Penelope Porter was a small business owner in Fredericksburg, VA, a small city located in a rural area of eastern VA. This wasn’t her life plan. She had been married to a lawyer, Glenn, for 15 years. She has wanted a baby while Glenn didn’t but when his girlfriend got pregnant; Penelope got a divorce and was forced to make a living. She just got a cute little puppy that seems to want to play hide and seek with her. She thought she left it in her car but now it’s gone and she’s frantically looking for it.
Dylan Mersey is exited. He won a grant and is getting ready to open a pottery store in Fredericksburg. He hasn’t meet any of his neighbor’s yet as he’s still getting settled after moving from Baltimore. It doesn’t help that he has a past that he’d like to keep there and a friend from that past has shown up to ask a favor. After a few beers, he’s dropped back off at his shop only to realize that he’s looked his keys inside. Seeing a light on in the shop across the street, he heads that way to ask to use the phone, never expecting her to call the cops!
When Dylan finally gets released from the police and into his shop, he finds a furry little surprise. Someone’s small puppy has made his way it Dylan’s shop. In the morning he goes around asking if anyone knows who owns the puppy but Penelope is so busy trying to put out her flier about her missing puppy, she doesn’t take the time to find out what Dylan wants. Though eventually, the puppy gets returned to Penelope, every time she thinks she has the puppy locked in her shop, he turns up in Dylan’s. Something strange is going on here besides a growing attraction between Dylan and Penelope!
Dylan had decided that he really should make some friends or at least meet some people in town. To do that he decides to join a group that will be training to run. It’s not that he can run now but at the end of 22 weeks, this program says you will be able to run a marathon. While buying the shoes for this new adventure, Dylan meets Glenn, Penelope’s ex. They decide to be running partners between classes to give each other encouragement. Dylan finds out that Glenn likes to talk as he runs and finds out more about Glenn and his plans for his ex than Dylan really wants to know about.
As Penelope finally decides to give Dylan a chance, Glenn decides to see if he can win Penelope back. It makes things interesting as Glenn has no idea that Dylan and Penelope even know each other. As Penelope tries to figure out what she really wants and who she really needs, her friends give their opinions and try to help her maneuver through the maze of love.
This book seems to be part of a series of books based on a group of women friends. The other women appear in this book and comments are made concerning several of their relationships and their dogs! Still, this book can be read without reading any of the other books and be enjoyed.
All of the characters are well defined, though not always well developed. Penelope gives the impression of a society girl that doesn’t understand the rest of the world. In other words, everything has its place and everything should be put there and stay there. She has a strong sense of right and wrong and what is proper and what is not. Dylan is from a very poor background and his mother never left the 60s. He pretty much raised himself and is trying to learn to get around in a world he doesn’t know. Still he looks at this time of his life as a new start and is more than willing to learn, if someone takes the time to teach him.
Humor is intertwined throughout this story. Georgia thinks sex is a natural activity and indulges when ever and where ever she can so it comes as a big surprise when her new boyfriend doesn’t agree and is holding out for something more. Dylan gets invited to an informal dinner to watch football but finds informal to him and informal to Penelope aren’t even close. He’s thinking jeans and chips while she’s thinking silk and 4 courses. Even the puppy gets in the act with Penelope calling him Mr. Darcy and Dylan knowing he’s Bonsai. Oh, and how is that silly puppy getting from one store to the other?
The story is fun, it’s quirky and it has a happy ending. What more could you ask from a story?
Penelope Porter longed for a baby. But now that her marriage is over, she's turned to the next best thing—a cute, cuddly puppy. Mr. Darcy's an absolute sweetheart, but he could use a stint in obedience school. He keeps sneaking over to the shop across the street, the one owned by Baltimore bad boy Dylan Mersey. Not that Penelope minds having to fetch her dog from his handsome new friend . . .
Mr. Darcy? Only a high-society hottie would name a mischievous pooch after a romantic hero. No, to Dylan this pup's name is Bonsai . . . and his owner's impossible to resist. Dylan's more rough-and-tumble than refined, but he's about to prove he's exactly what Penelope needs to forget her heartless ex.
Soon things are heating up between proper Penelope and dangerous Dylan as they learn that misbehaving isn't just fun for the dog. What Penelope considers unsuitable quickly becomes unstoppable, and she discovers that true love truly is worth the risk.