A cute read for cozy mystery and animal lovers... New Leash on Life by Kathleen Y’Barbo (Review & #Giveaway) #newbooks #booktwitter #cozymystery #christianromance @celebrate_lit

Welcome to my tour stop! Read my review and enter the giveaway below...

New Leash on Life
(Gone to the Dogs Mysteries #6)
By Kathleen Y’Barbo
Christian Romance, Cozy Mystery
Paperback, Audiobook & eBook, 256 Pages
October, 2023 by Barbour Fiction 


How Is a Missing Military Working Dog Related to Two Local Fires?

Snuggle with your trusty hound and settle into a small-town mystery in book 6 of the Gone to the Dogs series.

Air Force veteran Dr. Lane Bishop and Nora Hernandez’s romance has cooled. He is busy working as a researcher at the vet school, and she’s busy with her restaurant and opening an antique shop. What Lane hasn’t told her is his PTSD, which manifests mostly with nightmares, makes him believe he’s damaged goods. But that is about to change when he meets a stray pup that acts a lot like a military working dog.

When a tornado hits Brenham, there is damage in the downtown area and a fire is ignited in Nora’s new store. A Belgian Malinois dog is seen at the fire and later Lane sees him at a wedding venue where an explosion occurs. Not long after, a second explosion rocks Brenham and sends Nora and Lane on a hunt for the person responsible. Will the pair find the guilty party before more damage is done to the city’s landmarks? And will Lane find the words to tell Nora how much he loves her before it’s too late?

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My Review

NEW LEASH ON LIFE is a story about a couple who want more but don't know how to get to their happily-ever-after, and a mystery involving an unwanted tenant and a dog. There's plenty of involvement from family and friends as well as other side characters, with much of the spotlight stolen by some adorable animals. Fans of the author, inspirational cozy mysteries and animal lovers may enjoy this one.

I liked both of the main characters from the start. Of course they were a bit frustrating as they hedged on what they needed to do to grasp what they wanted. They're a cute couple who had some things to do and some character development to go through. It was humorous in parts seeing their friends and particularly Nora's family try to push them a bit. I loved the animals in this story! "Pal" was a very fun addition as was Nora's sweet cat, both of which I hoped wouldn't have homes so they could stay with these characters.

The story itself meandered. There were brief glimpses of a mystery/crime but as a reader you don't see much of that until the second half of the book and it doesn't take the main spotlight until towards the end. The main focus was more on Lane and Nora in what's happening in their lives and their relationship. I wasn't sure all the time if I wanted them to end up together as I was frustrated with them both and the fact that neither of them would talk to each other honestly or trust each other fully. That sets some serious red flags about a relationship. However, the romance is a sweet addition to the story. The inspirational element is very light but still present in these characters' lives. I really liked the premise for the story and series and thought the involvement of pets was delightful.

I did have some issues with the book. The dialogue, characters' reactions and general flow of the story was pretty rough. One example would be when Lane and Nora were having a phone conversation that was a bit tense and Nora enforced to Lane that he needed to be on time and "Lane's response was laughter. Actual side-splitting laughter." and then Nora is mad and Lane asks if he said something wrong. I was so confused as to why Lane acted as he did and how one character's words led to the others. There were several places like this consistently throughout that needed some editing and rewriting to convey what the author wanted and that also made sense. Lots of parts that should have been taken out as they weren't pertinent and other parts re-written to flow better and feel more natural. There were also several things that didn't feel realistic or make sense to me. The mystery wasn't weaved through as well as I would have liked and felt kind of planted. One minor issue was having not read the previous five books. There were a lot of side characters introduced and involved in the story and they weren't all necessary to it nor were their presence always completely explained or properly introduced. I think those characters could have been handled differently for those new to the series.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was a cute read. I felt like there needed to be quite a bit more developed and edited, but the plot was entertaining and the characters likable. Previous books in the series are very loved and fans have enjoyed this last installment as well.

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy through Celebrate Lit, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee and bestselling author of more than one hundred books with over two million copies of her books in print in the US and abroad. A tenth-generation Texan and certified paralegal, she is a member of the Texas Bar Association Paralegal Division, Texas A&M Association of Former Students and the Texas A&M Women Former Students (Aggie Women), Texas Historical Society, Novelists Inc., and American Christian Fiction Writers. She would also be a member of the Daughters of the American Republic, Daughters of the Republic of Texas and a few others if she would just remember to fill out the paperwork that Great Aunt Mary Beth has sent her more than once.

When she’s not spinning modern day tales about her wacky Southern relatives, Kathleen inserts an ancestor or two into her historical and mystery novels as well. Recent book releases include bestselling The Pirate Bride set in 1700s New Orleans and Galveston, its sequel The Alamo Bride set in 1836 Texas, which feature a few well-placed folks from history and a family tale of adventure on the high seas and on the coast of Texas. She also writes (mostly) relative-free cozy mystery novels for Guideposts Books.

Kathleen and her hero in combat boots husband have their own surprise love story that unfolded on social media a few years back. They make their home just north of Houston, Texas and are the parents and in-laws of a blended family of Texans, Okies, and one very adorable Londoner.

Tour Schedule

Wishful Endings, October 27

Texas Book-aholic, October 28

Boodock Ramblings, October 30

Lighthouse-Academy, October 31

Mary Hake, November 2

Splashes of Joy, November 4

Pause for Tales, November 4

Bigreadersite, November 6

Labor Not in Vain, November 7

Tour-Wide Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Do you enjoy books with pets in them?

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