#BookReview: Stepdog by Nicole Galland

Reviewer: Terry

I received a review copy


What’s the difference between puppy love and dogged devotion?

When Sara Renault fired Rory O’Connor from his part-time job at a Boston art museum, and in response, Rory—Irishman, actor, musician, reformed party-boy— impulsively leaned over and kissed her . . . she kissed him back. Now, as Rory’s visa runs out on the cusp of his big Hollywood break, Sara insists that he marry her to get a green card. In a matter of weeks they’ve gone from being friendly work colleagues to a live-in couple, and it’s all grand . . . except for Cody, Sara’s beloved dog from her troubled previous relationship. Sara’s overattachment to her dog is the only thing she and Rory fight about.

When Rory scores both his green card and the lead role in an upcoming TV pilot, he and Sara (and Cody) prepare to move to Los Angeles. But just before their departure, Cody is kidnapped—and it is entirely Rory’s fault. Desperate to get back into Sara’s good graces, Rory tracks Cody and the sociopathic dognapper to North Carolina. Can Rory rescue Cody and convince Sara that they belong together—with Cody—as a family? First they’ll need to survive a madcap adventure that takes them through the heart of America.


The story starts when Rory an Irishman living in America on a work Visa gets sacked from his job by the beautiful Sara, so knowing he was risking it all, he kisses her….and as they say that kiss started it all. Of course who know one amazing night would end up with her deciding they could get married in order for Rory to get his green card. Dating became far more complicated the moment the agreed to jump 10 steps in the beginning of their relationship. Of course with the right connection, and good intentions the relationship would have been hard but worth it. But Sara had an added complication-Cody her adorable, but extremely spoiled puppy, complicated because Rory really doesn’t do dogs, or perhaps does them more in the Irish way, kept outside and not under foot.

The relationship truly hits a few bumps and bruises due to the dog adjustment. Rory thinks Sara is overindulgent and unrelenting when it comes to her sweet pup, and Sara thinks Rory needs to just get over it, her dog came into her life when she needed the pup and that trumps all of Rory misgivings over anything to do with Cody.

Things take a turn for complicated right at the worst possible time and that they say is where the story truly begins. Of course, there is far more to the story, but the author does well to keep the story centered around Cody- the stepdog. The characters, even the secondary ones like the unique friends that Rory and Cody meet on their daily walks are all wonderfully developed and hard to forget. This was a fun story, about how complicated the begin of a relationship, as well as the beginning of married life can truly be!

3.5 stars

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1 Comment

  1. August 8, 2015 / 1:55 pm

    It is nice to see that this book had the dog as a central character. I recently reviewed a book for Elle Magazine, also called StepDog and it had nothing to do with the dog.
    I am going to add this to my to-read list.

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