Stevie Carroll's Reviews > Sit. Stay. Love.

Sit. Stay. Love. by Karis Walsh
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Previously reviewed on The Good, The Bad, and The Unread:

The main elements that appeal to me in Karis Walsh’s novels are the people, the locations, and (in most cases) the animals. This book promised all three in abundance, starting with the cute dog on the cover, then continuing with the rural setting and the mismatched central pairing of a veterinarian and an event planner. Tegan Evans is very much at home in Yakima, Washington, even if she does have trouble recruiting staff as dedicated as she is to help run her busy practice, catering to all the local domestic species – as well as a few beasties that are less keen to be tamed. Meanwhile, Alana Brendt sees her new job as very much a temporary diversion from big-city hotels. An opportunity to rebuild her confidence and her reputation after months of covering for her previous boss’s mistakes ended in her getting the full blame for the biggest disaster of them all. Even if the fallout of that particular confusion was pretty funny in hindsight.

Desperate to impress any employer who might not have heard about her dismissal, Alana lies about her hobbies and her experience in handling and riding horses to secure what she expects to be an office-based post at a soon-to-be-opening hotel and outdoor pursuits centre. On arrival, she learns that the centre is further off opening than she’s been led to believe, and her new employer expects her to spend most of her time, once it is open, outdoors, leading trail rides and other expeditions. Alana convinces herself that she can teach herself everything she needs to know via Google with no one being any the wiser and sets out to prove all the detractors she left behind her wrong.

First up, she has to help Tegan perform some routine veterinary work on the hotel’s horses – and Tegan spots instantly just how inexperienced Alana is. Realising that there’s no time to find a replacement if the hotel is to open on its latest projected date, Tegan and Alana strike a deal in which Tegan will get Alana as up to speed as possible before the hotel opens and she has to lead her first trail ride. Meanwhile, Alana’s first evening in the house that’s been rented for her results in yet more adventures with Tegan, when the scrabbling from under the porch turns out to be a stray dog and her litter of puppies.

Alana takes on the canine family, scoring herself lots of points in Tegan’s estimation, and determines to ensure that they all survive to find loving homes. Along the way she meets a whole bunch of her neighbours and manages to team some of them up with the purposes they need in life, even more than the puppies need loving humans. And, of course, Tegan and Alana grow ever closer, in spite of the fact that Tegan has no desire to live anywhere but Yakima, while Alana is determined to get out of there as soon as her contract’s up and return to working in glitzy hotels where she doesn’t have to get her hands dirty.

While I liked the setting for this book, not to mention all the background characters with their various quirks and needs, I found it very difficult to warm to Alana, and was quite cross with Tegan for letting someone with so few clues about horses take on so much responsibility for the herd so quickly. I’d have liked to have seen a bit more of the dogs too, especially the mother dog – I was kind of expecting her training to form part of the plot, given the book’s title.
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Reading Progress

August 29, 2019 – Shelved
August 29, 2019 – Shelved as: reviewed-elsewhere
Started Reading
August 30, 2019 – Finished Reading

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