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Rescue Me #1

A New Leash on Love

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Discover a new leash on love with Debbie Burns's adorable contemporary romance where everyone is given a second chance, whether they're...

A single father searching for a way to connect with his children
A determined woman desperate to save the animals she loves
Or a sweet-eyed puppy who longs to be adopted

With her no-kill animal shelter at risk of losing funding, Megan Anderson is working doggedly to save the animals in her care. She'll do anything for them — even go toe-to-toe with a handsome man who's in way over his head.

Craig Williams has had his share of heartache recently, and he's not in the mood to get the guilt trip from a spirited (and beautiful) animal shelter owner. But the more time they spend together, the more he realizes it's not just animals Megan is adept at saving — she could be the one to rescue his heart.

Soon, Craig and Megan find that the magic of unconditional love can do anything... even lead to their forever home.

347 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published July 1, 2017

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About the author

Debbie Burns

9 books234 followers
Debbie Burns is a best-selling author who writes happily-ever-afters for her stories’ two- and four-legged stars. While her books have earned many awards and commendations, her favorite praise is from readers who’ve been inspired to adopt a pet in need from their local shelter.

Debbie lives in Saint Louis with her family, two thoroughly spoiled rescue dogs, and a ridiculously grumpy Maine Coon cat who (most) everyone loves anyway. Her hobbies include hiking in the Missouri woods, attempting to grow the perfect tomato, birdwatching, and daydreaming, which of course always leads to new story ideas.

You can also find her on Instagram (@_debbieburns), on Facebook and Pintrest (@authordebbieburns), and on BookBub (@AuthorDebbieBurns).

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 179 reviews
Profile Image for Carole (Carole's Random Life).
1,721 reviews462 followers
June 30, 2017
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I really enjoyed this book. I was pleasantly surprised very early in the book when I realized that the story was set in St. Louis. It is always a lot of fun to find some familiar places worked into this kind of story. I really liked how much of a role the shelter played in the story. The animals and the shelter are a big part of this one. This was a really well told romance that had a very realistic feeling.

Megan and Craig meet in a rather difficult situation for both of them. Let's just say things don't go too well for either of them at their first meeting. They both really show how mature they are and their second meeting is definitely improved. They find themselves really being drawn to each other as they spend more time together. Their relationship really moved at a natural pace.

Megan works at a no-kill animal shelter. She is actually the one who is running the place on a day to day basis. She has a lot of responsibility to deal with and her job can be really tough at times. I loved all of the staff at the shelter and the animals really were wonderful. I thought it was a whole lot of fun having so many animals play an important role in the story.

Craig has had more than his fair share of heartbreak. He really was such a good man. He is very focused on being a good dad to his children. He wants to do whatever is in his power to make their lives better. He isn't really looking for a relationship when he meets Megan but knows he needs to take a chance.

I really liked the characters in this book. Megan and Craig were both incredibly likeable and they seemed so perfect together. I could totally see this pair together for the long haul. There are a few dramatic moments and I liked how everything worked out in the end. Nothing in the book was overly drawn out and the pacing of the story was very well done.

I would recommend this story to fans of contemporary romance. This was a really heartfelt romance with characters that have been through a lot. This is a debut novel from Debbie Burns and I am really looking forward to getting my hands on the next book in this series.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Sourcebooks Casablanca via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I liked this one. I was really surprised that it was set in St. Louis and I had a lot of fun seeing some familiar places mentioned in the story. I really enjoyed how much of a role the animals played in this story. Craig and Megan made a great pair.
Profile Image for Dianne.
6,766 reviews590 followers
June 10, 2017
Who couldn’t love a tale with animals in need of love and a safe place to land that mimics the same predicament two souls find themselves in? What happens when a passionate young woman running an animal shelter deals less than graciously with a wealthy and handsome man seemingly dumping off a now unwanted puppy without a care? Sparks will fly, right, and maybe a little fur, but who knew those sparks of anger could become smoldering flames of passion between two people who have so little in common? Sometimes need is enough to build a foundation, well, that a few puppy licks.

A NEW LEASH ON LOVE by Debbie Burns has more than its share of twists, some cute and adorable, some not so much. There are moment s of tension, situations that leave one raising the eyebrows and thinking, “awkward,” and there are moments of humor that will melt your heart.
Will the wealthy guy get the passionate girl? Will the unwanted puppy find a new home? What about the big German Shepherd? Will the pain of the past become a foundation for a happier future?

Debbie Burns has created a story of love that reads quick, with low heavy drama and lots of "tale" wagging.

I received an ARC edition from Sourcebooks Casablanca in exchange for my honest review.

Series: Rescue Me - Book 1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (July 4, 2017)
Publication Date: July 4, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy
Print Length: 352 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
For Reviews & More: http://tometender.blogspot.com
Profile Image for Susan.
1,150 reviews192 followers
July 2, 2017
A New Leash on Love

Debbie Burns

A NEW LEASH ON LOVE by Debbie Burns is the first book in the Rescue Me series. It is filled with relatable and very likable people. It all centers around the no kill shelter that Megan Anderson works at and has been running since the director got sick. There she meets Craig Williams, who has come in with a puppy surrender. He seems well to do, nice clothes, nice car, and she is aggravated that he seems to be dumping the puppy without any guilt at all. To say that fur flies during their first meeting is an understatement.

Craig has had his share of heartache. He has only been divorced for less than a year which came after a family tragedy that no one can move past. He has been trying to make his kids happy and make their lives less stressful, and surrendering the puppy seems like the right thing to do. A NEW LEASH ON LOVE will have you holding back tears at the emotional roller coaster Debbie Burns puts her readers on. The characters have all been through so much and before long, you will find yourself cheering them on and hoping they find their happily ever after.

Megan has had her share of heartache as well. She lost her father when she was a teenager and has always resented her mother for moving on without her dad. She also broke up wth her fiancé not too long ago. Neither Megan or Craig is looking for any kid of relationship, but it seems that's all they can think about. A NEW LEASH ON LOVE is the perfect way to spend the afternoon, on your couch with your favorite beverage. Soon, you will be falling in love with all the animals and people in this heart warming and sweet story. Will Megan and Craig ever be able to heal their broken hearts and move on from their painful pasts? Read this wonderful contemporary to find out! I can't wait to continue this fun and sweet series!

Profile Image for Chatting About Cozies.
1,163 reviews48 followers
August 12, 2017
Wonderful contemporary romance. Megan Anderson works for an animal shelter where Craig Williams comes to turn in a chocolate lab puppy his daughter can't seem to take responsibility for. Sparks fly between him and Megan. Craig is newly divorced and he and his children are suffering emotionally. Megan immediately finds a forever home for the lab pup with a sweet older woman who's lost her husband and needs this puppy's companionship as much as he needs hers. When Craig and Sophie return wanting a second chance with the puppy, Megan offers Sophie the chance to become a volunteer in hopes another rescue dog will steal her heart. Sophie is a smart 12-year old and excels as a volunteer. Craig and Megan are attracted to each other but both are wary about commitment. I really enjoyed this fast paced story. It is filled with tender emotion and there are lots of cute animals to enjoy.
Profile Image for NMmomof4.
1,515 reviews3,762 followers
December 28, 2019
3 Stars

Overall Opinion: I'm giving it a solid "just okay" 3 Stars. For a freebie it wasn't bad! It just didn't make me fall in love either. It felt like it was too focused on the animals and not enough on the development of their relationship, there was very-little-to-no conflict even though there were some subjects that very well could've caused some angsty moments, and the ending left something to be desired. It won't go down on my favorites shelf, but I didn't hate it either...just feel kind of meh about it 🤷🏻‍♀️

Brief Summary of the Storyline: This is Megan and Craig's story. Megan works in an animal shelter and she is having a bad day when Craig comes to surrender the first Christmas puppy of the season. Craig's life has been rough lately and he is just trying to help his kids roll with the punches, so when the shelter worker gives him attitude--he gives it right back. They fight but also cannot forget about one another. After several meetings they give in and become friends and then more. There's is a little family drama and some sexy times...and they get a HFN ending.

Point Of View (POV): This alternated between focusing on Megan and Craig (mainly but some other characters as well) in 3rd person narrative.

Overall Pace of Story: Alright. It did feel slow at times and I ended up skimming some at the end.

Instalove: No, they take a while to develop stronger feelings.

H (Hero) rating: 3.5 stars. Craig. I pretty much liked him. He always tried to do what was best and I appreciated that.

h (heroine) rating: 3.5 stars. Megan. I pretty much liked her too. I appreciated how she didn't need a man but she recognized that she was better with him.

Sadness level: Low, no tissues needed

Push/Pull: Yes

Heat level: Alright. They have some pretty good tension, chemistry, and scenes -- but not so much it takes away from the story.

Descriptive sex: Yes

OW (Other Woman)/OM (Other Man) drama: Not really

Sex scene with OW or OM: No

Cheating: No

Separation: No

Possible Triggers: Yes

Closure: This ended alright with what I would call a HFN ending . There were, however, some unanswered questions about how they were going to navigate their new lives that I had in the end.

Safety: This one should be Safe for most safety gang readers
Profile Image for Simply Love Book Reviews.
6,949 reviews827 followers
June 26, 2017

It is always a pleasure to come across a new author and be delighted by their debut story. A New Leash on Love by Debbie Burns was a wonderful story that has the many attributes I look for in a romance. It had believable and likeable characters, a supporting cast of cats and dogs and a second chance trope. Megan Anderson and Craig Williams are both recovering from a broken heart and are very wary of giving it a second chance. I guess when you aren’t looking for love it comes to you unexpectedly.

Megan works at an animal shelter and her temper flares when a man surrenders the puppy his daughter received over the holidays. Craig is feeling bad enough about returning the dog but he doesn’t need this woman giving him grief as well. Things were said but there was also some vulnerability shown when things weren’t said in that exchanged. Things aren’t always black and white and both Craig and Megan are feeling something going on between them when they see each other again and again. I understood reluctance on Craig’s part considering his situation with his ex-wife and children. Still he hadn’t felt this in a very long time and just couldn’t deny it when it could be a game changer. Megan has been so wrapped up with her work at the shelter she never expected to get those feelings again for a man, especially one whose life is in such flux. But no matter what life deals you, both Megan and Craig took small steps towards each other and make the best of this chance on love. It wasn’t an easy road for either of them because it meant reconciling feelings of the past and dealing better with grief.

Debbie Burns has written a wonderful story about a couple who have a chance to heal their broken hearts and find love again. The sex is tame but you can still feel the attraction and heat they feel for one another. Each time Craig and Megan were in scenes with one another you can see them working out in their minds how they want to be together but have so much to deal with. The addition of the supporting characters of Craig’s children, Megan’s mom and friends, developed the story and emphasized the worlds they have built around them. It just made the whole story fully develops and give a better understand where they are both coming from. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and look forward to more stories. There is a new voice in contemporary romance and I hope this is a great beginning for her writing career.

Review copy provided for a voluntary review.
Profile Image for Linda .
1,809 reviews255 followers
September 15, 2022
I was in the mood for a contemporary romance and A New Leash on Love fit the bill. The title was a play on words with numerous animals (dogs and cats alike) and a new leash on life.

Megan Anderson met Craig Williams for the first time under some tense moments. Neither of them was in the best frame of mind. Words were said, but these two individuals were good persons and neither wanted to leave the circumstances as is.

Craig was newly divorced though his marriage had ended three years before. He had two children and some very sad memories.

Four years ago, Megan graduated college with a degree in social work, but fate had her working at an animal shelter. She enjoyed her job. She loved all kinds of animals, and her co-workers were the best.

The pace of the romance was slow in the first half, but the chemistry was good. I, as the reader, felt it rippling along the pages. Both Craig and Megan had been burned before. There was a difference in age of nine years between both characters and they were cautious as was to be expected.

I also appreciated the loyalty Megan felt with Craig's daughter, Sophie. At no time, did I not relate to the various characters and what each of them were going through. And what could have easily been written as the Big Misunderstanding wasn't. Instead, it was a brief bit of time away with a loving ending.
Profile Image for Saly.
3,433 reviews512 followers
December 10, 2018
This is a new-to-me author who I really enjoyed. The book is pretty sweet (with fade to black love scenes) with fantastic characters. The hero is a successful 35-year-old man who just went through a divorce and has two surviving kids (a 13yr old daughter and 9 year old son). The death of one of his sons destroyed his family and all of them are still recovering. He runs into the 10 year younger heroine when he goes to surrender his daughter's puppy and they don't make a good start of it. But actually somehow that meeting is the start of healing for him, his daughter and also the beginning of something with h/H. I loved the pace of the book and how slowly the h/H moved towards a relationship. I also loved the twist in their relationship and was smiling throughout the book which is always a great sign.
Profile Image for Kate.
2,071 reviews311 followers
February 12, 2020
3.5 - This book broke my heart. It is extremely emotional with a Hero who has experienced a tragedy and that he is trying to lead his life but really isn't. Meghan is a fantastic heroine, understanding yet strong. However she should have been honest and not a coward.

I would recommend this book. I think it is currently a freebie at date of posting.
August 30, 2017
It's been a while since I read "A New Leash on Love" but I'm finding that two months later, I still love it just as much. It's funny how each year I associate my July 4th vacation week with a book that stuck in my mind and this year, this book is the one. It was a perfect way to spend a rainy day curled up on the couch with two lovable pooches reading about other ones.

Craig Williams is going through a divorce and as the book opens, he is having to take a puppy that his children adore to the local pound because it is too much for his wife and children. When doing so, he meets Megan Anderson. Megan has worked years at the shelter rescuing pets and finding them forever homes and she immediately thinks Craig is a pompous ass - and I'll have to admit, I agreed with her for quite some time. However, over the course of the book, Megan and Craig learn more about each other and he even becomes quite helpful to her in securing new funding sources to help the shelter grow. Megan takes Craig's daughter under her wing and shows her how to care for the dogs at the shelter in the hopes that eventually she will be able to take on the responsibility of another dog of her own.

One of the best things about this book to me was all the animals. There are lots of rescues and fosters and the reader is given insight to many of them. Also, all of the staff at the shelter have their own little quirks and foibles and I really liked getting to know all about them. I probably could have given this book 5/5 but since I don't read a lot of romance, it was hard for me to make a decision. The dogs alone scored a few points but I appreciated that the book wasn't one large case of insta-love and that there were no love triangles presented (things that immediately turn me off in books).

If you love dogs and enjoy seeing character development, this is a good book to pick up. In addition, I'm also sure any regular reader of romance books with absolutely be thrilled with "A New Leash on Love." I'm definitely keeping my eyes open for the next book in this series.

I received this book from Netgalley and the published in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Barb Lie.
1,799 reviews4 followers
July 4, 2017
A New Leash on Love by Debbie Burns is the first book in her new Rescue Me series. This was a wonderful sweet romance, with a family and animals as a major part of the story. Having never read anything before by Burns, I loved every moment of A New Leash on Love, and I plan on reading more of her books; especially the rest of this series.

Megan Anderson, our heroine, who runs an animal shelter, loves her job and her dog/cats. When Craig Williams, our hero, stops at the shelter to drop off a puppy that was a Christmas gift to his children, he meets Megan. Both Megan and Craig are both in bad moods when they come face to face. He is sad to have to bring the puppy back, since his house was going to be sold, his divorce finalized and they were not prepared to handle the puppy. Megan, who is very passionate about her work, was already upset that the shelter is at the max of animals, and she had to rescue a German shepherd, Sledge. At that moment Craig and the cute puppy arrive, which was all Megan needed to be curt and sarcastic to Craig. The two of them went at each other in a fiery confrontation, with Craig slamming the door on the way out.

Both of them felt bad after they calmed down, and couldn’t forget about it. When the following day, Craig goes back to the shelter with his daughter to get the puppy back, but unfortunately Megan had already placed the puppy at a home of someone local who recently lost their dog. Despite this, Craig and Megan start apologizing, and they both can feel the attraction, which neither will act on at this time. Megan will get Craig’s daughter to help become a volunteer at the shelter, which will keep them running into each other, often.

What follows is a wonderful sweet slow build romance between Megan and Craig. The setting with the animal shelter, the wonderful dogs and cats, and Craig’s daughter Sophie & son Reese becoming involved in the shelter and close to Megan made this story even more delightful. There is also the background story of Craig s amicable divorce caused by the death of Reese’s twin brother, which affected his ex and children; as well as Megan also had her own insecurities about trusting love.

Craig, despite his not wanting another relationship, turned out to be such a great guy, and was so supportive and sweet to Megan. Megan was a great heroine, who cared about her animals and friends, and watching her bond with Sophie was wonderful. I also fell in love with Sledge, Megan’s rescue dog.

This was a wonderful delightful, heartwarming read, with some great characters, sweet dogs and cats, and wonderful romance. There was also a nice twist near the end. What more can you ask for? A New Leash on Life was written so well by Debbie Burns. I wholly recommend that you read this book.

The Reading Cafe
Profile Image for Ann Lorz.
1,593 reviews19 followers
August 31, 2017
Reviewed for Romancing the Readers Blog: https://romancingthereaders.blogspot....

When I saw the cover of A New Leash of Love I couldn't wait to get it. I even pre-ordered it and that's something I don't often remember to do. I'm a huge fan of books with animals in them. I really believe that they help make a story.

So we had a great cover and a story full of animals. So far so good!

Like I said I couldn't wait to read it and then when it hit my ereader I was way to busy with other reviews to get to it. Which turned out okay since Karen @ The Many Faces of Romance picked it for her choice of our group reviews.

It finally got close to when I could read it for our reviews. I don't care to read our BCT books that early on, I usually do them closer to the time I review them, about a month or so out. I'm really rambling here. Anyway, I sat down with and started it and almost right away put it down.

What! Why? Good question.

Because within the first page or two I knew it wasn't going to be the type of writing that I would like and I was right. It felt more like I was being told the story not that I was part of it. Hard to explain I know. When I read a story I want to feel like I'm there, almost like I'm every character and it's a movie in my head.

With this book I felt on the sidelines, I didn't connect with the characters enough. By the time I got half the way in it was turning into a choir to read. If I had been reading it for a regular review I think I would have stopped and had it marked as DNF, but since it was for our group review I kept on going.

Poor me! It never got better for me and that makes me sad. For some reason I want to like everything I read, and most of the time I do. It doesn't happen often that I find books I don't enjoy somewhat. It seems that when I do run into them it's always at the same time. I've had other reviews this week that weren't good ones.

But I am human so I can't like everything and to be honest I don't think it reflects on the author and her book. I'm sure that many people will just love this story and read the whole series. It just won't include me. I'm glad I gave the book a try but I'm also happy to be done with it.

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Profile Image for Ami.
5,809 reviews499 followers
July 4, 2017
2.75 stars rounded up

At first meeting, I thought Megan and Craig had sparks. Craig comes to the no-kill shelter where Megan works to surrender a Christmas puppy that has become too much to handle with his current family situation. Megan thinks that he is just another dumper and sort of lashed out at him. So I was expecting sizzle and a lot of banter between the two, once Megan learns that it isn’t the case.

Unfortunately, the spark diminishes, and Megan became more passive, meek, and lost her confidence. Craig also has too much baggage with the tragedy in his family and the divorce. I didn’t feel the chemistry between these two and I can’t find myself believing in them in the long run.

I’m not very fond of the way the story goes as well. I genuinely think the situation with Craig’s family is still a bit of a mess… and adding the storyline didn’t won me over.

On the plus side, there are a LOT of animals, and it was impossible not to feel the pulls at my heart string with at least one of them. Most probably Sledge, the German shepherd, the first animal to make an appearance in this book. My heart just felt for this dog and I am so happy that Megan and him bonded throughout. I am rounding up the star rating for the animals.

A Guest Review for The Blogger Girls

The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.
Profile Image for Christa Schönmann Abbühl.
913 reviews17 followers
November 17, 2019
I have been trying to find good romance with dogs in it for a while now, and this one fits the bill.

Everything about the animal shelter and the animals and people in and around it was fascinating and realistic.

I also quite liked the romance, even though I am not generally into rich guy falling for younger girl with a heart of gold. The author made it work, and the backstories, while quite sad, were well done and well integrated into the story.

The heroine was a little bit too perfect for my taste, the relationship on the other hand was in part astonishingly real.

There was a moment when I felt the complications were unnecessarily drawn out, but then there were some really good scenes close to the end, which changed my mind.

They do not instantly heal each others wounds: they have to come to term with things first, they disagree with each other, they fight, they act cowardly for a while, but end up talking things through.

The children are well drawn characters by themselves.

The miscommunication concerning protection and birth control was annoyingly stupid, but sometimes people are.

I listened to the audio and enjoyed the narration very much.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Mandi.
2,300 reviews721 followers
July 9, 2017
This was cute - heavy on the rescue dogs, a little light on the actual physical romance

Review to come
Profile Image for Traci.
885 reviews39 followers
February 19, 2019
Started out well, then got to a point that I almost did not finish. Sigh.

The good first. Writing was decent, character development wasn't too bad, and of course, because our heroine works in a shelter, a lot of information about dogs, cats, shelters, etc. Love that part!

Now the bad. And yes, this will include spoilers, so I'm hiding this part. Read on only if you've 1) already read the book or 2) have no intention of reading it and just want to know why I struggled to finish it.

Finally, I felt like once our main characters were going to get their HEA, some things with his kids and her family were just sort of dropped. Maybe that's just me, but yeah...felt like some threads were just left hanging in the wind.

I'm not sure if I'll continue this series or not. Might look at some info on the next book, make sure I'm not going to be setting myself up for another WTH moment.
Profile Image for Isha Coleman.
6,989 reviews135 followers
June 20, 2017
I am enamored of Debbie Burns. With outstretched arms and an open heart, she welcomes readers into her world of cuddly creatures, tempting humans and incredibly moving storytelling. A New Leash on Love comes from the heart, speaks to the heart and feeds the soul. Ms. Burns understands that humans aren't the only ones in need of love and hope. Whether human or animal we all need some TLC and a second chance.
September 27, 2017
Wonderful read. Great characters, pace, story. A must for dog lovers. Very well done for a debut novel. l wish the next one was coming sooner than 2018. Thank you Good Reads for suggesting this book.
Profile Image for Robin Loves Reading.
2,198 reviews372 followers
August 24, 2019
My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Craig Williams has been grieving for quite some time. His family has suffered a terrible loss, and partly due to that, he is now divorced. Therefore, he must take his daughter's dog to a shelter immediately after the holidays. Craig is heartbroken, almost as much as his daughter Sophie.

When Craig meets the shelter's acting director, Megan Anderson, they knock heads. Craig presents as extremely angry and he definitely rubs Megan the wrong way. Their paths begin to cross, however, and soon Craig tries to level the playing field. He just might want a chance with her, despite the fact that his heart is still broken in a million pieces.

When I got the book Love at First Bark for review, I realized that it is the fourth book in the Rescue Me series. Since I am a series binge-reader, I went to my library and got all three previous titles, including this one, A New Leash on Love. I am so very glad that I stopped to read this book. It was incredibly touching on many levels.

For starters, the shelter Megan works at is a no-kill shelter. There simply are not enough of them across the country. Megan's dedication to the dogs was just so sweet. I especially loved her connection with the dog Sledge. Also, Craig was a very sincere character. his spirit had been crushed and I loved the light Megan put in his heart and soul. His daughter Sophie was another wonderful character in this story.

I am eager to continue this series. The other titles not mentioned are Sit, Stay, Love and My Forever Home, which are at the top of my TBR.
Profile Image for Evelyn.
176 reviews5 followers
July 3, 2017
Originally reviewed for www.buriedunderromance.com

A NEW LEASH ON LOVE, the first contemporary romance by Debbie Burns, is also the kick-off novel for a new series, Rescue Me. This delightful five star read takes us inside the world of an animal shelter, and while I think anyone will be hooked on this well written story, it will especially appeal to animal lovers.
Megan Anderson, the hard-working director of a non-profit animal shelter, rejoices when she finds new forever homes for any of the many animals than come through her shelter. It’s a far more difficult for her when she has to rescue animals from horrible situations, but she does it all with a great deal of love and compassion.
Very successful business owner Craig Williams has been watching his once ideal life come apart at the seams. Recently divorced, he finds himself with the unpleasant task of taking his family’s purebred lab puppy to the shelter because he no longer fits into their lives. The initial meeting between Craig and Megan becomes very confrontational, but as their paths continue to cross, there is no denying that there is a special connection between them. Can they overcome the age difference and all the hidden baggage they are both carrying?
The characters in A NEW LEASH ON LOVE are well-written and complex. Megan’s passion for animals immediately endears her to readers, and as her painful past is slowly revealed, she becomes very real. Craig is almost too perfect to be real. It was hard, at first, to show much sympathy for this wealthy, good looking man. I found myself in tears many times, however, as we learn more about him. It would be hard not to fall in love with him as he struggles to help his kids put their lives back together after an unspeakable tragedy, something he hasn’t even been able to do for himself. His children, especially young teen Sophie, are very believable and loveable. I wanted to give them all a hug and tell them that everything was going to be all right.
The story is fast paced, and has many unique twists that I wasn’t expecting. I especially love that the animal shelter and it’s many residents play such an important part of this story. Our home has been the forever home for countless adoptees, and I can’t help but feel that there will be many more homeless animals finding their forever homes as readers find themselves drawn to their local shelters after reading this book. At least I hope so!
This is a great first novel for a new author, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

I voluntarily read an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Profile Image for Angela Evans.
Author 5 books15 followers
July 10, 2017
Debbie Burns will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions with A New Leash On Love! With the backdrop set in an animal shelter, there's little chance you'll escape dry-eyed but Burns takes it above and beyond with this multi-layered love story you won't soon forget!

One for the Keeper Shelf!
Profile Image for Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews.
2,364 reviews119 followers
June 30, 2017
I have said this before but I am a sucker for any book that has dogs in it and this one has not one but MANY dogs since Megan runs an animal shelter. The biggest plus is how much it brings shelters to the front and gives the reader a look into how shelters operate and that it is not easy or cheap to run them and perhaps donations will be made after reading this book!

Megan and Craig are destined to be together but they don't know it at first....Craig has baggage from his first marriage and he has 2 children. Megan was engaged before and his some issues after watching her parent's marriage and her mother's subsequent remarriage when her father dies. This leaves her with a lot of questions that she has let sit and fester somewhat instead of addressing them head on until she finds herself in a situation and has to have that talk with her mom. So as you can imagine there will be miscommunication between Craig and Megan and mostly because they don't know they can be honest with each other.

I thought that many parts of this story was sweet with a little spice from Craig and Megan's intimate relationship. There may be a 10 year age difference but when it comes to matters of the heart that really doesn't matter much, we love who we love despite all. Megan develops good relationships with Sophie and Reese (Craig's children) but they don't know she is dating their dad which is ok because it doesn't put any pressure on any of them to like each other for any reason other than liking each other for who they are and not because they might "have" to like each other.

Overall very enjoyable and a fun read.
Profile Image for Caprice Hokstad.
Author 11 books10 followers
May 23, 2021
Not terrible. Not great. Kind of meh and okay. I really can't put my finger on what was just not "there" for me.

Nitpick: author calls a car a "Bimmer" and led me to wonder whether this was a typo for "Bummer" and therefore a slur/put-down. I eventually realized it was actually "Beemer" or the common name for a BMW. Is this a regional difference? It was done at least twice and both times she called it a Bimmer instead of Beemer. Weird.

Positive: absolutely best darned use of the f-bomb I have ever seen. When you save it and only use it ONCE, it has so much more punch and it totally fit here. Bravo on that one.

I must admit that I didn't think of the title beyond it being a cute pun that promised a dog in the story. It didn't quite register that this was "second chance" type of thing and I think that is my fault because, duh, "new lease" should have been a good tipoff. It also seemed at the beginning that the male MC's divorce wasn't a done deal and there was chance for a reconciliation. Took me too long to figure out the ex-wife was not worthy of the male MC and to therefore root for the female MC to get together with him. The unplanned pregnancy felt kind of forced and awkward too.

Not sure whether I will read the next one or not. Maybe, if it grabs me. But it will probably get a more probationary chance than normal.
Profile Image for SandyL.
3,052 reviews
January 1, 2019
Megan Anderson runs an animal shelter and is having a bad day when a wealthy man drops off a "Christmas puppy" - a puppy that was given as an Xmas gift and now, a month later, is being turned into a shelter. Craig Williams doesn't appreciate the shelter worker losing her temper with him - he doesn't want to give up the puppy, but he has no choice. When his daughter convinces him to try and get the puppy back, he isn't able to, but other events happen to bring Megan into his family's life. I really enjoyed this story and loved all the dogs and cats that were included, especially Sledge!
Profile Image for Shari.
871 reviews75 followers
October 1, 2019
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Delight
A second chance on love with some rescue animals? Sign me up, but that felt like a mistake. It was a delight to see rescue animals, it wasn't so much a delight in the love and relationship side.

Craig Williams is going through a divorce and things just aren't very upbeat. Now he is stuck taking his daughter's Christmas puppy to a shelter. He just wants the problem to disappear when a fiery Megan Anderson unloads on him. Megan's had a bad day taking in another animal to a shelter already over packed and running low on funds. While she usually has an even temper, this is just the last straw. After the first meeting I figured this story was doomed.

Craig was in a bad place to start with and then not in the right frame of mind for a relationship, which he tries to admit. He finds himself in the presence of Megan over and over. Craig is also dealing with a huge life changing, impactful situation that he clearly is still grieving over. Megan and Craig enter  no commitment sexual relationship. And I wish I could say the sex was good. While it is not fade to black, it doesn't get a girl excited either. Megan seems to like it though.

Craig also has a thirteen year old daughter and a ten year old son, whose twin's death and lead to the breakdown of this family. We do meet Jillian, Craig's ex-wife and while I understood why they ended up getting a divorce, it still kind of struck me that they were in love once and the death of their child has totally broken them apart. Craig seems like a reasonable guy for the most part. His ex we don't get to know as much, but she seems to be the root of the problem between them. But again, this isn't really the point of the story, more a I don't know why Craig even got in a relationship with Megan. Or how he could feel so deeply so quickly after the divorce.

Megan is also dealing with her own issues. She resents her mom for moving on to quickly after her father's death. She recently broke up with her fiance. Finally, she is now in charge of an animal shelter after the last one has a heart attack and decides not to come back. I can't say she is hurting for money, but it isn't something she throws around as she lives in an apartment that won't let her take in dogs.

The two are attracted to each other, but keeping it a secret from everyone because it wasn't supposed to be a life commitment or even dating. Craig's daughter volunteers at the shelter after she came back for her puppy which had already been adopted out.

But here is one very hard issue I had in all of this, because it was passive aggressive. Craig goes on a trip with a buddy and Megan sends a package for him to open when he gets there. It's contains condoms. Just because he was clean and banging her didn't mean the ones he bang down there will be clean is her reasoning. Craig calls her on it and says he's not interested in others. So this isn't a serious relationship, he isn't sleeping around. Megan wouldn't confront the issue head on so she sends condoms to deliver a message. Never mind the fact they aren't using condoms when they are together.

The other thing that got me and I usually don't stuck on it, but there was a ten year age difference. Craig had 3 kids and was moving into the mid life. Not that he couldn't find love, it just seemed he felt more manly with a younger woman. Megan was younger and wanted to find love and have a family. I can't say Craig would have been against more kids, but you figure after 10 years of not having more, starting over isn't what he is looking for.

A lot of things happens at the critical point in the books. A series of events that create the perfect storm. Once again Megan runs instead of dealing with it head on. She does resolve another issue in the process, but it felt like she didn't even give Craig a chance and she was already finding him failing before he had a chance to prove her right or wrong.

Overall there were just too many of my issues with the story to find a lot of pleasure in the reading. Nothing is every easy in real life and this story does mirror life. Everything ends somewhat happily, but to get there took so much effort and sometimes some really dozy of solutions. Overall, it's a good story, just lacked the greatness or even some good sex scenes to make me believe these two really couldn't get enough of each other. Just wasn't there.

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Profile Image for Annett.
16 reviews2 followers
August 14, 2017
I picked up A New Leash On Love this morning at Wal Mart because I love the cover. It's a new author and it look like a very good book. I started reading it as soon as I got back home and I just finished it. Once I started I could not stop. I loved Megan and at first I hated Craig. I felt sorry for the children but it all worked out for them all. I absolutely loved this book and would recommend everyone read it. I know Debbie Burns will be added to my favorite authors list. Thank you.
Profile Image for Savannah Hendricks.
Author 25 books346 followers
July 14, 2019
I'm new to this author, and I'm grateful to have discovered this series. I absolutely loved the story, I couldn't stop reading. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Deanie Nelder.
1,131 reviews13 followers
March 9, 2020
As an animal shelter volunteer, I know how difficult it is to do that kind of work, so it's great to see a shelter worker as the MC in a romance novel. Megan is flawed, and that's what makes her such a great character. Craig, her love interest, is a little too perfect at times, but his interaction with his kids is wonderful. The children add another dimension to the novel, and dealing with the grief of losing their brother (Craig's son) brings a seriousness and depth that this novel needs. Great characters (mostly), but a basic romance novel plot, so not much originality there -- though bonus points for an anti-meet cute to start off their relationship.
335 reviews
May 12, 2020
loved the whole story line around the animal rescue center. thinking i am going to have to find the rest of this series.
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