Erryn reviews ‘Finders Keepers’ by N.R. Walker. This book was released by the author on January 31, 2018 and 218 pages. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: It’s N.R. Walker…and the main character is a dog.
Needing a change of scene, Griffin Burke moves from Brisbane to Coolum Beach to start a new job. The beautiful white sand, aqua-coloured ocean, blue skies, and summer breezes are everything he longs for. What he finds is a mud-covered dog, lost and hungry, with a nametag and a phone number.
Dane Hughes is stuck in Surfers Paradise at a week-long work conference when he gets a phone call from his distraught mother. His dog, his fur baby, Wicket, has run away. Unable to leave and feeling helpless and miserable, he gets a text from a guy. “I think I found your dog…”
Griffin and Dane start talking, and Griffin agrees to look after Wicket until Dane can collect him. With a few days left before his new job starts, Griffin takes Wicket on some coastal adventures and sends Dane photos of their fun, and so the start of something new and kind of wonderful begins.
Griffin might have moved to Coolum in search of a new life, but what he finds is so much more. What he gets to keep just might take some four-legged help.
As a dog lover (and a smitten owner) this is one of my all-time favourite pet books. I understood Dane’s desperation when his mother called to say his dog Wicket had escaped. (My Labrador Retriever Keiko was even sneakier than Wicket…)
I loved when Griffin opened his car door and Wicket leapt in and sat expectantly, instinctively knowing Griffin would take care of him. (I have brought home several strays over the years, falling a little in love with them while tracking down their owners.)
The premise of the book is simple, the execution nearly flawless. I’ve loved every N.R. Walker book I’ve read, and this one was no exception. The only thing I would say is the book is low-angst, which perfectly fits the story.
I also LOVED the secondary characters. Both men’s parents are sweet, Dane’s co-worker Li is adorable, but it is Griffin’s landlady Bernice and her live-out companion K who steal the show. I don’t want to give away too much, but K really enjoys Bernice’s special brownies. Her affection for Griffin – and later Dane – is clear. It’s easy to see why the two men quickly return that affection. And if you’re a ‘70s music fan, you’ll really love these hippies.
The conversation that most hit home was as follows. Griffin asks Dane:
“How the hell did he get from Caloundra to Coolum?”
“I don’t know. Maybe he hitched a ride with someone by mistake.”
“He certainly had no problem getting in my car. I had the door open and he jumped in and sat up in the passenger seat like he’d booked a Lyft.”
That Wicket was responsible for getting Dane and Griffin together was perfect. That they took a chance on love was wonderful. That they got their ending was classic N.R.
Before I sign off, I want to tell you about Winston.
I came home one night and found Winston in my building courtyard. He was clean, only slightly wet, and a little skittish. He saw me and my dog Ally and he was thrilled. Without a leash or owner in sight, I brought him up to my apartment and called his owner. She was too distraught to talk, but her boyfriend said he would come and get the dog. Of course, I asked how this had happened. He said the dog had escaped their yard a few hours prior.
They live 40 miles away.
Obviously, on such a rainy day, he didn’t run. Logic says he hitched a ride. But how did he wind up at MY building? It could have gone wrong so easily since I live at a major intersection and it was a dark, rainy night.
Once Ally was assured I still loved her and after Winston had eaten all her food, they began playing and having fun. The fact Winston was 4 times her size didn’t matter. And, of course, my cats came to greet the new guest, welcoming him. It was a fun hour.
The gentleman picking Winston up said he felt bad he couldn’t give me money, which was almost offensive because it would never have dawned on me to ask. Then he got in the truck and took a selfie with Winston to send home to the kids who had been distraught for hours. They were finally able to calm down enough to go to bed.
One of the great questions in my life will be, ‘who drove Winston and why’? (I guess that’s two questions…) I will never have an answer and neither will Dane and Griffin ever know how the wily Wicket made his way to Griffin. But it was meant to be.
Thank you, N.R. You validated all of us who bring home lost dogs and reunite them with their distraught owners. (even if a hot guy isn’t involved)
(FYI, Winston is in the foreground and my little Ally is behind him)
10/10 Points of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who she gives them life with words.
She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love. She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.
She’s been writing ever since…