Title: Life on the Leash
Author: Victoria Schade
Published: December 1st 2018
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 stars
Must Love Dogs meets My Not So Perfect Life in this hilarious romantic comedy about a dog trainer who’s a master at managing her four-legged friends . . . but not so much her love life.
But all that changes when she meets Charlie Gill, the hottest client she’s ever had. The only problem? Charlie’s taken. Luckily, Cora has a new friend — the lovably geeky Eli Crawford. He’s always there to help Cora with her problems, including her love life. That’s why she’s shocked to realise that, even as things start heating up with Charlie, there might just be a spark between her and Eli, too.
As Cora’s life gets more tangled up than a dog walker’s leashes — and as she prepares to audition for a dog training TV show that may change her life — she has to figure things out before it all goes straight to the dogs.
Charming, witty and warm-hearted, Life on the Leash inspires you to cheer for every underdog looking for love.
Life on the Leash is the debut chic lit novel by dog lover, Victoria Schade. According to www.victoriaschade.tv/ she works both in front of and behind the camera on Animal Planet, as a co-host on the program “Faithful Friends” and as a trainer and wrangler on the channel’s popular Puppy Bowl specials for the past nine years. She frequently serves as a resource for the media, including the CBS Early Show, The Smithsonian Channel, WEtv, and Fox. Victoria has contributed to Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple Magazine, Reader’s Digest, The Bark, The Washington Post, and many dog-specific publications. She currently serves as a training and behaviour expert for Pet360.com.
Using her expertise, Schade has written a contemporary, relevant story that centres around 30 year old American Cora Bellamy. A single woman with a passionate business in dog training, her first love is dogs. Cora’s love for mans best friend is evident as she comes across a variety of clients, most of them trying to do the best they can for their pet. With a soft heart though, Cora’s finds it breaking the times she meets those who don’t have the best intentions for their dogs. The client that stayed with me long after I closed the last page is Beth Ann and her pet dog, Chanel, as their situation was a nightmare. No matter her client’s behaviours, Cora always acted professionally, a trait I greatly admired. The dog always came first for Cora. Schade presents many simple, pain free solutions to train dogs that could most likely be used by readers of this book.
To contrast Cora’s gentle training techniques, there has to be a villain and his name was Ershovich. A celebrity in the dog training world, Ershovich is the star of the tv show, The Doggie Dictator. The name says it all and Cora uses online anonymity to vent her feelings towards this man methods. Intentional or not, I found that I didn’t get to know this man as he was only viewed through a social media lens, so he remained a caricature of a villain in my head. While I enjoyed reading two polar views towards training dogs, an opportunity was sorely missed in Cora and Ershovich meeting face to face. It would have allowed greater insight into the role social media plays in all our lives. Would Ershovich be just as cruel away for the cameras? Or is it just a role he is playing?
While Cora’s professional life is headed for stardom when she auditions for a new dog training show, her personal life is very different. Cora has been single for two years when she comes across Charlie Gill, her sexiest client. He too works with dogs so it appears to be the perfect relationship. Except that Charlie is taken. While Cora has never mixed business with pleasure before, the temptation is all too real. To complicate matters, another man, Eli, has also walked into her life. Tall and geeky, he is the total opposite of the suave, smooth Charlie. Just like Cora’s friends, I knew right from the start who Cora should pick but it wouldn’t be chic lit if the journey was easy.
For dog lovers, this needs to go on your TBR pile. If you’re not a lover of the canine variety, Life on the Leash is still a good introduction to a new author on the scene.
Life on the Leash by Victoria Schade was published on 1st December 2018 by Allen & Unwin. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of Life on the Leash, Victoria Schade, visit here.
*Thanks extended to Allen & Unwin for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.