Title: Pawsitively in Love
Author Name & Publisher: M.J. O’Shea (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: March 4, 2016 – 200 pgs
What Austin Lloyd lacks in academics, he makes up for in his love of the animals who frequent his pet salon. He’s not lucky in romance, though, and his family would like him to settle down with a good man. Austin—and his golden retriever, Maggie—couldn’t agree more.
Evan Partridge isn’t good at letting people in. His messy family life and the past that’s shaped him aren’t worth bringing up. But his pug, Dexter, sure likes the pet salon owner.
Austin and Evan get off to a rough start, but being friends soon turns into something more. Unfortunately, Evan’s secretive behavior nearly does the relationship in, and the budding love affair almost crashes and burns when Evan’s troubled sister shows up on his doorstep.
Not speaking to each other is killing them both, but Evan doesn’t know how to keep Austin and help his sister at the same time. He just knows he has to try. Winning back Austin’s trust back, however, is going to take a whole lot of work.
Pawsitively in Love was just positively perfect which just happens to be Austin’s business of Pawsitively Purrfect Pet Salon. This story of Austin and Evan was just that. An upbeat, comedic at times, keeps you smiling and most definitely makes you want to snuggle with fur-babies story. The secondary characters were a perfect blend of all personalities that complimented and balanced each other well.
Austin and Evan were a great couple together. Austin was very patient with Evan while Evan figured out what love meant. Evan had never had that emotional connection growing up. Austin was there to guide him along the way.
But the story stealers were Maggie and Dexter. Mags was Austin’s golden retriever and Dexter was Evan’s pug puppy. Those two were definitely worth the read in itself. I was always smiling feeling warm and snuggly whenever they were on the page, which was literally about every other one. I even became jealous of Dexter’s belly rubs (because I wanted to give him one!)
MJ created a warm, inviting, bright, and cheery story that kept you smiling throughout the story (with the exception of Della towards the end). The only drawback for me was that this story kept you on a slow windy uphill, and when you got to the top while trying to catch your breath, climax was over and you were off the cliff wondering what happened.
Towards the end, Evan’s sibling dynamic just upset me to the core and I lost respect for Evan for awhile, and I am thankful that secondary character Peggy finally came to make Evan realize how weak and what a fool he was being. I wished there was a little more closure about Della who was the main antagonist here.
But overall, if you are looking for a lighter and upbeat read to feel happy, this is your story and I would recommend it. Besides, who doesn’t love dogs?
I’m not sure whether I loved the dogs or humans more, but I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I was slightly nervous from the title and cover that this would be a little bit too cute and sweet for me, but complex characters and a healthy dose of realism ensure that this remains charming, not saccharine.
This is a pretty simple story, but MJ O’Shae’s writing is as flawless as usual and as always, she made me fall hard for both of her men.
Pet salon owner Austin and professor Evan both great characters and they make for a fantastic couple. I really enjoyed the Pacific Northwest setting. The author captures the easy outdoor lifestyle perfectly. Austin’s friends and family might be just a little bit too perfect, but they provide a balance to Evan’s tempestuous past experiences.
This is a charming, gentle romance written with MJ O’Shae’s usual grace.
M.J. O’Shea has been writing romance since algebra class in sixth grade (when most of her stories starred her and Leonardo DiCaprio). When she’s not writing, she loves listening to nearly all types of music, painting, reading great authors, and on those elusive sunny days in the Pacific Northwest, she loves driving on the freeway with her windows rolled down and her stereo on high.