Book Review: My Forever Home by Debbie Burns

My Forever Home

Author: Debbie Burns
Series: Rescue Me, book 3
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (November 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Goodreads     |     Amazon

Vet school drop-out Tess Grasso dreams of having her own pet therapy business, but she meets one disastrous obstacle after another. There’s no denying she has a way with animals, so in the meantime she puts her skills to use at a local no-kill shelter. Between helping her furry companions and a budding relationship with fellow dog lover Mason Redding, Tess begins to find fresh confidence…

What Tess doesn’t know is that Mason is recovering from an accident, hoping to get back to his pro-baseball career. He’s afraid the truth will ruin everything-and he’s right. But in the midst of hurt and betrayal, a free-spirited stray Husky enters their lives, and teaches them a few things about faith, love and forgiveness.

Rating: 3.5 stars

I really appreciate that Debbie Burns gives her characters so many flaws and dimensions and makes them so *real* and relatable. The characters she writes are so damaged and broken in so many ways, and their flaws are what make them truly special and beautiful. Tess especially comes from a pretty tough background, but the love she has with her Nonna is so great. (And oh my gosh, her Nonna is giving Patrick a run for his money as my favorite character in this series! Where do I get myself a Nonna like that?) She’s also got such grit, and just keeps picking herself up and pushing on through, and it’s wonderful. I want to hug her and squeeze her and buy her a macbook too. 

Then Mason is learning some hard lessons (and Georges is basically his like a fairy godmother, no? I love Georges. Nonna and Georges forever! Debbie Burns gives such good side character…) and while he’s made some mistakes he’s also got this just solid gold good corn-fed Iowa boy thing going on, and mmpfh. Yummy. Get you a man who names his stray dog after Tolkien, because *melt*

For all that I loved Tess and Mason individually (and all of the side characters), as I’m writing this review I can’t actually recall much about their chemistry together. I feel like there was a lot of telling and not much showing – like them both having some connection to Tolkien’s line in the poem about “All who wander are not lost.” Clearly that line resonated really deeply with both of them, but as a reader that fact was just told to me and didn’t register on an emotional level. So while I really liked this book and the characters, it was missing a certain something/spark/chemistry between Mason and Tess to make it really connect with me and be a WOW POW 5 STAR! read for me. 

My Forever Home is the third book in the Rescue Me series, but can be read as a stand alone. There are some minor (reading the back-cover-blurb-level) spoilers for the second book in the series, Sit, Stay, Love, but you don’t need to read the series in order to enjoy this book. Characters from the first books in the series show up as side characters in this one (and I’m still holding out for Patrick to be an MC in a later book in the series, PLEASE!) My Forever Home is written in the third person limited POV and alternates between giving the reader a deeper insight into Tess and Mason’s POV, and is a “closed door” romance with a fade-to-back on the more suggestive content.

*A digital copy of this book was provided for review.

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