Friday, January 11, 2019

Review - In Dog We Trust

Title:   In Dog We Trust
Author:  Beth Kendrick
Series:  Black Dog Bay #5
Genre:   Women's Fiction
Publisher:   Berkley Books
Format:  Ebook ARC
No. of Pages:  336
Date of Publication:  January 8, 2019
My Rating:  4 Stars

From the author of Once Upon a Wine, a new novel set in the charming seashore town of Black Dog Bay, Delaware.

When everything has gone to the dogs . . .

When Jocelyn Hillier is named legal guardian for the late Mr. Allardyce's pack of pedigreed Labrador retrievers, her world is flipped upside down. She's spent her entire life toiling in the tourism industry in Black Dog Bay and never expected to be living the pampered life of a seasonal resident in an ocean side mansion, complete with a generous stipend. But her new role isn't without its challenges: The dogs (although lovable) are more high-maintenance than any Hollywood diva, the man she wants to marry breaks her heart, and she's confronted at every turn by her late benefactor's estranged son, Liam, who thinks he's entitled to the inheritance left to the dogs.

Jocelyn has worked too hard to back down without a fight, and she's determined to keep her new fur family together. As she strives to uphold the "Best in Show" standards her pack requires, Jocelyn finds love, family, and forgiveness in the most unexpected places. 


In this fifth book in the Black Dog Bay series, Jocelyn Hillier's life has just turned topsy turvy, and more than once in relatively short order. For starters, Jocelyn is jogging one day on "Rich Person Road", which is actually Shoreline Drive. Jocelyn runs a linen service along with her mother, so she is definitely glancing at the other side of things. During her run, Jocelyn manages to save a couple of dogs from being run over. She so impresses their owner, Mr. Allardyce, that he insists on hiring her to care for all of his dogs, three Labrador Retrievers.

Suddenly, Allardyce dies, and Jocelyn is named legal guardian to the dogs, as well as a huge inheritance that comes along with their care. This includes her living in his incredible mansion - correction - her mansion. When she learns this while at the reading of the will, she isn't the only one shocked. After all, she was a glorified dogsitter. Among the people outraged is Liam, who claims that Allardyce was his father and that he was robbed of his inheritance. 

Jocelyn has been fighting her entire life. Raised without a father, she is blessed with a very strong mother and has learned quite a lot in her life. One thing for certain is that she is not going to back down easily. If Liam wants a fight, he's got one. Meanwhile, Jocelyn has been dating Chris, who happens to be the same man that almost ran her and the dogs over. More than once, Jocelyn wonders if she is good enough for a rich man like Chris. What social faux pas does she chance making?

Minor things that bothered me in the book. For example, Jocelyn was very comfortable riding with Chris, a perfect stranger, but not Liam, who she had been around much more. Minor inconsistencies like this offset my rating. Then, I wasn't too keen on certain issues she took her mother.

Despite those concern, I found this to be an enjoyable read, and I loved the storyline. There were quite a few humorous moments in the story, especially when it came to the antics of the dogs. Although women's fiction, I am someone who enjoys happily ever after, and I do love how the author played this out. We got to see Jocelyn's growth throughout this entire process. And, needless to say, all of the dogs were a delight! I definitely want to grab this entire series to-date as well as any future titles. 

The series consists of Cure for the Common Breakup, New Uses for Old Boyfriends, Put a Ring On It and Once Upon a Wine. Despite the fact that I haven't yet had the chance to read them, In Dog We Trust did quite well as a standalone.

Many thanks to Berkley and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.


This is the part where I’m supposed to brag about all my illustrious accomplishments, but honestly, I’d rather talk about my dogs and brag about some of the things I haven’t done:

I’ve never been to prison*, court-ordered rehab*, or splashed across the cover of a salacious weekly gossip tabloid with my ladybits on display**.

I’m a Leo, a middle child, and a formidable Trivial Pursuit opponent. I read everything I can get my hands on, from the classics to comic books.  I don’t drink coffee because, frankly, I’m high strung enough without adding caffeine into the mix. Here is the true story of how I became a novelist:

I was invited as a plus-one to a wedding where the bride was a successful romance novelist. Well, the second I heard that, I had to go. Being a writer had always been my dream job, and I’d never met anyone who’d actually beaten the odds and made the leap into big-time publishing. So I RSVP-ed, sidled up to the bar at the reception, waited until the bride and all her author friends uncorked the good champagne, and then peppered them with endless questions about writing, editing, and landing an agent. They were so funny and encouraging and generous with their time and advice. (Not to mention quite tipsy.) Next thing you know, I had joined a critique group and was knee-deep in the manuscript that would eventually become MY FAVORITE MISTAKE. The open bar at that wedding changed my life forever. Thank you, Dom Perignon!

I live in Arizona in a very cute fixer-upper that I bought in a burst of totally delusional, can-do confidence. I thought it would be fun to embark on a series of do-it-yourself renovations. Yeah. I know. Turns out, replacing baseboard that’s been painted over 15 times since 1958 is not as easy as those Home Depot commercials would lead you to believe. Also, freshly-installed lawn drip systems and “helpful” dogs are a bad mix.

Friday and RoxieSpeaking of dogs, here we have the indefatigable canine lawn maintenance crew: Roxie and Friday. Both were rescued from the pound when they were puppies. I think they’re Rhodesian Ridgeback mixes. (Probably. Maybe? Anything’s possible.) Roxie is the brains of the operation and Friday is…well, he’s very sweet. And so indolent he could be mistaken for a piece of furniture, which I consider a very desirable trait in a family dog.

I love hearing from readers, and I personally read all my emails. Unfortunately, due to writing deadlines and teaching obligations (and poor time management skills!), I am unable to reply. Just know that it’s not you; it’s me!

Have fun exploring the site, and if you have any questions about my new book, my backlist, or finding an agent…I’ll be right over there at the bar.

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