Why I read this book: I saw the cover recently and thought is was cute, then I read the blurb and knew I had to read the book. And yes, I’m a total cover whore I know it, I own it, and am so glad I took the time to read more!
Sometimes the last thing you expect is exactly what you need.
Richard is a typical neurotic gay urbanite, a serial monogamist with a domineering peer group and a well-paying dead end job. That is until one night, while stumbling home drunk, Richard finds a puppy named Hambone. Almost immediately Richard’s life and his relationships begin to change. At the recommendation of Evelyn, his neighbor across the hall, Richard hires a dog trainer named Abe. From the moment Richard hears Abe’s voice on the phone he feels a connection with this professional pooch-handler. When they meet face-to-face the attraction is palpable. Richard loves the way Abe treats Hambone. Abe opens Richard’s eyes to a different take on life and what really matters.
Will love conquer all in the end? It will if Hambone has any say in the matter.
Publisher: Wilde City Press | Publication Date: May 21, 2014 | Length: 23,000 words | Heat Level: 2 flames
Buy Links: Wilde City Press | All Romance | Barnes & Noble
The Cover: I love animals and had many dogs growing up, so the cover caught my attention. It’s clean, fresh, and fits perfectly the story within.
The Title: Loved the title. It’s a self-descriptive title, as Abe is a… Dog Trainer *g*
The Story: I truly enjoyed the journey of self and love in “The Dog Trainer”. Richard is your typical ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’ type urbanite. He’s more worried about how he looks, what friends he has, and what to wear than he is about the depth of friendships or of the friends themselves—‘friends’ that you will loath very quickly, by the way.
When Richard rescues a puppy from a bag of dead puppies, his life and world changes forever. His neighbor Evelyn recommends a dog trainer for Hambone (gotta love the name!) and his already tilting world suddenly spins in a totally new direction. Abe is not what Richard expected to find, though just his voice alone over the phone had him curious. But the calm, unflappable man pushes buttons Richard didn’t even know he had and quickly gets under his skin and inside his heart.
The writing style was a little telly, but you get so wrapped up in the characters and story it doesn’t distract you from the story or message of unconditional love and being true to yourself that Richard learns.
This is a story of fake vs. real, true vs. show. Once of acceptance and honesty. I loved the story, though hated many of the characters (though, that’s deliberate on the authors part, I’m sure). I enjoyed watching Richard grow and mature into someone that Abe could love and who Richard himself could finally respect and like. If you love dogs and sweet romances that are a little quirky, then “The Dog Trainer” is one you won’t want to miss. I recommend this for any who love stories of growth and love pets.
About Owen Keehnen:
Writer and historian Owen Keehnen has had his fiction, essays, erotica, reviews, columns and interviews appear in dozens of magazines and anthologies worldwide. Keehnen is the author of the humorous gay novel Young Digby Swank (Wilde City Press, 2013), the gay novel The Sand Bar (Lethe Press, 2012) and the horror novel Doorway Unto Darkness (Dancing Moon Press, 2010). He also recently released the reference book The LGBT Book of Days (Wilde City Press, 2013). Along with Tracy Baim, he co-authored Leatherman: The Legend of Chuck Renslow (Prairie Avenue Productions, 2011) as well as Jim Flint: The Boy From Peoria (Prairie Avenue Productions, 2011). Over 100 of his interviews with various LGBT authors and activists from the 1990s have been collected in the book We’re Here, We’re Queer (Prairie Avenue Productions, 2011). He recently finished editing For My Brothers, the Mark Abramson memoir about life and love in San Francisco during the height of the AIDS epidemic. He co-edited Nothing Personal: Chronicles of Chicago’s LGBTQ Community 1977–1997 (Firetrap Press, 2009), was a contributor to Gay Press, Gay Power (Prairie Avenue Publications, 2012) and wrote ten biographical essays for the coffee table history book Out and Proud in Chicago (Surrey/Agate, 2008). Keehnen was on the founding committee and executive board of The Legacy Project and is currently a contributing biographer for the LGBT history-education-arts program focused on pride, acceptance, and bringing proper recognition to the courageous lives and contributions in LGBT history. He was the author of the Starz books, a four-volume series of interviews with gay porn stars. He has had two queer monologues adapted for the stage and served as co-editor of the Windy City Times Pride Literary Supplement for several years, was a co-founder of the horror film website RacksAndRazors.com, and a featured poet in Wilde City’s 2013 collection Falling Awake. He lives in Chicago with his partner, Carl, and his two ridiculously spoiled dogs, Flannery and Fitzgerald. He was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 2012.
Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame: http://www.glhalloffame.org/index.pl?todo=view_item&item=373
One thought on “8/10 pots of gold for Owen Keehnen’s "The Dog Trainer" @OwenKeehnen @WildeCityPress #MM #Romance #LGBT”
I haven’t read anything by this author and this book sounds really good. I’ve added to my TBR. thanks for this review Áine.