Not as Good as Sit Stay Love
I really enjoyed Dana Mentink’s first dog-themed book, Sit Stay Love (you can read my review here), and was thrilled to get a copy of Fetching Sweetness to review.
Unfortunately, I didn’t think it measured up to the high standard set by Sit Stay Love.
First, I found the beginning somewhat disjointed and hard to get in to. The heroine came across as scatty, and that’s never a good sign. Well, not for me. I also thought the early scenes felt contrived, as though their sole purpose was to get Stephanie and Rusty together. Yes, I know that’s exactly the purpose of opening scenes in any novel, especially a romance novel, but I should feel as though the events occurred naturally (at least, that’s how I usually feel). With Fetching Sweetness, it felt too much like the author had pulled a bunch of strings to get the characters where she needed them to be.
Once the story got going, it was excellent. It was a road trip with a difference as Stephanie and Rusty join forces to return the enormous and ungainly Sweetness to his owner, and battle some of their own personal issues along the way.
But then the end came, and that didn’t work for me either. I could explain why, but, well, spoilers. Suffice to say the ending was like the beginning, and neither were like the excellent middle. Yes, the end made sense—well, mostly—but it didn’t leave me with that ‘ahhh’ feeling I get from a great romance.
The characters were good, the writing was solid, and it was clearly a Christian novel with the spiritual growth from both main characters. But even the most brilliant writing and strongest Christian message isn’t enough to compensate for a shaky start and a meh end. Here’s hoping Paws for Love, the next in the series, will be back to the standard set by Sit Stay Love.
(As one final aside: the stories are standalones with no characters in common between the first and second book in the series. So you don’t miss anything by not reading one of them. Like this one).
Thanks to Harvest House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Dana Mentink at her website.