[Note from Frolic: We’re so excited to have author Michelle Major guest posting on the site today. She’s talking all things animal rescue books. Take it away, Michelle!]
I have a confession to make. If someone were to ask my biggest personality quirk, it’s that I talk to my dogs and cats and they talk back. Yep, I entertain myself during long days at home alone by having back and forth conversations with my pets. Actually, I talk to my hubby and kids through the dogs as well. Nothing like the dog shaming a teenager into cleaning her room.
So it’s probably no surprise that I include animals—particularly rescue pets—in many of my books. Like people, animals have unique personalities and can add depth and humor to stories. Plus, through the hero or heroine’s relationship with a sweet or spunky pet, readers often see a more vulnerable side of the character early on in the story. And if you’ve ever seen a photo of Tom Hardy holding a puppy (if not Google it immediately!), you know that animals can make a hero even hotter.
In addition to adding some furry fun to the books I write, I love reading stories with unique animal characters and have a soft spot for animal rescues. Here are a few of my favorites:
The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare
Dare is one of my favorite go-to authors for witty dialogue and sizzling chemistry. In this opposites attract romance, she’s at her best and the menagerie of animals only adds to the charm. Lady Penelope has a huge heart and is sweetly dedicated to the animals in her care. When her imposing new neighbor, Gabriel Duke, demands she rehome the animals, Penny strikes a bargain that he has to help find them new homes. But both Gabe and Penny are hiding traumas from their pasts and they need each other (and the animals) to help with their healing. I was smiling ear-to-ear one moment and getting teary eyed the next.
Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis
If you follow Shalvis on social media (and if you don’t, you should) then you know she’s got a huge heart for her fur-babies, who are always enjoying their best lives. She includes animals in many of her stories, and in Animal Magnetism we meet Lilah, who runs the local animal shelter and kennel. She has instant chemistry with the hero, Brady, but it causes lots of consternation because Brady isn’t a stick-around kind of guy and Lilah is all about dedication. There’s a great cast of secondary characters plus some really original rescue pets in the little town of Sunshine, Idaho and there are so many sweet and sexy moments as Lilah learns to open up to someone and Brady realizes that putting down roots might be the surest way to finally find happiness.
Shelter Me by Catherine Mann
This is a beautiful story about love, loss and redemption. Definitely have a box of tissues handy—so many heart tugs. Sierra McDaniel is working at her family’s animal rescue but does not expect or want to take on another dog, especially one that belonged to her late father. Mike Kowalksi is determined to hand off Trooper, his commanding officer’s dog, but can’t resist being pulled back into helping the family heal from their loss and falling for Sierra. What’s so unique about this story is that we also get a few scenes in Trooper’s POV, and the dog has amazing insight into what the people he loves need.
The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez
A follow-up to Jimenez’s debut hit, The Friend Zone, this was one of my first binge-read during the pandemic and it still holds a special place in my heart. Sloan rescues the sweet canine Tucker after the dog jumps into her car and refuses to return him to rock star Jaxon Waters, Tucker’s actual owner. It’s a powerful story of emotional heartbreak, off-the-charts chemistry and magical hope with some authentically sweet devotion from both the hero and heroine to Tucker.
About the Author:
Michelle Major is the Publishers Weekly best-selling, RITA award winning author of over thirty sexy and sweet contemporary romances. She loves second-chances love stories, smart heroines and strong heroes. A Midwesterner at heart, she’s made the Rocky Mountains her home for nearly half her life and is thrilled to share her books with readers. Connect with her at www.michellemajor.com.
The Last Carolina Sister by Michelle Major, out now!
In Magnolia, North Carolina, love might be waiting right next door…
Meredith Ventner knows a wounded creature when she sees one. Though her temporary new neighbor may be—on the surface at least—a successful, drop-dead gorgeous doctor, she recognizes the deep hurt Ryan Sorensen is carrying, and it’s catnip to her soul. But even though Meredith is the youngest, scrappiest and single-est of Magnolia’s most famous sisters, she’s committed to expanding the animal shelter on her newly inherited farm. She can’t waste her energy on a man who’s only passing through town.
Ryan is hoping that after a month of small-town living he’ll be healed enough to return to his busy ER. His injured leg isn’t half as painful as his guilt from the tragedy he’s trying to forget. Yet somehow, helping feisty, tenderhearted Meredith care for her menagerie is making him question his career-first priorities. Here in this quirky small town another future is coming into view, but can he change his life, and open his heart, to claim it?