The scrawny Rottweiler's eyes connected with Charlie's through the TV screen, begging her to save him.
What if nobody else calls in? What if I'm his last chance at finding a home? Well, crap. I can't just let him die. She grabbed her cell phone, called the local news station hosting the adoptable pets segment, and signed on the dotted line. Not once did she think she might be making a mistake. Not once did she consider the fact she'd been unable to commit to a man—or even a roommate—longer than two measly months.
And now she planned to commit to a one-year-old canine coming straight from a neglected past?
Well, adventure had certainly found her, whether she'd asked for it or not.
~Charlie from Walk Away With Me by Darby Davenport
Story structure: 5 stars, there is a complete story here. A beginning, middle, and end. I didn't feel that the story was hurried at all and it included all of the basic parts. I was hooked in and couldn't put it down. I had to finish it.
Story premise: 4 stars. A girl is guilted into giving a homeless dog a home. She has never had a dog and doesn't know the first thing about training him. I really enjoyed how the story started with a description by the girl of her basic personality and why she shouldn't be getting a dog, but why she had to get the dog. A boy sees the girl with said uncontrollable dog and ultimately offers the girl help with training the dog. Attraction occurs. Lust follows. Then, the beginnings of Love. Girl has unresolved childhood issues that interfere with her thoughts on relationships. Boy has just gotten out of a long term bad relationship. So, for Love to grow, they have to decide to let go of the past.
Charlie's unresolved childhood issues are where the storyline loses a bit for me. See Characters section below.
Characters: 2 stars. This is where this story failed for me. The characters were well developed, but I disliked Charlie from the very beginning and throughout the whole story. To explain why I disliked the characters so much, there was a role reversal, Charlie was very masculine in her reactions and her actions; and, as my husband put it, Ethan wasn't Beta, he was Zeta! And, when I'm sitting there yelling for Ethan to run away as fast as he can, then something is lost in the love story. I wanted Ethan to have his HEA, but didn't see why it should be Charlie until the last part of the story. I mean she kept using her mother as an excuse not to have a relationship, but I never felt that it was justified. She appeared to have a great upbringing. Towards the end when she finally talks to her mom, I finally get an idea of why she feels the way she feels. I think if a conversation with mom would have happened at the beginning of the story or a description of an event that really gave her the impression that her mom was unhappy, it would have went a long way in helping me to understand Charlie. I've had several discussions about this story to try and put my feelings into words, basically, I feel that as an older reader I couldn't connect with Charlie's thought process. The way I see it, you do your crazy stuff while young, grow up, get married and settle down (it’s the basic concept of life that I was raised with). However, when Charlie looked at her mom doing this, she felt that her mom sold out. What happened to make her feel this way? Her mom told her and her sister about the crazy stuff she did before marriage, and just because she wasn't doing it anymore Charlie assumed she was unhappy. We grow and change. We might jump off buildings as a teenager for the adrenaline rush, but typically adults realize the danger doesn't outweigh the benefits and move on to do calmer things, it doesn’t mean that we are unhappy. The prelude was the best part of the story for me, because I finally felt like I could like Charlie and I was happy for her and Ethan.
This of course is my opinion of these characters and others may not see them this way.
Sex scenes: 4 stars. HAWT, yes. However, the first scene seemed to come out of nowhere. I guess I like a bit of buildup, some foreplay first, and it seemed like... well, it was a booty call! A booty call initiated by Charlie. I guess I'm an old fashioned girl and like my love scenes to be controlled by the man. These scenes really helped cement my dislike of Charlie as she runs from each encounter as quickly as possible, because of Ethan showing her a bit of tenderness. The funny thing is that it is the reaction we often see portrayed by men in similar situations, but I don’t have as strong a reaction. I just accept it as part of the story that the girl will get the guy to realize what he has in her and he will grow to accept the tenderness and love. This story has really made me rethink some of my stereotypes.
Recommend: YES, I would suggest this story to others. I'm not sure everyone will see these characters in the light that I have seen them. The story is well written and the characters well developed. I just personally couldn't connect to the heroine. I will definitely look forward to Darby Davenport's next story. I like her writing style. I just hope I can fall in love with her next set of characters.
What I liked: After the first introduction to Charlie, I had a strong reaction to her and began to read the story aloud to my husband. We totally enjoyed sharing this story together. It really added a new depth to the story having his viewpoint as we read. He said that he would give this story 4 stars for the fact of how it brought us together and how we read and discussed each part. We lived the story together, laughing and yelling as the relationship grew. He agreed that the sex scenes were pretty steamy as well.
Disclosure: This ebook was provided to me free of charge by the author for the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments, and ratings are my own.