Lindsey Alford moved to Willow Springs, Kentucky, to prove to all doubters (mostly her parents) that she’s all grown up. Something her neighbor Walker Smith never questioned—those short shorts of hers!
Put a cute single girl with an overactive imagination next door to a reclusive hot guy, add in a decadent blue velvet sofa, a locked garage and a nursing home full of busybodies, and trouble is bound to pop up. Literally, in the form of an adorably naughty stray pup with a longing for two people to lick and a home all his own.
Love isn’t complex…it’s a duplex!
Source: ARC from Lyrical Shine (Kensington Books) via NetGalley
This book is nice. It has a nice heroine, a misanthropic hero who is really nice underneath it all and a cutesy puppy that gets up to all sorts of mischief. All three have pov sections in this book – yes, even the dog. Whether that’s something you’ll enjoy or not, only you will know. I’m not always the biggest fan of animal povs in contemporaries. Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs, I’ve lived with dogs my entire life. However, I don’t ever forget that they are dogs and try not to ascribe human emotions and motivations to them. Not that this book does that, or at least not in any overt way, I just… don’t know. Maybe it was a little too cute for me, but I don’t think it particularly added anything to the book.
Then again, this is a book that drifts along, set in a nice town, with nice people being nice, making nice friends and all around being nice. Sure both Walker and his elderly friend Myron are grumpy, but they’re still nice underneath it all – even if Walker tries so desperately hard not to be nice. The reason why becomes obvious as the story progresses and his father’s history comes out, but I felt that particular plot built up potential that was abandoned too swiftly, making it seem almost pointless or at the very least disappointing.
As for Lindsey, I have to say I found her nosiness and upbeat optimism pretty annoying. Walker calls her “Pollyanna” and he isn’t far wrong. I wouldn’t necessarily have minded, except the way she pressures Walker into doing what she thinks is “the right thing” when she knows nothing about the situation – and what she does know she disregards – really irritated me. I much preferred grumpy Walker who just wanted his own space and didn’t see why that was such a crime. Okay, so there were times when he was avoiding her just because he was too stubborn to do otherwise, but I kind of liked his brooding-artist-all-alone persona.
The romance itself works quite well. They have good chemistry, even if they have nothing much in common at first, and it was nice to see how Lindsey drew Walker out of his shell without actually managing to change him too much. Though not for want of trying – he’s just too stubborn to let her win that easily. I also really liked how Walker’s art and Lindsey’s own work in a nursing home were important parts of the story, especially as they were so intrinsic to their characters.
So overall this is okay. The puppy is cute, the characters are nice, the story is easy and flows along without too much effort or drama. It’s a nice way to relax for a few hours, even if it’s not particularly memorable.
Two Family Home is out August 18th!
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