Dogs truly are the best. They’re loyal, sweet, and there for you no matter what. In Just Fine With Caroline, Caroline O’Connor returns home to Missouri to help care for her mother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. And who is at Caroline’s side through it all? Her mostly-deaf dog, Yari. This rescue pup is there as Caroline acclimates to life in a small town, and as she starts to fall for the irresistible Noah Cranwell. Since October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog month, we decided to ask author Annie England Noblin to share her favorite books that feature lovable canines.
What it’s about: Sara fires hunky Irishman Rory from a part-time job, but instead of being angry, he kisses her. When Sara finds out Rory’s visa is about to expire, she convinces him to marry her so that he can continue his acting career. He’s so close to his big break! Now they’re living together as strangers, and Rory absolutely cannot stand Sara’s dog, Cody. The plot thickens when Sara’s sociopathic ex-boyfriend dognaps Cody, and Rory must save Cody from an uncertain future.
Why it’s awesome: Um, hot Irish dude? An adorable dog? What more is there to love? As an added bonus, Rory has some hilarious one-liners that will leave you in stitches throughout the book.
What it’s about: Hope doesn’t have a pug, but she’s always wanted one. Believing she works too much to care for a dog, she settles for watching the pugs frolic on Pug Hill in Central Park. At 31, she’s unsatisfied with her life and unsure of how to break the cycle of the mundane. When she’s asked to give a speech for her parents’ 40th wedding anniversary, she takes a public speaking course in an effort to overcome her crippling stage fright (and maybe she’ll be able to talk to that cute guy she works with while she’s at it). She learns a lot about herself in the class, and meets a whole host of interesting people while she’s at it.
Why it’s awesome: Pugs! All the cute pugs! Even more fantastic: This story has a surprise ending that you won’t be expecting.
What it’s about: Newly divorced Megan moves to Virginia to take over her aging father’s vet practice. Shortly after moving in with her father, she’s surprised by a rogue puppy wandering into the house. She returns the puppy to his supposed owner, only to come face-to-face with the richest and most elusive man in town.
Why it’s awesome: Fans of Elaine Fox can reunite with characters from her other books. Also, there are some steamy scenes between Megan and Sutter.
What it’s about: This is a collection of stories told by old-school doctors who practiced medicine in the Appalachian Mountains for more than 50 years.
Why it’s awesome: Two words: Ghost dogs!
What it’s about: Coralie grew up in a freak show… literally. Her father owns and runs the Museum of Extraordinary Things on Coney Island. When Coralie meets Eddie—a Russian immigrant with a sketchy past—both of their lives will change forever. Not to mention, Eddie owns a loyal pit bull and later acquires a wolf dog, of all things!
Why it’s awesome: This book is a spellbinding account of a strange life. It is beautifully written historical fiction and is equal parts lovely and horrifying. The dogs in the book play incredibly important (and symbolic) roles.
Annie England Noblin lives with her son, husband, and three dogs in the Missouri Ozarks. She graduated with an M.A. in creative writing from Missouri State University and currently teaches English and communications for Arkansas State University in Mountain Home, Arkansas. She spends her free time playing make-believe, feeding stray cats, and working with animal shelters across the country to save homeless dogs.