I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
All she wants is a settled-down life.
What she gets is a dog—and a whole new normal . . .
There he stood in the doorway: overweight, depressed and nearly homeless—a pug named Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy was Brydie Benson’s latest problem, arriving on top of her messy divorce and sudden move. Brydie needed a place to start over, so this rent-free home seemed a great idea. She just never counted on Teddy, or his owner, the Germantown Retirement Village’s toughest customer, Pauline Neumann.
And because rent-free doesn’t mean bills-free, Brydie gets a night-shift job at a big-box grocery. Whoever guessed there were so many people who wanted baked goods after midnight?
Then, she gets an idea—why not combine her baking skills with her new-found dog knowledge? And so her store Pupcakes is born. Along with a new start comes a possible new love, in the form of Nathan Reid, a local doctor with a sassy Irish Wolfhound named Sasha. And as fall turns to winter, and then to Christmas, Brydie begins to realize that life is a little bit like learning a new recipe for puff pastry—it takes a few tries to get it just right!
Pupcakes by Annie England Noblin was such a cute and sweet read. While the romance aspect itself was nice, I really enjoyed the dynamics between Brydie, Pauline, and Teddy the dog. It was really about Brydie finding her purpose and actually gaining the confidence to break away from the shadow of her failed marriage and ultimately that of her somewhat controlling mother.
If you enjoy ‘meet cutes’ you’ll love the one in this story. The dogs steal the show and their antics lead to Brydie’s and Nathan’s ever budding relationship. I say it like that because it’s a slow burn romance. Maybe at times I thought that there wasn’t anything there at all. In a way, it seemed more realistic. Nathan being a doctor might have had something do to with the way he handled it.
“I’m a doctor,” he said. “I fix people. It’s what I do. I know that you’re not a patient. I know that, but I can’t help wanting to fix whatever is wrong in your life. I care about you so much.”
Teddy and the mystery around his owner Pauline really were the most enjoyable part of the whole story for me. I loved that sassy old lady and loved how her being in a nursing home did not slow her down. Just a fair warning that tears might make an appearance while reading this. Teddy was crucial in all of their lives, but with Brydie he healed her heart and gave her the focus that she needed.
Overall, it was a nice heartfelt read that got me into the mood for the holidays and the generosity that it brings.
Annie England Noblin lives with her son, husband, and three dogs in the Missouri Ozarks. She graduated with an M.A. in creative writing from Missouri State University and currently teaches English and communications for Arkansas State University in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Her poetry has been featured in such publications as the Red Booth Review and the Moon City Review. She spends her free time playing make-believe, feeding stray cats, and working with animal shelters across the country to save homeless dogs.
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The publisher is giving away (1) print copy of the book. Open to US/CA.