My Life as a Dog

00:00 January 31, 2012
By: Dionne Charlet

My Life as a dog

By Cynthia and Mike Arsuaga
Secret Cravings Publishing
180 pages
Review by Dionne Charlet

What makes a fantasy novel work? Is it how seamlessly the introduction of shape shifters can believably interact within an otherwise normal reality?

My Life as a Dog is the story of a Yorkshire terrier told in first person narrative through the eyes of his human counterpart Drake Martin. Shape-shifting his way through crime solving, the protagonist's fluffy alter ego finds his way into the arms of a little girl, Kady. A bond is made. Drake watches her grow through the faithful eyes of a loving pet.

After Kady is grown and leaves the family home, the Yorkie runs away to morph back into his crime-solving lifestyle. A chance reunion of the two some years later lends an intriguing twist where puppy love becomes something more.
I enjoyed this book. The small dog mannerisms are spot-on, due in part to the couple's keen observances of their own Yorkie, Thumper. There is an ease to the writing style. Characters are detailed, three-dimensional. Dialogue flows naturally. The plot is infused with wit and charm, and lagniappe. There is a beautiful description of the City of New Orleans on page 117.

When co-authors Cynthia and Mike Arsuaga (who just happen to be husband and wife) choose to interject erotica into the mix of storyline, it is written well for the erotically inclined, but the storyline remains pristine. The places that should be left to innocence are left to innocence.

The plot was ever changing and kept my interest. Deep emotional situations are tempered with playful indulgences both platonic and sensual, and separately so. This is no book for those shocked with anatomical slang, yet the very dichotomy of innocent love and sexuality makes for an entertaining read.

Fantasy works here. At one point, the pages began to turn themselves.

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