Series: Must Love Dogs #4
Author: Megan Slayer
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Publication Date: March 24, 2020
Length: 109 pages
Reviewed by Sammy
A pet adoption leading to lasting love?
Kelly Haas thought he’d lost everything when his first dog, Sally, passed away. He wasn’t looking for a new pup, but couldn’t resist checking the local rescues. One look at Louie and Kelly knew he’d found the right dog—a happy bagle. When Kelly meets the man running the rescue, he realizes he’s smitten with Rob, too.
Rob McMann isn’t the type of man to fall for a potential animal adopter, but he still believes in happy endings for the animals—and himself. Kelly isn’t like the other adopters. He knows how to get Rob, a perpetual loner, to come out of himself. He can be open with Kelly, but he leans on him hard when he hits a low time in his life.
Can these two find the love they deserve while raising four dogs, or are they destined to just be friends?
Rob and Kelly are both men in their early forties and both have had their fair share of bad relationships. Rob has found solace in his job—rescuing dogs who are either abused, abandoned by unhappy owners or given up for other reasons. He specializes in “bagels”—basset hounds crossed with beagle--amongst other types of dogs. Fostering a pack of his own, he also is the guy who places most of the shelter’s dogs and that is how he meets Kelly.
Kelly loved his former dog and was devastated when she became ill and passed away. It was time to consider moving on and getting a new companion and when he sees the bagle up for adoption on Rob’s site he is captivated. Little did he ever expect to meet up with the director of the shelter just a few hours after submitting his application nor did he ever suspect it was the very same guy he’d been ogling all those weeks at the dog park.
When Rob and Kelly meet there is a definite spark but both are unprepared for the maelstrom of emotions and excitement that swirls around them every time they are together. Could this really be love in so short a time?
Megan Slayer’s novella, My Other Half, is sure to be a hit with animal lovers and those seeking the insta-love trope in a fast moving story that has just a bit of angst and lots of puppy love. Kelly is pretty much an open book—a bit nerdy, a bit talkative and a bit low in self-esteem, but he is also a guy with a heart of gold and immediately feels the pull toward Rob and simply wants to be there for him through whatever troubles may come along and come along they certainly do. From a hectic job that has Rob going day and night taking care of rescues and often doing the rescuing himself, to the sudden death of his estranged mother, Rob’s emotional plate is pretty full just as he and Kelly meet and begin their romance. But Kelly is not easily put off and shows Rob over and over that he is there for him—as a friend and hopefully more when Rob is ready to take the next step.
Despite these guys falling for each other in the span of under two weeks, their time together tended to be pretty honest and well developed for about two thirds of this story—after that I felt that the story began to be more sex stitched together with a few scenes about the two men and their dogs rather than focusing on furthering the plot or any character development going on. I was also fairly worried about Rob and his talk of his darker times—times when he chose to be alone and not talk or interact with others—particularly Kelly. I have to admit that I would have felt better about the happy ending of this story if it had included Kelly taking Rob into some therapy. After all, between Rob’s horrible sister and his deceased mother—the entire family dynamic was negative and condemning of poor Rob—all for coming out as gay. I really thought Kelly of all people would suggest that Rob pursue professional counseling as he so often needed Kelly to reaffirm that he was there for Rob and Rob was worthy of being loved.
Despite all that, My Other Half has some appeal as a sweet romance complete with cute dogs and two older men who both deserved the second chance at love they provide for each other.
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