ROMANCE

Mutts and Mistletoe

Putnam. Oct. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9780525539193. pap. $13; ebk. ISBN 9780525539230. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
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DEBUT Thirty-one, recently unattached, and temporarily homeless owing to a gas explosion in her apartment building, tech-savvy Charlie reluctantly leaves London and heads to a small Devon village with her animal-loving cousin Jez for the holidays. Never mind that she hates dogs and doesn't think much of the holidays, either—the country is peaceful and all will be well. Then Jez takes off for a potentially romantic rendezvous in Lapland, leaving Charlie in charge of Cozy Canine Cottages, Jez's luxury pet business, and suddenly "peace" is a thing of the past. A diverse cast of intriguing characters and their assorted issues keep the plot on track, while an annoying but gorgeous country vet—who has a thing for cows!—adds a romantic touch.
VERDICT Brimming with humor, Christmas cheer, and a few dogs (plus a litter of puppies), this offbeat romp sparkles with fun and will appeal to fans who enjoy their holiday fare with a British vibe. Newcomer Cox divides her time between London and the Brecon Beacons in Wales.

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