A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

In Dog We Trust by Beth Kendrick- Feature and Review


When Jocelyn Hillier is named legal guardian for the late Mr. Allardyce's pack of pedigreed Labrador retrievers, her world is flipped upside down. She's spent her entire life toiling in the tourism industry in Black Dog Bay and never expected to be living the pampered life of a seasonal resident in an ocean side mansion, complete with a generous stipend. But her new role isn't without its challenges: The dogs (although lovable) are more high-maintenance than any Hollywood diva, the man she wants to marry breaks her heart, and she's confronted at every turn by her late benefactor's estranged son, Liam, who thinks he's entitled to the inheritance left to the dogs.

Jocelyn has worked too hard to back down without a fight, and she's determined to keep her new fur family together. As she strives to uphold the "Best in Show" standards her pack requires, Jocelyn finds love, family, and forgiveness in the most unexpected places.



In Dog We Trust (Black Dog Bay #5)In Dog We Trust by Beth Kendrick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Dog We Trust by Beth Kendrick is a 2019 Berkley publication.

The tourist season is beginning in Black Dog Bay. The wealthy who ‘summer’ here are filtering in, which means Jocelyn Hillier, who runs a laundry service for the tourists is busy, especially now that her mother is recovering from surgery.

But, it’s Jocelyn’s other job as a dog walker and sitter for Mr. Allardyce which unexpectedly turns her life upside down.

When Mr. Allardyce suddenly dies, he leaves his fortune to his dogs, and names Jocelyn as their guardian, propelling her into a life of ease. But Mr. Allardyce’ estranged son, Liam, has decided to contest the will. However, he never counted on Jocelyn’s determination to honor Mr. Allardyce’s will or her will to fight for a new way of life.

If things weren’t complicated enough, Jocelyn and Liam discover that although they are legal adversaries, they happen to like one another- a lot!!

This is a sweet, light, and mildly fluffy story about family, class distinctions, and compromise. There is heartbreak along the way, but ultimately this is a book that will lift your spirits and leave you feeling upbeat, which is something we could all use a lot more of. The romance is sweet, with only a mild angst, despite the circumstances. Also, there are dogs- and who doesn’t love a story that features dogs?

Jocelyn is a terrific character, and I cheered for her from start to finish. The supporting cast is outstanding, each pulling their share of the load, and adding something special or important to the story.

When I close a book with a big goofy grin on my face, I owe the author a debt of gratitude for cheering me up and sending me a few much- needed positive vibes. Some will scoff and claim it is not realistic, but lets look at it a little closer-

The feel -good ending here didn’t just magically work out on its own. The characters each had to concede something or contribute something. They all had to consider the viewpoint of others involved, which requires work, patience, and maturity. Things don’t always turn out like we hope they will in life, but when people work together the results are often better than one could have thought possible.

I’d say it paid off nicely for them. Their example is one we could all learn from. The message is just as important as those presented with a heavier tone or in a more dramatic way. So, to say it isn't possible for people to settle disputes, or conflict in a civil manner, or that love doesn't factor in it, sells us all short, in my opinion.

You may notice this is a part of a series, but this book can be read as a stand-alone. However, I think it would be fun to read the previous installments and of course I will be sure to catch any future chapters in this series, especially since Black Dog Bay is the best place to recover from a heartbreak. You may arrive with a frown, but you’ll leave with a smile- and that’s good enough for me!






This is the part where I’m supposed to brag about all my illustrious accomplishments, but honestly, I’d rather talk about my dogs and brag about some of the things I haven’t done:

I’ve never been to prison*, court-ordered rehab*, or splashed across the cover of a salacious weekly gossip tabloid with my ladybits on display**.

I’m a Leo, a middle child, and a formidable Trivial Pursuit opponent. I read everything I can get my hands on, from the classics to comic books. I don’t drink coffee because, frankly, I’m high strung enough without adding caffeine into the mix. Here is the true story of how I became a novelist:

So I had just started seeing this guy, and on our second or third date, he invited me to be his guest at a family wedding. Being young and free and a bit commitment-shy, I was about to decline until he casually mentioned that the bride was a successful romance novelist. Well, the second I heard that, I had to go. Being a writer had always been my dream job, and I’d never met anyone who’d actually beaten the odds and made the leap into big-time publishing. So I RSVP-ed, sidled up to the bar at the reception, waited until the bride and all her author friends uncorked the good champagne, and then peppered them with endless questions about writing, editing, and landing an agent. They were so funny and encouraging and generous with their time and advice. (And drunk!) Next thing you know, I had joined a critique group and was knee-deep in the manuscript that would eventually become MY FAVORITE MISTAKE. The open bar at that wedding changed my life forever.

Oh, and the guy who invited me to the wedding? I ended up marrying him. All together: awww

I live in Arizona in a very cute fixer-upper that my husband and I bought in a burst of can-do, pioneering confidence. We thought it would be fun to embark on a series of do-it-yourself renovations. Yeah. I know. Turns out, replacing baseboard that’s been painted over 15 times since 1958 is not as easy as those Home Depot commercials would lead you to believe. Also, freshly-installed lawn drip systems and “helpful” dogs are a bad mix.

Friday and RoxieSpeaking of dogs, here we have the indefatigable canine lawn maintenance crew: Roxie and Friday. Both were rescued from the pound when they were puppies. I think they’re Rhodesian Ridgeback mixes. (Probably. Maybe? Anything’s possible.) Roxie is the brains of the operation and Friday iswell, he’s very sweet. And so indolent he could be mistaken for a piece of furniture, which I consider a very desirable trait in a family dog.

I absolutely love hearing from readers, so please feel free to email me, with the caveat that I am often on deadline/on the road/on the ragged edge of sanity, so it may be awhile before you get a reply. Just know that it’s not you; it’s me!

Have fun exploring the site, and if you have any questions about my new book, my backlist, or finding an agentI’ll be right over there at the bar.


**That I know of.

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