Take A Chance On Me
By Missy Andrews
Jul 9, 2003 - 1:25:00 AM

Emma Jenkins is an Animal Behaviorist, recently divorced, moved back home with her father and is raising her deceased best friends daughter. Emma has only one wish in life. Just once before she dies she wants to be swept off her feet with a totally unstoppable and undeniable passion. Her ex-husband did a real number on her self-esteem, not to mention her bank account, and the guys that she has dated since her divorce have left her wondering where all the decent guys have gone. She has finally decided that trudging through the dating cesspool is not worth the trouble and that "if the right man ever showed up on her doorstep, she’d know him in an instant".

Thomas Tobin, head of the Maryland Murder for Hire Task Force, thinks that "Wits End" is a very appropriate name for the animal behavioral clinic because it definitely describes his state of mind. Ever since taking Hairy, a Chinese Crested dog, from the side of his dead master who also happened to be Thomas’ best informant, he has been at his wits end. He’s not real wild about people most of the time so he sure doesn’t know anything about dogs, especially one as ugly and weird as this one is turning out to be. But then he realizes that Hairy may be their only witness to the murder and Emma is the only one who has a prayer of helping them understand Hairy.

There were three things that made this book impossible to put down. The first is the fact that Susan Donovan is an absolute riot. You’re reading a paragraph that is so sexually charged you can literally feel the air snapping with electricity and the next second one of the characters has a thought that is so absurd for the situation you’re laughing out loud. The second thing was that these poor folks like to have NEVER got it right. Just when you think they’ve finally figured it out Ms. Donovan throws a monkey wrench into the middle of the situation and they are back to square one. She builds the anticipation to the point you’re ready to scream KISS HER ALREADY! The final thing is the characters themselves. They literally pull your emotions into the story so that you feel every laugh, every tear, and every heartbreak that they experience. Susan Donovan has a very unique, off-the-wall style that should keep her around for many books to come. Do NOT pass this one up.

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