Shelter Me. What a beautiful idea that Catherine Mann followed through with when writing this story.
I have liked Catherine Mann for years, and was extremely excited when I saw this new idea/series she was starting. When she asked for reviewers (and they were all invite only via NetGalley -- no requesting button!), I jumped at the opportunity and crossed my fingers and toes tightly. I love her Dark Ops and Elite Force series -- in fact, I reread many of them every few months or so.
As with the other series I love of hers, Shelter Me is a book about a soldier (Mike), the soldier he worked under/with's family (father 'Gramps', wife Lacey, daughter Sierra, and son Nathan), and a war dog named Trooper.
The book is split into parts, each one starting out in the view of Trooper -- which I thought was really rather ingenious. Trooper spoke of his life as a war puppy -- a stray on the streets who just happened upon a group of military (in this case, Army). As happens in 'real life', Trooper became the unit dog. When Mike's commander is killed, he makes a promise to him to bring Trooper back home -- which involves loop holes and crossing some maybe not so legal lines. It also involves Mike coming face to face with Sierra, whom he had a brief relationship with the year prior to going to war.
When Trooper speaks in the story, Catherine Mann does a great job of being in the mind of a dog -- many of the points of his thoughts had me thinking, "Squirrel!" (thank you, Up, for that phrase...).
Mike and Sierra flirt around with the attraction that is still between them, and eventually act on it. However, Mike puts distance between them because his life growing up was so very much different than Sierra's, and he doesn't feel worthy of her. Sierra, on the other hand, puts distance between them because she grew up the military lifestyle (as well as experienced that ultimate sacrifice when her loved one dies), and doesn't want to be her mother and continue doing it the rest of her life. Bottom line -- she's done with the heartache the military brings.
As the book goes through it's motions, Trooper does his part to be a loyal dog, and Mike and Sierra learn to work alongside eachother, as well as learn that sometimes attraction can be too powerful to fight.
I give the book a 4.... but pretty loosely. This particular ARC didn't format well on my reading app, sometimes
it bothered me when I couldn't keep tRAck of what was
SHELTER ME 396
....I guess I'm a little ADD/OCD about my books that way. Because I had a hard time following, I found myself skimming simply because I was loosing my way. Additionally, while I liked the side story of Lacey and Ray, and I really liked when Mike was 100% there for Gramps (who is battling severe PTSD in the midsts of his Alzheimer's), as well as Nathan's struggles... I was more interested in Mike and Sierra.
But as for Mike, Sierra, and Trooper -- I enjoyed their story.