Release Date: Aug 25, 2020
Heat Level: Sensual
Publisher: Penguin Group
You Lucky Dog is the latest romantic comedy from York Times bestselling author Julia London.
Carly Kenney is struggling, her life and career seem to be stifling her. To make matters worse her sister has saddled her with a depressed basset hound. Max Sheffington is on the fast track to tenure, he’s content with his life and his dog. When the two dogs are accidentally swapped he meets Carly and is intrigued. But Carly wants to move and Max is preparing to cement his life as it is. Can these two figure out how they fit into each other’s lives?
This book has gone on a lot of Summer Reading lists, and I was excited to pick it up based on the cover and the blurb. I’m always up for a good rom-com that feels light and easy to read and I’m a sucker for a dog on the cover. I loved Max, the sexy bespectacled professor and his charming dog Hazel. Max is the exactly perfect kind of sweet and nerdy hero that I want to read in a rom-com. I had a harder time connecting with Carly, who felt both too much and not enough for me. She was constantly put upon by her family and felt taken advantage of, and yet she didn’t really ever step up to them and take control of her life.
The author included an excellent story line about Max’s brother and his autism. Her representation of Jamie felt very well developed and a good representation of how families deal with the challenges of raising children with autism. I hated Max’s dad and the way he seemed to be able to drop Jamie whenever it was inconvenient for him. Luckily, Max was a wonderful brother and his treatment of Jamie felt honest and real.
Both Carly and Max’s families play a large role in this book which really took me out of their romance. When I read romance I want to be absorbed in the love story and all the extra family drama felt manufactured to create the “black moment” towards the end of the book. This external drama also slows down the plot for me and really made me less interested in the last half of the book. I think if the author had just stuck to the problem of their jobs the midpoint turn wouldn’t have felt so slow and cumbersome.
The lead up to the romance between Carly and Max was super sexy and interesting. I enjoyed their “dates” with the dogs and the chemistry leading up to the sexy times was wonderful. I wanted more time between these two, I liked seeing them fall in love and it’s that chemistry that we need to sustain us through some of the tougher elements of the story.
I personally am not a fan of this trend of adding a lot of drama to rom-coms as it only serves to slow down an otherwise quick and fun read. I enjoyed their banter, the dogs, and the secy times and I could have done without the plot around their families. Overall, this was a decently fun read that was light and fluffy with a decent amount of steam. Fans of Jasmine Guilory, Sally Thorne, or Emily Henry’s latest rom-coms will probably also love this book.