Welcome to Junebug Farms, a successful, well-known animal shelter in upstate New York, where every day brings something new- love, stress, heartbreak, warmth- and not just from the animals.
Lisa Drakemore is in charge of intake and adoption at Junebug. She excels at her job, in large part because of her ability to keep her emotions in check. Her past has given her many years of practice and she’s becoming a pro. But once she meets dog-walking volunteer Ashley Stiles, a distractingly attractive, perpetually late, emotions-on-her-sleeve young woman who smells like cupcakes, all bets are off.
Georgia Beers had me from the first line of the synopsis: hook, line, and sinker. A story about lesbians and an animal shelter? Woof! Meow! How can I say ‘no’?!
On a more personal note, about a month ago I adopted a young tabby from the animal rescue next door to my boxing gym. I named him Jaxx (since my senior citizen at home is named Marbles) and it’s a nice little coincidence that one of the animals in Rescued Heart is also named Jax! Stop copying me, Georgia Beers. *Wink*
Sorry, I just couldn’t resist sharing Jaxx’s picture. Moms and dads of furry children will understand. Thank you readers for involuntarily indulging this crazy cat lady.
Moving along with the review…
In a similar fashion as other stories written by Georgia Beers, the progression of love between the characters is slow and sweet. Lisa has her own reasons for baby-stepping.. or not-stepping at all, really. Eventually, Ashley breaks through her barriers and gives her a reason to pick up the pace. Wow… when these two finally sync and step, they sprint to that finish line together like they’re the pair of legs that belong to Marion Jones. Georgia Beer certainly has a way of showing readers that foreplay is not overrated, and the pay-off at the end is definitely worth the wait.
Somehow, in the middle of reading this book, I completely forgot that the setting of the story is in upstate New York. If you didn’t review the synopsis before diving into the novel, you may get the sense that it’s set in a small-town because it has such a down-home feel. The characters in the story are very down-to-earth and interconnected in a way, that’s more often than not, a bit uncharacteristic in an urban setting. For me, it felt a little too cozy to be in the city, but this doesn’t detract from the exceptional writing and entertaining story from the author. It’s just a side observation.
We don’t seize opportunities that are presented to us often enough, especially when it comes to love and romance. The lesson that can be learned from this book is that we are not meant to exist as passive observers. In our own pursuit of happiness, we have to grab life by its horns and follow our hearts without fear or reservation. This is Ashley’s journey in Rescued Heart, and it’s really a joy to see this transformation in her character.
Rescued Heart will pull the heck out of your heart strings and make you want to give a big hug to your pets at home. I wonder what Georgia Beers will write about next!
1. Fountains of Wayne – Someone to Love
2. Gavin Degraw – Crush
3. Capital Cities – Love Away
4. Guster – Manifest Destiny
5. Elliott Smith – Happiness
6. Mat Kearney – Sooner or Later
7. Imagine Dragons – On Top of the World
8. Magnet – Where Happiness Lives
9. Ivy – Hideaway
10. Aqualung – Brighter than Sunshine
11. Dave Matthews Band – Lover Lay Down
This book would be best served with….
CAKEBREAD CHARDONNAY 2013