Must Love Dogs
by Lena Austin and Tuesday Richards
In the mid 21st century, paranormal creatures have come out of the shadows. After the plagues of 2010, the human population has been decimated, but some still scream over racial purity -- and not just among the humans.
Roni Engelmann is a were-dog. Talk about your interracial relationship! Not only is she not a pure werewolf, but she’s a crossbreed Chuskie -- offspring of a Siberian Husky and a Chihuahua. She’s looking for love and isn’t surprised to find it in a human. Who cares what she sleeps with? Except Corbin isn’t human.
Corbin is a pure werewolf Alpha and heir to the richest pack in three states. He’s also tired of being pursued by werewolf females for his money and his title. Pretending to be human and breaking tradition is the only way he sees of finding his dream Alpha Bitch. Who cares if he dates a were-dog?
Who cares? Their parents. This is so not Romeo and Juliet. You won’t hear any Shakespearean whines or rhymes, but you may hear a whole lot of howls and growls.
You’d hope that the future would bring a more enlightened attitude towards racial divisions.
Not so. Especially when creatures of the night and shadows now live in full light, and mingle freely with humans. When plagues have reduced humans to a minority population and purity of race might mean instead purity of species. When a mean-tempered waitress could turn her back on you and mutter “Carnivores” instead of “Foreigners.”
Against this background, star-crossed lovers Roni and Corbin are both looking for a life-mate, but neither is quite telling the truth about themselves.
It’s not really their fault. Events have a tendency to take over when lust overwhelms you, your best friend is a meddlesome and ancient vampire, and your parents are territorial Alphas.
Lena Austin and Tuesday Richards have created a completely believable fantastic world of the future – not because it’s based on scientific fact, but because in the quick strokes necessary for a short story, they have built a logically coherent story-world. Without any need for long descriptions or explanations, they reveal the off-kilter reality of Must Love Dogs in small details and tiny tensions between ordinary denizens of the strange maybe-future reality.
Instead of a dark, end-of-things landscape, the authors pull the readers into a hopeful, humorous, and sensual world that is reinventing itself and rebuilding itself on the foundations we know well: blind dates, Internet matchmaking, college buddies, and family reunions.
Even the intensity of the sexual attraction between the main characters is well motivated and justified, both by the characters themselves and by the plot, so that the intimate encounters between them are never gratuitous or random, and serve both the plot, the characters, and the reader’s enjoyment.
I smiled and giggled all the way through the book, and I’ll be sure to look out for Lena and Tuesday’s next creation. I’m very happy to have had the opportunity to review their story.
Review by Cherry Blossom