Cade O'Grady has never met a woman he couldn't handle, but when Avery Stowe walks into his office late one night cradling an injured puppy, he's struck stupid. Which might explain her total lack of interest in him. But now that she's working for his family's clinic, he doesn't have to lust from a distance. He might just have a chance at convincing Avery-and her too-guarded heart-that falling for the right man isn't a mistake . . .
"The chemistry is sizzling in this series opener." -Library Journal
Read an Excerpt
By Kelly Moran
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2016 Kelly Moran
All rights reserved.
Avery Stowe squinted and leaned closer to the steering wheel, trying to see past the fat white snowflakes blanketing a dark, quiet Redwood Ridge. They sure didn't make storms like this in San Francisco. She supposed her mom's insight on trading in her Camry for a SUV before the move had been the right call. Her sedan never would've gotten them through an Oregon winter. Even her flighty mother had to be right once and awhile. Once, being the operative word.
Grateful to almost be at their destination after two days of travel, Avery chanced a peek at Hailey in the backseat and breathed a sigh. Assured her daughter was still asleep in her booster, she directed her attention to the road.
Four inches had already fallen since they hit the state border. It was insane. Pretty, but insane. Having never been outside of warm, sunny California, this was a culture shock. But ... new year, new start. Both she and Hailey needed this.
Even if the new town did look like Silent Hill. She checked for creepy zombie things, but found none.
The sidewalks had been rolled up for the night, the only illumination coming from the old world lampposts lining the two-lane cobblestone street. Avery thought her mom had fallen out of the crazy tree — and hit every branch on the way down — when she moved here ten years ago after inheriting a string of cabins from an aunt they never knew existed. Her mom had been happy, though, and figured Avery and Hailey would be, too.
It sure seemed ideal on paper. "Not Silent Hill, not Silent Hill." Seriously. Where was everybody?
Pocketed between the coast and the foothills of the Klamath Mountains, Redwood Ridge was both a tourist hotspot and a charming small town of fifteen hundred residents. It had to have merit if it was able to hold her mother's attention this long. Row after row of small, independent shops lined both sides of the street. It was like stepping back in time to simpler, sweeter days. If only it had people.
Ten minutes later, the snow was dwindling and they were on a private road cocooned by cypress, pine, and redwood. It was pretty freakin' amazing, but she'd have to appreciate it more later. In daylight. Right now it looked like the set for Friday the 13th.
Maybe she should stop watching horror movies altogether.
They passed a few larger homes still decorated for Christmas and, five miles down, made the turnoff to the rentals. She pulled up to the first cabin and parked, eying her surroundings. Not Friday the 13th.
That was a yes to no more scary movies. Definitely.
There were five log cabins in total, evenly spaced and single story, dusted with snow. Cookie cutter in design, each had a small porch and an A-frame slant roof. The first had a warm, yellow glow illuminating the windows and smoke billowing from the chimney. Her mother's car was parked off to the side.
For the first time in what seemed like ten years, Avery breathed and closed her eyes. No sirens or horns. No conversation or rush. No ex or in-laws to fight. Just ... peace.
Until Jason arrives in his white hockey mask ...
Okay, that's it. Nothing but comedy movies from now on.
It would take some getting used to, but the move would be worth it for Hailey. With her daughter's condition, too much stimulation equaled tantrums and fits. The city life wasn't for them. Maybe Hailey would excel better in this environment. Having her mother close by was a bonus, too. During her childhood, Avery often felt more like the parent in their two-person family as her mother was always off in la-la land. She never lacked for love, though, and right now, she desperately needed support.
It had been so long since she had someone to lean on.
Avery glanced in the backseat and reached around to tap Hailey's knee. "Hey, sweetie. We're here."
Like a switch, her daughter's dark eyelashes flickered to reveal blue eyes the same color as her dad's. All her other traits had come from Avery. Thick, brown hair and a curvy, lithe frame. Even at seven years old, Hailey was the spitting image of her.
Hailey took in her surroundings in the seemingly distracted manner Avery had grown used to since her daughter's Autism diagnosis. Her gaze darted everywhere at once, never landing on one spot for more than a millisecond. After a moment, she squealed and flapped her hands.
Well done, Mother, Avery imagined her saying.
Since Hailey was a nonverbal Autistic, at least so far, Avery often choreographed her own dialogue in her head. It had helped her cope.
She smiled, pleased Hailey liked what she saw. "Grandma's inside waiting for us. Would you like to check out our new home?" At least it would be home until Avery could find them an apartment or small house to rent. Perhaps not next to Camp Crystal Lake.
Hailey squealed again and fumbled with the seatbelt, clumsily getting it undone. Avery quickly climbed out of the car and met her daughter by the rear passenger door before she could take off. Deciding to wait until after they saw the place, she left their bags in the car and directed Hailey up the porch steps, careful not to touch her more than necessary.
The door swung inward before they could knock, and the sight of her mother standing there had tears clogging Avery's throat. Justine Berry might be capricious and unpredictable, but she'd always been there. After everything her and her daughter had been through, Avery just needed ... her mom.
"I'm so excited you're here!" She bent down at eye level with Hailey, bursting at the seams to hug her granddaughter.
It went against her mother's instincts not to smother, but Avery knew Hailey's limitations. She had warned her a million times before the drive, just in case she forgot. Her mother and memory lapses were BFFs.
Hailey nudged her grandmother aside and rushed into the cabin. Outta the way, G-ma. Better things to do.
Avery shrugged. "She's excited. That's a good thing."
In the next instant, she was wrapped in her mom's arms and squeezed until breathing became impossible. The familiar scent of patchouli filled her nose. She bit back the tears threatening to fall and smiled. "Hi, Mom."
"At least I can still hug you." Mom stepped back and patted her wild, shoulder-length brown hair. She preferred the natural approach to everything, so it probably hadn't seen conditioner or product. In decades. The fine lines around her mouth and eyes had grown deeper in the year since she'd last visited Avery in San Fran, which only added to her mother's charm. She was a woman who laughed often and loved hard. Four ex-husbands were proof. "How were the roads?"
Avery closed the door behind her. "A little slick, but not too bad. Wow, Mom. This place is great."
Not B horror movie at all.
The whole cabin was natural wood and stone and glass. Shiny, clean, and rustic. A floor to ceiling redbrick fireplace created warmth from a corner. Plaid print couches were nestled over the bare wood floor with scarred pine tables. The living room was spacious and separated from the kitchen by an island. Large picture windows encased the back of the open room, where moonlight caught the water trickling in a thin riverbed.
Hailey disappeared down a short hallway and squealed. Avery went to follow, but her mom stopped her with a hand on her arm.
"There's no exit back there and nothing to get into. These cabins are rentals, so they're pretty bare. I did stock the kitchen for you, though." She smiled and hugged her again. "I'm so glad you're here. Ten years and you just now get to see my town."
Avery pushed down the guilt and nodded. The past couldn't be helped. "You did a lot of work on the property, I remember you saying. This is lovely."
Mom sighed. "Good contractors and money left in the will took care of it. We're pretty busy year round. I live above my shop in town, but I'll stay with you tonight, if that's all right?"
Her mother owned a secondhand clothing store she'd named "Thrifty" in addition to the rental cabins. As far as Avery was aware, she had someone else manage the businesses. Finance was not her mother's strong suit. She had idealistic dreams and ideas aplenty, but the numbers and details she wisely delegated to others.
"I'd love it if you stayed the night. It's getting late, anyway."
And speaking of, Hailey had been pretty quiet the past few minutes. Worry and suspicion mounting, Avery made her way down the hall and found her daughter asleep in one of the twin beds, curled in a ball with her hat and coat still on.
Affection and love so deep it hurt punched her chest. Carefully, she unzipped Hailey's coat, leaving it on so she didn't wake her. Removing her hat, Avery ran her fingers through her daughter's dark hair. The only time she got to openly touch Hailey was when she was asleep, otherwise contact bothered Hailey to the point she screamed. But she had these few quiet moments of the early evening to watch her and stroke her perfect little pale cheeks.
Bone tired, Avery barely took stock of the bare wood furniture or bay window before finding her mom in the kitchen stirring a pot at the stove. Stunned still, she waited in the doorway.
Mom turned and grinned. "I made hot chocolate. Go have a seat in the living room. Take a load off. You look wiped out. I'll bring you a cup."
"Is it ... edible?"
Mom shook her head, then said, "I think so."
"Remember that time —"
"One fire. That was one fire, Avery!"
Too exhausted to argue, she grinned, settled in a chair, and closed her eyes, amazed it was so comfortable. The crackling fire and scent of chocolate soothed her, allowing her to sink a bit deeper into her head. Darkness pulled heavy at her consciousness.
The next thing she knew she was shivering and a cooling cup of cocoa was next to her on the end table. There were mysterious chunks floating in it. Blinking, she straightened. Her mother was asleep in the chair beside her.
Wow. How long had they been out?
Taking a moment to stretch before checking on Hailey, she stood and glanced across the room to make sure her mother had turned off the stove. It wouldn't be the first time she'd gotten distracted and forgot. Assured it was off, Avery tried to find the source of the draft circling the room and froze when she spotted the open back door.
No. God, no.
"Mom!" Avery screamed, already halfway down the hall. Her heart hammered in sickening panic.
Hailey's bed was empty.
No, no, no, no, no ...
Bolting back into the living room, she slammed into her mother and quickly moved around her.
"What is it?"
Avery shoved her feet into boots and grabbed her coat. "Hailey's gone. We fell asleep. I didn't secure the door." A mistake she knew better than to make. Hailey took off way too often. Not to run away, but because she lived inside her head and had no concept of danger.
Oh, God. Her daughter was out there in the cold, in the middle of nowhere, at night. The region had mountain lions not to mention ...
"Call the police."
She ran for the back door and rounded the house, but Hailey wasn't in the car or on the porch. Avery circled back around, fear clawing her throat as she slammed into her mom again.
"There's footprints." Mom tied a scarf around her neck. "She went straight into the woods."
Avery looked down. A small set of tracks her daughter's size led away from the cabin and deeper into the dense trees. She took off, following the tracks. Cold air rasped her lungs, and her fingers were numb by the time they reached the copse of pine.
Hailey was so small. She wouldn't make it long exposed to these temperatures. It had to be in the twenties. Hailey couldn't talk, either. If she needed help, she couldn't ask for it. Avery had done her research before the move. She knew the vegetation and wildlife, knew her daughter was at risk for an animal attack and from what animals. Black bears, mountain lions, and bobcats sprang to mind. Hailey wouldn't know how to defend herself.
Tears blurred her eyes. She quickened her pace to a sprint, kicking up snow in her wake.
Be okay, sweetie. Be okay.
The footprints made a hard right and, as they rounded a bend, the breath left her lungs in a whoosh.
Hailey was sitting on a stump, her back to them. Her pink coat was still on, but she didn't have her hat. The relief was dizzying.
"Hailey." Avery circled the stump and squatted. "We talked about this, sweetie. You cannot go running off —"
There was blood. Lots of blood. At Hailey's feet. On the front of her coat.
"Where are you hurt? Where are you hurt, sweetie?" She ran her trembling, frozen fingers over Hailey's head, down her neck, to her chest, and stopped.
A furry, warm head poked out of Hailey's partially opened coat.
A scream wedged in Avery's throat until she realized it was a dog. No, a puppy. A little, tan-colored fluffy thing. Hailey was rocking it, stroking its head, and jerking her gaze around.
Recognizing the motions as nervous and scared, Avery kept her voice quiet. Hailey would never hurt a living thing, so she had to have found the animal out here. "You found a doggy. It's okay, Hailey. Is the doggy hurt? Is that where the blood is coming from? Can Mommy see?"
Gently, she lifted the trembling ball of fur from her daughter's grasp and the poor thing yelped. Surprised by the noise in the quiet night, she fell back on her butt in the snow. It couldn't have been more than six weeks old. Seven pounds, max. Sad, scared brown eyes looked into hers and Avery melted.
"Well, crap on a cracker. You're adorable."
"Avery ... its leg." Mom jerked her chin toward the dog and shoved her hands into her pockets.
Avery's gaze swept over the animal in the moonlight and eyed what her mother was talking about. The lower half of one of its front legs was severed clean. Blood saturated the fur. Her stomach churned. What could've happened to it?
Nausea swirled in her gut. "You poor thing."
Hailey began rocking in earnest.
Avery reached over and clasped a hand on her daughter's arm. "It's going to be okay, sweetie."
She looked at her mom, at a loss. She'd never had a pet before. It was freezing outside and who knew how long the little guy had been hurt out in the woods or how much blood it had lost. By all the red marring the snow, it seemed like a lot for such a small thing. It didn't have tags or a collar. It was doing little more than whimpering and trembling. She needed to get Hailey out of the elements, too.
Her mom unwrapped the scarf from her neck and passed it to her. "I'll call the O'Gradys. They own the vet clinic in town. Go. I'll take Hailey back to the cabin —"
Hailey shot to her feet and grabbed Avery's jacket, a sound of duress escaping her throat even as her gaze darted elsewhere.
"She wants to come." She looked at her mom. "Zip her coat, would you? Call the vet. We need to go. This little guy doesn't have long."
* * *
Cade O'Grady stared at the tiny gray kitten as it sucked milk from the bottle he held. The furball was small enough to fit in one of his hands. Anger surged again, so he blew out a breath and glanced around the small confines of his clinic office.
It was late, and he'd decided to stay to catch up on some charts. That was two hours ago, and said charts were still in need of dictations. Good thing he'd stayed or the tiny kitten in his hand would've died, just like its mother and siblings.
What the hell kind of person left a box of kittens outside a clinic door in the snow? Cade had no idea how long they'd been in the elements — someone had dropped them by the kennels outside the back door — but the kitten he was currently feeding was the only survivor. He gnashed his teeth, mad enough to kill the SOB if he ever found him.
Luckily, the kitten, which looked like a Brazilian Shorthair, was made of strong stuff. She'd taken to feeding right away and didn't need an IV. In his exam, the temp and BP had been good, all things considered, and he found no outward signs of trouble.
Closing his eyes, he listened to the answering machine kick on from the reception desk outside his office. If it were an emergency, he'd be paged, since it was his week on call. Animal Instincts was a small clinic, started by his father forty years ago and run by Cade and his two brothers since the old man had passed away. Almost nine years now. Hard to believe.
The bottle empty, he set it on his desk and eyed the kitten. "You are a cute little bugger."
It mewed in agreement.
He laughed for the first time all day and rubbed its head. "Modest, too. I think I shall call you Cutin. Get it? Combining cute and kitten? Cutin."
Excerpted from Puppy Love by Kelly Moran. Copyright © 2016 Kelly Moran. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Avery is a single mother. Her daughter Hailey is autistic and doesn't speak, but there are other ways they can communicate. Avery hopes that in her new small hometown she and her daughter will thrive. Her ex-husband wasn't a nice man and he didn't show any interest in his daughter, so Avery and Hailey are better off without him. They've just moved into their new home when Hailey finds a puppy. The puppy is injured and needs to be taken to the vet straight away. Cade runs the practice together with his brothers, but doesn't welcome Avery with open arms, even though she's just rescued the little dog. Cade messed up his first meeting with Avery and feels sorry about it. He gets plenty of chances to make things right though, because she's been hired at the family clinic. Avery is efficient and capable and she's exactly what they need. Cade also loves Hailey. Will Avery give him another chance? Cade has a problem with closeness, but Avery and her daughter are difficult to stay away from. What will he do with these feelings and is Avery ready for a new man in her life after escaping her bad marriage? Puppy Love is a sweet romantic story. Avery is a strong and resilient woman. She's a wonderful mother and loves with all her heart. After getting to know her Cade feels at ease with her, while he's fascinated by the woman at the same time, which is a great combination. They have plenty of chemistry and there's a beautiful open connection between them. I loved the way Cade and Hailey form a bond as well, the way Cade manages to reach her moved me to tears. Kelly Moran combines this emotional side of her story with adorable animals and the result is heartwarming. Kelly Moran's writing style has a lovely easy flow. I was enchanted by her story from the beginning. I liked how she writes about animals very much, she gives them fun and interesting personalities. I also really enjoyed reading about the family practice and the handsome vets that are working there. Because of Hailey's illness there's a good amount of depth in the story and Kelly Moran writes about the endearing little girl with plenty of empathy, which warmed my heart. I loved how complete her story is. Puppy Love is a fantastic enchanting, charming and cute book.
PUPPY LOVE is a swoon-worthy, small town romance that warms the heart and makes you believe in forever. Author, Kelly Moran, has penned another winner! Cade and Avery are perfect together. Both kind, loving and passionate characters, they come from totally different backgrounds. Avery, after divorcing a cheating husband, devotes her life to her autistic daughter. Cade is a player, determined never to experience the pain that comes with getting attached. Together they discover that love also heals a wary heart. Watching and rooting for these two to find their HEA was the most fun I've had for a while. If you like a feel-good romance, you'll love this book!
I really, really liked this one. I loved the small town and how they opened their arms to Avery and Hailey. The O’Grady boys are all yummy hero material. I wish I could bring my cats to their vet office. In this book we get to know Cade. I can say my heart just melted with how Cade was with Hailey. Then add in how he treats Avery, swoon. I really liked Avery. She has so much heart when life could have made her bitter. She's a wonderful mother, but she doesn't see herself as a wonderful, beautiful woman. Cade is up for the challenge to show her how he sees her. The ending left me so happy. I couldn't have asked to end it any better. I loved all the characters in this one. I was so into this book I could hardly out it down. I'm so looking forward to the next book.
Puppy Love b Kelly Moran is the first time that I have read any writings from this author. I will be adding this series to my reading list. The story of is about Avery Stowe who is recently divorced and comes to Redwood Ridge, Oregon, with her autistic daughter, Hailey, where her mother, Justine, lives. Cade O'Grady was one of the town's vets who was on call for any emergencies when a frantic woman comes in with an injured puppy that must have got caught in a trap. His day was not a good one and by this time he was not very pleasant with Avery and the condition of the puppy. Cade's Aunt Rosa was their receptionist and also one of the Battleaxes as Cade and his brother's referred to his two aunts and mother with all their meddling. Once Aunt Rosa informed Cade that Avery was not the owner of the puppy that was brought in the night before, he realized that he will need to apologize for his actions. When Avery comes into the office, Rose informs him she just hired Avery as her replacement starting immediately. The chemistry between these two are instant but this is a must read to see how a playboy who never thought about love or one person and a woman who does not want another husband that cheats. Then there is the precious autistic Hailey who captures Cade's heart the instant he sees her with the puppy that will not leave her side. How can a romance bloom when you have the whole town playing matchmaker, tweeting, putting all on Pinterest board or wanting the romance not to take place because they want the sexy playboy vet for themselves.
Puppy Love was such a delightful story! I am so glad I saw it on the NetGalley because I loved the author's voice, the emotions she brought out via the characters, the pure joy, devotion, dedication, caring, love, angst, fear, passion - it was all there and in such an attractive package, I loved it! The beginning of the story was filled with delightful humor, light banter, and high spirits of starting new, the fresh launch of life in a new place, with new people, new job bringing out the adventures side of life and living. Cade O’Grady is gorgeous, smart, great with animals and children and can even cook a bit. His player ways have given him a reputation, he is the catch of the small town, even with two as gorgeous brothers, and the town folks with their twitter feeds and Pinterest boards make sure everyone knows his conquests, even those that are made up or exaggerated. Cade is kind, caring, sweet, considerate, and generous. The only thing against him is, he can't think straight when Avery is around, so the opportunities to miscommunication are abundant. Avery Stowe decided after the painful, two-year long divorce process that she will never marry again, not to mention date again. Her autistic little girl needs all her attention, time, and energy, and that's the way she likes it. Avery is determined, organized, methodical person. She has always been the caretaker, standing on her own. Asking or accepting help and support are not easy for her, the small town gossip and rumors a bit much to her at times. I loved how the story was built, the time it took for Avery and Cade to get to know each other, get comfortable with each other, and accept their feelings for each other. The joy and cheer of life at the beginning pulled me right in and I didn't want to put the book down. I just wanted to keep smiling and laughing at the antics of the characters as they were fumbling with life and fiddled about falling in love. The connection Cade had with Hailey, Avery's daughter, was precious and so sweet it took my breath away. The angst and fear that came to both Cade and Avery as their feelings got deeper were overwhelming. There were times I wasn't sure what the problem was exactly, being as confused as the characters themselves seemed to be. But the author knew exactly what she was doing, and took the reader's mind and heart from the bottom of despair to the top of jubilation and elation. I'm not sure if I have ever read a book before where I was swooning through it, not just having a moment here and there, but in a constant state of being enamoured and thrilled over the tale and the characters in it. The emotions, the feels, the affection, the passion, the devotion, the family bonding - just wow! I think I am still in the state of wonder over the sweet, tender, adorable tale. This series will be on my watchlist, that's for sure! ~ Five Spoons
One of the "realest" books that I have read! As usual, Kelly Moran does not disappoint! At the urging of her mother, Avery moves to the small town of Redwood Ridge with her daughter after the divorce is finalized. A chance encounter with one of the town's sexy veterinarians and misunderstandings gets Avery off on the wrong foot. A couple of days later, Dr Cade realizes that he was completely wrong about Avery. Once Avery starts working at the vet's office and settling into her new life, Cade sees what a truly amazing woman she is. Having an autistic daughter and an ex-husband that doesn't even acknowledge that he has a daughter, makes it hard for Avery to trust any man. "Watching" Cade pursue Avery while all of the single women chase after him gets a little humorous at times. I truly appreciate that Avery & Cade build a friendship and then slowly build a romantic relationship from that foundation.
This was such a sweet, sexy, funny, heartwarming book that had me in tears at some parts, and cracking up at others. The chemistry between Cade and Avery was instant and intense. I loved the banter between these two, and how Cade made Avery realize what an awesome person she is. There is truly nothing sexier than a man who welcomes another man's child with complete open arms, but a child with special needs??Made him beyond swoonworthy. The secondary characters added just as much fun to this story, and has me hoping for a lot more books about them! A phenomenal must read!!
Avery and her daughter Hailey had been traveling for two days and finally got to the town of Redwood Ridge. Hailey was autistic and her father had given up full custody and didn’t even want visitation. If Hailey got too much stimulation or someone touched her especially her head she had a fit or tantrum. Hailey didn’t talk. Avery’s mom had moved to this town ten years ago. Avery hoped this town would be good for Hailey. Hailey was seven. Justine was Avery’s mom and had inherited some cabins from an aunt and she rented them out to tourist and she also owned a second hand store called thrifty. Avery dozed off and forgot to lock the back door and when she woke up Hailey was gone. Hailey often took off not because she wanted to run away but she lived inside her head and Had no concept of danger. Avery found Hailey in the woods with a puppy who was missing part of his leg and bleeding a lot but Haley had connected with the dog the first time she really connected with anything. Avery, Justine and Hailey took the puppy to the pet hospital and Cade just happened to be still there he was on call anyway.Cade took the puppy and told them to come back tomorrow to see him. Avery ex was Richard who was Hailey’s father. For the first time in a long time Avery felt attracted to Cade. Richard had made Avery quit her job after they were married to be at his beck and call. Then he used Hailey to further isolate her from everyone. Cade was attracted to Avery also. Then Avery was hired to be the pet hospital’s office manager as the current manager was her bosses aunt and she wanted to retire. Then Avery organized the whole office for the vets and techs even for the pet groomer. Cade’s brothers were also vets one was deaf but did well. Then Avery got talked into becoming the head of the Events committee which all the money earned by the different events went to charity. She even got the oldest brother Drake to smile. Cade was being as patient as he could be. Avery realized they were in a relationship even if it was hidden or so she thought. The night of the Valentine's Day Dance Drake pointed out to Cade that Cade was falling for Avery and before this Cade had kept things casual with any woman he seen since Drake became a widower and still was a shadow of himself since his wife’s Heather's’ death who had been his HS sweetheart. He never wanted that kind of pain. This was an amazing story I loved it. How Hailey made friends and even went on overnights with her friend. I loved how Cade was with Hailey actually his whole family and the friends Avery had made.I also loved how Cade was as patient as he could be when at times…… just a beautiful romance and one of my new favorites. Also it calls attention to autism and that being autistic does not mean you aren’t human and can’t care. I applaud the author for her portrayal of Hailey . Great plot great story. I loved the characters and the ins and outs of this story and I highly recommend.
I can see right now that Redwood Ridge will be a series I will not want to end! Cade is all kinds of hot, smart, kind - perfect package. I liked his reasoning for his playboy ways. And I liked his was more a serial dater than just a manwhore. Avery is a really a sweet, yet strong character. I think the inclusion of her special needs daughter was really well written and a good part to the story. Kelly Moran never shies away from putting challenging characters in her stories. I loved Cade & Avery's story and can not wait for the next!! 5 plus stars from me!
Puppy Love is the first book in Kelly Moran's new series, Redwood Ridge. As an entree into the series, it is certainly an excellent one. Avery moves to Redwood Ridge after her divorce is final. With full custody of her autistic daughter, Hailey, she has moved to this small community to be near her mom. Once there, she meets Cade O'Grady. Cade and his brothers run the town's veterinary clinic. Neither Avery nor Cade are looking for a relationship - Avery's marriage was not a happy one, and Cade is wary of risking his heart after seeing how devastated his brother Drake is when his wife dies of cancer. Naturally, despite their best efforts, Cade and Avery are attracted to each other. The only question is, will they risk their hearts and go after a happily ever after? The cast of characters in Puppy Love are terrific. There is a real sense of community, not least because Avery is taken under the wing of the "Battleaxes" - the mother and aunts of Cade and his brothers. And while Avery's relationship with Cade is great to watch unfold, I also appreciated that she had separate friendships with each of his brothers and her co-workers. One of the great strengths of this novel is Cade's relationship with Hailey. Hailey is on the non-verbal part of the autism spectrum. He works to interact with her and develop his own relationship with her. It is lovely to see, especially since his family also accepts Hailey. There was definitely a sense that even if a romance between Cade and Avery never developed or fell apart, the O'Grady's would still be in Avery and Hailey's life. My only complaint with the novel is, perhaps, idiosyncratic. Avery wants control of her life, in part because she felt she didn't have that control when she was married to her ex. Yet, she is manipulated or cajoled into several activities that she did not want to do initially. Even when she protests, it is overridden. This is not to imply that Avery is a doormat who merely accepts what she is told, but I would have liked to have seen her stick her ground more than she does, if only because such a big deal is made of her lack of control in the past. Bottom line: if you're looking for a sweet romance with a bit of spice, with a great cast of characters, this is definitely the book for you. 4.5 stars.
What a fabulously emotional story and I am so looking forward to more in this brand new series. These characters were amazing and the interaction between Cade and Hailey just made my heart sing. The characters along with excellent writing and a nice pace to the story made this one a very enjoyable read. After a heartbreaking divorce, Avery Stowe moves herself and her autistic daughter Hailey to Redwood Ridge. The laid back lifestyle of the small town seems like just the place she's looking for. Their first night in town proves interesting though when they find an injured puppy and rush him to the local vets office. That's were Hailey first meets Cade O'Grady. It wasn't a good first meeting and Cade realizes quickly he's made a huge misjudgment. He's going to have to work hard to get back on Avery's good side. Avery's got all kinds of walls built up around her heart but watching the kind vet with her daughter is one sure way to knock all those walls down. I definitely recommend this one.
I totally fell in love with Puppy Love from the first word to the last. This super sweet romance will make your heart melt with a great story for Cade and Avery. When you add the puppies and Avery's daughter Haley, who you just want to hug, and at the same time her circumstances in the story will bring you to tears then bring a smile to your face with her 'special moments'. An emotionally charged and extremely well written story by Kelly Moran. I want to add some stars to the rating scale because 5 just isn't enough. I can't wait to read more from these characters and hopefully get a glimpse of Cade, Avery & Haley in the future :)
I’m in love with the O’Grady brothers! Avery Stowe is new in town and starting over. She has escaped a loveless marriage that has done a number on her self-esteem and taken her autistic daughter to live in a small Oregon town to be near her mother. After an inauspicious meeting she ends up working for Cade O’Grady and his brothers at their animal hospital. These guys are good looking, single, and employed. They have a sense of humor and are all around good guys. They aren’t perfect but they try. Fans of Jill Shalvis and Kristan Higgins small town romance should get a kick out of Puppy Love. I fell into the story and didn’t want to leave. Cade stole my heart right along with Avery and Haileys. I can’t wait for the next brother to fall.
This is my second book by Kelly Moran and I am impressed. Her stories are heartfelt. Her characters are like family. She speaks to the heart with her brand of good- natured down home love stories. Puppy Love is such a sweet story. There is nothing more precious to a mother than the well being of her child. A fresh start in a less hectic atmosphere is just the thing for Avery and her daughter to begin again. A little small town romance with a adorable backdrop of characters and a an A list main cast make for a light hearted second chance story. Copyright of Night Owl Reviews