Sunday, July 16, 2017

ARC Review: Leader of the Pack (The Dogfather #3)

Leader of the Pack (The Dogfather #3)

by Roxanne St. Claire

Very few things ruffle K-9 trainer Liam Kilcannon. Stoic and steady, he has the patience and skill to

transform a harmless puppy into a highly protective schutzhund, and the quiet strength to lead his five younger siblings through the storms of life. A former Marine who doesn’t waste words or squander emotions, Liam is also a man who very much wanted to spend his life with one special woman by his side. He found her… and lost her. And Liam won’t ever let himself slide down the Andi Rivers Slippery Slope to Misery again. But when his father tells him Andi’s house has been broken into, he doesn’t hesitate to offer her his beloved protection dog, a decision that will put them in close and constant contact.
Architect and single mom Andi Rivers knows nothing in life is certain, having first-hand experience with unexpected changes and tragedies that upended her world. Determined to protect her deeply shy little boy from another heartache, she’s vowed to stay single and unattached no matter how long and lonely her nights might be. Hesitant to take Liam’s dog at first, she soon changes her mind when an estranged relative launches a campaign to take custody of little Christian. A dog won’t be enough…Andi needs a family to protect her son. When the Kilcannon clan moves into action, the solution they offer is drastic but perfect. Liam and Jag are there to protect Andi’s home and child…but what will protect their hearts from the risk of falling in love – and failing – one last time?
Themes:  Contemporary
Rating: 4.25 stars
Heat Rating: 
The Dogfather has managed to bring another pup home to roost with his mate, and Daniel Kilcannon is not the type of guy to quit while he’s ahead. This series is one that holds a special place in my heart seeing as I’m all about the love of a good dog and the more I get to know this amazing family the more and more I wish the family truly existed out there in the world.  Roxanne’s unique ability to bring you fully into the lives of her characters and make you feel like you are right there living their lives with them, is even more pronounced in this series, which revolves around men and women that are down to earth and realistic, where her other series were more unrealistic as very few of us can relate to people that are special operators or first rate bodyguards. The previous two stories in this series were filled with their own troubles and issues to overcome in their relationship, But Andi and Liam truly had the world against them and I wondered if they would overcome all their challenges in order to find peace and love together. But as always Rocki finds a way and these two were able to come together and make a family when they both so badly needed to find that level of connection and love together.
Andi and Liam has a story that goes back many years, but we sadly don’t get to see that piece of their past except through their memories and conversations. Andi is in need of serious assistance and Liam and his family are there to rescue her and save the day for her little two person family.  Liam is reluctant to use the plan that his family seems to be fully behind but he will do anything for the only woman he ever loved or could love.  So while Liam is more than willing to do anything for her, he knows he has to keep a distance between them or she will break his heart into a million pieces...Again. Liam is willing to do anything to keep Andi and her little boy safe, including bringing his amazing dog Jag into their home to protect and love them as he does.  Andi will take any help she can to keep her little boy safe and with her, even follow the scary plan that the Kilcannons have put forth, but she is still determined to keep herself from falling for and depending on Liam.  But when the danger to her family escalates she turned to the man that has grabbed her heart in order to make sure that they all make it out safely and can find a way to their happily ever after. 
I loved this story of two people that have had serious ups and downs in their relationship including a two year separation right when their relationship was starting to truly blossom.  Liam is the kind of strong and staid man that would be the perfect man to have as a husband, but he would also be the kind of lover that takes over your heart and soul. I was sad to see the troubles Liam had to face and the trauma to his heart every time Andi pushed him away or put space between them, even as I understood her fears.  The best thing that Liam offers to Andi is the stability that has been sadly lacking in her life for the last seven or so years.  But the fear that Andi has allowed to color her choices in her relationship status and the way she treats Liam, and their relationship.  I was sad for Andi and understand the fears she carries, but I wished she could see the great guy that Liam was and how much she was tearing his heart out each time she kicked him away.  I was glad to see her finally open up her heart again, but in my opinion it took her way to long to see what was right in front of her.  I did enjoy seeing her interacting with her little man and Liam’s family, and I look forward to seeing them sharing their HEA in the coming novels in the series.
While Liam is definitely the leader of his little pack, even as his family and grandmother are still in charge, and seeing the heartbreak he is dealing with hurts his family enough that they banded together to get him what he needs to be happy in his life makes for a truly loving relationship.  Liam is a sweet, loving, and sexy guy with a heart as big as his family and the strength to lead his little world, whether that means dogs, little boys, and a woman that needs him whether she’s knows it or not. Andi is a woman that has been trying to keep from drowning as she ushers her shy and sweet little boy into the world, but she doesn’t see that adding Liam to that equation is the one piece needed to keep them moving forward.  I loved seeing these two come together, even though their sad moments brought tears to my eyes and made me wonder why Andi doesn’t understand that the best way to make her son happy is to truly be happy herself.  When Andi lets Liam into her life, and her son’s, the three of them can truly become a family and add to the Kilcannon clan and can find their forever happiness in one another. I might not fully understand how a mother’s love can drive a woman to make the types of decisions Andi did, I can understand how a woman might let her fear and past hurts drive her to make a choice that protects her heart. I definitely look forward to the rest of this series and seeing more of the Kilcannon clan as each of the other children finds their mates and Rocki sends them the challenges these brothers have faced. Another adventure in the lives and hearts of a couple that have to work hard to find their HEA and the family that circles them with love even as they have fight for each other.

*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

P.s. as always in this series the love shared with the dogs by this family makes the family and the story all the more lovable to me.  I am dying to see what other dogs this family brings into the fold and makes fully accepted family members. 

No comments:

Post a Comment