House Trained - A Review

* I received this ebook at no charge from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review *

 
 
Opening line … “This morning I overheard my husband talking to his penis.”  Hmmm ... what had I gotten myself in for with this read?
 
Alex and Barry – to all appearances a happily married couple; childless by choice, they own a lovely home (decorated – several times – by Alex, the interior designer) and dote lavishly on their much loved and very well trained dog, Marie (named by Alex – after Marie Curie).  Although they are happily married each has their own secrets.  Alex is trying to get her fledgling business off the ground, which is not going as well as she has led Barry to believe and Barry was talking to his penis because he had something he desperately has to tell Alex.
 
Soon enough, Barry’s secret comes walking through the front door of their home in the form of a daughter Barry did not know he had, carrying a granddaughter that is even more of a surprise.  She’s in a bit of a bind and needs help.  
 
Enjoying and spoiling their nieces and nephews is one thing, but having agreed not to have children of their own, can Alex cope with this stranger who now calls her husband “dad”?
 
Having always felt like a second choice after “the love of his life” left him, can Alex embrace this daughter Jade gave birth to?
 
Can Alex keep her business afloat with the chaos going on at home?
 
It is certainly a bumpy road and the only one seemingly able to roll with the changes is Marie … she embraces everyone with a wagging tail and sloppy licks.  Maybe the people around her should take a lesson from that?  And when things take a (admittedly heavily foreshadowed) turn for the worse, Marie shows that love, a big heart and some bravery can save the day.
 
This is the first book I have read by Jackie Bouchard.  She herself refers to her books as “Fido-friendly fiction; humorous and heartwarming stories about women and the dogs that profoundly impact their lives.”  This book certainly lives up to that description and although I found it a light, easy to read book there are a lot of life-themes buried in the pages as well.  I often paused for a bit wondering about the choices Alex made and that  left me asking myself what would I do? 
 
I think this book would make a perfect summer read.  It was a well written, entertaining story that I enjoyed enough that I have another book by Ms. Bouchard waiting on my virtual shelf.
 
This book is scheduled for release October 20, 2015.
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from her website)
 
Jackie is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning author.  She spent a long time as a creative soul trapped in the body of a practical person. When she was bitten by the writing bug, she managed to leap free of the hamster wheel of corporate America, and now spends her days walking her dog, talking to her dog, and listening for the voices in her head that want their stories told. When the voices don’t talk to her, she can often be found staring into the refrigerator.
After growing up in Southern California, Jackie moved to Bermuda, where she met her husband. Now back in San Diego, American Jackie, her Canadian hubby, and her Mexican rescue mutt form their own happy little United Nations. Jackie’s novels include HOUSE TRAINED (Lake Union, 2015), RESCUE ME, MAYBE, and WHAT THE DOG ATE.
 
I couldn’t resist including this quote also from her website because it made me chuckle …
 
Hi, I'm Jackie Bouchard: lover of books (both writing and reading them) and dogs and laughter. In fact, one of my favorite quotes involves all three: Groucho Marx said, "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." You can tell Groucho was around before e-readers. You could actually read inside of a dog if you were using, say, an iPad. It would have to be a pretty big dog though.”