Trials and Tribulations of a Pet Sitter

Being both an animal lover and the lucky companion to two middle aged cats, I was intrigued by the title of this book! What kind of stories would a pet sitter have to tell, I asked myself?

This turned out to be the story of the author, Laura and her dog Brece, and how Laura faired when she was made redundant and set up her own business as a pet sitter.

Brece turned out to be a ‘bit of a character’, contributing towards the break up of Laura’s relationship; definitely no Lassie. To be honest, she came across to me as bordering on being an unpleasant dog at first, although I had grown to lover by the end of the book.

I don’t know really what I was expecting from this book; perhaps a series of hilarious tales? In my opinion, the book was not funny. At first it seemed a little too dry. However as time went on, I realised that the book was a day to day history of an animal lover, who truly loves all her charges and knows their characters inside out.

Compassion and relationships were strong themes from both Laura and the dogs. Who could fail to be moved by the unconventional relationship between Doug the pug and Toby the black Labrador?

A great read for dog/animal lovers alike, although it does seem sad that people seem to be increasingly relying on doggy daycare and dog sitters for their pooches. A real insight into both the joy and the stresses of offering these services – really not a job for the feint-hearted!


Moonlight Over Studland Bay

I was initially drawn to this book by the title, having grown up in Dorset; I loved the idea of reading a book set in a place I knew. It took no time at all to become immersed in this compelling story.


  • Sam, trying to grow her own business doing what she loves and looking after animals.
  • Abby, Sam’s long time friend and housemate, who gives birth at the beginning of the book.

As I lie on my bed reading, I find myself immersed in an idyllic life, living by the sea, caring for animals, what’s not to love?

Sam has not been so lucky in love, and since the birth of Abby’s baby, you can tell she would like one herself. She just needs to find a way to make that happen. Internet dating seems to be a disaster, but what about her boss, Rex or the mysterious Mr B.

I won’t ruin the ending, other than to impart the sad news that the story does in fact end; but I can tell you that you will fall in love with not only characters in this book, but the whole story and the area where it is set.

Personally, I never wanted the book to end and could just consume it for ever. I will however leave you with a quote from the book, when Sam realised that ‘most dreams were better if they were shared’. I can only comment that this book is well worth sharing; I hope you love it as much as I did.


One Kiss Before Christmas by Emma Jackson

One Kiss Before Christmas: The perfect heartwarming holiday romance to curl up with in 2020

So as we start our first week of the second lockdown, I feel myself in need of a Christmassy lift, which I hope to get from this new novel.

The Characters:

Ashleigh – an ‘actress’ (although her heart doesn’t seem to be in it any more), about to embark on her 4th seasonal stint in her local farm’s Christmas attraction. If I could use one word to describe her, it would be ‘downtrodden’.

Olivier – the hunky French next door neighbour. When he first appears, you get the impression that there’s some kind of history between him and Ashleigh.

From Olivier’s first appearance, I felt desperate for him and Ashleigh to get together! It is huge testament to the author’s writing, that I felt so strongly about this; for me, Emma Jackson had brought the characters to life so vividly, that I found myself caring deeply about the future that they could have together.

I am not going to spoil this tale for you, and I will let you read and find out for yourself where the story goes. Suffice to say, this novel gave me the Yuletide uplift I was craving, and I defy any contemporary fiction fan to not enjoy this book.


The Twelve Dogs of Christmas by Lizzie Shane

Well, this book got off to a great start, on two accounts:

  1. Lickability – oops, I mean likeability of the main character, Ben. I mean, who can resist a good looking single Dad. (Maybe it should be lickability!) As such Ben just seems a lovely chap, trying to do the best by his niece, after her parents tragically died.
  2. Dogs. Who can resist a shaggy dog tale (excuse the pun) – not me that’s for sure.

Ally, the main female character seems almost too lovely – selflessly putting her life on hold to help her elderly grandparents with both their ailing dog sanctuary and their ailing selves.

In order to try and home the dogs in the sanctuary, Ben (wearing his city council hat) agrees to help create a regular weekly newsletter, each one extolling the virtues of a sanctuary resident, in order to try and rehom them before Christmas.

The first newsletter star is Partridge, the sanctuary’s longest serving resident, and the ultimate underdog; a not so pretty, drooling bulldog, who must surely pull on the toughest heartstrings!

So, two unrelated singletons, both putting their lives on hold for family reasons……and an underdog.

Thus the scene was set fairly quickly for an enjoyable read, illustrated beautifully by the fact that I’m lying in bed at 3am, reading and review writing, when I should be getting some Zs; still, I have always said that sleep is for wimps!

The big questions on my mind, are:

a) Whether or not Ben ultimately ends up with the girl, the dog or both?

b) Whether or not tongues are involved– canine or otherwise. 

I would tell you, but then who knows what I might feel compelled to do….

Wedding Vows and Cornish Ribbons – Laura Briggs

This novel started really well and it didn’t take long to get to that ‘can’t put it down’ stage.

Julianne and Kitty are business partners; a really likeable pair. They have joined forces to start a wedding planning business, with their own gorgeous venue. The descriptive language used was beautiful and I almost found myself transported to the Cornish countryside.

I found myself really warning to Julianne and Kitty as characters, which in my mind is half way to having a good read.

I thoroughly enjoyed the background drama of Kitty’s pregnancy, with the. various dubious dishes served up by her partner and I loved the way that Julianne interacted with her children and partner.

Most of all I loved the ‘will they won’t they’ dilemma of the couple that are having their wedding planned. I could go on, but I don’t want to ruin a damned good read for you!