Top positive review
Adorable and hilarious!
Reviewed in the United States on January 1, 2021
4.5 stars — Oh ho! No sophomore slump for this series, I loved it just as much as the first book! And Lila and Ford were NOTHING like Sophie and Harrison, but they were equally delightful, loveable, and hilarious. And that’s not even factoring in Emily and Jeeves! Yup, this is definitely going up into my favourite series pile, and I still have one left!
I loved how unique Lila was, and that we got to see how she came to be the way she was, and how the way people perceive her can be hurtful. And how easily it is for us as humans to absorb those cruel things and start to believe them of ourselves. I loved her transformation. I loved that she didn’t actually change a lot, she just embraced who she was and learned that there is nothing wrong with the way she sees and approaches the world. I especially loved that she could see a parallel with Emily, and understand some of what she was going through.
Ford Ford was unbelievable. He was absolutely incorrigible, hilarious, and if it were a historical romance, he would have been a bit of a rake. But there were so many layers hiding beneath all that. I mean, yeah, he did have a wicked sense of humour. But he has sooooo much vulnerability, sensitivity, and such a low sense of self worth. It was hard watching him almost sabotage himself in some ways. His story really goes to show that you can’t know what’s going on with someone, and even those who look to be carefree can be struggling with things.
I adored Lila and Ford together. I mean, don’t get me wrong, they frustrated the s-h-i-t out of me as well, with their evasions and pride and misunderstandings (though not so bad that it bothered me a LOT). But the connection between them — the heat, the banter, the ease…I just fell in love with them together. Their romance gave me all sorts of happy tummy tingles and goofy smiles.
And this story wouldn’t be the story it is without Emily and Jeeves. Yet again, I adored learning about training a service puppy, and some of what is involved. It’s fascinating to learn all the different ways they can help humans, and it makes me immensely happy that their role is becoming more accepted. And Emily both broke my heart and mended it. I loved how sweet, serious, and genuine she was for a little girl. I also appreciated that she wasn’t perfect and pushed boundaries as any 6 year old would.
One of the strange surprises for me in this book was Helen Griswold. I was totally anticipating her role to take on a familiar tropey quality, but then Ms. Gilmore just yanked the rug out and made her human and delightful. Not to mention quirky and fallible. But she was so genuine. I was soooo happy with that. And with the other secondary characters we saw bits of, even *gasp* Patrick.
Can I get any more effusive? It’s ridiculous. I even like answering my hubby when he asks what I’m reading with “Puppy Christmas”. I mean, doesn’t the title just make you goofy happy? In the end it wasn’t strong in the holiday vein, the season was just a coincidence. But the puppy part was strong, and now I’m just babbling for the sake of babbling…