I Heart Boston Terriers, Rick R. Reed
Publisher: Amber Quill Press, LLC
Genre: Gay Romance
Tags: Contemporary, HFN, Short Story
Purchase At: Amber Quill Press, amazon.com
This review is slightly spoilerish.
Love at first sight can work for dogs as well as humans.
When Aaron finds Mavis, an emaciated and timid Boston terrier, at a pet adoption fair, his heart goes out to her—irrevocably.
When Christian, who is manning the adoption fair for the Humane Society that fateful autumn Saturday, finds Aaron, his heart goes out to him—irrevocably.
I Heart Boston Terriers is all about embracing love, whether it’s for someone who walks on four legs, or someone who walks on two. The Boston terrier Mavis’ journey back to wholeness and finding her forever home runs parallel to the story of two men discovering one another at just that perfect moment—a moment that defies logic, propriety, and common sense.
But then when do the dictates of love follow a rational course?
Come along for a journey about a man and his dog and see how that journey teaches him the truth about love and making a caring connection that just might last a lifetime.
There are times I want books so dark that I’m scared to turn the pages on my Kindle. Then there are days (like today) when I want something a bit on the sweet side. I always know I can go into my ever-growing-Rick R. Reed-list and find exactly what I’m looking for at any given moment. That was the case with I Heart Boston Terriers.
Aaron Yore just went through a difficult breakup and moved from Pittsburgh to Seattle to stay with his sister until his broken heart can mend and he can get a job and his own place. Becca’s place is a small studio apartment, and not really big enough for one person, much less two.
On a trip to the pet store to buy supplies for Becca’s cat, they notice that the Seattle Humane Society is having an adoption fair. Thinking they’ll look at the animals up for adoption and move on, they make their way in that direction and are both stopped by a dog that could only be described as pitiful. According to the tag on the cage, the dog’s name is Mavis, and by the looks of her, she’s not a happy animal. She’s cowering in the corner, as if hoping to hide from everyone. They move on but Aaron comes back. Mavis eases to the bars of the cage and licks his hand and he falls instantly in love. After a bit of encouragement from Becca, and a hot volunteer from the shelter, Aaron agrees to adopt Mavis and take her back home to the small apartment he currently shares with his sister.
Remember this part – Becca insisted that Aaron adopt Mavis.
“I was just telling Aaron he should bring Mavis home. He just got dumped by his boyfriend and Mavis looks like she’s in the same boat, so they’d be a match made in heaven, right? Good for each other?” Becca giggled.
Aaron looked at his sister, helpless. Her own eyes brimmed with tears. “You have to take her,” she whispered.
“Just a couple of minutes ago that dog was petrified, and look at her now, ‘lil brother….” She paused, then added quickly. “You should get her.”
So, just like that Aaron is filling out the paperwork and handing over the adoption fee. The volunteer, Christian Knowles, is a good looking guy, but Aaron only has eyes for a certain Boston Terrier. He and Becca buy a few supplies and take Mavis home. Mavis, the poor thing, is skittish and immediately hides under Becca’s bed and stays there for a long time. She won’t eat, she won’t move, she just hides from Aaron, Becca and even the cat.
The next morning, with Mavis still in her hiding place, Aaron goes for a run and is returning when he gets a phone call from the volunteer from the day before, Christian. The call is a bit unorthodox and Aaron is a bit rude, but it’s more out of concern for Mavis than anything else. That was my take anyway.
Remember how Becca pushed and pushed for the unemployed Aaron to adopt Mavis during the adoption fair? That changes later when the dog discovers – and destroys – a very expensive pair of Becca’s shoes. At that moment, her entire everything changes and she insists on Aaron getting rid of Mavis. It’s either take her back or there will be hell to pay.
Everyone knows you don’t get between a girl and her shoes, right? Seriously, I’ve got a collection that could rival a department store, so I did feel sympathy for Becca – for about a half second.
“She has to go. Forget what I said in the restaurant; we can’t have some little shoe-eating monster living here. What if she goes after my Prada bag or my Christian Louboutins? What then?”
Aaron doesn’t want to give up Mavis. He’s only had her for 24 hours but he’s already fallen head over heels in love with her and the feeling is mutual.
“You and me, kid. We’re two of a kind. Alone. A bit unwanted, yes.” He massaged her neck. “But you and me, we both have a lot to offer, don’t we? So we’re not gonna feel sorry for ourselves, are we? We’re both survivors, too, and we’re not gonna let this temporary setback get us down permanently…”
Aaron places a call to Christian, saddened over the fact that he may have to give up his dog. One thing leads to another, and well, Christian and Aaron are caught later in an, um, interesting position by Becca and a compromise is reached in regards to Mavis.
I think it goes without saying that I’m not a fan of Becca. Aaron didn’t want to impose on her to begin with, and she made a point in throwing out “I’m being good to you by allowing you to stay with me,” on top of the hatefulness over the poor dog. There were a couple of times I was thinking that yes, he might be better off back home with his parents instead of living with someone who went out of her way to make him feel bad simply for needing help.
Aaron and Christian are adorable together. While I won’t call this insta-love, it’s obvious very early that the two men have a connection right off the bat. The story is short at only 65 or so pages, but I am very pleased with the way everything came together at the end.
Overall, this is a very nice short story. It’s short and sweet and has just enough drama and humor to keep you interested. It will have you wanting to rush to the nearest shelter to pick up your own Mavis. Thankfully I read this story on a day when they’re closed or I might be doing just that. 🙂
It’s not often a reviewer can use photos of the actual cover model in their review, outside of the book cover. So, I want to give a huge thank you to the cover model (aka Lily) who gave me permission to use her photos in my review. I also want to thank one of her dads, Rick R. Reed, for clearing it with her. *grin*
The doggies are adorable, I do love a terrier. If Becca didn’t like the shoe-chew she would have hated one of my dogs. Ted destroyed a coffee table, a lounge, and various shoes as a puppy but we adore him.
Cute story. and I love the review, Cindi 🙂
Thanks, Kazza. It’s a very sweet story. Becca wouldn’t have been able to handle Ted. Once her shoes were history, she wanted poor Mavis to be. 🙁
Aren’t the pics adorable? Another huge thank you to the author for allowing me to stalk his Facebook page for photos of Lily. 😀
I would like to thank you for the lovely and thoughtful review of my work. Lily would like to thank you for the exposure. She would also like to point out that the picture of her wearing the heart collar was taken on the day her daddies were wed.
You are very welcome, Rick. It’s a very nice story. Again, thank you to Lily – and her daddies – for allowing me to use her photos. The one taken on your wedding day was my favorite overall. I’m glad I picked a special one.