I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Billionaire's Beagle by Kristy Tate
Published by Author on November 1, 2018
Source: my own shelves
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First in the Misbehaving Billionaires cozy romance series and revolving around a confused young man and a bitter young woman.
Yes, it was cute and sweet with two separate story lines that Tate brings together early on with Betty’s inciting incident. Naughty doggie.
Wes’ story arc discovers the truth about his ambitions…with a mention from Grandfather and a tip from Lincoln. I do like that Wes has his own sense of who to treat right. Meanwhile, poor Wes wants to meet someone who is more interested in him than his money.
Letty has an even bigger story arc, getting past her father’s misdeeds, although she does have some excellent insight on her own and from Wes and her aunt and uncle. I can understand why Letty wants to meet someone who doesn’t lie…I do like how she slaps Leo down, lol. Jerk. Even Barbara has her own helplessness to get over. Blogging? Who knew.
Tate could have really brought in the tension — she certainly sets us up for it what with Lincoln possibly being a vampire. As for Lincoln’s dog duplicitousness, that could’ve been mined for more. In either direction. There’s the too-easy kidnapping, the beach party, Nessa’s hostility, Leo, the lost wallet, etc., that could have been expanded.
Mom and Floe are way too obvious in their “stealth” plotting, and it makes me wonder what kind of nurse Letty is when she’s so unobservant. I’m also confused about where Letty lives. It sounds like she’s near her mother who lives near the beach, but Tate mentions Irvine…which is not near the beach. In fact there are a lot of places mentioned but I have no idea how any of these connect or how close they are.
Wes is kind of a wuss. He just wants to float along in his chosen, unpaid career. He doesn’t want to work at his grandfather’s hotels, but he does enjoy the money from it all. I did enjoy that red herring when Grandfather tells Wes he’s to look after Betty. Talk about a panicky moment, lol.
That “reveal” by Wes was not well thought-out — and left another jump in the story. Yet Letty is quite the hypocrite who does not want to consider another’s perspective or that one’s behavior may change depending upon the situation. Oy. I’m rather suspicious of Letty’s dad’s sudden turnabout. It seems too easy, too fast.
And we’ve been learning all this from third person dual protagonist point-of-view from Wes’ and Letty’s perspectives. I do wish that POV would explain why Letty pops into Wes’ suite near the end. It’s another jump in the story.
Hmm, I’m going to assume that Tate meant San Luis Obispo.
All in all, yes, it’s a fun story, but Tate could have done a better job connecting events in the story.
Above all else, Letty detests liars. A good girl through and through, she’s always tried to walk a straight line, which hasn’t been easy given her father walked a crooked path that led him to prison.
Wes is attracted to Letty the moment he meets her. One of the things he loves about her is she thinks he’s just a beach bum working at the local hotel and she’s okay with him just as (she thinks) he is.
But when Betty the beagle gets kidnapped, the budding romance goes off the rails, and Wes and Letty are forced to ‘fess up to their lies and exaggerations before their problems (and beagles) get completely out of hand and off leash.
The distrustful Felicity “Letty” Ashton is a nurse, about to no longer be sharing an apartment with Harper. Barbara Ashton, Mom, is depressed about Dad’s embezzling and addiction. Dorkie is Mom’s Yorkie. Harper, Letty’s sister, is getting married to Chet. Marmmy is Letty’s maternal grandmother, who lives with Aunt Glenda in Mesa, Arizona. Dad had been a mutual fund manager. Letty has an aunt and uncle who live near Morro Bay. I think they’re Shari, a professor, and Matt, dad’s older brother. Cousin Ida is going to edit a podcast for Barbara’s Bites.
Claris, a dog trainer, is Letty’s best friend. Courtney is Claris’ sister.
Dr Weston “Wes” Connor (PhDs in history and literature) doesn’t want his grandfather’s business; he simply wants to write his alternative history Civil War screenplay. He lives on his boat, The Seabird.
Wes’ grandfather is the owner of the Montlake chain of hotels. Betty is Grandfather’s way-too-fat beagle. Lincoln is Grandfather’s attorney. Carl is Lincoln’s nephew, a Marine home on medical leave. Wes’ mom (Ellie is Grandfather’s daughter) is a librarian in Oregon and married to Tom, a sociology professor at Oregon State. Sounds like they’re both a couple of hypocrites as well.
Floe’s Café is where Mom works for free. Floe is the bohemian type owner married to Dan. Monique is one of the waitresses.
The gold-digging , know-it-all, gossipy, snooty Vanessa “Nessa” Walgreen is from Wes’ social crowd. Henry Rollins is an old friend of Wes’. Jordan, a realtor, is a friend from Wes’ writer’s workshop. Whit Dodd, a mutual fund manager, is the friend with whom Wes went marlin fishing. Diana “Diana Disaster” McCallister, a neighbor of Whit’s, crashed her sailboat.
The Montlake Crew
The Montlake employees who help out include Max, Kade, James, Marc, Holden, and Carl. Marco is the head chef and his crew includes Gemma, Hollister, Leonard, Gabby (she makes the salads), Hernandez, and Chuck. Mitchell is a lead waiter. Mark Hart is the head of marketing. Elaine is head of accounting. Jack is the real estate manager. Bill is the concierge. Lucy is head of the cleaning crew.
Leo Ellsworth, a commercial realtor, is an ex-boyfriend of Letty’s. The rehab center is Leo’s mother’s second home. Jerry, Chet’s Barbie of a cousin, is an insensitive wedding planner. Sounds like Cheater Charlie is another ex-boyfriend.
Hacienda Hot Springs is a healing and recovery center. Mrs Hendricks had been an unhappy client at one of their hotels. The fussy Donald is catering the wedding. Mr Cronk is one of Letty’s patients. The dogs in Claris’ class include Gloria Halleluiah, a poodle puppy; Bruiser is a boxer; and, Fido is Claris’ dog. Jenna had been a model and fellow student in high school. Art du Coeur Studio is an art gallery owned by Gus. Mayor Hildebrand.
Emerson and Emily are the three-year-old twins who arrive five years later.
The Cover and Title
The cover is a lightly distressed, warmish pale gray background with Wes on the left in a deep blue suit and unbuttoned white shirt, leaning up against the wall, one hand fiddling with his cuff and one ankle crossed behind the other. On the right is Betty in profile, sitting on the sidewalk. The title is in a gradated navy to light royal blue to the right of Wes’ head. An info blurb in a thin black is below Wes’ and Betty’s feet while below that is the author’s name in a thicker black.
That title is all about The Billionaire’s Beagle that crashes the wedding and provides the inciting incident.