Author: Sue Brown
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
From the Publisher:
Dan had been Jesse’s partner for many years, and always there for Jesse on his return from difficult assignments. However, after breaking his promise not to leave again, Jesse learns to his cost that Dan can be pushed too far. When he returns home, broken in body and spirit, Jesse finds his house empty and Dan in the arms of someone else.
To fill his life, Jesse decides to get a dog. His friends and neighbours take him to choose a puppy. What he doesn’t expect is for Norman to choose him. As Jesse takes on a new job, with Norman’s assistance, he realises that Dan isn’t far away, and he still loves him. Dan has moved on with his life. Can Jesse do the same?
Stormin Norman by Sue Brown is the fourth and last book in her charming and delightful Lyon Road Vets series.
What makes the Lyons Road Vets stories special is that in all the books the stars are the dogs, not the couples we meet. There was old and dignified Harry the Irish wolfhound in Hairy Harry’s Car Seat, whose final act brought Evan to Peter. Loveable Bob the beagle, in Bob The Destroyer of Leads, whose inability to obey Will lead him straight into the path of Laurence, then adorable Hazel, the chocolate Labrador puppy who melted everybody’s heart, in Hazel Takes Over. Now it’s time to meet Norman. Norman is the collie springer cross puppy who comes into Jesse’s life.
We first met Jesse and his long-time partner Dan in book three, Hazel Takes Over; they were neighbours and friends of Peter and Evan. The two men had been together for seven years but Jesse had a job that took him away for months at a time, leaving Dan alone, with no contact and no idea how long Jesse he would be away for. Jesse kept promising each job would be his last, and Dan kept hanging on waiting for Jessie to resign but Jessie never did. He kept promising not to take another job, then breaking that promise, and each time he went away he packed up as if they were parting ways. Jesse never appreciated how that affected Dan.
The prologue sets the story up nicely, giving us the background on Jesse and Dan’s relationship, it also shows us the kind of work Jesse does and the life he leads. Then we skip forward to the present. Jesse is back from his last job, this time he really has resigned but Dan isn’t waiting for him, he has moved on, settled down with a new boyfriend called Micky. Dan and Micky are still in the same neighbourhood though, and still friends with Evan and Peter, so it’s not long before Jesse and Dan are bumping into each other again. The two men had always planned to get a dog once they finally settled down properly, so that’s Jesse’s first job, which leads us straight to Norman, the lively collie springer cross that picks Jesse out at the sanctuary, seriously he does, the scene where Norman picks Jesse is priceless, one of the star scenes of the story.
Norman is just what Jesse needs to stop him sinking into despair, although he doesn’t stop him from moping around feeling generally sorry for himself. Dan admitting he doesn’t know what to do now Jesse is back, although he says he loves Micky, doesn’t help either. Dan and Micky are part of Evan and Peter’s circle of close friends, and Jesse is too, so they meet up quite a bit, all off which adds to Jesse’s confusion and generally apathy. Jesse loves Dan but took him for granted, always assuming he would wait for him, he just didn’t realise any of that until it was too late, until Dan left him.
Sue Brown in known for the angst in her stories, but apart from Hairy Harry the Lyons Road stories have been relatively angst free but not Stormin Norman, for a long time I couldn’t see a happy ending at all, but then that’s the beauty of Sue Brown she knows how to create a happy ending out of the angstiest of stories. I really liked Stormin Norman; it’s my favourite book of the series.
The Lyons Road Vets stories are sweet and gentle, funny and cut, just plain adorable. Perfect for making you laugh and smile, they are real pick me ups and as all four books are novellas they are the perfect size to fit into a busy schedule. You could read Stormin Norman as a standalone, if you wanted, but why do that, pick up all four books and read them in order, make friends with everyone, canine and human, as you meet them.
I know Sue has said this is the last book but what about Leo? Doesn’t he need a dog Sue?
I would like to thank Sue Brown for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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