Now that Stephanie Pink has broken off a bad engagement, a new career opportunity appears to be just the distraction she needs. Presented with the chance to achieve her dream of becoming a full-fledged literary agent, Stephanie seeks to retrieve a coveted, handwritten manuscript from reclusive author Agnes Wharton. Things go awry when Agnes’s dog, Sweetness, runs off during their meeting. The distraught author gives Stephanie an ultimatum: find her dog or Stephanie will never see the manuscript. While combing a nearby campground for Sweetness, Stephanie meets Rhett Hastings. Unbeknownst to her, he’s a former CEO and bazillionaire who walked away from the very world she’s trying to enter. Rhett agrees to help Stephanie search for the missing dog, and so begins a high jinks-filled adventure in a thirdhand RV. Will Stephanie ever obtain the elusive manuscript and launch her career? Or will she see that maybe, just maybe, Rhett’s choice for a simpler life is really what she needs?
Bubby: I can just see it – Sissy and me chasing down an author who has promised us exclusive rights to their new novel and everything getting sidetracked because of a misbehaving pooch. We have no masquerading billionaires in our lives though, more’s the pity. We keep waiting for that long-lost hermit uncle who wants to leave us his fortune to show up, but no luck!
Sissy: I like this book because the author comes at it from a different angle. Sideways, if you will. The two protagonists meet at a trailer park in the middle of nowhere and end up on a wild goose chase that turns out to be completely uninformed and unnecessary. And yet, that seemingly unnecessary journey leads them to love and happiness.
Bubby: I thought that the “reclusive author”, Agnes Wharton, was going to be a main character in Fetching Sweetness. But no. She shows up briefly at the beginning and again for a moment at the end and that’s it! And she’s not at all who I thought she was…but spoilers! There are so many little story threads going on and I loved them all. Rhett and his business dealings, Rhett and his sister, Stephanie and the author, and the dog, and her career, and the career she’d like to have, and several more. Amazingly, everything gets tied up in a nice knot with a bow on it at the end.
Sissy: I enjoyed how the author creates in the title dog “Sweetness” a character who is very real and loveable. I don’t usually even like dogs but I kind of fell in love with Sweetness. Both Rhett and Stephanie are running from ghosts or past problems and it takes this madcap cross-country caper for them to find out what it is they really want out of life.
Bubby: It just so happens that we adopted a dog recently – the first pet our family has ever had – and while I had some reservations about the idea, I already love the smelly slobbering beast. Sissy hasn’t met him yet, but I think she’ll love him too, just like I loved the story in Fetching Sweetness. Dana Mentink has written two other dog-centric inspirational novels – Sit, Stay, Love and the forthcoming Paws for Love. Two new books for my TBR list!
Sissy: This is an inspirational novel and while not overdone, it poses the question “Does God really speak to us and can we really tell what he wants us to do?” These questions are handled well in Fetching Sweetness. Also, Stephanie and Rhett’s relationship is allowed to grow naturally through a lot of communication, debate and interplay and that’s something that’s really nice and more true to life. Fetching Sweetness was absolutely delightful to me. I liked it so much that I might even be willing to go pet Bubby’s dog now. Maybe.