Amanda’s Review – The Dog Walker’s Diary by Kathryn Donahue

It is not like any other romance story I have ever read and had me captivated ~ Amanda, Guilty Pleasures 

When jaded and overworked Los Angeles literary agent Daniel Ashe hires Annie Doherty, an Irish dog walker, he’s simply looking for someone to care for his dogs so he can focus on landing a dream client and save his career. He certainly doesn’t expect to come home each night to find Annie has left him a new and fantastical story about the secret lives of his dogs–or that she’s cast him, a man who doesn’t believe in love, as a romantic hero. Now his nights are spent in a fantastical sea world, a magical circus, and the kingdoms of wonder and discord where these characters live. Each morning Daniel writes Annie a letter, asking her the questions he needs answered to get her off his mind, and each evening he finds himself more entranced than the night before. When his personal life and professional one collide, Daniel must ask himself how much he really knows about his dog walker and whether he’s truly incapable of falling in love after all.

I saw the cover and read the blurb and it looked like it would be interesting to read. What I got was so much more. It is not like any other romance story I have ever read and had me captivated and reading long into the night. I couldn’t put it down! For a debut novel, I am impressed and bubbly with excitement to spread the word that this is a book that anyone and EVERYONE should read. It’s entertaining, fun, heartbreaking, and a mystery with a few twists that will absolutely delight you.

Daniel Ashe hires Annie Doherty to be a dog walker for his two dogs, Sparks and Eddie. When he gets in return is a spiral notebook of fantastical stories on the secret lives of the dogs and how their owner is always the romantic hero. These stories are what grab you and don’t let go. Daniel has a warped misconception about redheads and is totally captive by Annie and her mystical power to tell these fantasies on a whim. Annie has become a present day Scheherazade and that Daniel is the king in The Arabian Nights who couldn’t fall in love. Daniel calls Annie the most interesting person who he knew nothing about but through her stories she tells us her backstory and it is both tragic and magical.

Daniel’s life is turned upside down when he hires Annie as his dog walker. He went through the motion of living a solitary life of work, and never falling in love. I loved how he described himself as an insomniac who was sleeping through life. The book is divided into 2 parts and in some way it is how Daniel lived his life itself; walking through it and the other part living it with his eyes wide open and a little on the edge. There are other characters in the story that are part of Daniel’s life but it is the one’s that Annie creates that are the true gems within the bigger story.

I could divulge more but I don’t want to ruin the fun and pleasure of reading The Dog Walker’s Diary. The story was captivating and I easily read it in one sitting. I can’t wait to get a chance to read it again soon. I would have to say that this is one of the best books I have read this year. Thank you Kathryn Donahue for writing an awesome story and I look forward to your next one.

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