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Reviewed by Laura Hartman for Readers' Favorite
Rescue Me, Maybe by Jackie Bouchard addresses love and loss as well as how to move on. Cancer claims Jane’s husband Ryan and her dog Barnum within the first chapter. Jane is sorry her husband died, but she is devastated over the loss of her dog. Unbeknownst to anyone but Jane, she and Ryan were going through a rough patch in their relationship before his diagnosis, one that both of them believed would end in separation. She felt guilty playing the grieving widow, yet could find no easy way to tell his overbearing mother or his father that she no longer loved their son. Soon after the funeral, she heads to San Diego via Prescott, AZ. Jane wants to go straight to California to start her new life with old friends she and Ryan had left there when they moved to Pennsylvania so Ryan could work with his father. Her aunt and uncle run a quaint but shabby B&B in Prescott and they need Jane to come and help run it while her aunt travels east for medical treatment. Reluctantly she agrees, denying her own desire to start afresh by the ocean. On her way, she finds a stray dog that might help her fall in love again if she will listen to her heart.
Jackie Bouchard grabbed me by the heart and did not let go until the last pages of Rescue Me, Maybe. She expertly taught Jane a lesson without preaching and along the way taught me to take a closer look at living like a dog – in the moment. This is a novel about love and loss and change. Parts of it are sad, yet there is a witty, sharp humor laced throughout which helps put Jane’s life back together. The characters were easy to love and some of them were easy to hate. Bouchard gently wraps the message to bloom where you are planted in this novel. She also lets the reader know that your garden just might be in a different spot than you originally thought it should be, but that does not mean you need to move it. I loved this novel, and recommend it for adults, YA readers and feel that dog lovers will really connect with the plot.