A Hero to Love by Gail Chianese (Changing Tides #2)
Released: August 22, 2017
Reviewed by Mandi
The blurb to this one really drew me in:
Navy Chief Master at Arms Jackson “Jax” Faraday is at a crossroads. He has to decide whether to reenlist or get out while he’s young enough to make a difference in the civilian world. Either choice could mean leaving behind his girl: his K-9 partner, Bella. But when she’s injured during a training session, Jax’s only concern is making sure she’s okay.
As the Navy base veterinarian, town local Risa Reynolds is right where she belongs: close to her parents in a farmhouse full of animals—with room to grow. She’s seen enough to put military men are on her “not happening” list, because they always leave.
But when a tall, hazel-eyed sailor arrives in her clinic with his dog in his arms, Risa finds herself falling hard. And all kinds of rules will get broken when Jax, a man who sticks to the straight and narrow, learns that there’s no predicting the twists and turns of the heart . . .
A military police hero with an injured K-9 meets the Navy Base’s veterinanrian?? Should have been a total meet cute, but the book fell flat for me.
Jax loves the german shephard, Bella, assigned to him for the past six years.
Bella had been more than his partner while deployed; she’d been his anchor, his pillar of strength, his confidant, and his hope when all seemed lost. She wasn’t just his K-9 partner. She was his family, and the idea of leaving her was ripping him apart inside. Chances were she could sense his mood and the turmoil going on inside.
She is the love of his life, so when she gets injured, he gets very upset. On top of that, Bella has been showing signs of exhaustion and maybe even some doggie PTSD. When Bella falls playing frisbee, Jax rushes her in to see the vet on call, Risa, who tells Jax that Bella has a fractured hip.
Now let me say, I’ve had a dog who broke his front leg, and I have another dog who slipped a disc in her back and partially paralyzed her hind legs (I swear I’m a good dog owner). In both cases, my dogs had to have extremely strict kennel rest and took months to recover. I haven’t experienced a dog with a broken hip, but I can only assume it’s somewhat similar to my dogs injuries. In the book, Bella is taking car rides and walking around Risa’s house in just a day or so. It’s mentioned that she needs more rest and that she isn’t healing as fast as she should. It just didn’t make a lot of sense to me. At that point, I can only assume the dog would still be on very high pain medication and would need help walking with a sling.
Besides the unrealistic recovery, I never connected with Jax or Risa. Jax is unsure what his next direction in life is – maybe applying for NCIS or maybe adjusting to civilian life. He is worried he will be separated from Bella and this stresses him out. I feel like there is a lot more telling than showing in this book. We are told Jax is worried about Bella, and worried about his future, but I would have liked to experience it more through him.
Risa has her tires slashed early in the book and while Jax and the police try to figure out who did it, escalation with someone on the base ramps up. I didn’t realize this book what have this minor suspense element and it didn’t do a lot for me.
While there is a prominent romance, it lacked sexual tension and chemistry. I just didn’t feel it between them and unfortunately, the dog didn’t save the book for me.
This one is a miss.