Saturday, June 22, 2013

Review: The Ruthlessness of Cats and Dogs by S.J. Hunter

The Ruthlessness of Cats and DogsThe Ruthlessness of Cats and Dogs by S.J. Hunter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Humorous and suspenseful with a touch of romance.

The Ruthlessness of Cats and Dogs is a fun read, though it can be hard to keep track of all the animals and people at first. And, while I enjoyed the various plot lines, there are quite a lot of them, too: Eddie the Punter's quest for money; Billy the muscle's quest to follow Eddie and put up with his neanderthal partner; Syd and Ben's shy admiration of each other and potential for romance; Ben's internal struggle with insecurities earned as a medic in the military; Syd's struggle to trust; and the big one, Mae's death of seemingly natural causes (coincidence or murder). 

I Enjoyed the Billy scenes the most because they made me laugh. Also, it was interesting to see the story from the perspective of the muscle (people sent to ensure the debt is collected). Instead of a token burly guy in the background, Billy is a smart guy stuck with a dumb partner. He becomes a real person rather than simply a way to move the story forward. Billy is my favorite character in this book.

Close behind Billy, the cats and dogs truly made the story something special. The whimsical perspectives of the various cats and dogs from the community tie everything together and their antics highlight the absurdity of Eddie's gamble. Full of personality and quirks, the animals are responsible for most of the humor in this book.

Syd and Ben's romance isn't center stage, but it is prominent. They're each quite shy and have some baggage to overcome, making it easy to root for them both as individuals and as a couple. Well done and tastefully executed, the romance seems to progress naturally and compliments the rest of the story well.

Eddie, the villain, is well-developed: both cowardly and menacing in his lack of conscience. The story kept me guessing about him, and I couldn't help but bounce between dislike and pity as he is foiled again and again by Shady Haven's three and four legged guardians. 

This story is absolutely fantastic and well written. The plots, though varied and many, are flawlessly developed and interwoven, and the characters are believable and easy to imagine. I recommend The Ruthlessness of Cats and Dogs to anyone who enjoys romance, suspense, mystery, humor and, of course, cats and dogs. 

I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest, non-reciprocal review. 

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