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Release Day Review! NOEL’S PUPPY POWER by KaLyn Cooper from the DOG TAGS FOR CHRISTMAS Anthology

Dog Tags for Christmas
by Lindsay McKenna, KaLyn Cooper, and J.M. Madden

Synopsis:

SEAL’s Christmas Dream by J.M. Madden

When Veterinarian Willow James’ office is broken into, it’s natural that she turn to her soul mate, former Navy SEAL K9 handler Joe Flynn, to track down the culprits. The trail leads to a notorious Pit-Bull fighting ring. It may take a Christmas miracle and a helpful nudge from an old partner to get everyone home safely.

Noel’s Puppy Power by KaLyn Cooper

Tanner Hill is better at communicating with animals than women. That might be why he hasn’t had a second date in over two years. He’s also been extremely busy with his kennel that has become the premier training facility, specializing in supplying dogs to veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Then again, there is this psychologist he can’t get out of his head, or his heart.

Dr. Bailey Conrad would never allow the loss of half her right leg to an IED in Iraq to stop her. Every day at the VA hospital, she sees patients who have lost so much more to the war effort. It’s her goal in life to help as many vets as possible to find a ‘new normal’, because she knows firsthand, it’s the internal scars that can be the most difficult to heal.

Snowflake’s Gift by Lindsay McKenna

Two veterans—one human,one canine—have returned to Montana to recover from the traumas of war. FormerArmy Ranger Nick Conway depended on his WMD dog Snowflake to help him navigateIEDs on the battlefield. Now he needs his best friend to help him cope with hisPTSD and acclimate to civilian life. When he meets Holly McGuire and agrees to help her deliver meals to the elderly, her inner light calls to him, but his demons hold him back from giving in to his attraction. But Snowflake takes an immediate shine to the kindhearted Holly—and he has never led Nick down the wrong path.

 

I was fortunate enough to get my hands on an early copy of Noel’s Puppy Power by KaLyn Cooper from the anthology. I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the anthology!

Review of NOEL’S PUPPY POWER:

A cute story with an adorable puppy! 😉 I liked both Tanner and Bailey–he trains service dogs for veterans (and the veterans themselves, LOL) and she’s a psychologist who certifies the veterans who go on to get one of Tanner’s dogs. So inspirational…and did I mention there’s puppies?

The story could have benefited from a longer format, though–as a novella, it didn’t seem like we quite had all of the background between the two (it’s part of a series, so maybe there was groundwork laid in other books?) and the story itself felt a bit choppy at times. I would have loved to have seen more of their actual work, both with the dogs and the veterans–we mostly just were told that they’d been working after the fact. (Their relationship–and Noel, the puppy–were the focus, which was necessary given the short page count. But still…)

Bailey, who lost part of her leg when an IED exploded was also training to be a paralympian. That part too, I would have loved to see more of–especially the really exciting part that I’m not going to bring up, because–spoilers!

Again, novella. I know.

In spite of its limitations, I did enjoy Noel’s Puppy Power, and am looking forward to reading the other two stories when I have time. (One word: PUPPIES.) Darn grad school! 😉

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

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