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Roxanne St. Claire aims straight for the heart and never misses. I adored this book. I know it may seem like I say that with each newly-published book in this series but sometimes there's an extra-special something that pushes a book to the top of the heap and Faux Paws has it. As soon as I finished my first read-through, all I wanted to do was go back to the beginning and read it all over again. With more tissues. As I said, straight for the heart.
In Faux Paws, St. Claire brings us three main characters (two and four-legged), newly arrived in Bitter Bark, North Carolina, who are all at a crossroads in their lives. I love the way she explores the challenges, possibilities, and decisions facing each of them. Yes, even Clementine, who is definitely in the running for my favorite rescue pooch in this series. Her journey is a hard one that had me reaching for tissues more than once. Don't worry, she definitely gets her happily ever after.
I love the chemistry between Ayla and Theo but I also enjoy the fact that St. Claire takes her time with them, gradually building a friendship before introducing deeper feelings. They have some fundamental differences to work through before those deeper feelings can take root. I always enjoy the emotional layering that occurs in these stories, along with the slow burn. The relationships that form are very realistic, with humor and conflict along the way while the main characters are complex people I'd enjoy knowing in real life. In fact, they're so realistic that I'm still halfway convinced they're all living happy lives in a lovely little North Carolina town.
The extended families - including the matchmaking Dogmothers a/k/a one Irish Gramma and one Greek Yiayia - all add an emotional richness to the story along with more than a few laugh-out-loud moments. If you're a fan of The Dogmother series, as well as The Dogfather series, you'll enjoy catching up with some of your favorite characters in this book, while also welcoming new babies and pups to the clan. For readers who are new to these books, you should know that you can jump in with any of them and feel right at home.
If you enjoy family-centric contemporary romance with humor, sweet (but deeply emotional) romance, characters you'll want to be friends with, and rescue dogs who will flat-out steal your heart, this book is for you.
Faux Paw by Roxanne St. Clair is book eight in The Dogmothers series where the Santorinis’ grandmother, Agnes, or Yiayia as she is known to her grandkids, and Finola Kilcannon aka Gramma Finnie team up to find the perfect match for each of their grandchildren.
Ayla Hollis discovers on her wedding day that her fiance is a carbon copy of her cheating father and wants no part of it. She runs to her safe space, an animal rescue, where we learn that Alya has an unusual talent, she can communicate with the animals and sees what they see. She is an animal psychic. Ayla arrives at Bitter Bark with nothing but her broken heart and no ideas what to do next.
Theo Santorini had it all - until his engineering job overseas fell through and his girlfriend of many years said he wasn’t what she wanted. Coming to Bitter Bark was his chance to regroup and think about his future. Enter a rescue pup with issues thrown into his arms at a convenience store and the Dogmothers looking for another successful match.
This book has a blend of contemporary and romantic suspense with lots of dogs. Can Theo put logic aside and believe in Ayla’s gift of being able to communicate with animals? Both Theo and Ayla have been burned in the romance department, can they learn that love is still out there? After all the Dogmothers have a perfect record.
Although part of a series one can read them out of order. If read in order you will enjoy spending time again with the Kilcannons, Mahoneys and Santorinis.
FAUX PAWS is a standalone read with a happy ending. No sexy scenes or colorful language so any age can read and enjoy. I truly went to bed at 10 thinking I would quit when I was tired. Except for periodical bathroom breaks I read straight through until 5 a.m. Fortunately I'm old so I can sleep in and nap all day so no problem for me. This book is so good there is just no place to stop for the night. Too much going on and you have to know what is next.
If you are new to the Dogfather/dogmother books, I would strongly suggest you get Book 1 - it is free, and read it to get a fuller background. Another warning....you won't be able to quit at Book 1 and this is Book 8. They are all that good. Strong, independent sexy hunks for male main characters, and attractive, strong, female main characters. The stories are always good and different from each other. The dog connection is what brings them all together.
This story is all about Clementine and how she gets her people and forever home. Sweet dog that you just love. The cover gives you a picture of who Clem is and her favorite spot in the world with just reason. This dog is so lovable and very real. As with any abused person, you cheer when they get out of their worst spot in life and you will do the same for Clemmie. Great dog.
This story has a dog being mistreated and how he is rescued and the bad guy dealt with. A very satisfying "get" to the bad guy and profitable for the female main character. Of course the grannies are up to their mischief and there is love all around. Get the tissue because at the end there is a very moving addition to the family. It is all so good. It leaves you feeling good and looking forward to the next one. I strongly recommend this story. It is a great read and you will wish Ms. St. Claire could write with the speed of a runaway train. They just can't come fast enough. To Ms. St. Claire, thank you for writing such great stories. You make the people so real that it makes one want to meet them or at least move next door to the big animal rescue. Lucky Miz Marie.
I was not paid for this review. I am not a writer nor do I know one. I am not kin to this author. I am a reader and this is my opinion, nothing more, nothing less. 4/25/2021
Faux Paws is the newest installment in Roxanne St. Claire’s Dogmother Series and as all the rest, a thoroughly enjoyable read. I loved the idea of the “animal communicator” versus the scientific brain. A great combination as it turns out and I enjoyed each time in the story when Theo couldn’t explain away Ayla’s precise knowledge of what the dogs were experiencing. While the serious issue of animal abuse and its long-term damage was a significant part of the story line, the way it was written and addressed made for a wonderful read. I found myself wishing for the possibility that such a concept could exist for all those who rescue animals. Imagine knowing what they endured so you could help their recovery in relevant ways, smoothing the path to a happy forever life. I’m sure that our wonderful author would be onboard with that since she is such a great advocate for rescuing these special animals.
As for the story, of course the Irish side of the family would be the believers and the Greeks the skeptics. One of my favorite lines in the book was Ayla’s comeback to Theo when he said Greeks were rational and she said “The culture that gave us mythology and the evil eye?” It gave me a good laugh, especially when I thought of YiaYia.
The family support and love we have come to expect is present full force. The HEA that we all cheer for was perfect. The acceptance that Ayla needed and deserved was given by all and considering her history with her family, a much-needed boost for her confidence. I loved the book and look forward to the next installment in this series. Buy it, read it, enjoy it. I certainly did.
This time it's Theo's turn. He has mustered out of the Navy and then lost his next job and his girlfriend. So he drives from California to Bitter Bark. While he is in the way he is given a dog rescued from an abusive situation. Once in Bitter Bark he meets Gayle who left her cheating fiancee at the altar. She is also able to see what dogs think, which is very hard for Theo the engineer to believe. He is still hoping to get that dream job in London. Can the Dogmothers really overcome all these obstacles? Read this and see!
The pace is fast and the tone is uncertain yet hopeful with a character oriented storyline that has a little action and some steamy scenes but not a lot of details. The characters are vibrant and engaging, including all the dogs. Read these in order starting with the Dogfather series and then these Dogmothers books. If you like to read about people who love animals and rescue all they can, and how they can overcome obstacles and fall in love, then these 2 series are for you. Enjoy!
Theo Santorini and Ayla Hollis are opposites. He an engineer, just recently out of the US Navy, and she, a rich socialite who leads with trying to keep everyone happy. He's all numbers and math, she's all emotion and psychic energy. Currently they are very alike because both their lives are in upheaval. When they meet through the wonderful Waterford Farm dog sanctuary and training homestead their love of dogs, and one in particular, brings them together. And the Dogmother's spot romance in the air While they both struggle to find new paths in life, they realize setting priorities for themselves is how they will find their future paths. Getting past their differences and finding their shared opportunities will make their priorities clear and wonderful. Another heart felt adventure of love, loyalty, family and dogs aplenty.
New beginnings for three new arrivals to Bitter Creek. Theo, is on a cross country trip after leaving the navy and being dumped by his girlfriend, when he finds a dog in trouble. He rescues the poor soul and names her Clementine. Ayla is a runaway bride, when she finds out that her groom has cheated on her the night before the wedding. Ayla has a special gift, a pet psychic so Bitter Creek would be the perfect place to go and start over. Now to involve the matchmaking grandma's, to put these two together.
Loved, loved this story full of emotion, romance, family and plenty of dogs. Plenty of laughs and a few tears will make this the perfect read. A slow build romance between Theo and Ayla was perfect. This is part of series but can be read as a stand alone.
I started reading the Dogfather books when I caught a freebie. Instantly addicted! I was sad when I read the last Dogmothers book at the beginning of the year. I about danced a jig when this one popped up in recommendations. Ayla is a runaway bride who has tried all her life to please her cold, money worshiping family. But when her ex cheated on her after the rehearsal dinner, she’s done. Theo is waiting for a job offer to come through, but when his girlfriend dumps him, he decides to head to Bitter Bark for a family wedding early. On the cross country drive, things take an unexpected turn, and life may just get a bit more interesting than he expected. I adore this series and I would recommend this book to everyone. Can’t wait for more!
Theo is down on his luck. He has lost his dream job, home, and girlfriend. On his way to Bitter Bark he is given a dog that it is clear has been through hell. Ayla is in Bitter Bark after running away from her wedding… literally. She also carries a secret that no in her family believes. She can read animals minds. This is a twist I was honestly not expecting in a Roxanne St.Claire book, but I loved it. It didn’t shift the story into the realm of paranormal. It was cleverly done, and with the Geeks all doubting Ayla it added to the realness of the situation. I loved Clem and Ayla’s connection. I didn’t want this book to end, mainly because we are quickly running out of Santorini and Mahoney grandkids for the Dogmothers to work their magic on.
The newest story in Roxanne St. Claire's Dogmother series does not disappoint. This is Theo's story. He's an engineer and needs things to be logical and provable. Ayla is an Animal Communicator, who understands what dogs are thinking. When Theo has a rescue dog thrust upon him during his cross-country drive, he intends to turn it over to Waterford Farms to work their magic, but Ayla happens.
I thoroughly enjoyed Faux Paws. I thought Theo's need for logic and empirical evidence accurately represented many of the engineers I work with. Ayla's insistence that he accept her ability to read dog's minds and respect her made it interesting.