Friday, August 12, 2011

Finding Home by Georgia Beers

Publisher:                   Bold Strokes Books

All for the love of a dog. 

If you don’t look very carefully at the cover of Finding Home, you'll miss the picture of the most important character. He's at the bottom of the page, in the middle, right behind the author's name, walking down the path. That's him, Bentley, or Chino, depending on who you ask, and that is the fact the story rotates around.

Sarah Buchanan's life is a mess. Her long time partner left her over a year ago for a man, but not without leveling a parting shot that Sarah was a control freak who spent too much time at work. Sarah has come to realize there might be some truth to that and her answer is to sink herself into a liquor stupor every night when she gets home because she just can't move on. The one bright point in her life is Bentley, her beloved dog, who adores her and represents her only contact with the world outside of her office besides her family. When her company offers her an opportunity to go overseas for three months, it seems like exactly what she needs to force a change in her situation. Sarah hesitates only because of Bentley, but finally decides to go when her family promises to take good care of him.

Natalie Fox is warm, outgoing, disorganized and loved by all, except that she can't put herself out there to get a girlfriend. Something just keeps holding her back despite the prodding of her best friend Andrea and the Italian couple who own the coffee shop where she works and who treat her like a daughter. Natalie thinks she has adjusted to living her life alone until the day she finds a starved, frightened dog by the dumpster and takes him in. Chino becomes the focal point of her life and she can't imagine how she existed without him, which is why she's not quick to turn him over when Sarah returns home, discovers Bentley has run away while she was gone and is now living with someone else.

What do you do when two women love the same animal? Can people of such different personalities try to bend their lives to accommodate his needs? Is it possible that two lonely women can find the answers to what they both have been looking for all for the love of a dog?

Georgia Beers has written a romance that can only be called charming. It tells a pretty standard story of women meeting and developing a relationship. Beers has an interesting supporting cast, although some of them are a little too sketchy and might have been filled out better, especially Sarah's family. The real gem in the book is Bentley. He is what moves the story forward. His interactions with the two women are used to reveal their personalities and how they relate to him causes the plot points to unfold. When Sarah and Natalie don't get along at all, he forces them to come together and there are times in the story where there is no doubt about who the smartest of the three is. Without the presence of the dog, this would just be a routine story. He makes it sparkle. Georgia Beers' fans will like this book for all of the usual reasons, but dog lovers will have an extra treat to reward them.

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