Love is a Four-Legged Word, by Australian author, Kandy Shepherd, is a light, fun-filled read. Its quirky characters, an aspiring celebrity chef and an uptight lawyer, are brought together when the chef’s elderly neighbour dies, leaving her the guardian of an ugly pug who inherits a fortune.
Set on the west coast of the USA, this zany romance reminds me of an old Cary Grant movie – it has the same, light-hearted, feel-good factor. In this story’s world, nothing is too serious, despite seeming life-and-death stakes for the “millionaire mutt”. It’s impossible not to be charmed by the heroine, Maddy, with her bubbly personality and whacky way of seeing the world. Even uptight Tom, the lawyer hero, proves to be just as lovable by the end.
Some readers think the ugly mutt Brutus steals the show, but I disagree. It’s Kandy Shepherd’s delightful comic voice that makes this story. Editors often say that want a new “voice” and some aspiring writers think they have to manufacture that. It’s not true. Writers need to bring out those aspects of themselves that will appeal to the reader. Kandy’s writing persona very much reflects her warmth and humour in real life – it shines through her stories.
I recently reread the novel after the sequel Home is Where the Bark Is, which tells the story of Maddy’s model friend Serena. The sequence doesn’t matter: each novel stands well on its own. I’m looking forward to the next Shepherd romantic comedy. Kandy’s Castaway Bride came out on ebook recently – and I’m not surprised to see it is topping the best-seller lists.
I’m looking forward to more. How about it, Kandy?
(This review first appeared on Amazon in July 2011 and has been slightly revised)
Review of Love is a Four-Legged Word by Kandy Shepherd by Elizabeth Lhuede is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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