Ned Balding used to be a decent man—until the stress of seemingly countless responsibilities changes him, and he becomes cold and driven—the kind of man who considers firing an employee days before Christmas. The kind of man who kicks a dog…. But Ned’s transgressions haven’t gone unseen. A Salvation Army Santa witnesses his misdeeds and decides Ned needs to be taught a lesson.
When Ned wakes up the next morning, he’s stunned to discover he’s been transformed into a dog.
In the past year, Jake Carrara has lost his mother, a lover… even his dog. His boss came close to firing him just before the holidays. He isn’t sure he’s ready for another pet when he’s asked to foster a dog, but Jake’s good heart won’t let him refuse. Little does he know, this isn’t just any dog.
Through a twist of fate, two people with little reason to be friends might teach each other to rediscover the good—and the love—in life
It was the Blurb that attracted me to this story, I really liked the sound of a twist on the redemption of a Scrooge type character. Ned is a very angry man and he takes his anger out on everyone he meets by snarling at them. But when Ned was turned into a dog the depth of his despair and Jake’s sadness made me quite tearful. Jake is so good with dog Ned. He cares for him a great deal. It gives Ned a chance to reflect on his life and panic that he might remain a dog. Whilst Jake can be open with dog Ned about his feelings and worries. This is very well written. I can’t think of a better way for a character to hear so candidly what other people thought about him and be in a situation that gives him no choice but to reflect. Ned had changed for the worse over the last few years. Consequently his husband was now filing for divorce. I did wonder though with the growing feeling Ned has for Jake that surely he should have been thinking of ways to make up with his husband. But this was eventually addressed satisfactorily for me. I suppose it’s a kind of paranormal friends to lovers story. Jake is Neds friend when he is a dog. He looks out for him and cares for him. Ned does the same for Jake. It’s when Ned changes back that their friendship develops into a romance. Dog Ned’s attempts at communicating are sweet and his predicament is amusing at times. The time Ned changes back to a man is handled excellently.
I think this is going to be a book you’ll either love or hate. For me I loved it. It has that Christmas miracle angle that makes me smile. The Christmas message I’m taking from this story is do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
4 of stars out of 5