Book Reviews

Ethan (The K9 Files, #1) by Dale Mayer


I found this book through Freebooksy a few days ago. I was actually surprised by it. It is a very clean romance (right up to the end and even that isn’t super racy). It’s more of a suspense story than anything else.

Ethan is a disabled war veteran trying to find his place in the world. He is handed a request to find a missing retired war dog named Sentry. Sentry was adopted out after his retirement from the military but the military department charged with keeping an eye on retired war dogs has run out of funding and Sentry fell through the cracks. No one knows where he is. As these dogs deserve the best homes possible after their retirement, particularly with their training, Ethan decides to take on the assignment. He runs into Cinnamon, an animal rescue volunteer, when he brings in an injured shepherd to a local veterinary clinic. In looking for who injured the shepherd, Ethan stumbles across a suspicious compound with extremely well trained dogs working it with the guards. Soon local retired veterans, the police, and Cinnamon are all involved with the compound.

Like I said the romance was very clean and interesting to watch develop between Cinnamon and the reclusive Ethan. I loved reading about the highly trained dogs. I am always interested in dog training and was hoping for more on how they are trained. Unfortunately, this book focused on what the dogs can do at the end of their training, not the actual training itself. Oh well. The dogs are highly involved in the book which is nice. I thought the book could have been made a little longer and not felt as if it drug on. Actually, some of the book felt a little rushed. Some of the events could have been spaced out more with some relationship development, background character highlighting, or discussion and background information. I absolutely loved reading it but since I finished it I feel like it’s missing substance, you know the deep background and little events that help build the depth of the book and relationships between the big events that make it really easy to remember the book. That being said the book was extremely well developed, moved along well, kept reader interest, and was well edited. The main characters were also fleshed out quite well.

My rating:

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Book Reviews

SEAL of Approval (SEAL Series #1) by Jack Silkstone


I always have a good time reading about dogs and their handlers in books, so this one looked interesting. It was shorter than I expected, but then again it’s a Kindle book so I shouldn’t have been very surprised. That being said, it was longer than most novellas but not quite so long as a regular book.

The story follows Mike and Ali. Mike is a SEAL whose dog gets injured by taking a bullet meant for him. The wound is decently bad, but his temperament changes which is the worst problem. They take the dog to Ali who is a specialist in traumatized dogs. As she works with Axe, she and Mike begin to fall for each other. In steps Mike’s SEAL team to administer a selection test to see if Ali can live up to being a SEAL’s wife. On top of this, a Mexican drug lord is after Mike and decides to use Ali to get to him. What ensues is a varied series of events that is just one bad thing after another. There are some funny moments, some scary moments, some sweet moments, and some annoying moments.

I was hoping for more story line about Axe and Mike, showing everything the dog can do and how they work together. This kind of got glossed over because the dog was injured and there was a romance. The selection process story line was kind of annoying in my opinion because I’d be livid if it was me. The Mexican drug lord story line I don’t think integrated well because the story was so short. This could probably have been made into a full length book with more depth to the story line and more complex characters.

I read there was a sequel, but I don’t think I was as invested in this book as I needed to be to read the sequel. The team-mates weren’t well-developed enough to have me interested in their future and it seems the sequel continues to focus on Mike and Ali, who I feel like I’ve read enough about. If the characters were more complex and interesting I think I would have bought and read the sequel. As it is, I won’t be doing that.

My rating:

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2017 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge

Training Your Pit Bull by Joe Stahlkuppe

Training Your Pitbull B.C.

So I had some issues with this book. Frankly, as a pit bull owner, this book pissed me off. I am a newer owner. Spike (we adopted him with this name, it was not my idea LOL) is my first pit bull but I have been around others before deciding to adopt him. I felt that as a new owner, I should read up on the breed and training tips to help me make the most of my time with Spike.

This book actually terrified my when I first read it. The first third of the book is pit bull history and whether you should adopt or buy a pit bull based on your personality and life-style. Since we had already adopted Spike at this point, I was horrified to read that both my personality and life-style are the opposite of what this guy wants for pit bull owners.

The majority of the book explains why you need to control you pit bull at all times and how everything you do can go wrong and end up killing your pit bull. Some of the advice I believe is way too restrictive and cannot be applied to every pit bull. The author expects all the pit bull owners reading the book to not have a clue how to handle a dog and warn them against every possible way a pit bull can be provoked into a fight. They really aren’t as wild and unruly as he makes them seem.

I actually had a really hard time finishing the book because of how much it annoyed me. There was good advice on how to train and the history was very interesting. Also, he talks about some of the activities you can do, such as agility training and a Canine Good Citizenship certificate. However, the rest of the book is a bunch of reasons why you either shouldn’t own a pit bull, why you must have them in complete control at all times, and how your pit bull will be killed if you don’t take every imaginable precaution under the sun to make sure that your dog in no way looks like he is fighting or the cause of a problem.

I feel that if people read this book before they buy or adopt a pit bull, the breed will never be a house pet again. It really is a shame because the book did have some useful information in it. I think the book needs re-written by a writer who isn’t out to change the current breed and make sure only the most ideal people get the dogs. It needs to be written with someone who will list their advantages and support the owners in a way that won’t make them think twice about the dog they got. The book really does portray the breed as being able to go vicious at any time and at the drop of the hat. A different author and tone would definitely change the book.

My rating:

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2017 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge · Book Reviews

The Pitbull Dog Breed: A Comprehensive Pitbull Owner’s Manual, Including Breed Specific Techniques by Edward Stenson

Pitbull Dog Breed B.C.

I actually found this book to be somewhat pointless. It’s only 40 pages long (which I didn’t realize when I bought it offline). The book gives you a brief overview of the breed history and breed characteristics. It gives the general training methods for the five basic commands, not breed specific. You can find the same instruction in any training manual. That’s pretty much all, there isn’t any depth to the book. It’s literally just an overview. I have no idea why it’s labeled “comprehensive owner’s manual”. As a new pitbull owner I was really hoping for more. There are better books out there – I found them. Some are much more in-depth on the training side and some much more in-depth on the history side but most fall into a good mix that’s more than just an overview.

My rating:

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