I just want to be clear: the only reason I am giving this 3 stars is that there are dogs. And they talk.
This is a standard romantic comedy with all tI just want to be clear: the only reason I am giving this 3 stars is that there are dogs. And they talk.
This is a standard romantic comedy with all the same characters and an identical plot to all romantic comedies. The only difference is that the narrator gets romantic advice from her dog, which most dog-owners will realize is a dubious prospect at best. (My dog happens to love everyone in concordance with immediate proximity. Love the one you're with: that's her mantra.) That aside, Markoe, like one honed on writing the zippy conversation worthy of the Television Emmies she has earned, is very good with dialog; even the conversation of dogs, which could get old pretty quick if the dogs behave like real dogs, which Markoe's dogs mostly do, is handled deftly and humorously.
I do have a couple issues with this book. The recurring how-to-write-a-novel theme is intrusive and unnecessary, as is the unpleasant visual metaphor of the ocean giving birth to the sunrise, which pops up three times and rather than making me laugh at its jolly cliche humor, makes me think of afterbirth. The heroine is also annoying: for all her passive-aggressive sniping about her self-absorbed family, she has a habit of showing up on their doorsteps for extended stays and expecting them to drop everything and care about her problems. In short, she is as self-absorbed as they are. Fortunately, she finds an unrealistically perfect guy who works from home and is always willing to drop everything at any time to come to her rescue when things go wrong in her life. I really liked this guy - how could I not? - and the dogs (Margie and Brandy were particular favorites), so the expected happily-ever-after was more or less satisfying. Does the quality of writing here deserve three stars? No, it does not. But if you want a satisfyingly feel-good, predictable way to while away the time and you like dogs and romantic comedy, this is the book for you. ...more