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Stepdog Nicole Galland

Stepdog: A Novel - Nicole Galland

I like Galland's writing: not too showy, a light touch, a zippy plotline. And a romance with a dog is appealing. But this book made me work for my pleasure. The narrator, Rory, is charming as hell, but also disorganized, and impulsive. So he's too much like me to let me like him, despite his charm. Seriously, he has all my worst traits. But, here's the thing: he doesn't like his wife's dog. I don't have a dog, just several cats, but I love petting other people's dogs, and in fact, cannot drive down the street without saying "good dog" whenever I see one. My lack of self-control is so embarrassing, and no doubt annoying as hell if you're in the car with me anywhere except an interstate. It's not that I distrusted the character, or thought he was a bad guy, but he was just so wrong. I loved Cody, and couldn't help but feel that there was something fundamentally wrong with Rory that he didn't instantly love Cody too. I mean everyone else falls in love immediately. My dislike was deep-seated and strangely physical for an imaginary character.

Otherwise the book is a mash-up of Green Card and Basic Instinct and Galland makes it work. There was no way I was putting this puppy down until I was done: road trip, NC, characters with some deep and ugly issues, actors, and a really good dog. Next up from Galland for me will be I, Iago, because I really feel like she could make me sympathetic to one of the most purely evil characters in western literature.

Library copy