I was recently asked to review Sit! Stay! Speak! This is the debut novel by Annie England Noblin. Ms. Noblin teaches writing and communications at Arkansas State University. She also volunteers in animal rescue. She weaves her experiences in small town America throughout the novel.
To be clear, this book is a romance novel. It uses the tried and true format used by many a romance writer before: Addie Andrews moves to the Arkansas Delta after she inherited her late aunt’s home. Her plan is to fix the place up and sell it, but her rescue of an injured pit bull pup set her on an adventure that includes meeting Jasper Floyd, a former lawyer who’s now working the family farm.
Ms. Noblin’s writing style is crisp and clear. For those who enjoy the genre, this would make a comfortable read on a rainy weekend.
I, however, do not care for romance novels. Addie reads like the typical helpless heroine in need of a man to rescue her. UGH! And while I’m sure the rescue of Felix the pup was supposed to be the hook that reeled me in, it kinda turned me off. In trying to make the book appealing to all animal lovers, Ms. Noblin glossed over the aspects of the very animal cruelty she is trying to use to engage the reader. It didn’t work for me.
I honestly think that using dogs to sell romance novels is a little over the top, but hey, dogs sell! So if you’re into buying (and reading) all things dog, this book is for you!