Shelter Me by Catherine Mann – a Review
Nestled in the sunny fields of Tennessee lies the McDaniel family’s Second Chance Ranch Animal Rescue. Two new arrivals are on their way, but only one is the four-legged kind.
Staff Sergeant Mike Kowalski wants only one thing after he gets home from Iraq: to sleep in a king-sized bed with clean sheets. But first, he has to hand off his fallen commander’s dog, Trooper, to his family without handing off his heart to Sierra…
Sierra McDaniel needs a break. Her family life is crazy, and when she’s not mucking out kennels, she’s slogging through grad school. Sierra certainly doesn’t want another dog, especially one that reminds her of her father. And she definitely doesn’t want to see Mike with that charming smile of his…
But Trooper has a mission of his own. Before too long Mike is moving to the ranch to lend a hand—and hoping for his own second chance with Sierra.
Shelter Me by Catherine Mann is the first book in her new Second Chance Ranch series. I have been really enjoying these romances that take place in small towns, and if they have animals as part of the story, that makes it even better. Shelter Me hooked me early on as it was a sweet heartwarming story of a family trying to recover from a tragedy in Iraq, of a soldier who comes home to renewed feelings for his ex-girlfriend, and a dog, who is determined to take care of his new family. What is not to love?
Sergeant Mike Kowalski is coming home from Iraq, and he is bringing with him, Trooper, his late commanding officer’s dog. The McDaniel family is waiting for him, as was Sierra, the girl he left behind. Sierra is our heroine, and she knows Mike has had a hard time dealing with her father’s death, as her family has. But she does not want to become involved with him. Sierra still has feelings for Mike, but she doesn’t want to get hurt again, and Mike will not stay too long. He plans on becoming a career Army man, much like her father was, something she wants nothing to be part of.
Trooper is one of the stars of this story, and it was really cute to have some small parts where Trooper talked to us. Trooper gives them all a run for it, but of course they don’t know he is trying to bring them together. Some very funny parts. Nicely done.
This is a wonderful story, with the McDaniel family at the center of it all. Lacey is the mother, who runs Second Chance Ranch Animal Rescue, and she has her hands full. She is having a hard time trying to recover from her husband’s death; trying to help her 15 year old son from his withdrawal and rebellion; taking care of her father in-law, who is becoming deeper into dementia. Sierra is the only one able to help her mother, as she is also trying to finish grad school. The ranch is overrun with rescue animals, whom they put with permanent and foster homes, only to continue to rescue more at a pace they can’t keep up with. But the town loves Lacey and what she does to help all rescue animals.
Enter into this mix, Mike, who wants nothing better then to give the McDaniel’s Trooper and go home to sleep. Best laid plans do not always happen, as Trooper has other ideas. Mike eventually will stay at the Ranch to help the McDaniel’s fix up the Ranch, and doing so, he renews his own feelings for Sierra. This was a very hot sexy romance between Mike and Sierra, and believe me when I say their scenes could have melted my kindle. Though the future for them seemed slim, we found ourselves rooting for them.
The romance was part of this fabulous story, which pulled on many of our emotions. You are part of the McDaniel family all the way, and you feel their sadness, frustration, love, sexual tension for both Lacey and Sierra, but you will find yourself laughing out loud a few times, or tears some others. Catherine Mann has written a wonderful story that has a little bit of everything, and some wonderful characters, and animals. I cannot wait for the next book.
Reviewed by Barb
Copy provided by Publisher