One of the squares on my Book-Reading-Bingo board is Pets & Romance, where at least one of the main characters is a pet owner and pet ownership is a central theme to the book. Pets can include horses or other livestock, but not in a farming or ranching context. Thing “furry friend” vs. “making a living.”
The third book of Marie Force’s GANSETT ISLAND series fits the category to a tee.
Ready for Love is the story of a woman healing from the loss of her husband and children in an automobile accident. All she has left of her family is the dog. One of the other characters has always wanted to be a veterinarian and has a pack of special needs dogs. No, the second character is not the love interest, but she plays a crucial role in the story.
I started reading the GANSETT ISLAND series because the author was a guest speaker for my local RWA chapter. By about the fifth book, I realized I wasn’t reading a series of romances so much as I was reading a soap opera. When I went to Goodreads to see what other people thought (and I never do this until I have my own opinion in place), I wasn’t surprised to see several others had come to the same conclusion. GANSETT ISLAND is a soap opera.
In the beginning of the series, the individual books more or less focused on one couple. As the series continues, each book tells the story of one couple, but there are multiple scenes involving past couples (usually having sex) and scenes setting up future books. I’m not saying I don’t like this. Heck, I’m on the 13th or 14th book in the series. It’s just…different than what I usually read.