Author: Kathryn Donahue
Publisher: North Star Editions
Publication Date: November 7th 2017
Genres: animals, Contemporary, fiction
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When jaded and overworked Los Angeles literary agent Daniel Ashe hires Annie Doherty, an Irish dog walker, he’s simply looking for someone to care for his dogs so he can focus on landing a dream client and save his career. He certainly doesn’t expect to come home each night to find Annie has left him a new and fantastical story about the secret lives of his dogs—or that she’s cast him, a man who doesn’t believe in love, as a romantic hero.
When his personal life and professional one collide, Daniel must ask himself how much he really knows about his dog walker and whether he’s truly incapable of falling in love after all.
My first thought upon seeing this title on Netgalley was – “how cute!” I have to say I wasn’t disappointed at all. The Dog Walker’s Diary blends the day-to-day adventures of Daniel’s dogs together with his own day-to-day life in a surprisingly seamless and entertaining way.
*I received an e-ARC of this book in exchange for my review from the publisher via Netgalley.
The Dog Walker’s Diary is one of those books people are either going to really enjoy, or they are going to think is down right blergh. I am in the first category – I really enjoyed it, even though it took me a while to read, but that was due to a little thing called real-life getting in the way. If you are a dog an you’ll enjoy the colourful descriptions of not only the dogs’ appearances, but their personalities and reasons for behaving the way they do.
The most interesting thing about The Dog Walker’s Dairy is how several different stories are woven skillfully together to make one very interesting much longer story. The stories Annie tells about the dogs and their past lives are thoroughly enjoyable and yet still relate to the plot going on with Daniel’s professional and personal lives, as well as what we begin to learn about Annie.
There’s an interesting ‘plot-twist’ about two-thirds of the way into the story, which I won’t give away, but even though you could see it potentially coming, it wasn’t for the reasons you thought it was for once it gets untangled and sorted out. It’s a fairly major part of the overall plot in the end, and you’ll get a little bit cross with some of the characters because of it.
There were times throughout The Dog Walker’s Dairy that I wanted to shake Daniel, commiserate with him and root for him – often there was a combination of two of those feelings at once. He’s a little bit awkward sometimes, especially with his ‘cursed redheads’ theory, and occasionally it felt like he was an awkward teenage boy who was getting caught up in things that were a little bit over his head. However, the boy did good and it all worked out for him eventually.
Although there is definitely a romantic element, I wouldn’t categorise The Dog Walker’s Dairy as just a romance. It’s more of a contemporary novel with a side-serve of romance. IT would however make a great beach read (on those summer days when it’s actually warm enough – not like here today where it’s summer and barely 18 degrees Celsius with rain) or weekend read. There’s plenty of laughs, shenanigans, innuendos and head-desk moments to keep you entertained.