Can you fight like cats and dogs, and still be perfect for each other?
Things are getting ruff in this Brooklyn neighborhood when new veterinarian Caleb Fitch moves in next door to the Whitman Street Cat Cafe and gets on the wrong side of cafe owner Lauren Harlow. Lauren has a few things to teach the new vet on the block, and rescuing kittens is only the start…
Lauren can’t ignore the fact that she is instantly attracted to Caleb, but he gets her even more riled up when he argues with her about how best to treat the cats in her care. Determined to smooth things over, Caleb comes to the rescue when a new litter of abandoned kittens is left on Lauren’s doorstep, and they confront the fiery attraction that’s been building between them from the start. But saving the baby kittens is only the first challenge Lauren and Caleb have to face, and when a real estate developer comes sniffing around their block, they’ll have to work together, or risk losing everything…
“I was fire. Wind. A universe of exploding stars.”The Stolen Kingdom, Jillian Boehme
I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Like Cats and Dogs will be released on May 4th, 2021.
Like Cats and Dogs has the premise (and adorable cover) that I love to see in my romance novels – an opposites-attract and enemies-to-lovers situation that sounds really fun and quirky, and has a lot of pets involved. It tells the story of Caleb, a veterinarian that moved to practice in Brooklyn, New York, and meets the crazy cat lady/cat cafe manager next door of his clinic, Lauren. Both of them immediately knew of the attraction going on between them, but their heads will constantly butt against one another, hence causing an “enemies with benefits” relationship between them. The entire thing just really screamed a lot of potential, but sadly, it didn’t reach that hype for me.
Things I loved
1. The animals everywhere. I absolutely loved the bombarded nature of cats, dogs, and other pets in this book! They weren’t just backdrops in the story, but played a big role in it. It was also really touching and amazing to see the book exploring the wonders of animals, and helping to educate people in taking care of animals and being a responsible pet owner, since I could connect with it as I am an owner of 6 dogs and my sister being a licensed veterinarian. Every cat and dog that appeared just really melted my heart, and it was so adorable to see all their antics.
2. The image of a downtown street of Brooklyn is spectacular. It felt like the author herself wrote as much as she can about the area to make it lively and real as much as possible for her readers. It just made me want to live and stay there forever. Not to mention to hang out in the cat cafe and pet all the cats.
3. The friendships formed between all the characters was really something. It wasn’t as pronounced or delved deeply as I would have liked, but I really enjoyed the moments of camaraderie between all of them.
Things I didn’t love
1. The petty arguments that keep circling around between Lauren and Caleb. I just didn’t find it cute at all. I get that both of them have tons of baggage amongst themselves, but the things they argued about were really insignificant, and could have been sorted out immediately if they just properly talked. I also get the whole “cats and dogs fighting” thing they had going on, but it wasn’t just working for me.
2. The introduction of the “enemies with benefits” thing. The 18% of the book got my eyes wide with disbelief with how quickly (very quickly) they flung themselves to each other. I don’t mind quick steamy scenes, but the flow of the story towards it just didn’t have a great transition, and I distinctly remember rereading the past few pages to make sure I was in the right lane. It was just really too quick and sudden, and came totally out of nowhere.
3. The whole “megawatt corporation buys the entire block” thing was a bit underwhelming. I actually found myself looking forward to where this subplot would go, but I ended up disappointed with how dull it was at the end. It was a great additional conflict to the story, and all points were obviously going towards that direction, but how it happened was just meh. I could have wished for a bit more drama regarding it, rather than just it being an inconvenience to the story.
Nevertheless, I still pretty much enjoyed the book. It wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t bad either. I am looking forward to reading the author’s other works in future, just in case it will be a much better experience.
About The Author
Kate McMurray writes smart romantic fiction. She likes creating stories that are brainy, funny, and of course sexy, with regular guy characters and urban sensibilities. She advocates for romance stories by and for everyone. When she’s not writing, she edits textbooks, watches baseball, plays violin, crafts things out of yarn, and wears a lot of cute dresses. She’s active in Romance Writers of America, serving for two years on the board of Rainbow Romance Writers, the LGBT romance chapter, and three—including two as president—on the board of the New York City chapter. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with two cats and too many books.