Author: Nicle Galland
Publisher: William Morrow
Type of book: Travel all over America, Green card wedding, American female/Irish male, dog loyalty and devotion, quirky characters, 2000s, Boston, acting, museum, getting used to married life, dog-napping, past, history
Year it was published: 2015
What's the difference between puppy love and dogged devotion?
When Sara Renault fired Rory O'Connor from his part-time job at a Boston art museum, and in response, Rory—Irishman, actor, musician, reformed party-boy— impulsively leaned over and kissed her . . . she kissed him back. Now, as Rory's visa runs out on the cusp of his big Hollywood break, Sara insists that he marry her to get a green card. In a matter of weeks they've gone from being friendly work colleagues to a live-in couple, and it's all grand . . . except for Cody, Sara's beloved dog from her troubled previous relationship. Sara's overattachment to her dog is the only thing she and Rory fight about.
When Rory scores both his green card and the lead role in an upcoming TV pilot, he and Sara (and Cody) prepare to move to Los Angeles. But just before their departure, Cody is kidnapped—and it is entirely Rory's fault. Desperate to get back into Sara's good graces, Rory tracks Cody and the sociopathic dognapper to North Carolina. Can Rory rescue Cody and convince Sara that they belong together—with Cody—as a family? First they'll need to survive a madcap adventure that takes them through the heart of America.
The main characters include Rory O'Connor who is staying in America and wants to get a green card bride just so he can become a US citizen. He is best described as who is ambivalent towards dogs, and doesn't understand the connection between humans and dogs. He is also daring, resolved, brave, shy, and he doesn't like drinking. He is also talented in playing music and in acting. Sara Renault is Rory's boss at a museum who fired him. She is very loyal to her dog Cody and is hyper organized to planning a trip or a house. Along with that she is forgiving and a warm person. Other characters that played in the story include the crew at a park that Rory frequently walks the dog in which includes Alto who is transitioning from a female to a male, an Irish-American woman with two kids, and a mysterious gentleman Jon who is suffering from a dog passing away. There is also Alex, Sarah's cousin who moved from North to South and readily adapted to being a Southern gentleman and who is also a dog lover. The villain is best described as old fashioned and hell bent on getting the dog at all costs. The villain also lives a lot in the past and is obsessed with revenge.
Dogs have amazing powers over human beings
The story is in first person narrative from Rory's point of view. I expected for the story to be told from Sarah's point of view, but instead, its from Rory's. And wow, I definitely enjoyed Rory's story and reactions to different things. Although I guess that some elements from the story do have predictability, its not a story one will forget for a very long time. Rory changing and maturing is gradual and if one blinks then they can miss the transformation that is occuring underneath. Also Rory doesn't dwell on his transformation from someone who cares little for dogs to someone who loves them a lot, but he is focused a lot more on action and what is going on. I have to say that the first half of the book, I was stumped at what the main conflict will be because the important ones, or rather immediate ones, are resolved rather quickly.
Nicole Galland’s five previous novels are The Fool’s Tale;Revenge of the Rose; Crossed; I, Iago, and Godiva. She writes a cheeky etiquette column for the Martha’s Vineyard Times. She is married to actor Billy Meleady and owns Leuco, a dog of splendid qualities.
From the picture and summary, I thought that Stepdog would be very similar to Dog Crazy, which will include a female protagonist and a dog that helps her out with life. I do enjoy reading these types of stories, but Stepdog isn't that. Instead the protagonist is an Irish man and the dog happens to be his wife's dog. Its definitely a unique, charming and quirky story of how someone who didn't care much for dogs found peace with one. The story also has a lot of humor in it, especially when it comes to Alex, and I was happy to see that dachshunds were in the story too, although it was a very brief moment, and along with memorable characters there is also an interesting plot of a dog being kidnapped by someone who's obsessed with getting her back at all costs. If you're tired of formulaic reads and are looking for something comedic and quirky, then try this book out.
Nicole’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, August 4th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Monday, August 10th: Novel Escapes
Wednesday, August 12th: BookNAround
Thursday, August 13th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, August 18th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Thursday, August 20th: 100 Pages a Day … Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Friday, August 21st: 5 Minutes For Books
Monday, August 24th: Dreams, Etc.
Friday, August 28th: Gspotsylvania: Ramblings from a Reading Writer Who Rescues Birds and Beasts
Friday, August 28th: I’d Rather Be At The Beach4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)