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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tails of Love an Anthology



Tails of Love by Lori Foster, Stella Cameron, Kate Angell, Dianne Castell, Ann Christopher, Marcia James, Donna MacMeans, Sarah McCarty, Patricia Sargeant, Sue-Ellen Welfonder
Publisher: Berkley (Penguin)
Genres: Contemporary, Historical, Inspirational, Paranormal
Length: Full (338 pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Ten all-new stories that celebrate our animal friends, by bestselling and award-winning authors.

From Seeing Eye dogs to the cat who cuddles in your lap, animals are there for us in more ways than we can count. Helping us get through the day with a wag of the tail and a tilt of the head, they let us know that someone is on our side—no matter what. They also have an amazing ability to break down barriers between people; bringing families and loved ones closer, and giving strangers an excuse to strike up a conversation. In Tails of Love, each writer draws from her own unique perspective on our loyal friends—exploring the many mysterious ways they bring love into our lives.

Want to learn a few things about love? Find an animal and read Tails of Love. You just might find your heart, a new friend, and a great read.

This Lori Foster edited anthology is one of those novels you won’t want to miss. Each story, lovingly crafted to showcase the bond between humans and their animals, will stay with you long after the end of the novel. These stories are great reading for all ages and every reader will find something he or she can take away and use in their own lives.

In Man’s Best Friend, by Lori Foster, a lost puppy helps two people find the love that lingered just under the surface. This is another of Ms. Foster’s SBC novellas and its one of her best. I loved the simmering passion between the characters. The lost pup, Cupid, shows that even a wayward animal can bring two people together.

In A Knotty Tail, by Stella Cameron, you get the perspective of the animals as these dogs and cat try to get their masters together. I loved the conspiring and how even the best of plans can backfire. This story stayed with me because the cat was so particular and snotty, yet she had her master’s interests at heart. Ms. Cameron writes like the owner of a pampered pet and I could relate.

In Norah’s Arc, by Kate Angell, one pesky, yet good natured pygmy goat named Houdini lives up to his name. He’s a wanderer and an escape artist. It’s up to his “person”, Norah, and her irritated neighbor Mike to track him down. I liked that this story’s animals weren’t run-of-the-mill pets. Who would’ve thought that pygmy goats were secretly match-makers? My favorite part of this story, besides the goats, was that the story illustrated that animals can be just as loveable as one’s own family.

Dianne Castell penned the story The Pursuit of Happiness. In this short, Rex Barkley is a weredog and he’s in love. His girlfriend must be able to accept him. What happens when your partner can’t accept you for who you are? I liked this story because it showed that we all have our little quirks that make us unique. Acceptance is what proves that love can last. Plus, I loved the names of the characters in this story. Hilarious!

Monkeys are smart creatures. In Atticus Saves Lisa, by Ann Christopher, Atticus, the Capuchin monkey, proves that sometimes animals are more sensitive than people give them credit for. Again, I liked that Ms. Christopher used a different animal (though ideal for his job) for this story. Readers can identify with Lisa’s guilt complex and that makes this story powerful and emotional. I found it very emotional.

In Rescue Me, by Marcia James, we meet a hairless Crestie who steals more than just Adam’s heart. This little dog manages to heal decade long hurts, yet he does it in a comical fashion that will keep the reader engrossed. The little dog proves that beauty is in the eye of the beholder as long as you keep love in your heart. Plus, it’s cute to see the tiny dog wriggle past the big man’s emotional barrier.

Want a story that’ll keep you in stitches? Then you need to read Lord Hairy by Donna MacMeans! Hannah friends a dog in the woods. Issue? He’s big and black as ash and follows her home. I love that the dog won’t leave her alone. You get the sense that you’re really back in time and wandering the forest with Hannah. I sympathized with Hannah’s need to take the dog home and the dog’s need to find a human – his human. The reader can identify with Hannah’s struggle against her stepmother – both Hannah and the dog weren’t wanted. But I loved how she dealt with the adversity! This is a story you won’t want to miss.

Many stories tug at the heartstrings. Danny’s Dog, by Sarah McCarty, pricks your heart, makes you smile, and makes you believe that love can conquer all. When Danny dies of SIDS, his parents struggle to deal. Nothing seems to heal their ache. Then comes the mangy, homeless dog in desperate need of rescue. With the help of the dog Danny would have wanted, Walt and Kathy find that forgiveness isn’t out of reach.

In Scaredy Cat, by Patricia Sargeant, Kendra finds out that scruffy alley cats who want to be rescued are pretty good judges of character. Her cat Tom manages to read the likeability of her current boyfriend Harvey. Is Tom putting himself in danger to demonstrate his personal skills or to warn her of a potentially bad date? I liked that this story was sensual and sweet. You wanted to see Tom get his way and triumph against the bullies.

Sometimes things can only be explained by the unexplained. What do I mean? Read A Man, A Woman, and Haggis, by Sue-Ellen Welfonder. This final story in the anthology takes a paranormal twist. She sees a man and a terrier. He sees a beautiful woman. How does this all go together? Ask the haggis-hungry dog Haggis. This story shows that blind faith and unwavering love can be enough to make a relationship last beyond time. Plus, who can pass up a handsome man with a Scottish accent?

If you want a set of stories that will make you laugh, cry, and think, then you want to read Tails of Love. You won’t be let down. I give this anthology 4 ½ books.









3 comments:

DianneCastell said...

Thanks for the great review! We sure had a blast writing Tails of Love. That the proceeds go to the Animal Adoption Foundation here in Cincy is the best part of all.
Thanks again.
Hugs, Dianne

Donna MacMeans said...

Participation in this very worthy project was great fun. Many thanks to Lori for putting together this wonderful anthology.

Marcia James said...

Hi! Thanks for reviewing Tails of Love! I'm not sure which I enjoyed more -- writing one of the ten stories in Tails of Love or getting to know the other 9 authors better. And the anthology supports a great cause!
-- Marcia James ;-)