ARC Review – Every Dog Has His Day by Jenn McKinlay

Posted January 4, 2018 by smutmatters in ARC, Contemporary, Reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Avon in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review – Every Dog Has His Day by Jenn McKinlayEvery Dog Has His Day by Jenn McKinlay
Series: Bluff Point #3
Published by Berkley Books on January 2nd 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: Avon
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three-stars
one-half-flames

A stray kitten and a rambunctious poodle bring together a small-town bachelor and a single mother in the latest romance set in Bluff Point, Maine.

Bluff Point brewery owner Zachary Caine wants nothing to do with commitment. His wild bachelor lifestyle suits him perfectly—until a foster kitten named Chaos makes him a reluctant hero. Now he’s BFFs with the kitten’s two little girls and finds himself falling for their gorgeous mother, who couldn’t think less of him.

Divorced mother Jessie Connelly wants nothing to do with men like Zach. He’s sexy and charismatic and bad news, just like her ex. But her girls adore him, and he’s doing a good job filling in for their deadbeat dad. Then a snowstorm brings out the best in both neighbors, who, it turns out, have more in common than their mutual attraction...

So when Jessie’s past threatens her and her girls, Zach is determined to do whatever it takes to protect them—and live happily ever after with this family he has made his own.

This third installment in the Bluff Point books is exactly what I’ve come to expect from Jenn McKinlay’s series. In other words, it was a quick read, short on the angst, high on the comedy.

Jessie was set up as the villain in the first book, so I was surprised to see that she was going to be the heroine in this one. And even after reading it, I’m still not sure if this particular redemption arc worked. Mac’s forgiveness of Jessie is understandable and even commendable, especially considering the epic beatdown Jessie received from karma for her actions. But for Mac to go so far as to become good friends with her, even offering up advice on how Jessie could achieve her goal of sleeping with Zach, seemed too far. I think I would have believed it more if Jessie, after receiving said karmic beatdown, had moved away to start over somewhere else. I just don’t buy that Mac and all of her friends would be as accepting of her in their inner circle as they are. Maybe I’m just pettier than they are. I’m ok with that.

Once I got past my reservations about Jessie’s place in this group, the book itself was as cute and charming as first two in the series. I still think the second book, Barking Up the Wrong Tree, has been my favorite, but this was a good read. And it takes place in the winter, which made it more fun since it’s currently -4. (Seriously – this weather is not fit for humans) The main reason I didn’t rate it higher than 3 stars is the hero, Zach.

Zach is more cute than hot, basically a giant puppy dog. I didn’t love him; his attitude toward women was a little troubling, but he was great with Jessie and her daughters, and I can see her attraction, especially after her terrible marriage. He wasn’t a full-on misogynist or anything, but thoughts like “This had been no small request given that Mac and Jessie had been longtime enemies. Zach didn’t know all of the details because girls, drama, and who cared….” are pretty shitty. Jessie stole Mac’s fiance, from the church minutes before the ceremony. Literally screeched up to the door in her car, honked the horn for Mac’s fiance to run out, then drove off once he was in the car. This is not “girls, drama, who cares”. This is a big fucking deal, something huge and life-changing that happened to one of his best friends, and it’s completely dismissed as “drama, who cares”.

Then he would talk Jessie through an anxiety attack with some genuinely good advice, and I’d like him again. Then Jessie would say good morning to the guy bagging her groceries, and Zach would growl and get possessive and I’d dislike him again. I just couldn’t get to a solid place with him.

Jessie, on the other hand, I generally liked. She ended up marrying the guy she stole from Mac, and boy, did she ever come to regret that. Seth is pile of human garbage and at this point, Jessie is finally rid of him. She’s a really good mom, and she’s managed to land on her feet, thanks in no small part to the help Mac gives her. My biggest problem with Jessie isn’t really with her as much as it is with the way she was written. Jessie has, of fucking course, never had an orgasm. Because Seth was a terrible lover and though it’s not stated, I have to assume he’s the only one she’s been with since no one else is mentioned in this discussion. She knows she could masturbate, but she’s a mom. This really pisses me off. I’m not a mom, and I don’t pretend to know their struggles, but at this point, her kids are 7 and 5. They’re not infants who can’t be left alone for five minutes and only sleep for 2 hours at a stretch. Every mom I know masturbates. “I’m a mom so I can’t” is just lazy writing. I’d even believe it more if she did masturbate but still struggled to climax. Or even that for some reason she just didn’t want to masturbate. But using motherhood as an excuse for not having your character masturbate is just silly.

But Seth, in addition to being a terrible lay, was also a terrible person who destroyed Jessie’s self-confidence. (See – that’s even a better reason for not masturbating). He made her feel terrible about herself, her body, her ability in bed, even the sounds she made and the looks she would get on her face. The sentence “She let out a groan that sounded like a hippopotamus having a hard bowel movement” appeared in this book, and I had to sit there staring at it for several minutes before I was sure I was seeing it right. This is how Jessie sees herself; this is how she thinks her perfectly natural sex noises sound to other people, and my heart broke for her. And Zach is really good at building her back up. He recognized that she was disappearing inside her head and spent so much time making sure she was present in the moment and genuinely enjoying everything that was happening. He was so good to her at this point, that I once again found myself liking him.

Bottom line – this was a quick read, I’m glad I read it, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of this series. I don’t think I’ll revisit this book, but there’s no reason I wouldn’t recommend it to someone else.

 

About Jenn McKinlay

Jenn is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of several mystery series and will be debuting a new women’s fiction series in June 2017, starting with the title About a Dog. She lives in sunny Arizona in a house that is overrun with kids, pets and her husband’s guitars.