I’ve been wanting to get into the romance genre lately, but I wasn’t sure where to start. I enjoyed Fresh Tracks several years ago, so I knew I liked Georgia Beers’s writing style, and that combined with the premise made for a book I couldn’t resist. A lesbian romance centred around a rescue shelter? Lesbians and puppies??
Rescued Heart is told in dual perspectives: Lisa’s and Ashley’s. Ashley is a cute-as-a-button cookie baker who volunteers at the shelter and has spent her life passively going with the flow of things. Lisa works at the shelter and comes across as uptight. She is determined to not have to take care of anyone (anymore), though she’s also reluctant to give up control.
Ashley and Lisa are obviously drawn towards each other, and both find themselves acting in surprising ways with the other’s influence. They have good chemistry, but it’s the setting and background characters that really make the novel for me. Junebug shelter seems like a real place, and it’s populated with a whole host of characters. Beers is obviously setting up for a series, but it also gives the whole story more depth. Characters weave in and out of their story without being essential to it.
The tension is also not just between the main characters. Ashley is contemplating her role at the bakery, and she’s let herself get stuck in a tepid romance. Lisa is struggling to avoid the mother that walked out on her as a teen and is now trying to establish a relationship with her decades later. And, of course, dogs and cats are prominent on the page, both at Junebug and in Lisa’s home.
I did have one cringing moment while reading this, however. [Spoilers] Ashley and Lisa agree at one point that they should go on a date without sleeping together, in order to deal with their issues. At the end of the date, Lisa pins her against a wall and they have sex anyway, even as Ashley feebly reminds her that they weren’t supposed to. They are both happy and satisfied during and after, and Ashley clearly doesn’t feel like Lisa went too far or that she was not consenting, but it still threw me out of the story. [End Spoilers]
Overall, Rescued Heart lived up to its premise, and I’m excited to read more in the Puppy Love series as they come out. Junebug is definitely a place I want to revisit.