[Note from Frolic: We’re so excited to have author Kim Breyon guest posting on the site today! She’s sharing her love for pets, real and fictional! Take it away, Kim!]
Hello! Thanks for joining me today to discuss one of my favorite topics: books with pets. It’s without any question that in any good book or movie, the four-legged companions are the characters who steal my heart. I can love the main characters to the moon and back but it’s almost always the animals who make it memorable for me.
As an author, my goal is to touch my readers’ hearts and make them connect with my characters as much as possible. Adding in a furry companion — or three — is one of the best ways I can add that extra layer of personality to the story line. Since I never fail to be won over by the animals, it’s easy for me to share that same feeling with my readers. Roxy’s Recovery is no exception. This story would have been drastically different if Roxy weren’t in the picture. Alex would have just been a homeless man, wandering about with nothing to live for and no real connection or common ground for him and Vaughn to bond to. Roxy gave him hope through the hard times, and a purpose to keep on going as well as an excuse for Vaughn to wiggle his way into Alex’s heart.
It’s estimated that about two-thirds of the United States population have a pet of some kind, with a large percentage of those being a household cat or a family dog. It’s easy to see why. Pets make us laugh, ease our sorrow, and remind us of what true acceptance is by loving us unconditionally. Even those who don’t have a pet of their own can relate to the unique companionship they give us. Maybe that is why it’s common for authors to include pets in the lives of their characters, as a way to give the reader one more way to relate to the story.
Some of my favorite and most memorable stories that I’ve read in recent years have been ones that include pets as a major plot point, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. My dog and cat are a vital part of my day, and my dog is a true source of comfort and relief when my anxiety strikes. When I read a story with any kind of pet – be it a dog, wolf-hybrid, or even a monkey – I have a chance to not only fall in love with the hero or heroine but their companion as well. They are just as much a part of the story as the main characters are, and in some cases, they even steal the show.
I’m excited to share with you a few of my personal favorites.
Finders Keepers by NR Walker
This is one of the most uplifting and “feel good” books I’ve ever read. It makes my cheeks ache from smiling and my heart burst with joy every time I read it. It’s a story of unexpected love and happiness after a dog is found lost in a park. When the owner is discovered to be away on vacation, the rescuer takes care of the dog in a way that makes my heart melt, and soon… love begins to bloom between the owner and rescuer that tugged at every one of my heart strings. If only everyone had that much kindness to give!
Locked In Silence by Sloane Kennedy
This story is about the harm that can happen when we misunderstand and misjudge others. While one of the main characters, Dallas, is the center of the mistreatment by the citizens of the small town, his dog is also victim to the prejudice. Loki is part wolf, and his wolf-like appearance puts everyone on edge. When Loki is placed on trial for a crime he did not commit, it opens doors for a long over-due conversation for his owner about his past and forces others to see things in a new perspective. Without the parallels of Loki and Dallas, I don’t believe this story would have been received as well. Loki wins the readers over.
Marshall by Claire Castle
Jess is a heap of fun. That dog has as more sass than any other four-legged friend I know, and the way she has those two men wrapped around her tail is comical. I loved seeing how she pulled two vastly different men together, and how she was able to give them common ground to bond over and lead the way for them to fall in love. But more than that, I loved how much her personality shone in that story. I could almost see her staring at me while I read, just begging for a treat. Jess was fun and a big part of why I enjoyed that book.
Three Hours by Dannika Dark
This is the fifth book in a paranormal series and although I first read them years ago, it remains one of my absolute favorites. In this book, we see a tough, no-nonsense protector soften and eventually bend over backwards for a tiny kitten named Spartacus. Despite being a wolf shifter himself, Wheeler can’t resist the tiny mewlings of the adorable kitten any more than he can resist her beautiful and seductive owner. As natural enemies, Wheeler and Naya are forced to find a compromise over a small bundle of fur and that compromise is what becomes a beautiful picture of overcoming preconceived notions and expectations. To me, it’s proof that love – and cute felines – can conquer all.
City in Embers by Stacey Marie Brown
I confess, I feel a little guilty about including this book in the list. If Sprig knew I was considering him a “pet,” I have no doubt he’d throw honey at me. Sprig is a sprite monkey with as much, if not more, personality than those of his fae caregivers. He is the sole reason I love and revisit this entire series frequently and is proof of just how important the right animal companion can be in a book. That little creature is witty, quick and has a filthy little mind, which often gets him and his caregivers into trouble. I hear his voice every time I walk by the honey jars at the grocery stores and can’t help but chuckle.
Thank you so much for allowing me to share my favorite pets and their stories with you. It’s making me want to snuggle in for a reread! Including pets as part of the storyline is certainly not necessary for me to enjoy a book, but I think everyone can agree that they do usually add that extra layer to a story and are often the special ingredient needed to help us fall in love. That’s my hope with Roxy’s Recovery as well. I want the readers to fall in love, not only with Alex and Vaughn, but Roxy and the other animals at the clinic as well. She is after all the reason their paths cross, but it’s up to them to make their own happy ending.
Thank you, and happy reading!
Roxy’s Recovery by Kim Breyon, out now!
As the newest veterinarian in the small town of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Vaughn Winters doesn’t have time for relationships. He is too busy healing injuries and establishing his reputation as a trustworthy vet. But when a strange man waves him down on a stormy night seeking help for his injured dog, Vaughn simply can’t refuse.
Obviously homeless and with no means to pay for Roxy’s medical care, Vaughn throws caution to the wind and strikes a deal with the hesitant stranger that would allow Roxy the time to heal and provide some much needed TLC to his property as well. As the days pass, Vaughn’s curiosity grows. Alex’s dedication to the job is as surprising as the sexy tats hidden beneath his rugged clothes. What could have pushed this kind, hardworking man to the streets, or cast such dark shadows in his otherwise bright blue eyes?
Will six weeks be enough time to earn Alex’s trust? Or will asking questions cause him to tuck tail and run as soon as Roxy is able?