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review 2017-05-07 02:49
Comeback by Dick Francis
Comeback - Dick Francis

I've never read a book by this author and I must not have thought I'd like it because I kept putting off reading it.  This book has been on my "to be read list" for years!  I recently joined a group in the discussion threads at Paperbackswap.com called This Book Has Been on My TBR Long Enough.  They start a new thread each month and everyone digs out a book that has been languishing around for the longest and commits to reading it. Many times we find the book was a lot better than we expected it to be.  This is true for my pick for May.

 

I thought this was a good book even though it took me a bit to get used to the different British lingo. I guess I haven't watched enough BBC TV. Peter Darwin works for the Civil Service and is given a new assignment in Gloucestershire, England where he lived as a child. His mother worked as a secretary at the horse races then so he grew up around them and had wanted to race himself one day. He is interested in seeing his old neighborhood again. He befriends a man there named Ken that is a local Vet and surgeon to the racehorses. He confides in Peter that he is worried about his reputation because recently several horses have died unexpectedly during or after surgery. As Peter begins to learn more about this mystery he is also recognizing names and places from when he was a child. Things begin to get more serious when part of the Vet clinic burns and a body is found inside. More horses die mysteriously and Peter has to figure something out fast before there is nothing left of Ken's career.

 

I noticed that Peter is quite the ladies man although there aren't any sex scenes. Even the woman that was described as being less attractive or built like a man with fuzz on her lip etc was someone he was attracted to. This is a minor part of the story.  There are a few f-bombs but not a lot.  

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review 2016-12-06 19:16
Review: "Freckles" by Amy Lane
Freckles - Amy Lane

"I needed to see you again," Carter said plaintively. "Needed. You make me want crazy things. Not just sex or a man in my life, but a better life. But I can't build a better life if I don't know your taste."

 

This book appealed to the dog lover in me more than it did to the romance reader. It was cute and über-fluffy, but also a little boring. Sometimes it needs more than a truckload of fluff to keep my attention. But if you're looking for a short and angst-free holiday read, then you should go for it.

 

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review 2016-07-13 17:18
Mental Health for Animals Revolutionary and Life Saving
Pets on the Couch: Neurotic Dogs, Compulsive Cats, Anxious Birds, and the New Science of Animal Psychiatry - Nicholas Dodman DVM

Too many animals are euthanized for "bad" behaviors.  There comes a point where many just can't take it anymore, and veterinary services and training haven't helped. I have been there a couple times myself it is devastating.  What is these behaviors could be controlled through medication, if it was a medical issue ? The author Dr. Dodman studies animal behavior and has a revolutionary method of treatment that uses the same drugs given to help our behaviors regulate. Yes, human medicines for animals. Think about it, we are animals, our brains and bodies function much the same.

The doctor treats, animals (horses, cats dogs, birds) with OCD, depression, turrets, anxiety, autism...many common human mental issues. He explains in easy to read details about the possible causes of the animals problems and we follow him as he tries different doses of medicines used only for humans before. I was riveted to the pages, the transformation was so amazing for most it broke my heart for all the lives that never had this chance. As a breed rescuer I recognized many of the puppy mill issues and it gives me hope for an easier transformation for them.

This book should be on every animal rescuer, lover, veterinarian, vet techs, breeder's shelf. Priceless information and education. Great work, excellent writing, I'm a fan of this Dr.

 

*I was lucky enough to have received an advanced copy of this book for a unbiased review from the publisher

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review 2015-09-01 23:51
Love Does Not Follow The Plan
Then Came You - Jill Shalvis

I really love the way this author write her characters. I can't help but like them, they never fail to be good honest what you want in a friend types. She ups that by adding animals, animal rescue, animal search and rescue, Veterinarians. Did I mention cute animals ? Adorable ones.

This book follows a young woman on her internship Veterinarian tour. She is sent to Idaho when she missed her chance to get the Los Angeles Foo Foo clinic. Unhappy with this middle of nowhere place she sets her focus on her plan, make it 365 days, race back to LA and work with glamorous clients and earn big money. She's not shallow she has family that she cares for, and they are costly. On her first day at work In Idaho she meets her coworkers and is floored when one of them is her one night stand from a conventions she attended. Oh and it was one fabulous night, her first and only one night stand. They decide to keep it business like and ignore the past. Well honestly, do you think this is going to be that simple ? Ha !  They will try to keep it impersonal. She will try to keep herself focused on her move date. She will fight the obvious and.....

What a fun ride. I will reread it, I laughed, teared up and cheered for this sweet romantic tale.

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review 2014-07-06 03:01
Nine Goblins by T. Kingfisher
Nine Goblins - T. Kingfisher

I learned about this one when M.C.A. Hogarth posted some lovely fan art of a couple of the characters. However, T. Kingfisher is a pen name for Ursula Vernon, who is a friend of Hogarth's, so I initially passed Nine Goblins by. It's maybe not fair of me, but I tend to assume that rose-colored glasses are in play when authors recommend works written by their friends. Then I heard that Sings-to-Trees was an elven veterinarian, a very tempting detail. I tried the excerpt, liked it, and bought the whole thing. I'm so glad I did. This novella was wonderful, and I really hope the author publishes more works set in this world.

The story starts off split between two sets of characters: Sergeant Nessilka and her goblin troops, and Sings-to-Trees and his various patients. Goblins have been at war with humans and elves for some time, mostly because they don't have much of a choice. When humans moved into goblin lands, the goblins, preferring to avoid conflict, moved out. Eventually, though, there were no other places they could move. A few disagreements and misunderstandings later, and the war began. The elves joined in as allies of the humans.

When Sergeant Nessilka and eight of her troops accidentally end up trapped behind enemy lines, her goal is to get everyone safely home. Although Sings-to-Trees is technically an enemy, he's a very unusual elf. He's more concerned with taking care of his animal patients than with the war, and he has fond memories of the goblins that used to live near his home. He might be able to help, but first he and the goblins have to deal with whatever is mysteriously emptying out nearby farmhouses and villages before it gets them too.

It took a while for the story to really get going. All the characters' paths didn't cross until about halfway through the novella. However, not once did I mentally start tapping my foot, waiting for something to happen. I was enjoying the characters, world, and writing too much for that.

The story's wry humor and quirky details reminded me a lot of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books. For example, on the one hand, Sings-to-Trees is a stereotypically gorgeous, nature-loving elf. On the other hand, when readers first meet him, he has his right arm up to the shoulder inside a pregnant unicorn's birth canal, is bruised from the contractions and being kicked by his ungrateful patient, and is splattered with unicorn crap. His home and his life were all arranged with his patients in mind, and his own people tended to steer clear of him, because they preferred nature that was clean and pretty.

Most of the goblins were fairly basic characters, with one identifying trait and not much else. Weasel stuttered and was good at catching small animals, Thumper was huge and liked thumping things (and people), Gloober always had his finger up his nose, etc. Taken as a group, they felt like a family. No nonsense, long-suffering Nessilka gave them direction and tried to keep them all together and safe. I liked Nessilka right away. Blanchett, who rarely spoke for himself and preferred to act as “interpreter” for his constant companion, a teddy bear, was another favorite of mine. His inability to function without his teddy bear was heartbreaking.

The ending was perhaps a little too light and fluffy, considering that there was still a war going on. However, after all that tension (creepy recently vacated farmhouse ::shudder::), all those bodies, and that tragically messed up “villain,” I appreciated it. I very much hope that the author plans to write more stories (or even novels?) set in this world. More exhausted, busy, pragmatic elven veterinarian would be especially nice.

 

(Original review, with read-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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