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Love at First Bark

(Rescue Me #4)

by
3.92  ·  Rating details ·  239 ratings  ·  69 reviews

"This heartstring-tugger is certain to win fans." —Publishers Weekly STARRED Review for A New Leash on Love

Animal portrait painter Mia Chambers and architect Ben Thomas have volunteered at the High Grove Animal Shelter for years, and they share a complicated history. Ben has secretly loved Mia all this time, but she was married to his best friend. Now she's newly widow

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Mass Market Paperback, 1st edition, 352 pages
Published July 30th 2019 by Sourcebooks Casablanca (first published July 2019)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  239 ratings  ·  69 reviews


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Robin Loves Reading
My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Mia Chambers and Ben Thomas both volunteer at a no-kill animal shelter. Mia was married, then separated, and ultimately widowed. The man she was married to was Ben's best fiend. There has always been a problem, however. Ben has been in love with Mia for years, and she never learned of his feelings. Not only do they see each other often at the shelter, Ben is Mia's son's godfather, so he still plays an important role in their lives.

A rescue operation concerning a dozen border
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Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
Love at First Bark is a complex romance story with the added charm of family and rescued animals. Mia Chambers world has been upended by her husband Brad’s infidelity and sudden death. Now a widow she is trying to make ends meet for her and her 7-year-old son Ollie. There to help is Ben Thomas, Brad’s best friend and Ollie’s godfather. Ben has been in love with Mia for 8 years and hopes this time he can let his feeling be known. Is it too soon to tell her? And what about the secret Brad told him ...more
Beth
Lots and lots of puppies, need I say more?

Mia is recently widowed, with a young son. She is in a transition position in life and not quite sure what to make of the unexpected changes. Focusing on her son and working at the local shelter have given her the stability she needs to keep her footing in life.

Ben was her husband’s best friend but has secretly held a torch for Mia. He is there for Mia and her son but feels extremely conflicted about his roles in both their lives.

The best way to describ
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Saly
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have rated all the previous three books in this series highly, they are what draw me to contemporary romance. Love at First Bark is another stellar entry with a hero to die for. Ben is a good man, a good friend, good godfather and finally gets the woman he has love from afar seeing her struggle in a bad marriage.

Our heroine is a widow, one who doesn't feel like one because she was finally on the verge of letting go of a bad marriage before her husband passed. She is dealing with a lot of worri
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Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-to-review, 2019
I have enjoyed each book in this series for the story but mostly for the dogs.  The series centers around a shelter in St Louis and the various employees and volunteers.  I love how the shelter is very proactive in getting pets adopted and roping in local celebrities to help in their mission.  It doesn't hurt that some of those well known local names find love in several of these books.

This book is a little sadder than others at least to start.  It focuses on Mia who is a recent widow.  She has
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Sheena ☆ Oh, the Sheenanigans!

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5 Stars)
Title: Love At First Bark
Author(s): Debbie Burns
Character(s):
Mia Chambers: 30 years old, Brunette, Blue Eyed
Ben Thomas: 30 years old, Brown Eyed
Setting: Minnesota
Tag(s): Romance, Contemporary
Content Rating: PG-13
POV: Third Person
Smexy Level: Warm
Favorite Quote(s):
― "Sometimes I swear you’re the only person in the world who really sees me."
Overall Opinion:
"Love At First Bark" was a cute romance that could easily tug at anyone's heart strings. The story focus on the
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Becca
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Love at First Bark is a book on Friendship, Love and Family with a high dose of puppies thrown into the mix, making this a good read.

Mia is at odds. Her recently deceased husband left her in a world of turmoil. Mia was in the process of divorcing Luckily she has Ben, her late husband's best friend, and godfather to her son Ollie, by her side.

Ben wants to be there for Mia and Ollie is every way but he's full of guilt. He never let Mia know that it was actually him who has been in love with her si
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Darcy
Jun 23, 2019 rated it liked it
I really enjoy how dogs play such a big part in these books and this book was no different. From the herd of dogs let loose at the start, to a few of those dogs being adopted, they were fun to read about as were the humans that took care of them.

This one was a bit different, sort of a melancholy tone. Mia was in an odd spot in her life, not really sure what to think and learning new things seemed to throw her in a tail spin. Luckily she had her son and the shelter to focus on, to steady and grou
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Erin Lewis
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Review of Love At First Bark (Rescue Me #4) by Debbie Burns

Debbie Burns is a new author to me so I haven’t read any previous books in the series based around the High Grove Animal Shelter.
This is Mia Chambers and Ben Thomas’s story.

Ben has been in love with Mia for years even though she married his best friend; in fact he is her son’s godfather.

When her estranged husband dies, Ben steps in to help out. This is a story of love, romance and friendship. Throw in some cute animals and you are i
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Stephanie A.
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals, dogs, otp
This book is an overstuffed gift basket full of the fuzziest and most indulgent romance tropes (plus a lot of dogs) and I love it. I can't even count them all so I'm just gonna start naming a few off the top of my head:

Guilt-free widowhood, so as to have our single-mom cake and eat it too. Longterm Unrequited Pining. Friends to Lovers, with a side of The Sweetheart Deal. Almost insta-family. Inherited grandparents' house. Woman with a cool/quirky but low-paying career and Bills, Bills, Bills. I
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Marsha Keeper Bookshelf
Reviewed at Keeper Bookshelf

I have had such an emotional, joyful time with the Rescue Me series by Debbie Burns, and the fourth title, LOVE AT FIRST BARK was no exception to that ongoing rule of awesome stories, people and animals.

Mia and Ben have had a connection for nearly a decade. Ben was captivated by a speech she gave in college and his best friend, Brad was to set up a meeting between them. Unfortunately, Ben’s dad became ill and he had to miss that meeting – leaving the way open for Brad
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Vikki Vaught
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Love at First Bark is the fourth book in Rescue Me series and a delightful addition. Thanks goes to the publisher, via Net-Galley, for a chance to read and review an advance reader copy of this book. My opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way.

I thoroughly enjoyed the story from start to finish. The plot is about a woman who, while in the midst of divorcing her husband, never makes it to divorce court because he dies. He leaves her with a ton of debt and a grieving seven-year-old so
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Aly
Aug 11, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5

Ben Thomas is an architect and a climbing buff. Mia Chambers have an online business as a pet portrait artist, she's the mother of a seven-year-old boy and now a widow. Ben and Mia both volunteer at the High Grove Animal Shelter but they also have a complicated history. He was in love with her, she didn't know and she married his best friend. But Ben still stayed in her life as a friend and as a godfather to little Ollie, being even more present for him than his father was. Her husband had hi
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BookAddict
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
After reading the previous book in this series, I was eager to get a chance to read this book early. Once again, Burns delivers a heartfelt, poignant read full of emotion. When the four-legged characters are done well, they have a way of stealing the scene, and these rescue pups definitely hold their own. Mia's son, Ollie, is adorable, and his playful, sweet interactions with the hero, Ben, are what really steal the show.

Everyone is still reeling from Brad’s death. Although he and Mia were in th
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Barb Lie
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love at First Bark by Debbie Burns is the 4th book in her Rescue Me series. We return to High Grove Animal Shelter, revisiting many people we met in the previous books. Mia Chambers, our heroine, works at the shelter and also paints animal pictures. Mia is recently widowed (though she was in the middle of a divorce) and has an adorable 7 year old son, Ollie.

Ben Thomas, our hero, has always been in love with Mia, but she was married to his best friend. Ben does everything he can to help Mia and h
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Angel Hatfield
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
Ben had been craving the escape of the mountains for the last three weeks. He yearned for the rigorous challenge and solitude. Climbing was ben’s biggest passion and it was the activity that would successfully quiet his thoughts, the only time he could shut out the world. He’d lost his oldest friend-Brad- That meant Mia Chambers was available the only woman Ben had ever loved. Ben had an obligation to his small architect company and to mia and her son- his godson-Ollie. He wasn’t going to let th ...more
Gmr
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read the rest of the series, but I'm seriously adding it to my wish list for future reading. I mean first of all, we have the cutesy title...just try and tell me you didn't smile when you read/said it. Second, that cover! An adorable pupper, the snowy scene, and our potential couple walking through the drifts...can't you just feel the love? Last on the "why should I read this" roster, the story!

Really, the story is what brings the greatest joy here. The characters, both the two and fo
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Kate Mclaughlin
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
A delightful fourth installment to Debbie Burns’ Rescue Me series

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Puppies!!!
For that reason alone, I knew I would love this story, having them be Border Collies was the icing on the cake. They are my favourite breed of dog and Debbie got their renowned characteristics, especially for Sadie and Turbo down to the ground.

You might think I’m mad for highlighting the dogs in my review, but it speaks a lot to the author's ability to write about characters if they can make you see an animals expr
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Jackie Wright
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars for Love at First Bark
This is only the second book I have read in this series and I need to go back and read books 1 and 2 because I’m falling in love with everything about these books, I love the plots, I love that they are set around rescue shelters and I love the characters and what about the puppies who can forget them....
This book starts off a bit sadder than the previous book I have read, Mia is recently widowed bringing up her 7 year old son Ollie and she finds herself turning
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Pam
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mia and her young son, Ollie, have lost a husband and a father. Mia’s loss was before Brad’s untimely death though and dealing with the pain of betrayal while keeping it together for her son is tough. If it weren’t for Ben, Brad’s long-time friend and Oliver’s godfather, things would be impossible at times.
Ben has a secret, though, one that could change so much. It’s a matter of waiting, caring, and being patient. Like the shelter pets that Mia, Ollie, and Ben become involved with, everyone has
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Rachel
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love at First Bark is the fourth book in Debbie Burns's Rescue Me series. We met both main characters briefly in previous books in the series.

Mia Chambers, a volunteer at the shelter, and Ben Thomas, an architect, have known each other for over 8 years. Mia was previously married to Ben's best friend, Brad. Ben is also Mia's son's godfather. We find out quickly that Brad passed away unexpectedly during divorce proceedings. This story follows Mia and Ben and how they both deal with their feeling
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SandyL
I've really enjoyed this series and I hope there will be more books to come in it!! This book is about Ben Thomas, who is Mason Redding's architect, and shelter volunteer Mia Chambers. Mia was married to Ben's best friend, Brad, and they have a son, Ollie. Brad recently died and Mia is struggling to move on with life - although not in the ways you'd think. She was planning on divorcing Brad and has found out things about him now that he's gone that she also has to deal with. And Ben has been in ...more
Annarella
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's a sweet and engrossing story, entertaining and well written.
I appreciated the fleshed out characters, the plot that flows without any issue and the setting.
I look forward to reading other books by this author.
Recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Sarah
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars - I was given a copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.

I love all the dogs in this book! This a slow burn second chance romance. When we first meet them, Mia and Ben are likeable characters with a decade of baggage hanging heavily between them. As godfather to Mia’s son, Ben is a constant in her life after her husband’s death but Mia doesn’t realise how long Ben has had feelings for her.

Parts of this story are quite dark. Mia’s marriage was complicated and she’s strugg
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Nancy
Aug 10, 2019 rated it liked it
The romance wasn’t my favorite of this series as it was too drawn out for my taste.
Plot was good.
Puppy Bowl cute.
Like title and cover and most of the pet parts.
Savannah Hendricks
Real read about real love

This is the fourth book in the series and it doesn't disappoint. Mia and Ben deal with real romance issues. My heart hurt so much for Mia and what she went through. And I cheered for Ben and all the dogs.
Sharon Tyler
Jul 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Love at First Bark is the fourth book in the Rescue Me series by Debbie Burns. It is currently scheduled for release on July 30 2019. You do not have to have read all the books, or the books in order, to enjoy them. They can each stand up well on their own.

Animal portrait painter Mia Chambers and architect Ben Thomas have volunteered at the High Grove Animal Shelter for years, and they share a complicated history. Ben has secretly loved Mia all this time, but she was married to his best friend.
...more
Kathy
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recently widowed Mia is trying to cope with her husband’s recent death while helping her young son Ollie cope with the loss of his father. Both their lives have been upended. Besides her mother and her dead husband’s parents, the one stable person in Mia’s life is her deceased husband’s best friend, Ben Thomas. However, Mia is unaware that Ben has been in love with Mia since he first laid eyes on her and only stuck around because of his friendship with her dead husband, Brad. Mia feels the same ...more
Margie
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mia Chambers has taken her son Ollie and left her husband Brad after he cheated on her. While in the process of divorcing him he dies. Their friend Ben Thomas, who was not only Brad's best friend but also Ollie's godfather, has been instrumental in helping Mia get through Brad's funeral. He continues to be her hero by still being there to help her where he can and also help with Ollie. Mia volunteers at High Grove Animal Shelter as does Ben. They both participate in the rescue mission when twelv ...more
WycEd Reader
Check out our Love at First Bark post on Wicked Reads.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Sarah – ☆☆☆☆
3.5 stars

I love all the dogs in this book! This a slow-burn, second chance romance. When we first meet them, Mia and Ben are likeable characters with a decade of baggage hanging heavily between them. As godfather to Mia’s son, Ben is a constant in her life after her husband’s death, but Mia doesn’t realise how long Ben has had feelings for her.

Parts of this story are quite dark. Mia’s m
...more
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Though she still dreams of country life, Debbie Burns currently lives in a gingerbread house in Saint Louis along with her family, two phenomenal rescue dogs, and a somewhat tetchy Maine Coon cat who everyone loves anyway. Her hobbies include hiking, gardening, and daydreaming, which of course always leads to new story ideas.

Debbie’s writing commendations include a starred review from Publisher’s
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Other books in the series

Rescue Me (5 books)
  • A New Leash on Love (Rescue Me, #1)
  • Sit, Stay, Love (Rescue Me #2)
  • My Forever Home (Rescue Me #3)
  • Head Over Paws (Rescue Me, #5)

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