Fifth Avenue Fidos by Holly Schindler

I feel like cat people always get a bad rap for being kind of weird or quirky…like myself. However, this book goes to show that dog people can be nutty oddballs as well.

What’s it About? 


Mable Barker, a hilarious, good-natured sweetheart who is always the pal but never the girlfriend, endures nine horrendous months of bouncing between lackluster New York City jobs (and suffering unrequited love) in her unsuccessful attempt to find her one true talent. So when she meets Innis, the ill-tempered Upper East Side Pekingese, she assumes her dog-walking days are numbered, too; soon, she’ll be heading back to Queens brokenhearted, tail tucked between her legs. But Innis belongs to the adorable yet painfully shy young veterinarian, Jason Mead, a man whose awkward ways around women have him dreaming not of finding love for himself but of playing canine matchmaker—breeding Westminster champions.

When Mable and Jason meet, romance is officially unleashed: they find an instant connection and shared goal, as it appears that Mable could very well have what it takes to be a professional handler, soon to be seen holding Innis under a banner labeled, “Best in Show.” As Jason and Mable get closer to putting a new twist on the term “dog lovers,” outside forces—Mable’s overprotective brothers, a successful wedding planner with her eye on Jason, even the theft of purebred pups from Jason’s Fifth Avenue apartment building—all threaten to come between them. Will Mable and Jason simply let their burgeoning love roll over and play dead? Or will they rally to make sure Innis emerges as the leader of the pack?

First Impressions

This book was definitely quirky, just like the main female character, who has a one-liner for everything. At first I found myself chuckling along, but after a while all of the jokes (and humorous asides presented in parentheses) seemed really forced. It was almost like a desperate attempt to be funny. Let’s face it, when your main character is described as “hilarious” within the first sentence of the synopsis, you might be pushing it a bit. I personally like to determine the personality traits of the characters on my own, rather than having them spelled out for me.


The Story

There was actually a lot going on in this novel, from Mable trying to make her way in the big, bad city, and Jason trying to prove his worth as a champion show-dog breeder. Then there’s a little mystery thrown in with a dognapper. See what I mean? Dog people can be obsessive and weird too.

dog people

Overall, cute and interesting story, but I thought it took a tad too long for the story to really get going. I understand not wanting to immediately throw our love birds together, but waiting until 40% of the book was finished before they have an actual conversation? What exactly are we waiting for? I’ve got places to be. And by “places to be” of course I mean in my apartment reading another romance novel.

The Best of the Best

The absolute best part of this novel was the chemistry between Mable and Jason, which makes the fact that we had to wait so long for them to actually come together seem like even more of a waste. We see how awkward Jason is when communicating with basically any other human being, but with Mable they just connect and feed off of each other’s particular brand of humor. As a matter of fact, I think I giggled the most when these two were together. It just goes to show that no matter how quirky, nerdy, or awkward you may be, there really is someone out there for everyone. It’s like puppy love!


*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Stand-alone

Should you read it? It’s cute and silly. A slight hint of drama, though not overly dramatic. I do think a lot of the comedy was forced, which was kind of annoying after a while. However, if you’re a dog person, and you just want to sit back and relax with a sweet romance, then this might be the book for you.

Smut Level: There’s only one love scene, but they break a chair for crying out loud! Not too shabby!!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Amazon Digital Services. 391 Pages.

Juggler, Porn Star, Monkey Wrench by Rich Leder

Well, I’ve gotta hand it to this book, it has one hell of a unique title. As for the story goes, I’m not really sure what just happened.

What’s it About? 


My name is Mark Manilow. I am a LA screenwriter. Here’s my recipe for a cocktail called “Romantic Hollywood Sex Comedy.” Start with my estranged wife, who left me two years ago to become a juggler. Pour in the ensuing emotional tailspin conjoined with my brutal case of writer’s block. Mix with my last-gasp writing job, a ridiculous porn flick called Broken Boner. Add in the Broken Boner porn star, who seduces me into an ill-fated partnership. Throw in the gun-toting producer and eccentric Montecito billionaire who hire me to adapt the phonebook into a movie. Combine with the return of my headaches and a trip to an ancient Chinese healer, where I meet the healer’s beguiling granddaughter—my monkey wrench. Serve with wonderment as to whether or not I’ll find a way to settle things with the juggler, break it off with the porn star, and fall in love with the monkey wrench…or if anyone will stop laughing long enough to notice.

First Impressions

So Mark is a screenwriter, and from what I can tell, he’s not a very good one. He’s only written one mildly successful script which has been shelved for all eternity due to some kind of Hollywood mumbo jumbo. He’s a bit down in the dumps trying to think up the premise for his next story when he gets a shot to write the script for a porn film. Just as Mark is starting to warm up to the idea of being the next big name in porn writing, the director of the film informs Mark that he just doesn’t have what it takes to write a porno. I’m sorry but if the guy can’t write porn, I question if he can write anything else.


The Characters

Mark meets a plethora of different characters throughout the novel, and each one is crazier than the last. In my opinion, the personas were too outlandish to be believable, which took away from how much you could really connect with any of them. The entire novel culminates in one tediously long, drawn-out scene in which practically all of the characters from the book come together for a reading of Mark’s newest script, Phone Book: the Movie.

That’s right! The guy who couldn’t write porn wrote a movie script inspired by the phone book. This script reading is one of the most ridiculous scenes I’ve ever come across, and escalates to include an orgy and attempted murder, although nobody really seems to care that either is taking place. Unfortunately, what I assume was an attempt at hilarity left me feeling more confused than amused.


The Writing

Although it was unique to see how this struggling writer goes from attempting to write porn to adapting the phone book for a feature film, the writing did annoy me at times. Firstly, there were way too many anecdotes which added nothing to the storyline, including a multitude of flashbacks and possibly imagined scenarios. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with flashbacks, but they have to tie in somehow to the overall plot.


The second element which I barely noticed at first, but had me on the brink of chucking my Kindle across the room by the end, was the addition of rambling lists. For example, did you know that Mark has written dramas, comedies, dramedies, romantic comedies, sophomoric comedies, teen comedies, family comedies, action, adventure, action-adventure, thrillers, sci-fi, and westerns? He also talks about producers and directors and writers and actors and agents and managers and painters and carpenters and this guy really needs to learn the use of etc.

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Stand-alone

Should you read it? It was a little out there for my taste, and has convinced me to never move to LA if there’s even a smidgen of a chance I’ll meet people like this out there.

Smut Level: Believe it or not, the absolute funniest scene was when Mark visited a beautiful mansion which actually contained sets for multiple porn flicks. An amusing experience to say the least.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Laugh Riot Press. 390 Pages.

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

This piece of chick-lit is laugh out loud funny, and such a fun read. If you’re in the mood for something lighthearted, romantic, and empty of BDSM outrageousness, then this is definitely something you’ll enjoy. i've got your number

Poppy Wyatt is engaged to be married, but after losing her priceless engagement ring, as well as her precious cell phone, she quickly realizes that desperate times call for desperate measures. This includes “borrowing” a cell phone she just happens to find in the trash of a hotel lobby. After all, how will anybody be able to contact her if her ring does magically show up?

Well, it turns out the phone belonged to the personal assistant of tough-as-nails businessman Sam Roxton, and he wants his phone back. What follows is a hilarious back and forth between a stern man and a cheerful young woman; two opposites who become drawn together through text messages, e-mails, and even a few personal close encounters.

Because this novel belongs in the chick-lit genre, there isn’t a whole lot of smut. No hanky panky, and we are rewarded in the end with a passionate kiss rather than a roll in the sack. But this novel is so damn funny, you won’t really mind, and the chemistry between these two is spot on. Poppy is hilarious in trying to make Sam less of an ass, and takes it upon herself to respond to some of his work e-mails from the phone she happens upon. One of these includes sending a heartfelt poem to one of his employees whose pet recently passed away. I laughed so hard I almost had tears in my eyes! You might want to consider reading this one at home, unless you don’t mind looking like a laughing idiot in public. I leave it up to you.

Although Sam can’t stand Poppy at first, and Poppy is convinced that her fiancé is the perfect man, these two start to develop a chemistry, and start to question if the animosity they once felt for each other is becoming something more endearing. Towards the end of the novel I must admit that Poppy started to get on my nerves a bit, especially when she finds out that her fiancé has been a bit of a dick, but still decides to marry him anyway. And hello, you’ve got a hot businessman who will be sure to comfort you through your times of woe. However, the ending more than makes up for it, especially when Sam acts out in a moment of desperation to try and prevent Poppy from going through with her wedding. So freakin’ cute I just can’t stand it.

Series: Nope

Should you read it: Yes, as long as you’re not looking for a romance book full of the horizontal mambo.

Smut Level: Pretty much non-existent. You might want to have a steamier novel on hand for when you’re finished to release some sexual tension build-up.

Buy it on Amazon: Click Here.