Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “In the Dog House” as Want to Read:
In the Dog House
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

In the Dog House

(Appletree Cove #1)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  395 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Ten years ago, Jackson Hardy joined the Marines, leaving behind a woman he still dreams about. When he's called home to care for his ten-year-old nephew, no one is more shocked than he to run into Emma again. Or to still have those same feelings. But Jackson isn't looking for love, and neither is Emma, especially not with him. His precocious nephew, though, and a retriever ...more
ebook, 200 pages
Published February 11th 2019 by Entangled Publishing, LLC (Bliss)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about In the Dog House, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about In the Dog House

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  395 ratings  ·  85 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of In the Dog House
Cute, feel-good romances tackling the difficult topic of PTSD.

Take one broody, sexy, marine called home to care for his young nephew because his sister has been in a tragic accident leaving her in a coma.

Then stir in an old flame that has a heart of gold, loves animals and is passionate about her unconventional approach to treating PTSD and other mental issues.

Top is off with an adorable nephew, who just wants to make his uncle better and get his mom back home. But, then Hall takes it one more s
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. It isn't just a sweet, feel good, second chance is much more and that is the reason I stayed late in the night and almost overslept in the morning. I had to finish it in almost one sitting. There is another story there, mental health, PTSD and dealing with setbacks also was present.
Writing style is good and all in all good reading material. I am looking forward of reading other books by this author
Linda Quick
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a sweet second chance love story that I just loved. Jackson, at age 18, dumped his high school love, Emma, and joined the marines. Ten years later, circumstances force him home to care for his nephew after his mother is in a car accident. When Jackson sees Emma again, he finds it difficult to face her, as he never stopped wanting her.

Emma's heart broke when Jackson left as a teen, but it breaks even more to see him struggle with PTSD, while actively in denial that it exists. The author
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story, it's so much more. Emma is the girl left behind, now working on her PhD in psychology, while training dogs for emotional support (ESD). Jackson is the battle worn man who returns home to care for his nephew Matty after his sister is in a serious car accident. Neither Emma nor Jackson thought they'd see each other again, brought together by Matty, his love for dogs, love for his Uncle Jackson and this sweet scared little guy was so much wiser than his young 11 years, his conce ...more
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review

4.5 stars
At first I thought this would just be another romance story, but that really was not just it. Yes, the romance aspect was present. However, mental health and dealing with setbacks also was present.
I think this book was beautiful and I enjoyed the writing style and the two perspectives. This book's subject is hard and weighty, but the combination with the dogs made this book feel lighter.
The only downside of this book
Claire Scott
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a really good’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a simple chick lit, but it discusses serious issues such as PTSD, merits of support animals and mental health. The characters of Emma and Jackson were well written and as a reader I began to really care for them. I will definitely look for more books from this author and I hope she follows up this book , as I’d like to find out about some of the secondary characters
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a sweet story of two people perfect for each other and their second chance. Emma is a strong woman determined to make her therapy dog shelter come true. Then her first love, Jackson, returns to her hometown. They have not lost their spark and pick up on their friendship. My heart went out to him and all he was going through at once. That is a lot for one person. But Emma was there for him as well as his nephew. Oh Matty, you were the best part of this book, wise beyond your years, and stron ...more
Yvonne Cruz
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing

This is a wonderful book that will touch your hearts from beginning to end.
Jackson Hardy is a Marine, who has taken a leave of absence to take care of his nephew after his sister’s automobile accident. An accident that has left her in an induced coma.
Emma Mercer is the girl he left behind. Now a woman, working with emotional support dogs as well as a candidate for doctorate in psychology
The chemistry is still there and so is the hurt. Matty, the nephew, brings them together as he is helping her
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As heartbreaking as it is when choices and circumstances keep two soul mates apart, a second chance with the other half of your heart is a precious gift. When his sister is in a devastating auto accident, Jackson takes leave from the Marines and returns home to care for his nephew, Matthew. Home, where he broke Emma's heart right after high school and enlisted. But Emma had big plans, so Jackson is surprised to find her still living in Kingston. He knowns he doesn’t deserve her and plans to keep ...more
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

4.5 stars.
A quote:
She never, never should have kissed Jackson Hardy. Handsome soldier, a man of integrity, hardened by war, but kind and loving toward his family. A dangerous combination for any woman, especially one who’d loved him before.

"In the Dog House", by Traci Hall, is a very enjoyable and heartwarming story, with great characters and writing style, pacing and dialogue; and also a bunch of
Pj Ausdenmore
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was my first book by Traci Hall. It won't be my last. I was charmed by this heartwarming tale of second chances. The characters are well developed and realistic and the dogs are adorable. I liked Emma from the get-go, admiring her devotion to the rescue dogs she trains and her determination to find them the right homes where they can use their emotional support skills for good. I understood her reluctance to open herself to Jackson again and admired her determination to help him and his nep ...more
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Emma Mercer has a Master's Degree in psychology and is very close to attaining a Ph.D. She wants to help people with mental health issues since as a child she endured a sheltered life with a mother who suffered from agoraphobia. She belives that Emotional Support Dogs provide a benefit to those with certain mental health issues. That's why she opened Heart To Heart Kennel where she trains dogs to become Emotional Support Dogs. She goes out into the community to educate people about her program a ...more
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Emma runs a center where she trains dogs to be service dogs. When she catches Matty trying to steal one, she calls his uncle, her high school sweetheart to come get him. The boy was trying to take a dog to help his uncle suffering from PTSDs. Sparks fly, and the dogs are adorable. Highly recommend this one and had a hard time putting it down.
Reading  Red Room
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Emma and Jackson are High School sweethearts. Jackson leaves after graduation to join the marines. Years later he is forced to come home and take care of his nephew after his sisters accident. As Emma helps Jackson’s nephew they realize how much they need each other. This was a well written book it was a easy read with a few emotional moments.
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it

Review posted at

Ten years ago Jackson Hardy and Emma Mercer were very close, but then he decided to join the marines and left Emma with a broken heart. However, now he’s back in Appletree Cove to care for his nephew while his sister is in the hospital after a serious car accident and finding it hard to keep his distance from Emma; the woman he’s never forgotten. Will Emma be able to forgive Jackson for the past, so they can have a second shot at happy ever after; or will Jack
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book!!!

I found this book very relatable with the perfect amount of romance and engaging characters! Loved this feel good read! This was just what I needed!!!!
This was sweet!! I liked the nuanced take to so many emotional issues & PTSD, and I thought the second chance romance was handled very well. The author managed to pack in quite a lot for such a short book.
Sara - Curvy Constellation
I received this book from NetGalley and Entangled Publishing as an ARC for an honest review.

Jackson Hardy and Emma Mercer were high school sweethearts and each other's first loves. When Jackson follows through and leaves Emma to join the military, she expects that she will never see him again. Ten years later, Jackson now a career Marine, is called back to to care for his 10 year old nephew, Matthew (Matty), after his beloved sister gets into a car crash and put her into the ICU. When Emma, now
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In the Dog House by Traci Hall at first glance looked to be a chick lit novel. Boy, was I surprised when I began to read. This is much more than a feel good, boy gets the girl story. It is one of substance. The Mercer and the Hardy families have had more than there share of sorrow, but it is the resilient and strength in which they deal with it that kept me reading.

The past comes back in memories for Emma and Jackson as the present provided tough situations and potential heartaches for them bot
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-2-blog
A sweet and entertaining second chances story

Anyone who knows me know I’m a sucker for dogs and dog stories, so though I’m brand new to this author, the blurb for this book sucked me right in.

Emma and Jackson, what can I say—the author did a great job of engaging me with these characters. I was completely into Emma’s dream of a kennel and training facility for emotional support dogs so I was really cheering for her. I felt for Jackson, too, as he tries to balance his loyalties and duties both
Amanda Stelter
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it

** I got this book from netgalley for my honest opinion **

This book is about Emma, a psychologist working on her doctorate and also working on training dogs to be therapy dogs focusing on anxiety. Her first love, Jackson, comes back on leave from the marines to take care of his nephew after his sister ended up in a coma due to a car crash.

This book not only is a romance, but it also takes a Deep look into PTSD and therapy dog training. It was really interesting seeing both of these things
 Reading In Pajamas
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review: IN THE DOG HOUSE by Traci Hall
Publication Date: February 11, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Reviewed by: Reading in Pajamas/ Donna
Rated 4 Stars

I enjoyed this sweet romance and the people surrounding them. Jackson’s PTSD was handled in a realistic way, including the differing professional advice and military mindset. Yet it wasn’t overly dramatized. I found that refreshing. It also helped that I liked Jackson, especially with Emma. She was relatable and I was inve
Phylis Carpenter
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Emma is working on her doctorate degree and she trains ESD dogs, she sometimes takes them to the elementary school where she shows the children what the dogs can do. While she is doing this she meets Matty who is an 11 year old. She also finds out that his Uncle is Jackson her high school sweetheart.

Matty learns that Jackson's sister is in an accident and in the hospital. While Livvy is in the hospital Matty helps Emma out at the dog kennels. It was a fascinating read and I just loved the book.
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A marine who leaves behind the girl he still thinks about. Enter a *swoon* here. Years later Jackson comes home to take care of his ten-year-old nephew. The only person more shocked than he is about coming home is *that* girl, Emma. Just when the two think they can move past feelings that are popping up from the past, enter in the nephew and a retriever.
This book is cute, swoon-worthy, and all about psychology. Which, as a counseling student made me love this title even more. I love a good roma
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars
This is a book you do not want to pass up. It's packed with heart and feels along with humor. I just fell in love with the characters in this book. They instantly pull at the heartstrings. Another thing I loved about this book is that it's a second chance love story. Jackson and Emma were high school sweethearts and now fate has put them back into each others' orbits. Something that really stood out to me is the work Emma does with her EST dogs. It's something to be very proud of.. Emma
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and I am voluntarily reviewing it.

I chose this book to read because I am a dog lover (and Mommy to two former rescues) and having Emma training rescue dogs for EST dogs and trying to establish a no-kill shelter was a big pull for me. Also with Jackson being a Marine was another. These two characters were just fantastic to watch grow together again ten years after their break-up. Also Aunt Pepita (Emma's aunt) and Matthew (Jackson's neph
4 stars

In the Dog House by Traci Hall is a beautifully written second chance love story and I really enjoyed it.

The storyline held my interest from start to end, the pacing is well done and all the characters added to my overall enjoyment.
Watching Jackson and Emma get their second chance at love warmed my heart, these two have great chemistry and I loved them together.

Overall, In the Dog house is a lovely, heartfelt read and I highly recommend it.

*Thank you to the publisher via Netgalley for th
Esther Haddie's Haven
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If there is one thing I simply ADORE in books like this, it's when the guy is taking care of a kid. Working to give the very best to that kid, whether it be a sibling or his own child, or another family member. I can't get enough of it. But now throw in the fact that Jackson is a Marine. Hottie alert! I whizzed through this book this afternoon. Perfect for summer reading lists. Also, how cute is that dog on the cover!

Thank you to Entangled (Bliss) Publishing and NetGalley for the chance to read
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
In the Dog House is a heartwarming story of second chances & love. Emma is close to having her degree but lately her heart is more involved with her Emotional Support Dogs. When she catches a boy trying to break a dog out of its kennel, she assumes he just wants a dog & doesn’t realize what they are for. Once she talks to him & finds out what’s going on, her heart aches for him. She’s determines Ned not to open her heart to his uncle though. He was her boyfriend until he left her behind.

Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
When I want a sweet romance without the scenes that can make your eyes bleed with how vivid they are I know exactly where to look and this author is one of those places. Her characters always grab at my heart and so do the topics she centers her stories around. This one didn't disappoint. We are introduced to Jackson and his issues with PTSD. Typical stubborn man not wanting to admit to being weak but also as a soldier holding on to his demons he was ashamed of how his actions would be seen thro ...more
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Dog Called Valentine
  • Armed 'N' Ready (Federal K-9 #2)
  • Puppy Love (Forever Home, #1)
  • Handsome Rancher (Handsome Devils #1)
  • Three Dog Night (The Dogmothers, #2)
  • Romancing His Rival
  • The Trouble with Cowboys (Wishing River, #1)
  • Hot Under the Collar (The Dogmothers, #1)
  • Double Dog Dare (The Dogfather, #6)
  • Puppy Christmas (Forever Home, #2)
  • The Sheriff's Christmas Angels (Texas Lawmen, #4)
  • Baby Inheritance
  • Lucas (The K9 Files #5)
  • A Christmas She'll Remember
  • Nothing But Trouble (Credence, Colorado #1)
  • Cowboys Don't Buy Their Bride at Auction
  • Heartbreaker (Bad Angels, #1)
  • The Rancher's Mail-Order Bride (Bachelors of Shotgun Ridge, #1)
See similar books…
My name is Traci Hall and I love to write...sounds like the beginning step of a program!However, I am not sorry that I love to write, so I guess I'm in it for the long haul. Finger cramps, slumped back and numb feet from sitting all day aside, there is nothing I would rather do than tell stories. Hearing back from readers makes it all worth while.
Cool stuff to know: I've been interviewed on radio

Other books in the series

Appletree Cove (2 books)
  • Just One Kiss

Related Articles

  Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people love books about falling in love. Every month our team sorts through...
49 likes · 15 comments