HONOR, LOYALTY, LOVE
David Cruz is good at two things: war and training dogs. The ex-soldier’s toughest case is Atlas, a Belgian Malinois whose handler died in combat. Nobody at Hope’s Crossing kennel can break through the animal’s grief. That is, until dog whisperer Evelyn Jones walks into the facility . . . and into Atlas’s heart. David hates to admit that the curvy blonde’s mesmerizing effect isn’t limited to canines. But when Lyn’s work with Atlas puts her in danger, David will do anything to protect her.
Lyn realizes that David’s own battle scars make him uniquely qualified for his job as a trainer. Tough as nails yet gentle when it counts, he’s gotten closer to Atlas than anyone else—and he’s willing to put his hard-wired suspicion aside to let her do the same. But someone desperate enough to kill doesn’t want Lyn working with Atlas. Now only teamwork, trust, and courage can save two troubled hearts and the dog who loves them both . . .
David retrains dogs for service, even though he is out of the military. He is brought in to retrain Atlas, who is the dog of one of David’s friends. Atlas’ partner was killed on a mission overseas and is mourning his partner’s death. Lyn comes in saying she was hired to help with Atlas, but David doesn’t trust her. Strange things have happened with the kennel and he doesn’t trust her or her motives towards his friend’s dog.
Lyn understands animals, but loathes people. She just wants to go in, train and interact with the animals that need her help, and that is it. Atlas reacts and bonds with Lyn, much to David’s surprise. The two humans butt heads and have a lot of tension between them, for various reasons. Because of this reason, I found it difficult to believe their chemistry overrode those feelings and created a romance.
The entire dog training storyline was my favorite part of the book. I was fascinated by the happenings and cared more for Atlas and his feelings than the people within the story. That’s not good. The suspenseful part was not as strong as it could have been, but it did surprise me at where it went. As I mentioned, the chemistry and romance part of the story baffled me, but it was what it was and stranger things have happened between people.
Overall, this was an ok story where the animal out shined the people within it, for me.