Chicklit Club



A Pug's Tale (2011)


In this sequel to Pug Hill, the story follows art conservator Hope McNeil and her boyfriend's pug Max as they "crash" a gala party where the rich and famous, along with their pugs, gather to honour an eminent New York philanthropist Daphne Markham. But Max soon gets himself into a sticky "doggie" situation, resulting in them being chased out of hall by the host Gil Turner. They head back to the Conservation Studio, only to receive another shock of the night -the valuable Henri Fantin Latour painting is missing, with the fake replica in their department. Her bosses, however, have no intent of reporting the matter to the police, fearing the bad press would cause Daphne to withdraw her donations, and instead hire a private investigator Chaz, who seems to be inept at solving the mystery himself. Just as Hope decides to take matters into her own hands, she receives an anonymous email offering clues to find the missing painting. Though I find that this book pales in comparison to Pace's other books, I still enjoyed it - and especially loved the way she deals with how Hope has changed since the first book in a subtle manner, as with the entrance of Max and Ben into her life, and the various passages narrating the delicate relationship between humans and pugs. (XT) 6/10


City Dog (2008)


I had high hopes for City Dog when I first began reading. The idea of an adorable West Highland White Terrier as a main character was unexpected and unique. However, I soon found myself bored with the plot and uninterested in the characters ... except for Carlie, the dog. Recently divorced, Amy has put aside her novel to focus on a series of children's books chronicling the adventures of her Westie, Carlie, and Carlie's faithful, albeit fictional, companion, Robert Maguire. With the success of the books, Carlie is tapped as the star of her own television show and Amy finds herself a reluctant stage mother. As things with the show begin to go awry, and her love life becomes just as confusing, Amy gets a sense that it might be time to return to both her literary, and familial, roots. I kept hoping by the end of the book that the characters would have redeemed themselves. However, I just felt Amy was a sad, depressed divorcee who was letting things happen to her instead of making the life she wanted. Her romance with Nick, whom she meets at the television studio, lacks any real chemistry and feels more like adolescents on a first date than thirty-somethings looking for a partner to enhance their lives. The most enjoyable parts of the book were the chapters "written" by Carlie. I loved having a dog's point of view on her human. (LEK) 5/10


Pug Hill (2006)


Pugs to Hope McNeil signify peacefulness, love, happiness - everything she desires the most in life. Due to many reasons, she can only enjoy the company of these dogs on Pug Hill. Her increased infatuation with co-worker Elliot, an erratic relationship with her squash-loving boyfriend, and a terrible fear of public speaking are the main problems in her life. When she gets a surprise call from her dad asking her to give a speech at their 40th wedding anniversary party, Hope is taken aback. Can she handle all the pressure? Will Pug Hill provide her with all the courage she needs to solve all her problems? (XT) 6/10


If Andy Warhol Had A Girlfriend (2005)


Holding an MA in Art History, Jane Laine works for the most influential artist of all time - Dick Reese - in his art gallery. However, her boss is as obnoxious as you can imagine. Jane thought that she could quit her job and "live happily ever after" when she marries her Mr Right - Jack Davis - right up until he ends their two-year relationship. Devastated about her love life, she commits the grave mistake of ordering the wrong size Reeses Peanut Butter Cups for an important art show. As a punishment, Jane is sent on a five-month international art fair tour with British artist Ian Rhys Fitzsimmons - whom she thinks is a big fraud. Will this trip be a total disaster? Or will it blossom into something better? (XT) 7/10


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