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Ten years ago they met in high school. He was a hunk and she was the too tall, too skinny and too shy. Clay Davidson made a bet that he could score with Kelby Richards, but when he had the chance in his mother's Winnebago, he fled. She later learned of the wager that just added to her broken heart as she knew he could not even make love to her.
His action towards "Stretch" upset Clay who ran away because he became frightened of his feelings towards Kelby. He changed how he treated people because of her. At a dog show in Wisconsin, they meet and he begs her for a second chance, but she refuses. He still sees the hurt in her eyes. His mom kidnaps his dog Pirate to persuade Kelby to breed with her canine Chancey. They sign a contract, but Stretch makes it clear one heat season only and she is not part of the deal. However, she fails to see the fine print he put on the contract.
This is an entertaining second chance at love romance as Kelby sees a second chance not to atone for what he did as a teen to Stretch, but to prove his love for her that he failed to understand back when they were in high school. The support cast enhances the tale whether they are four legged or two legged as each in their own way causes havoc. Fans will enjoy Clay's efforts to persuade Kelby that men like him stay (unlike him in high school or her father) though his lone regret at his desperate second chance is using his pet Pirate as a matchmaking stud.
Raffin's delightful book uses the world of dog breeding and showing to create the world for this story. And who doesn't love their dogs?
Long lanky Kelby does. But she's sure Clay doesn't see any use for them but filling the family dog run with pedigreed puppies and best of show/best of breed champions. The fact that Clay doesn't live down to her expectations is a conflict she fights against with greater diligence than her female dog who's come into season and contracted to breed with Clay's male dog. While the dogs create the second "love story," Kelby finds her attraction to Clay deepening.
Raffin deftly weaves the human love story and conflict into the canine's instinctual one. Love and nurturing abounds within this story: between family members--(Kelby's grandmother is a stitch), between humans and their beloved pets, between friends. A great feel-good ending with a unique secondary plot line.
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The Mating Game is a love story where the main characters share a relationship filled with love, rejection, hurt, mistrust, and hope for the future. Ms. Raffin enhances the story by having the characters breed and show the collie line. It is apparent to the reader that the author has brought in her love and expertise of dog training. A good read.
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Hi Readers! I grew up a country girl in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, but love to visit the big city and live the hurried pace now and then. Blessed with a vivid imagination, I've created stories and adventures in one form or another for as long as I can remember. I wrote my first book at age twelve in retaliation to the lack of female leads in the adventure stories I loved reading. But it is a love of playing with words, exploring the human psyche, and telling stories that keep me writing. Whether a romantic romp or gothic-flavored suspense, my books have one common denominator: characters who are wounded, passionate, and searching for love.
I still live on the Michigan-Wisconsin border with my avid outdoorsman husband who has always supported my love affair with reading and writing and my energetic Keeshonden (that's a dog breed) Katie and Slippers. Visit my web site to learn more about me and my books. www.BarbaraRaffin.com
Barbara Raffin is a member of Romance Writers of America, Wisconsin Romance Writers, and Published Authors' Network. Barbara has published ten novels, two novellas, and been part of three anthologies. Her many awards include the highly regarded EPPIE.
Learn more about me and my books at my website: http://www.barbararaffin.com/