Review: Once Upon a Puppy by Lizzie Shane

Connor Wyeth has a plan for everything. But when he adopts Maximus, an unruly Irish wolfhound mix, he gets more than he bargained for. If he doesn't act fast, the big dopey mutt is going to destroy his house. The only person Max ever listens to is the volunteer who used to walk him at the shelter—a perennially upbeat woman whose day job is planning princess parties for little kids. Connor couldn't ever imagine that she'd be able to tame such a beast as Max, but he's desperate enough to try anything.

Deenie Mitchell isn't looking forward to spending more time with uptight, rules-oriented Connor—no matter how attractive he is. But when her sister announces her engagement, Deenie realizes he's the perfect person to impress her type-A family. When she learns he needs a plus-one for his law firm's work events, an unlikely alliance is formed. But as they play the perfect couple, the friendship—and the feelings—that are forming start to feel all too real. Opposites may attract, but can the man with a plan for everything and the misfit who makes her own rules ever find common ground?
Once Upon a Puppy is the second book in Shane's Pine Hollow series. I totally loved the first book and did also enjoy this one. At times this one was a little hard for me to read and I'll explain why. 

Let me start off with Conner. I really liked him. He's so uptight and yet he has the uncontrollable puppy called Max. Okay, really only he can't control him, but still loves him. Who doesn't love a man who likes kids and animals. They give you the warm fuzzies. 

I will admit at times his uptight ways are a little harsh but as you read the story you get where he's coming from and why he is the way he is. Sometimes his driven need to get what he wants in his job overshadows everything and he needs someone like Deenie to remember how to have a life outside of work. 

You kind of get an idea about who Deenie is from the first book. But since it didn't focus on her it was like a watered-down Deenie. In this book at times, she got on my nerves. I'm not saying I didn't like her but she judge those who work hard and go to good schools as snobs. I also felt at times she belittled people that work and stay home instead of being free and going where they want. I don't think her attitude about this would have bothered me so much if it wasn't said so very often. Her feels are beaten into you. 

Now, it's not like I didn't like her, okay, sometimes I didn't but others I really did. A lot of the things that bugged me about her I know had to do with strong issues in her self-esteem. That's why I think Conner is good for her. He showed her that she didn't have to give up enjoying life if she stayed put. She also learns from her relationship with him that she's smarter and more capable than she gives herself credit for. 

On their own, these two at times are hard to take, but together they learn what it's like to count on someone to always be there for them. This one might have started out slow for me but picked up about halfway through and ended really well. I am looking forward to the next book in the Pine Hollow series. Have any of you read her yet?


  1. It sounds like they are good together. I love a book with an animal in it.

    1. Me too! This is the second book in the series and both have dogs in them.


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