This book is the 3rd book in the series but can easily be read as a stand alone (I haven’t read the previous books). Overall, this was a really sweet book and I loved Buster (I have a soft spot for dogs).
Oaklee and Rory have known each other since they were kids and Rory was Oaklee’s brother’s best friend. Both have had serious heartbreaks and have chosen not to get involved seriously again but have handled that aspect in completely different ways. Rory is a serial dater and Oaklee doesn’t date at all. (Just once I’d like it if it was the opposite way around but it didn’t bother me that it wasn’t).
Both went away to college and have moved back and started careers. They haven’t really spent any time together until Oaklee accidentally hits a dog and takes him to Rory who is the town vet. This was definitely a slow burn romance with lots of starts and stops. Rory and Oaklee are complete opposites in a lot of ways. Oaklee is very much into social media while Rory doesn’t have much of a use for it, Oaklee is fancy business clothes and heels while Rory is a jeans and t-shirt guy, Oaklee doesn’t really do pets while Rory is a vet and loves animals, Oaklee is a bit of a slob while Rory is a neat freak and so on. So while neither of them think they would really work in a long term relationship they are hesitant to get into something less that could ruin the friendship they have. They also care about each other and don’t want either one of them to get hurt.
I enjoyed the characters and the interactions between the two. I thought the pacing was a bit slow in a few parts but it never lost my interest. The scene where Oaklee returned Buster was heartbreaking to read and very well written. My one minor irritant was that both Oaklee and Rory can’t cook and have no issues with that until the end when all of a sudden it seems Oaklee decides she needs to have more “homemaker” qualities and so both her mom and Rory’s mom offer to teach her to cook. It just bugs me a little that the woman suddenly decides she needs to learn to cook and it didn’t really fit the rest of her personality IMO.
Overall, a sweet and cute story with an adorable dog. I give it 3 charms.