Customer Reviews: Desperate Housedogs (The Pampered Pets Series Book 1)
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on November 13, 2011
I enjoyed this book so much! It's not my typical genre, but the title grabbed me. Three things I loved:

1) When the detective got bit after Caro - it's worded perfectly - I laughed out loud! (there are more than a few of those in the book - the laugh out loud parts)
2) I love the premise and that the books will tag team the cousins - a fun idea and executed perfectly via the brooch!
3) The authors descriptions are excellent; I feel like I've now been to Laguna, and met those crazy people!

Give this book a shot; you'll be glad you did!
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on October 27, 2011
The story is creative, well thought out and a fun read. What secrets lie among the pampered pets of Laguna Beach? I ain't tellin' - read it and be enlightened. I am looking forward to more from this series.
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on March 31, 2012
I have never reviewed a book but I really had to wonder how two educated ladies with a huge support system were able to make such glaring errors in their choices of words and descriptions???? Makes me wonder who is responsible for editing in today's world. Maybe no one.
In spite of the major stumbles (children who have one birth parent in common are HALF siblings, not STEP siblings; Texas HAS 367 miles of beautiful gulf coastline--the heroine could NOT have grown up in land-locked Texas. Maybe Oklahoma?) and even with the minor ones (used cajones instead of cojones, used poured when pored was meant, used armature racer when I think amateur is the word meant) I still liked the story but I thought the dog psychiatrist was EXTREMELY dense about the actions of the dogs in far too many instances. I sure wouldn't trust her with my dog.
I am hoping that someone takes the time to read the next books for both context and story and fills the potholes so I can really read with enjoyment.
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on December 16, 2011
I thoroughly enjoyed this light-hearted first in a series by Sparkle Abbey. The writing was good, fast paced and the characters loveable. I really enjoyed visiting Laguna Beach through the eyes of a pet lover. I'll definitely read the next.
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on December 30, 2011
I decided to buy this book on a whim, simply because the title caught my eye. I'm so glad that I did! This book was so much fun to read. It took me around three pages to decide I was enjoying the sample enough to get the entire book. Once I snuggled down in bed with it, I had a hard time putting it down! Protagonist, Caro, was funny and interesting, and the plot held my attention from beginning to end. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.
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on December 28, 2011
Desperate Housedogs is a great first book. Fun, lighthearted, fast read. The characters are clever and quick witted. Even the pets have great personalities. I have to say the neighbor is one of my favorite characters. He made me laugh out loud. I can't wait to see what mystery awaits us in Laguna Beach in the next story. Bring it on!!
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on November 6, 2011
In the affluent Ruby Point neighborhood of Laguna Beach, California, Kevin Blackstone used the PAWS (Professional Animal Wellness Specialist) clinic last year to cure his two German Shepherds (Zeus and Tommy Boy) from chomping on the furniture. Thus when the canines incessantly bark over the past two days, he calls PAWS pet therapist Carolina Lamont to calm down his agitated dogs. The canines escape the house and go after a landscaper who is rescued by Caro and Kevin. Caro teaches Kevin how to use behavior modification to end the barking syndrome

A few hours later, Homicide Detective Judd Malone arrives at Caro's home to question her as the last known person to have seen Kevin alive. She asks him about the dogs who he says are upset locked out on the patio awaiting transportation to the Animal Shelter. Stunned Caro proves her innocence but as a second order effect inadvertently leads to the arrest of her best friend, former movie star Diana Knight who relishes the limelight just in time for the Fur Ball annual animal rescue fundraiser. Realizing ditzy Di thrives on the PR; Caro investigates upsetting barking Detective Malone.

Though out of the amateur sleuth script, this is a fun lighthearted murder investigation starring a former Texas psychologist who turned from people to animals as the latters' bites are easier to cope with. Caro is a wonderful detective who conducts her inquiries with the help of the barking canine crowd. Sub-genre fans will enjoy her antics as she sets out to prove her BFF is innocent while the cop tells her to stay out of the investigation or stay in jail with Di.

Harriet Klausner
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on January 1, 2012
The human and dog characters are likeable, real and fun. The descriptions of the Laguna Beach world are fondly sarcastic and fun to read. The book is witty, with a naturalness to it and the authors use just the right language and expressions to capture the reader. The characters are the strength, but they work within a neat little plot. I am looking forward to more books in this series.
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on September 9, 2012
Caro Lamont is a pet psychologist, a job that makes her difficult for this reviewer to relate to or sympathize with. What the heck is a pet psychologist? She's not an obedience trainer, she asserts, but a trained psychologist (for people) who now works exclusively as a freelance therapist who tells rich Californians how their pets are feeling. Her office is in the same building as a psychic. Of course it is.

When Caro discovers that one of her clients, Kevin Blackstone, has been found dead shortly after her last visit to his house, her reaction furthers my skepticism of the character. Her sympathy seems reserved almost entirely for Kevin's dogs rather than for Kevin himself. Perhaps this is not so unusual for a character whose job is to work with pets. Perhaps she would be more sympathetic to living animals than to dead people. What IS unusual, however, is that her actions after the murder betray her own self-interest. She lies to the police, breaks into the crime scene, removes items that she fears might incriminate her. In short, she behaves like a guilty person and not like an amateur sleuth for whom we should be cheering. Not to mention the B-story about her routinely breaking into her cousin's house to steal their grandmother's brooch, which further adds to a main character I just didn't like.

Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from the publisher from NetGalley. I was not obliged to write a favourable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.
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on June 19, 2012
Not a particular fan of mystery though quite familiar with the work of Conan Doyle, Agate Kristi, and Edgar Poe, I bought the book to update my education in this fast growing genre. I reserved a time for the housedogs, restricting by fifteen minutes a day in my massage chair. Soon, however, I increased the number of my massage sessions to two and then to three. I could finish my review at this point since it is clear a little book with a funny cover caught me. But I will add a few more details. From the beginning I understood the heroin was quite a human since she treated dogs so well. Just having a degree in human psychology,she was a perfect dog counselor, in fact, and I thought yeah we are all animals. Caro's character appeared to me so vivid and her voice so real that I took the virtual world of the mystery for real. More and more involved, I sympathized with her, feeling anxious when Caro, acting with her best intentions to help with the investigation of the murder, put her trained nose not in her dog business. Don't mess, Caro, it may cost you life!
I did like the second mystery lane in the book, a fight between Caro and her cousin for an heirloom - a little brooch left by their Grandma. It was reminiscent of a study on envy in monkeys so vivid in my memory. When one monkey got a beautiful, colorful ornament and another just a piece of nothingness, the poor monkey's eyes watched the object with such a human envy. So it was with those cousins, playing hide and seek childishly. And I wonder what eventually will happen to this heirloom.
The resolution of the investigation and Caro's role in it, the motive of the murder, as well as the roles of those alarmed dogs Zeus and Tommy boys came quit unexpected too. A kind, funny, entertaining suspense, though occasionally, I felt there were too many details about Caro's counseling activity. However, if one decides to retire in Carmel, CA and start there dog whispering business, this will work too.
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