Author: B. G. Thomas
Length: Novel (276 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 20th, 2014)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: There’s been little love in H.D. “Hound Dog” Fisher’s life since the death of his beloved mom when he was a boy. Bounced around the foster care system, he ran away as soon as he could… and took the foster dog with him. As far as he’s concerned, only dogs have no ulterior motive, never hold a grudge, and offer unconditional love. Now he helps run a no-kill shelter and leaves relationships where they belong: in the back room.
“Bean” Alexander settled in Kansas City to open his coffee shop after years of traveling. He never expected to open his heart too. When a man with a grudge takes a swing at H.D. while in line at Bean’s shop, Bean jumps to intervene.
So taking a hit for H.D. gets Bean noticed, and H.D. feels obligated to pay a debt. But then the unexpected happens. A series of misadventures causes H.D. to open up—but falling in love makes him turn tail and run. Trust is a tough road to travel. Will good friends, a dog named Sarah Jane, and a bit of folk magic be enough to bring Hound Dog and Bean a happy ending?
Review: This story was a delightful surprise. I had one expectation which was clearly met which was a contemporary love story between two men who are quite opposite from each other, but who ultimately work as a couple. What the reader also got was some folklore thrown in and a subtle message about how people should think about and treat the animals that inhabit the world with us. There’s a strong thread about living in harmony with the universe that runs through the thread of the book, but seems to pick up more steam towards the middle and end of the book. It is what will ultimately bring the two men back together.
Hound Dog and Bean like any good m/m couple must have a dramatic meeting, that is then followed by some hot interaction, some even hotter sex, and then the problems will ensue. The crisis in this story really belongs to Hound Dog. Bean is a fairly well-adjusted man. It is Hound Dog who must overcome his demons if he is to live a happy with Bean. While the book splits its time between both men, it’s all a foil for the reader to see how all things will affect Hound Dog to make the decisions he does and how it will affect his relationship with Bean.
It’s Hound Dog who creates the rift and issues between the two men and then it is he who must heal that which he broke. The reader will enjoy reading about these two vastly different men who really balance each other really well. It’s fun to watch them fall in love with each other and then watch as Hound Dog struggles with that emotion until he simply gives in.
The underlying story about the pets and aligning oneself with the universe is also interesting and lends a slight ‘other world’ air to the story that seems to make Hound Dog a more complex yet sympathetic character. There’s also some f/f coupling in there as well which added still another layer to the book and made it seem even more real.
Great read for the characters and all the themes explored.