Sit, Stay, Love – Dana Mentink – Harvest House Publisher – Published 1 April 2016
Take one abrasive professional athlete, a quirky out-of-work schoolteacher, and an overweight geriatric dog, and you’re ready for a lesson in love…Tippy style.
Pro baseball pitcher Cal Crawford is not a dog guy. When he inherits his deceased mother’s elderly dog, Tippy, he’s quick to call on a pet-sitting service.
Gina isn’t thrilled to be a dog sitter when her aspirations lie in the classroom. Furthermore, she can’t abide the unfriendly Cal, a man with all the charm of a wet towel. But with no other prospects and a deep love for all things canine, she takes the job caring for Tippy.
As Gina travels through Cal’s world with Tippy in tow, she begins to see Cal in a different light. Gina longs to show Cal the God-given blessings in his life that have nothing to do with baseball or fame. When her longing blooms into attraction, Gina does her best to suppress it. But Cal is falling in love with her too…
Sit, Stay, Love is an amusing and energetic romance. A professional athlete male lead character, a major-incident-prone teacher turned dog sitter and a very cute, very crazy little dog, plus faith, family and zealous fans, this book ticks all the boxes.
I’m always on the look out for new authors to read in Christian fiction, particularly contemporary, so I was very eager to try Dana Mentink’s book Sit, Stay, Love. I have never read anything by Dana before so she is new to me, even if she is already an author many times over.
How much can one dog change the lives of two people, one family and a baseball team?
Pro baseball player Cal Crawford finds himself the reluctant new owner of Tippy the dog after his mother’s death. He hires Gina to care for the dog so he can focus on his pitching. But when his fans respond well to Tippy, he, Gina and Tippy become a trending internet sensation, and Cal’s ordered world is thrown into chaos when he is forced to face some hard truths about his life, faith and past.
Gina and Cal don’t get off to the best start (which is the very best way to start a romance, in my opinion). There are plenty of incidents, insults and teary moments before these two find a working truce, which develops into a nice friendship (with a whole lot of attraction thrown in for good measure).
As a dog lover, it was easy to relate to Tippy the dog. Gina’s immediate affection and worry for Tippy are familiar, but I think even cat lovers will be hard-pressed to resist Tippy’s antics. The comparisons between a dog’s forgiveness and unconditional love and God’s grace and mercy are a nice touch and work well.
I have to admit that at times the characters felt a little two-dimensional. While they each have a backstory, I would have liked to delve a little deeper into this and how it has affected their lives, particularly Gina’s. The ending also resolves itself very quickly and I was left a little unsure about what happened to Gina’s resolve to sort things out for herself. Otherwise, this was a really enjoyable Christian contemporary romance, recommended for fans of Melissa Tagg and Debra Clopton. I will be sure to look out for future offerings by Dana Mentink.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Christian contemporary.
Themes: Dogs, baseball, romance, family, grief, forgiveness.
Published: 1 April 2016 by Harvest House Publishers.
Format: Paperback, ebook. 224 pages.