Sunday, July 28, 2013

Book Review: That Dog Won't Hunt by Brandilyn Collins

That Dog Won't Hunt
That Dog Won't Hunt by Brandilyn Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My first reaction to this book was "What the?" I'm a long-time fan of Brandilyn's seatbelt suspense, as she's coined the intense adrenaline rushes she puts to paper. This is not those books. Like a few other reviewers I halfway expected an evil villain to show up, threatening, well, somebody! But that doesn't happen. And it didn't need to happen is what's more!

Within 3 chapters, I was completely and totally hooked on the lives of Brandilyn's Dearing family. The basic plot point is getting all of the immediate Dearing family together for their yearly family reunion. Except this time the baby of the family, Ben, brings home a fiance. Now Mama Ruth and her hubbie Syton are open-mined about this girl, but equally worried that they might just scare her away with all of their playful rough-housing and teasing. She and Syton have three girls, two of which have spouses and children, and they're a fun-loving group. What she doesn't count on is the emotional baggage that Ben's fiance, Christine, is saddled with and the terror Christine feels at making even a simple misstep and incurring the family's wrath.

Really, the book follows three separate threads. And all those viewpoints make it awesome and interesting. We follow Ben and Christine from their respective viewpoints, one of Ben's sisters and her potential sweetheart from their viewpoints, and then Mama Ruth. It's a terrific way to cover this type of family drama because just one viewpoint would overwhelm and even bore the reader very quickly. Brandilyn avoids that ho-hum nature of the family drama with her typical upbeat writing and poise. I couldn't stop reading, even if it meant reading into the wee hours of the night, which I did.

There are no boogie-men to jump out at the main characters (except the ones they carry with them), just a simple, quirky, loving family as they find their way with grown-up children and a cute little Yorkie named Lady Penelope who knows she's queen of the pack even though daddy won't let her into the dining room with them for supper.

Don't go into this book expecting Brandilyn's typical genre. But if you're willing to accept that this is a different genre from her norm, than I think you're going to be pleasantly surprised and definitely entertained. Now to wait upon the sequel!

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