I really enjoy stories that feature animals as main characters and these three did not disappoint. I enjoyed all of them, even though they were all very different. All of these books were provided by the publisher at one time. The rating and opinions shared are my own.

Mac on a Hot Tin Roof

Mac on a Hot Tin Roof (Mac #3) by Melinda Metz

Published November 26th 2019 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

3.5 Stars:

This is a fun series where Mac, a cat, acts as a matchmaker and neighbourhood watch. This is the third Mac book I have read and enjoyed them all. They can be read as standalone stories, but there are references to previous books that would act as spoilers if you wanted to go back and read the previous books. In this story, Mac has his paws full. He came across a litter of abandoned kittens and he takes them in. He is also trying to find homes for them within the neighbourhood. As this is happening, there are also robberies happening and Mac is being blamed based on his previous exploits. No Mac book is complete without him sniffing out lonely souls and bringing them together so there is another match made as well.

These books are told from Mac’s POV. They are fun and easy to read. With a bit of mystery, romance and community, this was an enjoyable read for me. This story has themes of community, friendship and pets. I am not a cat lover, but I do love stories about animals and this one fits the bill nicely. An enjoyable story to read on a summer day by the pool.

What a Dog Knows: A Novel

What a Dog Knows: A Novel by Susan Wilson

Published June 22nd 2021 by Macmillan Audio

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Ruby is a psychic, a fortune teller. She has spent most of her life working at street fairs, carnivals, and the odd Renaissance Faire. She has spent her life running away. She has run from the orphanage where she was left as a newborn, from those who exploited her, and away from the man who raped her. She ran from child welfare authorities when she was a teenage mother, worried someone would try and take her child from her. She seems to be losing her ability to read people, but when she meets a small dog she is suddenly able to read animals. Remaining in the small town of Harmony Farms far longer than any place before, she begins to make human connections and feel at home for the first time.

I really enjoyed this story about Ruby and her new canine companion “The Hitchhiker”. The story is told from both Ruby’s and the Hitchhiker’s POV which is actually fun and fresh. I really enjoyed hearing how the world looks to this little dog. Ruby is a great character who has had a difficult life. We learn about her past through flashbacks and it showed how strong she really was. She is a caring person, who developed friendships with unlikely people, which demonstrated her kindness and caring. I loved hearing about her animal “readings”. The animals in the story demonstrated normal behaviours that could easily be corrected once the cause was known. I liked how the animals were treated in this story and Ruby’s low key approach to the owners. There is a bit of a romance, but that is the secondary storyline as it pertains to Ruby’s changes in her life. This was an enjoyable story that I recommend to animal lovers and those who enjoy a good story about new beginnings. Christina Delaine does a great job with the narration of this audiobook. The voices she used for the pets were a hoot and the human voices differentiated the various characters. Her expression and tone were right on and I enjoyed this audio story very much.

Frankie and Amelia

Frankie and Amelia by Cammie McGovern

Expected publication: October 26th 2021 by HarperCollins

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Franklin, aka Frankie, is left behind when he runs off rather than get in the cat carrier. He is on his own for awhile until he meets a raccoon who teaches him how to live in the wild. When the raccoon is killed, he is alone again until he meets Chester, a service dog to a young boy named Gus. He stays with Chester’s family until they are able to find him a new home. He moves in with Amelia and her family. He becomes a comfort animal to Amelia, but the funny thing is, Amelia is able to hear his thoughts and she talks to him. It turns out that she is as much a comfort to Frankie as he is to her.

This is a relatively short story that packs a punch. Amelia is a young girl, who although not diagnosed, appears to be on the autism spectrum. She as a hard time getting along with people and has a lot of anxiety. She loves cats and her and Benjamin, the name she gives him, hit it off right away. This was a cute story from the perspective of a cat. This is a companion book to a book about Chester and Gus, which I will definitely be reading after this one. Gus and Amelia both need help interacting with the world and Chester and Frankie do their best to help them. This is a book with a great message about acceptance, inclusivity, caring and service/comfort animals. Being a grandma of a young boy with autism, this is my hope: that this book helps adults and children understand the experiences of those with autism and help them accept those who are neurodivergent. I definitely recommend this book to everyone.