brown eyes) together: one week on, one week off.
Margot and Will don’t get off to the best of starts: he thinks Margot is demanding and needy and Just So Much. And she thinks Will is emotionally unavailable, slightly brittle and very mistrustful. They’re both right.
But the more they bicker, the worse Blossom behaves, and they realise they have to form some sort of truce in order to dog-parent (or “pawrent” as Margot calls it, to which Will rolls his eyes) her together. It’s almost as if Blossom has plans of her own…
Rescue Me by Sarra Manning follows Margot and Will as they fall in love with the cutest dog, navigate being co-pawrents, and find love in the most unexpected circumstances.
This book is one of the cutest contemporary romances I have ever read in a while. There were so many moments throughout the book where I catch myself smiling or grinning at this book— it was that cute. I love the idea of two people falling in love with not only a rescue dog, but eventually with each other because of the dog they adopt together. I think this was such a unique take on a contemporary romance, and one I had yet to see be done anywhere else.
Starting off with the characters, Margot is a thirty-year old woman who’s at a weird stage of her life. Not only is she having to deal with the fact that her love-life is pretty much non-existent at this point, but she’s now got to figure out how to co-parent her newly adopted dog with a literal stranger. I thought Margot was a really well-written character. I liked how the author made her to be a plus-sized woman, but didn’t limit her characterisation to just that, nor did her “size” become the central focus of her character. This story is about Margot overcoming her own fears, falling in love, and girl-bossing along the way. Period.
I want to talk about the romance; however, book also deals with so much more than just romance. The characters, Margot and Will, both have their own personal struggles and battles that they fight throughout the book. One of the things that Margot has always wanted is children of her own, and as she is nearing the big 4-0, she has almost given up hope of finding a partner who can help her fulfil that dream. When she meets Blossom, the adorable Staffie at the rescue, she immediately filled out the adoption form then and there. Margot learns that it doesn’t have to come from another human being or your significant other— you can give love and feel loved by dogs too. We shouldn’t always rely on other people for love, because there are many forms of love out there. Love from our family, our friends, ourselves— those kinds of love matter too.
On the other hand, Will has struggled with emotions and reciprocating feelings for others. He’s not looking for commitment or any long-term relationships—that is until he meets Blossom (the dog). The dual POVs (Point Of View) gives readers more depth and insight to the two main character’s own journeys and really shows the great character development. I loved seeing both characters flourish on their own, and eventually, together.
Let’s also talk about that little bit of spice that the author has so luckily bestowed upon us. From the way this book was written at the beginning, plus and the overall vibe of the story, I did not expect any explicit or even anything remotely intimate to happen between the characters. At least, not what we were given. Not that I am complaining— it was a welcoming surprise! I did just want to mention it in case some of you might not want to read that sort of thing.
I think my only complaint about this book is how slow it got at times. The first half definitely dragged on from a little longer than necessary but the second half was pretty much close to perfect. The latter part of the book is where most of the story happens and pretty much held my attention for the remainder of the story. There were some scenes which I thought added nothing to the story and felt like they existed as filler pages; however, that was only a minor part of the book. I also want to mention that the romance is a slow-burn, so be warned that there is a lot more development and plot that happens before the characters actually submit to their feelings for each other. I, myself, love slow-burns so this was a piece of cake for me.
I think another really important message that this book teaches is that there is no”deadline” or “right way of living”. We shouldn’t stress about getting married early, or having kids by specific age because there is no manual to how we should live. I’m at this weird stage in my life where I’ve got friends who have just been promoted int heir jobs, while others have just quit their old ones; friends who already have kids, and some in long-term relationships since freshman year of high school. Meanwhile, I’m just about to graduate university. To be honest, I was one of those teens who had drawn out a life-plan and thought I’d be married at 25, and having kids at 30— at this point in my life, I have a feeling those two things are highly unlikely!
This book gave me a gentle reminder that we are all at different stages of life, and that it is okay to not be on the same “track” as others. I don’t think one could ever have to much knowledge, so pick up that degree that you’ve always wanted. There’s never a wrong time or age to pick up a new hobby/skill, so call your local ice rink and sign up for those figure skating lessons you’ve wanted was a child.
And lastly, it’s never too late to fall in love for the first, or the third time.
p.s Blossom is the real main character.
I’ve left some food for thought in this review, so no QOTD today
Still, I’d love it if you share some of your own thoughts with me in the comments below!
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