Reviews – Dog Days Forever & Best Served Hot

Posted February 22, 2023 by Carole in Reviews / 11 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Reviews – Dog Days Forever & Best Served HotDog Days Forever by Shannon Richard
Published by Avon Books on February 28, 2023
Genres: Fiction / Romance / Contemporary
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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A heartfelt, romantic novel inspired by Sweet Home Alabama and perfect for fans of Jill Shalvis, Kristan Higgins, and Susan Mallery, in which a young woman who only fosters dogs discovers an abandoned puppy and finally starts to open herself up to love again…

Once inseparable as children and romantically entwined as young adults, Caroline Buchanan and Maximillian Abbot are now virtual strangers. It might be Caro’s fault—considering she abruptly ended their engagement—but she had good reasons. After their devastating breakup, she stayed in North Carolina, building a quiet, cozy life, while Max went to New York City. In the fourteen years since, Caro has experienced more than her share of heartache and loss. She rarely lets anyone in, not even the steady stream of rescue dogs she fosters.

When Max returns to town for the summer at the behest of his grandmother, Caro must finally face their past because she keeps running into Max, and old feelings come rushing back. Shortly after Max arrives, Caro finds a puppy, alone and shivering in a thunderstorm. She takes the dog in, planning to find her the perfect new family. But at a time when her life is in turmoil, this new furry friend—who she names Frankie—unexpectedly becomes her anchor.

As she opens her heart to the sweet, cuddly canine, Caro begins to wonder if she could love Max again, too. Max and Frankie feel like home and she can’t bear to say goodbye to either of them. But secrets, both old and new, are still lingering and Max hasn’t completely forgiven her for breaking his heart all those years ago. Will this be a summer of second chances or are they bound to make the same mistakes twice?

This was great! Did I pick this book up because of the cover? You know I did. But it wasn’t the cover that kept me glued to the pages, that credit goes to the story contained within its pages. I liked Caro and Max right from the start and couldn’t wait to see them finally figure out a way to work things out and find their happily ever after.

Caro and Max grew up spending their summers together. Things changed in their teenage years when they fell in love. They eventually became engaged but then life threw a curve ball their way and things fell apart. That was 14 years ago. Max is going back to the town of Cruickshank to help his grandmother, Ava, get her house ready to sell and ends up back in Caro’s orbit. It doesn’t take long to tell that the spark between them is still there.

Caro and Max were both great characters but this book was really full of great characters. There were quite a few secondary characters that were well-fleshed out and added a lot to the overall story. And the dogs! With the cute dog on the cover, I would have been disappointed if the book didn’t have at least one dog. I had nothing to worry about. Caro works with a rescue group and fosters dogs so she usually has a dog with her but there were really quite a few dogs that were a part of this story and I love how they each had their own distinct personalities.

I would definitely recommend this book to others. Caro and Max were fantastic characters that had great chemistry together. They really did deserve a second chance and I am glad that I was able to see them get it. There were some heartbreaking and touching moments in this wonderful story. I will definitely be on the lookout for more books by this talented author.

I received a review copy of this book from Avon Books.

I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Reviews – Dog Days Forever & Best Served HotBest Served Hot by Amanda Elliot
Narrator: Anna Caputo
Published by Berkley Publishing Group on February 21, 2023
Genres: Fiction / Romance / Contemporary
Length: 9 hours 31 minutes
Pages: 368
Format: ARC, Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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Two restaurant critics learn their opposing tastes might make for a five-star relationship in the next foodie romantic comedy from the author of Sadie on a Plate.

By day, Julie Zimmerman works as an executive assistant. After hours, she’s @JulieZeeEatsNYC, a social media restaurant reviewer with over fifty thousand followers. As much as she loves her self-employed side gig, what Julie really wants is to be a critic at a major newspaper, like the New York Scroll. The only thing worse than the Scroll’s rejection of her application is the fact that smarmy, social-media-averse society boy Bennett Richard Macalester Wright snagged her dream job.

While at the Central Park Food Festival, Julie confronts the annoyingly handsome Bennett about his outdated opinions on social media and posts the resulting video footage. Julie's follower count soars—and so does the Scroll’s. Julie and Bennett grudgingly agree to partner up for a few reviews to further their buzz. Online buzz, obviously.

Over tapas, burgers, and more, Julie and Bennett connect over their shared love of food. But when the competitive fire between them turns extra spicy, they'll have to decide how much heat their relationship can take.

This was really good! I liked the fact that while the romance was a big part of the story, it wasn’t the only focus. Julie was a fantastic character and I loved seeing how much effort she put into her role as an online food influencer. I thought that Bennett and Julie were great together and I really liked the cast of secondary characters. I am so glad that I decided to pick up this enemies-to-lovers romance.

Julie works as an executive assistant during the day but her passion is the work she does as a food influencer. When someone else gets the food critic job at the newspaper, she is disappointed. It would have been her dream job with health insurance and an expense account. When she gets attention by posting an argument between herself and the man who got the job, Bennett, they decide to partner up to do a few joint reviews.

I really liked the romance and thought that Julie and Bennett had great chemistry together. I really appreciated the fact that this book was about much more than that. I really liked learning about all of the things that Julie did in order to fill her role as a food influencer. I also liked the fact that Julie had some career issues to deal with, not to mention her boss’s sometimes clueless and entitled daughter to deal with. Honestly, some of my favorite parts of the book involved Emerson Leigh.

I listened to the audiobook and thought that Anna Caputo did a fantastic job with the narration. I thought that the voices that she used for both the male and female characters were all very well done. I felt like she was able to add just the right amount of emotion into her reading. She has a very pleasant voice that I found easy to listen to for hours at a time. I am certain that her narration added to my overall enjoyment of this story.

I would recommend this book to others. I thought that this was a wonderful romance with a lot of depth and great characters. I definitely want to read more of this author’s work very soon.

I received a review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group and Penguin Random House Audio.

11 responses to “Reviews – Dog Days Forever & Best Served Hot

  1. I am glad that you enjoyed the Amanda Elliot, and that it turned out to be a solid read. I am sure fans of these type of illustrated books will have a blast with it! The title is fun.

  2. You know I added Dog Days to my TBR because of the cover. I am glad to hear you enjoyed it. I love second chance and friends-to-lovers romances. They’re the best

  3. I have Best Served Hot on my TBR and am now adding Dog Days Forever. I can’t resist the cover and am so glad the book itself lived up to it!

  4. Verushka

    Best Served Hot sounds like such a good read and I love LOVE that there’s more to the book than the romance.