Sunday, October 29, 2017


Sit! Stay! Speak! author Annie England Noblin’s novel takes one woman starting over, adds an aging pug named Teddy Roosevelt, and proves the power of a well-baked dog treat.

All she wants is a settled-down life.
What she gets is a dog—and a whole new normal . . .
There he stood in the doorway: overweight, depressed and nearly homeless—a pug named Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy was Brydie Benson’s latest problem, arriving on top of her messy divorce and sudden move. Brydie needed a place to start over, so this rent-free home seemed a great idea. She just never counted on Teddy, or his owner, the Germantown Retirement Village’s toughest customer, Pauline Neumann.
And because rent-free doesn’t mean bills-free, Brydie gets a night-shift job at a big-box grocery. Whoever guessed there were so many people who wanted baked goods after midnight?
Then, she gets an idea—why not combine her baking skills with her new-found dog knowledge? And so her store Pupcakes is born. Along with a new start comes a possible new love, in the form of Nathan Reid, a local doctor with a sassy Irish Wolfhound named Sasha. And as fall turns to winter, and then to Christmas, Brydie begins to realize that life is a little bit like learning a new recipe for puff pastry—it takes a few tries to get it just right!


After dinner, Nathan refilled their wineglasses and led herinto the living room. Sasha and Teddy had settled there as well,and when Nathan built a fire in the fireplace, Teddy dropped rightin front of it and started to snore. Sasha wasn’t far behind him.
 “The living room at Mrs. Neumann’s house has a fireplace,too,” Brydie said. “I thought about lighting it the other night,but it hasn’t been lit in ages.”
“I’m sure she wouldn’t appreciate it if you burned her housedown trying to light the fireplace,” Nathan replied.
“No, I can’t imagine that would make her too happy.”
“Listen,” Nathan said, scooting closer to her on the couch.“I’m sorry if I asked too many intrusive questions earlier. I’mhopeless at small talk, and when I get nervous, I tend to fallback into doctor mode. I swear I didn’t mean to interrogate youover chicken.”
“That’s okay,” Brydie replied. “It was actually kind of nice totalk about it with someone who doesn’t know anything aboutmy life before I moved here.”
“How do you like Memphis so far?”
“It’s getting better,” Brydie said with a sly grin. Between thewine and the fire, she felt deliciously warm.
“I’m glad to hear it.”
Brydie watched him watching her. She liked the way his curlyblack hair fell in his eyes when he was concentrating. She likedthe way his T-shirtfit, not too loose or too tight. She liked theway he asked her questions—soft,curious, but not intrusive. Itmade her want to tell him everything, anything, just to keephim looking at her. Paying attention to her.
But more than that, she realized, there was something familiarabout him, comfortable. She couldn’t put her finger on what itwas, but despite the constant butterflies in her stomach, he madeher feel calmer somehow. She could understand why peoplewould be drawn to him as a doctor. She could even understandwhy a woman might visit her elderly aunt in order to be near him.
Nathan moved a hand up to Brydie’s face, tucking a wanderingstrand of damp hair behind her ear. It sent a bolt of electricitythrough her, and when he moved his hand away, Brydie feltherself grabbing a fistful of his T-shirtand pulling him closerto her until her mouth was on his, and she could taste the wineon his lips.
Brydie fell back into the couch and pulled Nathan down ontop of her. She could feel his hands exploring her body underneathher T-shirt,and she burned with a need she hadn’t knownexisted until that very moment.
“Do you want—”Nathan began in between frenzied kisses,but before he could finish, the ringing of his phone in his pocketcut him off.
“Ignore it,” Brydie murmured.
“I can’t,” Nathan said, pulling himself away from her with a groan. “I’m on call at the nursing home tonight.”

Annie England Noblin lives with her son, husband, and three dogs in the Missouri Ozarks. She graduated with an M.A. in creative writing from Missouri State University and currently teaches English and communications for Arkansas State University in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Her poetry has been featured in such publications as the Red Booth Reviewand the Moon City Review. She spends her free time playing make-believe, feeding stray cats, and working with animal shelters across the country to save homeless dogs.

Connect with Annie
Twitter: @aenoblin
Instagram: @aenoblin

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My Review:
I loved this book from the moment Brydie and Teddy met their new friends. It reminded me of Perdy and Pongo! Brydie has been not her best and she is not able to move forward yet. However once she tries to live in the moment she realizes that there are different clients to bake for. However she chooses to self detonate any relationship with Nathan. Every time it gets going, she finds a reason to "quit". Will she ever be able to move on? I liked the ending, and this is a great read for this time of year! I am giving this book a 5/5. I was given a copy, all opinions are my own.

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