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on March 22, 2016
I'm not even sure that I can begin to describe how much I loved this book. I'll admit, the beginning made me a bit wary (those types of situations are just heartbreaking to me), but the book only got better as it went along. Starting around the time she comes home from the wedding and gets completely drunk, this book had me laughing hard and laughing often. I started the book kind of hoping Peter would come to his senses and leave Janie, but I didn't exactly like that either. It's not like Janie was some random woman or anything, but Van's best friend. It just seemed like a no win situation for Van. The romance Allie Larkin came up with is so much better than that. And it all starts with a completely inebriated purchase of a German Shepherd puppy. Books with a pet as a central character can be some of my favorite. The animal just brings something more to the story, adding affection, love, and humor. This book is a great example of the healing power of a pet. While the rest of the book wasn't all smooth sailing, it was humorous and enjoyable. Joe, the dog, turns her life upside down and gives her a new take on the world and herself. New relationships are formed and old relationships are mended. I'm also going to throw out there that Louis was hysterical. I don't think there was a single scene with him that didn't have me laughing at some point or another. He is the type of person you'd meet in life for the first time and wonder what the heck just hit you. Someone you can't exactly be prepared for, but will enrich your life. While quirky and a bit in your face, he is 100% endearing. The characters in this book are all fantastic. Larkin takes the time to develop each one of them. The book has a (incredibly cute) HEA ending with no cliffhanger. I highly recommend this book. Be prepared for a great ride as Van's life becomes a bit of a whirlwind in the best possible way. :)
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on July 2, 2015
Insecure girl with low self esteem has been in love with boring, self-centered friend for years. That is until she buys a 5-month old puppy and meets the new vet. At first the vet seems like the perfect guy. But when he offers to train her puppy, it quickly becomes apparent that he has a very dark side to him. Instead of true training he pulls out a choke collar and starts jerking the poor puppy around while preaching dominance-based relationships (oblivious to the veterinarian literature on the damage choke and pinch collars can cause to dogs' neck and trachea). Dominance and control quickly seeps into their relationship, when the jerk vet gives her silent treatments and later goes behind her back and picks the paint colors for HER kitchen without her input and so on and so on. And so the plot is set: Will this insecure girl return to Mr. boring, self-centered guy or stay with controlling jerk vet or stand up for herself and start a new life far away from these awful people? I am definitely looking forward to reading the book sequel "Run."
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on March 27, 2014
Savannah (aka, Van) is the maid of honor at her friend Janie's wedding. They have known each other since they were children, as Van's mother was the housekeeper for Janie's family. Unfortunately for Van, Janie's groom, Peter, is the man she has been in love with since they first started college. Van feels quite put upon when she is asked to set up the honeymoon suite, and then is shocked when Peter shows up at her condo, making her wonder what his real feelings are. In a sad and somewhat drunken state, she orders a German Shepard puppy on the internet from Slovakia. When the puppy arrives, she is shocked when instead of a little puppy, he is a large trained dog. It takes some adjustment, but she makes life work and begins making some changes in her life. Several conflicts make her realize that is not just those around her that may have issues, but she herself needs to grow up and take some responsibility for the way her life is as well.
While it was a cute story, unfortunately, the dog was more of a plot element to move the story forward (meeting a veterinarian who becomes a romantic interest, conflict with her housing situation) rather than being a main part of the story. Don't be misled by the cover, as this is more of a human relationship story than a woman and her dog story.
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on March 28, 2014
After Peter, the guy she has loved for years, marries her best friend, Van goes on a bender drinking a lot of vodka and watching re-runs of Rin Tin Tin. Alone and lonely she impulsively buys a dog online. When the dog arrives at the airport from Slovakia she finds a whole lot more than she was expecting. Joe turns out to be a fully trained law enforcement German Shepherd that only obeys commands spoken in Slovakian.

Joe soon brings Alex, a vet specialising in large dogs into her life and in him she finds a chance to move forward and get over her lost love. But with Van's own past refusing to let her move on she might lose the first man who she could love since Peter.

I have so much love for this book. It's sweet contemporary romance...perhaps even chick lit about a woman who has sacrificed everything for the happiness of others finding her own happiness. If I have a criticism it's only a small one. I'm not a fan of flash-backs as a plot device...more often than not they interrupt a story rather than moving it forward and I think that's the case here. But I still loved this book and I'm going to call it a favorite.
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on April 5, 2017
Another bedtime read..... I enjoy lighthearted reads before sleep. However, I must say that I HATE the "hints" that we need to post in order to review the books
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on August 4, 2013
This was a charming book and I think most women will find it easy to relate.

Perhaps some of the situations are old and have been tried in other tellings, but the approach in this book, is fresh and has a nice combination of the themes with a bit of a twist.

Savannah "Van", finds herself the maid of honor at the wedding of her two best friends, they girl, Janie, with whom she grew up and was nearly a sister, and Peter the boy she met on the first day of college and whom she has loved for years.

Following the wedding, Van is lonely, desperately lonely, and in a drunken stupor she acquires Joe, who then introduces her to Alex.

Over the course of a variety of situations, Van discovers that Peter may not be the man of her dreams, and that a person whom she has feared is not as fearful, as she has built the situation in her mind.

The story flows well. There are very many humorous moments, as well as poignant sections. The story is probably relatable to many women, who believed they found the loves of their lives, while in college. This is a charming romantic comedy with a bit of a dog twist. The book was difficult to put down.

I hope you enjoy reading this fun read.
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on April 9, 2014
I LOVED this book. It reminded me of the first time I read Jennifer Weiner (Goodnight Nobody, still one of my favorites) PLUS it had a dog. How can you possibly beat that?

Allie Larkin has definitely skyrocketed to the top of my favorite authors list with STAY. I instantly felt for the protagonist and only grew to love her more throughout the book. As a dog-lover and still-relatively-new dog owner, I thought her descriptions of Joe were spot on and hilarious. I did laugh out loud several times while reading this (on a plane, at one point), and my book is filled with underlines and smiley faces. But while it was funny and chick-litty, it was also touching and there were times I honestly wasn't sure how things were going to turn out.

Needless to say, this one is going on my bookshelf and never leaving... unless my friends borrow it, which I would highly recommend... and then it's coming right back!!
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on November 26, 2013
Really enjoyed this book. I wanted a cute, funny, rom com and I got it for the most part. Wasn't as funny as I expected, but a very sweet story with good character development. I am now reading my second Allie Larkin book, so I clearly I like her writing. The story line reminded me of Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin, but Allie took the basic plot of best friend marries her secret love in a slightly different direction. Also a lot of family angst in this book, so that keeps the funny part at a minimum.
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on September 25, 2013
I purchased this book for my friend who's also my neighbor; she's had a dog all her life & once she had her own house, always has had a German Shepherd dog. I watched how she interacted with each one over the decades ~ only one was acquired as a puppy since she moved here & we fully participated in his puppyhood! Sadly, he's long gone, but now she has a wonderful elderly GS Dog who she rescued. When I read about this book & that the author, Allie Larkin & her husband have a GS dog, I knew she wrote the novel from her heart! It did not disappoint ~ my friend said she really enjoyed the book! Therefore, I'm very happy that I chose this book and would definitely buy another copy if a similar occasion arises.
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on August 26, 2017
I purchased this in paperback about 5 years ago and when I realised I lost it, I purchased again for my kindle. I just love this book so much, I would buy it 100 times if I had to!
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