ARC Review: Once Upon a Puppy by Lizzie Shane

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ARC Review: Once Upon a Puppy by Lizzie Shane
Once Upon a Puppy
Book Info

Released: May 25th 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Pine Hollow #2
Pages: 335

“Opposites attract and fake dating plus a rambunctious dog, what more could you want?”

~ Under the Covers

Opposites attract and fake dating plus a rambunctious dog, what more could you want?

Deenie is always upbeat and on the go. She runs princess parties for little kids and helps out at the local animal shelter. Connor is nothing like her. He’s all about plans and organization and meeting his life goals. Connor has a crazy Irish wolfhound Max who is hellbent on destroying his house, and nothing Connor does seems to get Max to behave, forcing him to finally accept that he needs help. Deenie seems to be the only one who can tame the dog, so she and Connor strike up a deal for her to help train Max. Working together with Max leads to an unlikely friendship of sorts. Then Deenie needs a plus-one to act as a buffer during upcoming family events and she knows that Connor needs a plus-one to impress the partners at his law firm, so she proposes that they help each other out. But spending so much time together has them starting to blur their carefully negotiated lines. Maybe they aren’t so different after all?

Right from the start, Connor and Deenie are both a bit hard to like. Connor is super straight-laced and uptight; Deenie is a free spirit seemingly with no plans at all. Max is the saving grace from the beginning because he provides so much comedic relief and you can’t help but fall in love with him immediately. However, as the story goes on, you really come to understand Connor and Deenie, their histories, and how their pasts have defined who they are now. Understanding their motivations and the reasons behind their behavior makes them much more likeable. Seeing them interact with their families and friends, and open up to each other, lets us see what makes them tick and how they grow as individuals throughout the story and it’s easy to really start rooting for them.

Connor and Deenie also have a core group of friends that are super important to them and make the story so much better. This is a classic small town romance series, so speculating about the other couples (except the one that’s already together, presumably from the first book in the series, which I haven’t read) adds another layer of fun. I definitely want to learn more about Levi and Elinor!

If you love small town romances, opposites attract, or fake dating stories, I would definitely recommend checking this one out. The addition of Max and the other dogs just makes the book even better. I’ve never read anything by Lizzie Shane before, but I will be adding some to my TBR!


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About Lizzie Shane

Lizzie Shane was born in Alaska, to a pair of Hawaii transplants, and grew up with the extremes of the 49th and 50th States. As a lifelong movie lover, she decided, after graduating from Northwestern University, to try her hand in the entertainment industry–an attempt which lasted about five seconds. Following her brief and ill-advised jaunt into Showbiz, Lizzie began traveling extensively while pursuing her other great love–fiction writing. She has written her way through all fifty states and over fifty countries.

Lizzie began writing paranormal romance for a small independent press under the pen name Vivi Andrews in 2009. Though she also won Romance Writers of America’s® Golden Heart Award that year for contemporary romance, it would be several more years before she published her first contemporary release. Marrying Mister Perfect, the first book of the Reality Romance series, merged her love of happily-ever-afters and her fascination with the sociology experiment that is reality television.

In 2016 she was honored to be a double finalist for the Romance Writers of America® RITA Award for both Romancing Miss Right and Falling for Mister Wrong. She was honored again when Always a Bridesmaid was named as a 2017 RITA® finalist, and when All He Wants for Christmas was awarded VRW’s 2018 Holt Medallion–but her main claim to fame is that she lost on Jeopardy!

Lizzie now writes sweet romance for Hallmark Publishing and is thrilled to be launching the Pine Hollow series with Grand Central/Forever.

She is currently based in Alaska and can (occasionally) be found on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

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  1. I liked this one a lot, but I liked the first book, The Twelve Dogs of Christmas, even more. It was the best Christmas themed romance that I read last year. I highly recommend it, especially if you like dogs.

  2. I’d find it hard to continue reading if I find the protagonists unlikable… Must be one heck of a dog!

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