With a title like Unleashed Holiday, a lot of ideas can come to mind. That’s why I was so excited to dive into this one from Victoria Schade.
Since this is Dog O’ Day, you might be familiar with Victoria Schade. She’s a long-time dog trainer and writer. She’s appeared on some Animal Planet shows and has written some non-fiction books about dogs.
At first, when I picked up this book, I had no idea about that but after reading it and finding that out, it makes a lot of sense. Regardless, Unleashed Holiday was my first book by Victoria Schade but it most definitely won’t be my last.
I’d like to thank Berkley for sending me a digital ARC so I can read and review this one for you.
Unleashed Holiday is an adorable romance for animal lovers.
With a title like Unleashed Holiday, a few different ideas can come to mind and Victoria Schade was clever with this one. The book begins with our main character: Chelsea, a dog trainer and she’s getting ready to head home but ends up seeing a dog in her parking lot. Chelsea tries to help but ends up hurting her wrist and we meet the dog’s person: Andrew.
We quickly find out Chelsea and Andrew have a history. I won’t get into specifics but the two knew each other in college and they never really got along. Somehow, these two just can’t stay away from each other though as Chelsea offers to help Andrew train his puppy while he offers to help her build up her strength at his gym. From there, it was only a matter of time as the attraction was already there.
What I enjoyed most about this book was that there were lots of cute and frankly, realistic moments with the animals. Chelse and Andrew both have dogs which isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. In addition, Chelsea also helps Andrew’s mom train her goats which might seem odd but is a surprisingly fun addition. Plus it adds to that delicious forced promixity all of us romance readers love.
While Unleashed Holiday is a romance, it doesn’t shy away from other topics including dealing with grief, toxic family members, and reconnecting with friends. Chelsea is dealing with the loss of her father and has a lot of negative feelings about it. As for Andrew, no one seems to understand why he’d give up such a “stable” athletic career to own a gym and then the two are hanging out with their college friends who moved away.
Another aspect worth noting is that Unleashed Holiday isn’t just a “Christmas” book. The cover does look Christmassy yet these characters celebrate three holidays together. We follow them during Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas so now would be a great time to pick it up. It’s also pretty steamy for having such a cute cover.
While the third-act conflict played into the “second-chance” aspect, it’s clear these two were dealing with misunderstandings from the start. As a romance reader, that annoyed me but I think that if you’re just going in for some cute and fun moments, it’s a good one for the holidays.
I think that if you’re a dog lover and enjoy Hallmark movies, then Unleashed Holiday will work for you. Even if you don’t love Hallmark movies, I think you’ll still have fun with Unleashed Holiday.
Unleashed Holiday by Victoria Schade is out now where books are sold.
Will you be grabbing a copy of Unleashed Holiday this season? Let us know in the comments!