"Take me, all of me, broken and in pieces, or say to hell with me."
This book will break your heart!
From the best-selling romance author of The Education of Sebastian comes a sexy, heart-breaking, and heart-warming story about one man and his dog.
Alex is lost and alone, with only his dog Stan for company. He doesn't expect kindness from anyone anymore, but sometimes hope can be found in the most unlikely places. He has a second chance at happiness, but there's a dark side to Alex and a reason that more than one person has called him crazy.
Single mother Dawn is doing just fine. Except that her ex is a pain in the ass, her sister isn't speaking to her, and her love life is on the endangered list.
At least her job as a veterinarian is going well. Until a crazy-looking guy arrives at her office accompanied by an aging dog with toothache. Or maybe Alex Winters isn't so crazy after all, just...different.
Dawn realizes that she's treated him the same way that all the gossips in town have treated her - people can be very cruel.
Contains scenes of an adult nature. This is a standalone novel with no cliffhanger.
©2016 Jane Harvey-Berrick (P)2016 Jane Harvey-Berrick
This book rates right up there among the top of the audiobooks I have previously listened too. This book really made me feel. I cried a lot.
I haven't read/heard any other books that will compare with this book. I consider this book one of a kind. I don't think any book has made me feel as much as this book does. I was absolutely drained emotionally by the time this book ended.
I think the most heart wrenching scene is when Stan dies. I was absolutely gutted. I thought for sure he was going to pull through.
Yes. I wanted to see if Alex and Dawn could overcome all of the obstacles life was throwing them. I felt very invested in their outcome.
A word of warning do not listen to this book while at work. There are parts of this book that are absolutely heart wrenching. I cried so much that I felt absolutely gutted.
You have to be a pretty amazing author when the reader feels all the highs and lows in a story and this book absolute did that to me.
Sweet, heartfelt, emotional
A beautifully narrated book with a story that will touch your soul.
The characters are the kind of people one would encounter in everyday life and the narrators deliver the story with passion and love.
Jane Harvey-Berrick has captured the emotions of her characters and they have been translated to audio with the utmost care.
My heart broke many times but was pieced back together by this truly wonderful story. Ill certainly be reading more of Jane Harvey-Berrick's work.
When Alex Winter's moves into an old cabin on the outskirts of a small town, he finds himself the subject of gossip mongers. Nobody knows who he is or why he is there. He wanders into the main town area on occasion with his big dog, Stan, trailing behind him - his constant companion. He is unkempt looking with wrinkled clothes, a very long beard and hair that could do with some TLC. He very rarely speaks to anyone. He is a mystery that people are curious about.
'People fear what they don’t know. Clouded by judgement of how he looks.'
Dawn is a vet down at the local veterinary clinic, she is pretty much raising her young daughter on her own, although the father is still in a picture now and then. Her sister also lives in the same town but after a big falling out a few years ago, their relationship is somewhat strained.
Dawn is covering a shift at work one afternoon when Alex brings Stan into the clinic. He seems quite anxious around her and it is very obvious how attached he is to his dog. Dawn can see how uncomfortable he is and does what she can to easy his anxiety about being there.
‘Courage isn’t always in the grand gestures but for a man like him, it was simply walking out of his own front door.’
Dawn seems to cross paths several more times with Alex and a sometimes she has her daughter Katie with her. Katie immediately loves Stand the dog and quickly befriends Alex as well. I love the innocence and openness of children, they don't have preconceived notions of people based on how they look and Alex reveals more of his sweet character and disposition when he is around her.
As the friendship between them grows, there are people who seem to think they need to give advice or intervene. How could Dawn want to associate with a man like Alex? Yes, there are reasons why Alex moved to this small town. His life was completely turned upside down when everything he knew and loved was ripped away from him. The only thing he had left was Stan. I guess you could say he is running away from his problems. Dawn and Katie seemed to have anchored him, giving him a sense of peace and happiness that he has been missing for a while now.
‘If felt good, it felt right. What was happening to me, to my life? It was cracking open and Dawn was the light blasting through to all my darkest places, it was terrifying.’
You know what happens when you are running away from problems though, they always catch up to you right? Alex is worried that Dawn won't want to be around him when he reveals his past and present to her. Dawn has two people to think about when it comes to any big decisions in her life, her daughter comes first always. Is Alex worth taking a risk on?
This book has been on my radar for a while now and when the opportunity to listen to and review the audio book came up I was all over it. I knew very little about the story, apart from knowing that a dog has his own POV - which I thought was a great idea! Now that I have listened to this I strongly encourage anyone who has read the book to listen to this version as it will give you a different reading experience and will give you an enriched understanding of Alex's struggles.
Seth Clayton is quite versatile in his portrayal of both female and male characters. I particularly enjoyed his narration of Stella and Katie.
I was particularly moved when Alex immediately responded to Katie's call for help even though her mother had dumped him (again).
One Careful Owner is a signature piece by Jane Harvey-Berrick. Every story by Ms. Harvey-Berrick is unique and gut wrenching, but the one is particularly moving.
Dawn, a veterinarian, is a careful owner of her heart and of her delightful daughter, Katie. Alex is a careful owner of his lovable dog, Stan, and his tortured past.
Dawn, and her sister, Stella, have a complicated past. They have long entertained the town with their bitter feud and the outcome, and that has made her particularly sensitive to other’s opinions. Dawn is a strong, single mom who puts who daughter first. Katie is a adorable nine-year old who steals the show. She is tender and kind-hearted. Her adoration of Stan and easy acceptance of Alex provides the bridge for Dawn to give Alex a chance. Alex certainly deserves a chance. Devastating losses led Alex to give up on himself and people in general. He has found animals to be much more reliable than people, and Stan, his dog, is now his only friend.
One Careful Owner is leisurely paced, giving author Harvey-Berrick time to richly develop her characters and explore a complicated relationship between mature adults who both have a lot of baggage. Local sheriff, Dan, who fills his long-time friend’s head with misleading information, creates most of the angst. Dawn doubts her own judgment every time Dan warns her off Alex. I appreciated her wariness stemming from concern for her daughter, but it was particularly frustrating that she never thought to confront Alex with Dan’s allegations. The on-again/off-again relationship was a little too much for me. Alex’s actions and erratic behavior are intentionally left unexplained until the end to create more story and relationship tension. Between Dan and Stella’s interference, and Alex’s unexplained behavior, I wasn’t sure that there would be a happily-ever-after ending for Dawn, Katie and Alex!
In addition to the obvious message of “don’t judge a book by its cover”, Ms. Harvey-Berrick has included a sub-theme of animal cruelty. Some of the scenes are difficult to read, but the harsh realism shines a light on an issue close to the author’s heart.
Seth Clayton admirably narrates the audiobook.
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