Thursday, December 25, 2014

Review: A Little Christmas Jingle

A Little Christmas Jingle

by Michele Dunaway


Women, men, stray dogs—everyone's looking for love this holiday season. Sometimes all it takes is a LITTLE CHRISTMAS JINGLE to get into the spirit. . .
Kat Saunders doesn't believe in miracles—though she sure could use one. She's devoted to her veterinarian business, and all she wants for Christmas is for her practice to include a no-kill shelter. But amidst all the holiday hoopla she forgot about getting the required permits...and time is running out. Just when Kat fears her dream career is DOA, a to-die-for handsome detective shows up at the vet with a desperate puppy. Could it be that Jack Donovan—otherwise known as Mr. December on the Sexy Public Servants Charity Calendar—is the answer to her prayers? He agrees to help Kat with her legal needs, and she will do whatever it takes to express her appreciation. But could this Man of the Month also end up being Kat's true love for all days? A kiss beneath the mistletoe may be all it takes to find out. . .
Themes: holiday, contemporary, animal-lovers
Rating: 3.25 stars
Heat Rating: 
Wow, what a heart wrenching and sweet romance with just the right amount of reality to keep me hooked.  I went into this story knowing I would be attached to the animals in it and loving the characters simply for their professions helping animals, but I never realized just how raw and heartbreaking it would be almost from the opening pages.  This story of two individuals falling in love as they bond over a tortured puppy was surprisingly sweet and full of the joy of the season as the puppy brings two people together who might never have had a chance otherwise.  This was my first story by this author but I think I will have to keep an eye out for future chances to read her, as I loved Jingle and his story and the humans were pretty cool too.  Being an animal lover there were moments I just could not hold in the tears, but knowing in the end that Jingle would be saved by the H/H, I was able to see how his traumas brought Jack and Kat together.  There was definitely a lot of tension between these two and it wasn't always obvious they would find a way to make it together, but they pulled it out in the end. 
Jack is a jaded and dangerous police officer, head of the newly formed animal rescue squad and he is determined to end animal cruelty in his town, even if it requires him to be Mr. December to raise awareness.  Kat is finally able to become a partner on the team for saving these animals and she finds herself drawn inexplicably to the man that is in charge of the project.  When he arrives late one evening with a tragically tortured young puppy, she knows that she will do anything to keep the little guy alive.  Her determination and sweetness won't keep Jack from thoroughly performing his duties though, even if it means thrusting her into an investigation into her business practices.  Overcoming their professional differences to become friends, their relationship sharply veers one night when the passion can no longer be pushed away.  But will their new connection allow them to remain associates or will the troubles continue for Kat even with Jacks' help?
Kat is a character that is going to be in my top 50 for a while I think.  A Vet and animal lover to the core, she will do just about anything to keep her shelter open and her animals safe, including Jingle.  She has dedicated her life to these animals and won’t let anything stand in her way, not even her intense attraction to Jack.  Though she tries to keep her lust separate, there is no way they can fully resist one another.  She was definitely a strong woman, one that will let no man get in the way of her dreams for her professional life.  Jack on the other hand was a cynical, closed off butthead for most of the book.  Even while he was lusting for Kat, he brings trouble to her door, forcing her into the spotlight against her wishes, and making her troubles even more challenging.  While he is obviously a man of his convictions, at some point you just have to trust in someone else to have your back and keep their promises.  I loved seeing how sweet and gentle he was with the animals, and when he finally decides to have a relationship with Kat he becomes her biggest advocate, but it was very slow in coming.  He is hot as all get out to be sure, and obviously has women throwing themselves at him left and right, so it was nice to see him focus in on Kat and truly give her all of himself.  I came to love Jack as he grew up during the story and was thrilled to see him come to his sense before it was too late. 
For a Christmas story, A Little Christmas Jingle was everything I expected, but so much more as well.  With great details, educated dialogue and an obviously well informed author, the veterinarian was completely believable as was the police squad.  Jingle was a sweet little pup and if he truly existed, would have been my adopted baby in no time.  Kat is a woman after my own heart, deeply devoted to the lives and care of animals, all animals, and determined to do more than her share to improve their lives.  She was sweet and caring to all those around her of the two-legged variety as well, and it is obvious she is more than a match for Jack.  Cynical and often grumpy Jack is her exact opposite, but thankfully, opposites attract, all they need if that one important piece of their lives in common--in this case, Jingle.  I very much enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more of Michele’s stories.  I would love to read more about this small town and maybe a sequel is in order.  A sweet and not overly clichéd Christmas read, just what was needed on a cold weekend night in Dec wrapped up with my own six little sweeties. 
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

Also as an aside to this story, I want to remind all that the holidays are in fact the best time to share yourselves with the animals that make our lives richer.  If you can't adopt consider donating money and especially time to a local shelter. 

And as a special treat, I am including with this review the new pups that came into my life in October.  They are sweet as can be and fill my heart and soul with laughter and love, just like Jingle did for Jack and Kat.  


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