Happy August! I hope everyone survived this Mercury retrograde situation we just experienced, and I hope you set good intentions during the Black Supermoon last night! Get your good vibes ready friends, we are full blast into Leo season! If you live in the south like I do, you are also in the throes of the dreaded dog days of summer. For me, the “dog days of summer” arrive in August. The southern muggy meter is about 100 points off the charts, the kids are “so bored, mom” and in desperate need to go back to school for everyone’s sanity, and it’s just too hot to do anything other than sit inside and read a good book. Being a cheeky little book talker, I decided to share books with dogs on the cover in honor of kicking off the Dog Days of Summer.
There are plenty of historical romances with dogs that play canine starring roles, but I was unable to find any pooches on a cover. We have some books like The Curious Incident of the Dog in Nighttime and Marley and Me, but those books make me sad, and the humidity is enough of a downer, don’t you think? We also have Jill Shalvis, she can always be counted on for a cute doggo on her cover, so much it seems too easy, and you should be reading her books already! Don’t forget Patricia Briggs, Jaci Burton, Lauranne Dohner, Ilona Andrews, Jennifer Probst, Celia Kyle…the list of dog cover authors is long and fabulous. As I am wont to do, I’ve taken a little creative license with my #TBT list to also include wolves. Wolves and dogs share a lot of DNA. Having said that, of all the shifters, wolves are hands down my favorite. They run a little hotter and then there are the possibilities for licking…just sayin’.
Ultimate Courage by Piper J. Drake
The True Heroes series, in general, is chock full of doggy covers. Literally, every book in the series has a dog on the cover as well as a dog “almost” main character! Ultimate Courage just happens to be my favorite. Alex Rojas ticks off a whole bunch of boxes for me. He’s a retired Navy SEAL, single dad to a little girl, dog lover, protective to the nth degree and PTSD sufferer. They are all catnip qualities for me! Add in a strong heroine and a fair amount of suspense, and what are you waiting for, an engraved invitation to read?
Feral Sins by Suzanne Wright
The Phoenix Pack series is outstanding. I first read Feral Sins back in 2012. I fondly remember telling every single person that’s ever read a book in their life to read Feral Sins. Dramatic much? I don’t care! Taryn Warner was my first real female shifter encounter, and I still love her to this very day! Trey Coleman, our alpha male leader of the Phoenix pack, is nothing to shake a stick at but for me, Taryn with her strong will and tenacity really stole the show.
The Highlander Next Door by Janet Chapman
Chapman’s Spellbound Falls series is a spin-off of her Highlander series which I simply adore. The Highlander Next Door, complete with what appears to be a retriever of some sort on the cover is the sixth book in the Spellbound Falls series. It tells the story of Birch, a very prickly heroine that runs a women’s shelter and Niall, of the twelfth century Highlander clan. Chapman’s books are somewhat formulaic, but that’s okay by me, they are comfort food for my soul. This one in particular probably shouldn’t be read as a standalone as it does more to progress the bigger series story arc, but I include it as a reminder for everyone to give these books a read. I enjoy these books so much, I am not ashamed of using a dog on the cover as a teaser to push you along!
Rival Forces by D.D. Ayers
Much like Piper J. Drake’s series, Ayers’ K-9 Rescue series has a dog on each of the covers. The first book in the series, Necessary Force released back in 2014. I selected Rival Forces because the dog on the cover looks like my neighbor’s dog. They just moved away, and I’m feeling a bit sentimental, honestly, more about the dog than the humans that left! In Rival Forces, our heroine Yardley doesn’t let many men into her heart, only two have made it past the strong walls she built to keep her heart safe. There shouldn’t be any conflict or trouble at all when she enlists the help of former love Kye to help her find her current crush who has gone missing. Nope, no potential romantic rivalry at all in that premise!