Heart on a Leash
- Author: Alanna Martin
- Genre: Romance
- Publication Date: April 27, 2021
- Publisher: Berkley
- Series: Hearts of Alaska #1
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me a copy of this book. I am offering my honest opinion voluntarily.
CONTENT WARNING: biphobia/homophobia
A pack of rescue huskies inspires love and romance in a coastal Alaskan town fractured by feuding families—but can young pups really teach frozen hearts new tricks?
Taylor Lipin has made it her life’s mission to leave her hometown and its ridiculous, century-old feud with the Porters behind. But when her sister needs help running the family inn, Taylor agrees to return to Helen, Alaska on a temporary, definitely not longer than two weeks, basis. Or so she thinks, until she’s quite literally swept off her feet and into enemy territory by three happy huskies and their drool-worthy owner, Dr. Josh Krane.
Though Josh didn’t grow up in Helen with the rest of his Porter cousins, he’s heard the stories: Porters rescue huskies. The Lipins are cat people. Keep to your pack. But Taylor is too tempting to give up—plus, his dogs love her.
As Taylor and Josh grow closer, tensions in the town escalate and the need for secrecy starts taking a toll. Soon they’ll need to decide whether their newfound love is just a summer fling or if they’ve found their forever home.
The adorable cover really drew me to the book, and I definitely couldn’t resist a romance that also featured 3 huskies as quite possibly the best wingmen (wingdogs?) ever. But the story fell a little flat for me.
The Lipin and Porter families are engaged in a Hatfield-McCoy style rivalry that has been going on for more than a century. So when Taylor and Josh meet, they have no idea that the other is actually “the enemy.” Even after they find out, they have no desire to stop seeing each other, but the mounting pressure from their family forces them to keep their relationship a secret.
The vast majority of family members on both sides, which translates to nearly all of the side characters, are horrible, narrow-minded, and unlikable people. Both Lipin and Porter characters started pulling pranks that escalated into vindictive and illegal acts that had me so worried for the safety of not just Taylor and Josh, but also for the people around them. It was such an unhealthy situation, and it felt like the families were so overly controlling.
The story itself was very slow-moving. It didn’t take me that long to read the story, but it felt like nothing was really happening for a lot of the time that I was reading. Even the sex scenes felt a little bland. Overall, this wasn’t really a great fit for me, and I spent a lot of time reading it feeling bored. It does make me want to visit Alaska though!