on January 2, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
WARNING!This book will break your heart!
From the best-selling romance author of THE EDUCATION OF SEBASTIAN comes a sexy, heart-breaking and heart-warming story about one man and his dog. (Standalone)
Alex is lost and alone, with only his dog, Stan for company. He doesnÔÇÖt expect kindness from anyone anymore, but sometimes hope can be found in the most unlikely places. He has a second chance at happiness, but thereÔÇÖs a dark side to Alex, and a reason that more than one person has called him crazy.
Single mother Dawn is doing just fine. Except that her ex- is a pain in the a**, her sister isnÔÇÖt speaking to her, and her love life is on the endangered list.
At least her job as a veterinarian is going well. Until a crazy-looking guy arrives at her office accompanied by an aging dog with toothache. Or maybe Alex Winters isnÔÇÖt so crazy after all, just ÔÇª different.
Dawn realizes that sheÔÇÖs treated him the same way that all the gossips in town have treated herÔÇöpeople can be very cruel.
ÔÇ£Love meant accepting every part of him: the fun, the flaws, the damage, the baggage, just as it did for me.ÔÇØ
Filled with excellent writing, emotions pouring from the pages, and a talent to draw you into the story in a way that keeps you riveted, One Careful Owner by Jane Harvey-Berrick is a must read for 2017.
ÔÇ£Her every touch was a powerful reminder that I was still alive. That IÔÇÖd survived all the shit, all the pain, the crippling anxiety, the demeaning loss of self.ÔÇØ
Alex Winters is a man who lost everything. Life has not treated him well at all but keeps kicking him while heÔÇÖs down. Yet, he hasnÔÇÖt given upÔÇöhe keeps fightingÔÇöwith his only friend at his sideÔÇöhis dog Stan. Sometimes itÔÇÖs the little things which keep us going.
ÔÇ£My silent love lay next to me, and without a single word, the rock steady continent of my life had become a shifting, boiling tectonic plate. The land under my feet rippled like a desertÔÇÖs mirage.ÔÇØ
Dawn hasnÔÇÖt had a good few years. As a single mother and a full-time veterinarian, she doesnÔÇÖt have time to date much. Also her past has made her weary. Yet, she canÔÇÖt deny the pull between her and Alex either.
Can they overcome their past and weather a future that might not be perfect, but perfect because they have each other?
ÔÇ£I wanted to read to her about lions who talked, and sailing in magical shipsÔÇöa world of childish wonder, a world where bad things didnÔÇÖt happen to good people, where fathers were responsible and loved their kids, and no one hurt innocent animals. ÔÇ£
One Careful Owner is the flawless combination of gut-wrenching heartbreak, frustration at the actions of the charactersÔÇöalbeit understandableÔÇöand the joy of seeing someone receive what they deserveÔÇöin the best way possible. Jane Harvey-Berrick has drawn me yet again into her world of flawed characters, making me root for the underdog, making me hope that despite the darkness within the characters, they will find their way to the light.
ÔÇ£You can lose everything and everyone, but when you lose yourself, you are truly one of the damned. But somehow, in a haze of meds and despair, Dawn had pulled me back.ÔÇØ
Besides her splendid writingÔÇöwhich in itself makes Miss Harvey-Berrick an auto-click author for meÔÇöshe is also able to create such complex characters, keeping you glued to the pages in order to be able to peel back one more layer and maybe, finally, get to the core of them.
What I loved most about Alex and Dawn is their relatability. We understand their reasoning behind their actions, even if we donÔÇÖt agree with them. We root for them to figure things out, and we hope that during it all, they donÔÇÖt lose one another and themselves.
I also adored the fact that animals played such a big role in this book. And they are not just there as props to make the reader like this book more, but they are a vital part of the storyÔÇöa driving force if you willÔÇöshowing us how important animals can be.
ÔÇ£But I promise you this: IÔÇÖll love you harder than anyone else ever could. IÔÇÖll protect you and IÔÇÖll give you everything I have. IÔÇÖll be the man I need to be for you and for Katie.ÔÇØ
One Careful Owner is a book that will destroy and play with your emotions in the best way possible, fill you up with love and joy for the characters, and keep you captivated from page one. ItÔÇÖs definitely already a top read for me this year already.
~Review by Anja
ÔÇ£I had a really nice time today, Alex. We both did.ÔÇØ
He nodded slowly, seeming to ponder my words.
ÔÇ£You donÔÇÖt like that word?ÔÇØ
His reply wasnÔÇÖt acerbic, if anything, he sounded thoughtful.
ÔÇ£I havenÔÇÖt had a whole lot of nice.ÔÇØ
I wondered if I should take his words as an opportunity to dig deeper, but he seemed more closed off now and a little sad, and I didnÔÇÖt want to spoil such a lovely day.
ÔÇ£Nice is good,ÔÇØ I agreed evenly, and was happy when he forced a small smile. ÔÇ£Thank youÔÇöfor everything.ÔÇØ
I leaned across to kiss him on the cheek, surprised by my own boldness. His eyes widened and he sucked in a quick breath.
Was the world still spinning or had time frozen as we sat there, creatures in the dark our only witnesses?
Is love a disease? An affliction? Or is it something catching? Can you catch love, can you hold it in your hands, can it be communicated like a plague? Or is it like an infectious laugh that makes your eyes water and your stomach hurt, even though the joke isnÔÇÖt funny?
IÔÇÖd begun to believe I was immune to loveÔÇöthe kind that exists between a man and a woman. Instead, IÔÇÖd been gifted an ocean of love for my daughter. I thought perhaps that had filled me full, leaving no room for other love. Other loves.
My lips tingled from the roughness of his day-old stubble.
And is it love when you want someoneÔÇÖs smile as much as you want their body? When their laughter softens your words to a prayer?
My heart began to race.
Or is it sheer animal lust, a torrent of hormones assaulting your blood, heating you from the inside out?
He reached out to touch me, questions in his shadowed eyes as he cupped my cheek. I sighed and leaned into him, eyelids fluttering.
My mother always says itÔÇÖs the softness of men that she loves most, because itÔÇÖs at the center of them. Their outsides are hard with muscle; their bodies large, larger than hersÔÇöor mineÔÇöheavier, stronger. So when a manÔÇÖs touch is soft, when his fingers drift across your skin like sunbeams, then youÔÇÖre seeing into his soul.
I never understood. I never believed her.
So gently, so very gently, he pressed his dry lips against mine, and I wrapped my arms around his neck, kissing him back.
He tasted of coffee, and he smelled like sunshine and pine forest.
Gentleness turned to want, and want turned to need, and I thought my mother was wrong. I wanted to feel the strength of his body surrounding me, on top of me. I wanted to feel his hardness against me, inside me. I was wearied by supporting the weight of my family alone. I wanted someone to carry me. For just a little while. A single moment.
The wooden arm of the chair pressed into my ribs as I leaned across, and I tried to ignore it. But Alex lifted me onto his lap, shocking a gasp out of me that ended with a soft laugh, because maybe heÔÇÖd read my mind, because maybe he wanted the same things I did. And then we were kissing again. Again and again for the longest time, hesitance turning to urgency, and long languid kisses to heated mouths and hot sighs.
My fingers fumbled to find the hem of his shirt as I floundered my way down his chest, sliding my palms across warm skin that left shivers in their wake. I started pushing the material upward, and Alex leaned forward and dragged the shirt off, tossing it to the ground impatiently.
All day, IÔÇÖd longed to touch, yearned to taste, feared to want. I was tired of caution, weary of wading through life alone. If this was just one night, IÔÇÖd celebrate it forever, and if it was more ÔÇª well, that was a bridge still to be crossed, a land waiting for discovery.
My hands swept down his back, reading his skin with my fingers as if sight didnÔÇÖt exist, while we continued to kiss, tongues tasting, learning and teaching. I gripped his biceps, my fingers digging into the ridge of muscle, shuddering with pleasure as he cupped my breast with one hand, the other anchored behind my back to stop me from falling.
IÔÇÖd already fallen for Alex Winters, man of mystery, animal lover, gentle soul, wounded warrior in the battle of life. Or maybe thatÔÇÖs just life. WeÔÇÖre all survivors, one way or another.