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For Keeps (Love to the Rescue, #2)

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A summer fling... or something more? Merry Atwater would do just about anything to save her dog rescue—even if it means working with the most stubborn man on the planet. It's hard to avoid the sparks that fly with TJ Jameson, the ruggedly sexy cowboy in charge of the children's camp where she's just taken an animal therapy job. But commitment is not Merry's style, and T A summer fling... or something more? Merry Atwater would do just about anything to save her dog rescue—even if it means working with the most stubborn man on the planet. It's hard to avoid the sparks that fly with TJ Jameson, the ruggedly sexy cowboy in charge of the children's camp where she's just taken an animal therapy job. But commitment is not Merry's style, and TJ clearly wants more than just a roll in the hay. TJ Jameson isn't looking for anything complicated—just a peaceful life on his family's ranch with a wife and kids. "No-strings" Merry Atwater doesn't fit that bill, no matter how irresistible she is. But when he sees how Merry gets through to his autistic nephew and the other kids at Camp Blue Sky, TJ's a goner. If he doesn't give in to the now, he might just lose his shot at forever . . .


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A summer fling... or something more? Merry Atwater would do just about anything to save her dog rescue—even if it means working with the most stubborn man on the planet. It's hard to avoid the sparks that fly with TJ Jameson, the ruggedly sexy cowboy in charge of the children's camp where she's just taken an animal therapy job. But commitment is not Merry's style, and T A summer fling... or something more? Merry Atwater would do just about anything to save her dog rescue—even if it means working with the most stubborn man on the planet. It's hard to avoid the sparks that fly with TJ Jameson, the ruggedly sexy cowboy in charge of the children's camp where she's just taken an animal therapy job. But commitment is not Merry's style, and TJ clearly wants more than just a roll in the hay. TJ Jameson isn't looking for anything complicated—just a peaceful life on his family's ranch with a wife and kids. "No-strings" Merry Atwater doesn't fit that bill, no matter how irresistible she is. But when he sees how Merry gets through to his autistic nephew and the other kids at Camp Blue Sky, TJ's a goner. If he doesn't give in to the now, he might just lose his shot at forever . . .

30 review for For Keeps (Love to the Rescue, #2)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Karla

    2 Stars! A difficult book to connect with! There was very little character development and the story took forever to progress. TJ was an unlikable character with no redeeming qualities what-so-ever. Being a veterinarian, you would think he would have a better understanding about animal behavior and not be so judgmental. I understood his need to be cautious, but it never stopped! It got to the point where he was just ridiculous with his negative and unfounded comments. He was so hurtful toward 2 Stars! A difficult book to connect with! There was very little character development and the story took forever to progress. TJ was an unlikable character with no redeeming qualities what-so-ever. Being a veterinarian, you would think he would have a better understanding about animal behavior and not be so judgmental. I understood his need to be cautious, but it never stopped! It got to the point where he was just ridiculous with his negative and unfounded comments. He was so hurtful towards Merry on quite a few occasions, even had to find fault with what she wore, and I just didn't see how she could be attracted to him. TJ was one of the worst male protagonists I've ever read about, he was no hero, but a big fat zero! Merry should have run screaming from TJ, he wasn't worth the donation! She obviously didn't mind being verbally tormented, because the foolish girl kept going back for more. The plot had so much potential, but it fell flat on so many levels. It could have been a sweet, interesting story, but the repetitiveness, the stagnant plot line, lack of couple chemistry, and a male lead that I could not for the life of me warm up to, made this a dull, tiresome read. The author had a nice idea, but unfortunately I just couldn't find very much to like about this book, and I don't think I'll continue with the series. I did however enjoy the dogs, I was more concerned with their outcome and well being than with the humans! I guess that says it all.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Heather andrews

    TJ is a flirty, flirty, boy, "oh, I'm definitely human." And his fingers were definitely still on her skin, as every one of her nerve cells could easily attest." Merry that girl is a firecracker and she gets wild ideas, "he'd kept her up pretty late screwing her brains out, and she'd loved every minute. She'd give him a few more minutes to sleep and recharge, then she'd see how he felt about morning sex." TJ is a hands on type of man, "couldn't help but notice when I boosted you up on Twilight." TJ is a flirty, flirty, boy, "oh, I'm definitely human." And his fingers were definitely still on her skin, as every one of her nerve cells could easily attest." Merry that girl is a firecracker and she gets wild ideas, "he'd kept her up pretty late screwing her brains out, and she'd loved every minute. She'd give him a few more minutes to sleep and recharge, then she'd see how he felt about morning sex." TJ is a hands on type of man, "couldn't help but notice when I boosted you up on Twilight." He cupped her a**, pressing her closer. "You know my feelings about pink lace." I really loved this book and TJ.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tif

    I am loving Rahcel Lacey's series. Sweet romantic moments and then BOOM. Hot! I do love that with both the hero and heroine, the romance happens organically, and makes it feel that they are really going to last. For me, I want romance to feel like it will continue on until after I've closed the book. I also love that there are a slew of secondary characters who I know have lives other than in FOR KEEPS, and I see this community the two have built around them. Can't wait for EVER AFTER! Congratul I am loving Rahcel Lacey's series. Sweet romantic moments and then BOOM. Hot! I do love that with both the hero and heroine, the romance happens organically, and makes it feel that they are really going to last. For me, I want romance to feel like it will continue on until after I've closed the book. I also love that there are a slew of secondary characters who I know have lives other than in FOR KEEPS, and I see this community the two have built around them. Can't wait for EVER AFTER! Congratulations, Rachel!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alp

    3.25/5 This book was alright for me, but I felt there was a lack of chemistry between T.J. and Merry, which bothered me a bit. I would have already given it up if there hadn't been lovely kids and dogs in the story. Good thing I read until the end; it was worth every tear i shed when T.J. and Merry finally found Noah and Amber in the woods. Afterward, there was a lot of drama...

  5. 4 out of 5

    1-Click Addict Support Group

    As soon as I read the synopsis for this book and saw that it was about dogs and that the H/h would most likely drive each other crazy, I was all like, sign me up! I'm a total dog person and I love the whole love/hate/fighting type of relationship, so there was no question that this would be a slam dunk with me. For Keeps, for the most part, was such a great, sweet, fun book that had me laughing and smiling and loving it the whole way through! Well, ladies, if you love cowboys, I have no doubts As soon as I read the synopsis for this book and saw that it was about dogs and that the H/h would most likely drive each other crazy, I was all like, sign me up! I'm a total dog person and I love the whole love/hate/fighting type of relationship, so there was no question that this would be a slam dunk with me. For Keeps, for the most part, was such a great, sweet, fun book that had me laughing and smiling and loving it the whole way through! Well, ladies, if you love cowboys, I have no doubts that T.J. Jameson will steal your heart. He is such an amazing guy and he's so sweet, he's really just adorable. He's definitely someone you can count on, he's a gentleman...mostly, but by his own admission, he can be bad too. T.J. also has a stubborn jerkish side to him as well, but I liked it because then he and Merry would get into arguments that only fueled the heat between them and just made things hotter! Merry was just wonderful! She's strong, stubborn, determined, and she'll do whatever she can to help all of her dogs. She's had a hard past and so she kind of has hang-ups which make her resist a real relationship with T.J. at first, but I understood and it didn't annoy me. In fact, I really loved her character, especially how far she went for her dogs, and whenever she challenged T.J. because hello -- HOT! Plus any woman who names two of her foster dogs Chip and Salsa is someone I want to be around! The dogs, of course, were the best out of everybody! They were charming, sweet, fun, and silly. They will melt your heart and have you laughing and smiling at all their crazy antics. Although For Keeps is a mostly light-hearted read, it does have its share of heartbreaking moments too. They made my heart hurt for the characters and what they had to go through, but the sadness led to some beautiful moments that made every bit of pain worth it the end. This was just an awesome beautiful story, I loved it, and I'm so excited for the next book in the series! For Keeps is a standalone told from dual points of view and it does have a HEA for both humans and animals. ~ Paige, 4 stars

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachel- Goodbye Borders

    3.5* rounded down (*see below) I liked this more than the first book Unleashed. Merry is the founder of TBR (Triangle Boxer Rescue) and because she got used to a large monthly donation, didn't learn how to fund raise. So now, she's in a tight pinch. She meets T.J. by chance at the vet. She gets the opportunity to work with children at a day camp in exchange for a sizable donation to her rescue. Of course, the person in charge of the camp is that hot guy she briefly meet at the vet office. M 3.5* rounded down (*see below) I liked this more than the first book Unleashed. Merry is the founder of TBR (Triangle Boxer Rescue) and because she got used to a large monthly donation, didn't learn how to fund raise. So now, she's in a tight pinch. She meets T.J. by chance at the vet. She gets the opportunity to work with children at a day camp in exchange for a sizable donation to her rescue. Of course, the person in charge of the camp is that hot guy she briefly meet at the vet office. Merry has baggage and the clues lead the reader to easily guess what her tragedy was. She had kept it quiet, not telling her best friend, or anybody. T.J. was a large animal vet who had a BAD experience with a group of dogs that lead to a weariness and discomfort around them. This was a nice romance about two people sharing their tragedies, growing from that, healing, and of course falling in love. I liked the dynamic of the disabled children and teaching obedience to rescue dogs. It felt genuine to me; like the author did her research/or has experience in dog training. My only complaint and why this wasn't a 4 star: (view spoiler)[I loved that Merry decided to foster Jayden and I loved how involved T.J. was. My issue was this, "He'd be a kick-ass dad someday." YOU ARE FOSTER PARENTS TO A BABY, YOU ARE HIS PARENTS. And yes, his biological mother is working to get him back. But not calling him a dad right now, was wrong. He IS ONE. Yes, they are his foster parents, but the job still comes with the same responsibilities as any biological children. I would also argue that they are the human parents to the numerous dogs, horses that they are the guardians for. (this last comment coming from someone who doesn't have kids, but considers her 3 cats her kids). (hide spoiler)]

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mona

    I could not put this book down. The second book in A Love to the Rescue Novel. I just love books like this. Dogs and rescue. Nothing better. Merry Atwater runs a boxer rescue. For awhile a donation is made anonymous, but then stops. Now she needs to raise money for her rescue and keep things going. She has a chance to raise some money when a Tracey Jameson needs a therapy dog for his camp. He runs for children with disabilities. The thing which surprises her the most is when she meets Tracey, an I could not put this book down. The second book in A Love to the Rescue Novel. I just love books like this. Dogs and rescue. Nothing better. Merry Atwater runs a boxer rescue. For awhile a donation is made anonymous, but then stops. Now she needs to raise money for her rescue and keep things going. She has a chance to raise some money when a Tracey Jameson needs a therapy dog for his camp. He runs for children with disabilities. The thing which surprises her the most is when she meets Tracey, and finds out its a man not a women who emailed her. He goes by T.J. . T.J isn't sure about about Merry at first. He doesn't want any shelter dogs at his camp. He has his reasons. But soon finds out they are not so bad. They children are having fun. That was his main goal. His other was for his nephew with autism to come out of his shell. It might take time. Take a journey and it will amaze and brighten your day. At times crying will be involved. It was a book which will grab at your heart, and not !et go.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ramblinbrown

    My first time reading this author and I really enjoyed the story. For readers who like Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis, and Susan Mallery I will recommend this series as well. Can't wait to read about Olivia and hope that I still get to see some of the domesticated cowboy TJ too!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review This is the first book I've read by the author. I absolutely LOVED it! Country, cowboy, horses & dogs... my kind of story.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marran

    Pretty good book... Nice characters even though it does have the obligatory stupid and stubborn woman in it *sigh*

  11. 4 out of 5

    Asheley

    Read my full review HERE at Into the Hall of Books. For Keeps is the second book in the Love to the Rescue Series by Rachel Lacey. I read this one on the heels of Unleashed, which is the first book in the series. (Here's my review.) I have to admit that while I'm not the type of person that normally goes crazy over pets, I'm head-over-heels over this series and I love the way dogs and other animals play into these stori/>For Read my full review HERE at Into the Hall of Books. For Keeps is the second book in the Love to the Rescue Series by Rachel Lacey. I read this one on the heels of Unleashed, which is the first book in the series. (Here's my review.) I have to admit that while I'm not the type of person that normally goes crazy over pets, I'm head-over-heels over this series and I love the way dogs and other animals play into these stories. Merry Atwater is a full-time nurse who also founded the Triangle Boxer Rescue right after finishing nursing school a few years ago. She loves dogs - rescuing them, fostering them, helping them find adoptive families. This makes her so happy! It's hard work, but good work, but lately the Rescue has taken a huge financial hit. A very supportive anonymous donor has recently stopped sending their generous donations, and this has been a big blow to the Rescue's accounts. As a result, Merry has been using her own personal accounts to pay for everything, and running an organization like this is extremely expensive - she has to stop. Merry is stressed! This Rescue means life and death for these dogs! Also, how could she have let herself depend so heavily on an anonymous donation like that? She should have been more forward-thinking! Merry needs a plan and now. Suddenly a solution falls into Merry's lap, albeit a temporary one: local veterinarian T.J. Jameson runs a summer camp for special needs children with horses. Equine therapy, so cool! This year, he wants to add specially-trained dogs to the camp and he's reached out to Merry. In exchange for a nice donation to her Rescue, he has asked Merry to donate her time and a few dogs to the camp. This is a large commitment but it can help Merry pay some of the Rescue's expenses for at least a little while...except when she meets T.J., his ideas for what he wants are not the same things that Merry is willing to provide -- and neither seem to want to compromise. Well, neither are initially willing to compromise. It doesn't take very long for THAT to change... ***************************************************** For Keeps by Rachel Lacey is SUCH a cute story! Merry and T.J. have a chemistry that is so present and obvious, and one of the things I loved about these two was that they acknowledged it right away instead of refusing to admit it, dancing around it like some couples do sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a slow burn, but I like when people admit there is an attraction too. HOWEVER, even though the attraction is obvious, Merry and T.J. take a while to agree on exactly what they want in terms of a romantic relationship. Is a future even possible for them? Here are some THINGS about For Keeps that I love: 1. T.J. Jameson is a veterinarian, and Merry thinks that's charming. She loves his farm/ranch but when she finds out that he rescues horse - like she does with dogs - it elevates her feelings for him by WELL, A WHOLE LOT. Because, see, here this means that what they have in common, a love for animals, is deeper than Merry realized. Maybe Merry judged T.J. a little bit prematurely when she made assumptions about his cowboy-ness, his big truck, his extreme hesitance to foster one of her dogs... 2. T.J. is also uncle to an autistic boy, Noah. He's a FANTASTIC uncle. Noah is the primary reason T.J. hosts his summer camp. Merry loves watching his interaction with Noah, and T.J. loves watching Merry interact with his nephew. Heck, T.J. may even be a little bit jealous of how well Noah responds to Merry BUT he tries to remember that she is a pediatric nurse so she does have some experience in working with kids. If only this camp could be successful at helping Noah to interact more, become more verbal, and be more social! Merry's dogs seem to be just about the only thing Noah responds to... 3. Merry has a THING from her past that comes up while the two are developing their relationship - I've seen and read before where this THING sends a man running away fast, fast, fast. BUT! Here, it doesn't even make T.J. flinch and I kind of loved that about him. Merry does too. 4. Merry's nursing job, her work with the Rescue, and her work with the summer camp are all connected - this shows the type of person Merry is even though she is determined that she doesn't want to get married and have a family (while T.J. does - here's our romantic tension!). T.J. watches her, and puts bits and pieces of her life together over the course of the month-long camp, and he falls for her as he sees who she really is through all of these pieces of her life. 5. Both Merry and T.J. have fears and vulnerabilities. Both of their fears and vulnerabilities come out in the story, and both are dealt with. I love how both can depend on the other one to help with these challenges, and there is no judgment given. This is really special. You know how many romance have that 'falling-out thing' that happens about about three-quarters into the story, the thing that causes the big issue that must be resolved before the happy ending? Well, there is a little bit of that, but it didn't feel like such a big thing because Merry and T.J. were so good for each other from the beginning. There is some dramatic tension, but it is quickly resolved, and the happy ending does come. There is plenty of depth to this story, and this was a nice change for me. Two books into the Love to the Rescue Series, and I'm all in! I love the way the series is set up, I love the characters, I love the North Carolina setting. I hope Merry's friend Olivia, who plays a nice role in the summer camp as an assistant to Merry, will have her own book because she seems to have some shenanigans of her own going on and I'd love to find out more about her! I recommend this series to fans of small town romances with happy endings, fans of companion stories, and fans of stories that feature animals because the dogs play a nice, big role in the romances in these books.

  12. 5 out of 5

    BrownSugar

    This series is so good! While all the female characters are connected by a rescue each also has a complex backstory. Here the founder falls for a cowboy. I love character driven stories and this is top notch.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mollie

    3.5 Stars

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    LOVED IT❤❤ Great story with so many issues and very well written. Love animal rescue stories and look forward to Olivia’s story. LOVED IT❤️❤️ Great story with so many issues and very well written. Love animal rescue stories and look forward to Olivia’s story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Genesis Britigan

    Fun series! Dog rescue & romance... what more do you need?

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lea Coll

    I cannot resist a grumpy hero and this one was a cowboy too! Loved TJ! All of the men in this series are awesome. Can't get enough!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mary Brown

    For Keeps by Rachel Lacey is the second book in the Love To The Rescue series and it is a really good read. This book has it all: romance, family loyalty, second chances, animal rescue and forgiveness all blended together into a great read. Merry Atwater runs an animal rescue shelter for boxers, She will do whatever it takes to find these dogs their forever homes. She is also a nurse who works in pediatrics, and has seen some very heartbreaking things. And Merry has a heartbreaking ev For Keeps by Rachel Lacey is the second book in the Love To The Rescue series and it is a really good read. This book has it all: romance, family loyalty, second chances, animal rescue and forgiveness all blended together into a great read. Merry Atwater runs an animal rescue shelter for boxers, She will do whatever it takes to find these dogs their forever homes. She is also a nurse who works in pediatrics, and has seen some very heartbreaking things. And Merry has a heartbreaking event in her own past, the loss of a child. That is probably why she is such a good nurse and animal advocate. She could not save her own child so she is making up for that by saving others. The rescue that she owns is in financial trouble. She does not have enough money to pay the bills from month to month. She has to find a way to raise more money for the shelter and she will do whatever it takes to keep the rescue afloat. So when she receives an offer to do dog therapy for a summer camp held at a nearby ranch, she accepts the job, even though she does not get along with the ranch owner. TJ Jameson is conducting a camp for disabled children at his ranch. His main reason for doing this is his autistic nephew, Noah. He is hoping that a month of horse therapy and dog therapy will help his nephew become more confident and verbal. He only wants purebred dogs to be involved because he has a fear of mutts. He was attacked by stray dogs when he was younger and he does not trust dogs that no one knows the history of. After much arguing and disagreeing, TJ and Merry come to an agreement about her working at the camp with her foster dogs. Somehow she even talks TJ into fostering a dog for the month. After TJ sees how well his nephew has bonded with Amber, he has to agree to foster the dog. TJ and Merry do not really get along at all. TJ thinks that Merry is too girly-girly and will not be able to pull her own weight at the camp. Merry things that there must be something wrong with TJ because he is not a dog-lover. Also TJ is looking for someone that he can settle down with and raise a family with. Merry does not plan to ever settle down and get married, she just wants to enjoy the moment. But as they get to know each other better, these opinions begin to change and they see each other in a different light. And neither can deny the sexual chemistry that surrounds them. But it will not be an easy road to build anything permanent between them, and in fact it may be impossible. The characters are well developed, well rounded and three dimensional. They seem very realistic and have many human traits that we can all identify with. The pediatric patients that Merry takes care of and Noah and the children at the camp are portrayed as very real and are very easy to fall in love with. And the dogs and horse just added another level of adorableness to this book. The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read. The author is very talented and is able to bring the setting and characters to life with just her written words and descriptions. The romance between Merry and TJ became hot and steamy but the best part of the book, in my opinion, is the interaction between all the characters and the the animals. It is a heartwarming story that at times had me laughing and at other times had tears in my eyes. I think that is not an easy thing to do but Rachel Lacey did that masterfully. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a romance book that has so much more. I do not think that a young adult should read this book because of the steaminess. This is the second book that I have read by this author and I thought they were both fantastic (the first book I read was the first book in the series, Unleashed). So do yourself a favor and pick up both books in the series and enjoy. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank NetGalley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Book Reading Gals

    Thoughts: I love books that contain children and animals and this book was really promising since it contained both. I have not heard about Rachel Lacey but I'm glad I found her. This was a great book. Merry Atwater (weird name) is in trouble. She's bankrupt, well her dog rescue is bankrupt and she, nearly so. In need of a miracle, but what she got instead is another dog to take care of. TJ Jameson needs a dog handler for his Children's Camp. TJ hates dogs but knows that ha Thoughts: I love books that contain children and animals and this book was really promising since it contained both. I have not heard about Rachel Lacey but I'm glad I found her. This was a great book. Merry Atwater (weird name) is in trouble. She's bankrupt, well her dog rescue is bankrupt and she, nearly so. In need of a miracle, but what she got instead is another dog to take care of. TJ Jameson needs a dog handler for his Children's Camp. TJ hates dogs but knows that having a dog at the camp would be a way to get through to his artistic nephew. He needs a tame, well trained dog for this job and Merry is just the person he needs, except for one thing, she wants him to foster one of her dogs. Merry knew this job was a God send and did not want to screw it up. It's just that when she saw the ranch and all the big open spaces, she knew that TJ's ranch would be a perfect place for her dogs to stay until she can find a fixed home for them. The way that TJ turned up his nose at her dogs, Merry could not hold in her disgust with him, and refuses the job. Only having to come back, with her tail between her legs, desperate. To further complicate things, the spark between Merry and TJ is burning hot, except they both want different things, or do they? Read this exciting story of a woman who loves dogs and the man who loathes them. Rachel Lacey was a fun discovery of a read. The puppy on the cover made me pause on this book and seeing +Jill Shalvis recommend this book, I just knew that I had to check this book out. When I read the description on this book, I immediately requested this book and was ecstatic when I got accepted. It was a late night when I started reading this book and I stayed up and read the entire thing in a few hours. Judgement is still out, I won't know until I read another book by Miss Rachel Lacey before I can say she is an author to look out for. What I can say, is that I am eager to read more of her work. The plot of this book was perfect, I love children and TJ is a sweetheart for coming up with the idea of a Children's Camp for children with special needs. He mainly did it for his nephew but he got great joy out of helping the other children as well. I liked TJ even though he does not like dogs, I'll leave it up to you to find out why. Merry had a mystery with her for the majority of the book. Something was heavy on her shoulder's. Bits and pieces was given as to what her burden is, but I did not get the whole truth until almost to the end. The downside of TJ was that he judged people, and animals, by the way they look. He judged Merry when he first saw her and even when he was getting to know her better, he still stuck with his first assumption of her. He has the type of character that thinks that their way is the only way. It made him almost lose his nephew and the woman he was growing to love, but he learned, too late, but he still learned. Thoughts: She's new to the game and I already love her. Grade: A Review by: Nathifa http://www.thebookreadinggals.com

  19. 4 out of 5

    Swanangel15's Book Review

    I love books that contain children and animals and this book was really promising since it contained both. I have not heard about +Rachel Lacey but I'm glad I found her. This was a great book. Merry Atwater (weird name) is in trouble. She's bankrupt, well her dog rescue is bankrupt and she, nearly so. In need of a miracle, but what she got instead is another dog to take care of. TJ Jameson needs a dog handler for his Children's Camp. TJ hates dogs but knows that having a do I love books that contain children and animals and this book was really promising since it contained both. I have not heard about +Rachel Lacey but I'm glad I found her. This was a great book. Merry Atwater (weird name) is in trouble. She's bankrupt, well her dog rescue is bankrupt and she, nearly so. In need of a miracle, but what she got instead is another dog to take care of. TJ Jameson needs a dog handler for his Children's Camp. TJ hates dogs but knows that having a dog at the camp would be a way to get through to his artistic nephew. He needs a tame, well trained dog for this job and Merry is just the person he needs, except for one thing, she wants him to foster one of her dogs. Merry knew this job was a God send and did not want to screw it up. It's just that when she saw the ranch and all the big open spaces, she knew that TJ's ranch would be a perfect place for her dogs to stay until she can find a fixed home for them. The way that TJ turned up his nose at her dogs, Merry could not hold in her disgust with him, and refuses the job. Only having to come back, with her tail between her legs, desperate. To further complicate things, the spark between Merry and TJ is burning hot, except they both want different things, or do they? Read this exciting story of a woman who loves dogs and the man who loathes them. +Rachel Lacey was a fun discovery of a read. The puppy on the cover made me pause on this book and seeing +Jill Shalvis recommend this book, I just knew that I had to check this book out. When I read the description on this book, I immediately requested this book and was ecstatic when I got accepted. It was a late night when I started reading this book and I stayed up and read the entire thing in a few hours. Judgement is still out, I won't know until I read another book by Miss Rachel Lacey before I can say she is an author to look out for. What I can say, is that I am eager to read more of her work. The plot of this book was perfect, I love children and TJ is a sweetheart for coming up with the idea of a Children's Camp for children with special needs. He mainly did it for his nephew but he got great joy out of helping the other children as well. I liked TJ even though he does not like dogs, I'll leave it up to you to find out why. Merry had a mystery with her for the majority of the book. Something was heavy on her shoulder's. Bits and pieces was given as to what her burden is, but I did not get the whole truth until almost to the end. The downside of TJ was that he judged people, and animals, by the way they look. He judged Merry when he first saw her and even when he was getting to know her better, he still stuck with his first assumption of her. He has the type of character that thinks that their way is the only way. It made him almost lose his nephew and the woman he was growing to love, but he learned, too late, but he still learned. HAPPY READING!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly (Kimmy Loves to Read)

    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I enjoyed everything about it. It's a sweet story with great characters. And who wouldn't want a guy like TJ? He's a quiet, handsome COWBOY who has started a camp for kids with disabilities. Yes, he wants to do his part in helping these kids, but mostly he just wants to connect with his autistic nephew. Can you say swoon worthy? And I want to be BFFs with Merry...eve I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I enjoyed everything about it. It's a sweet story with great characters. And who wouldn't want a guy like TJ? He's a quiet, handsome COWBOY who has started a camp for kids with disabilities. Yes, he wants to do his part in helping these kids, but mostly he just wants to connect with his autistic nephew. Can you say swoon worthy? And I want to be BFFs with Merry...everyone can use a friend like her. She has a heart of gold and despite her dog rescue being on the brink of bankruptcy and working as a full time pediatric nurse, she refuses to give up. She gets the chance to work at TJ's summer camp and she takes it. Sure she needs the money and it's a great opportunity, but I can't really blame her. I mean look at what she gets to work with! "She’d never been a big fan of cowboys, but this guy was seriously sexy. His dark hair was mostly hidden by the hat, which shadowed his face, hiding the exact shade of the brown eyes currently locked on hers. He wore a crisp, blue T-shirt tucked into his jeans, filled to perfection by strong, muscled man. He looked like he belonged on the cover of a magazine for western wear. Good gracious, he was gorgeous. And clearly not Tracy Jameson." "Merry sucked in a breath. So Tracy Jameson was a guy. And not just any guy, but a strappingly handsome cowboy oozing testosterone from every pore. Summer camp had just gotten much hotter, in a completely new way." Merry & TJ are definitely attracted to each other. They share a kiss, but TJ makes it very clear that he is looking for a wife, not a one night stand, which is what Merry wants. So they basically spend the first half of the book circling each other before they FINALLY give in to their desires. Thanks god. And the payoff is HOT. Despite the fact that they want different things, Merry and TJ continue seeing each other. They fall into a comfortable relationship, both at the camp and personally. Merry forms a wonderful bond with TJ's nephew, which unfortunately causes some trouble between her and TJ. She is also holding on to a secret that is causing her to hold back on her true feelings. When things come to light both Merry and TJ will have to learn to move on and accept the feelings they have for each other. This is the second book in the series and I have not read the first one, but I will be going back to read it. Merry's best friend Cara is the heroine in that and we get a little bit of Cara in this book. I instantly liked her so I can't wait to go back and read her story.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Paige Helling

    As soon as I read the synopsis for this book and saw that it was about dogs and that the H/h would most likely drive each other crazy, I was all like, sign me up! I'm a total dog person and I love the whole love/hate/fighting type of relationship, so there was no question that this would be a slam dunk with me. For Keeps, for the most part, was such a great, sweet, fun book that had me laughing and smiling and loving it the whole way through! Well, ladies, if you love cowboys, I have no doubts thame. For As soon as I read the synopsis for this book and saw that it was about dogs and that the H/h would most likely drive each other crazy, I was all like, sign me up! I'm a total dog person and I love the whole love/hate/fighting type of relationship, so there was no question that this would be a slam dunk with me. For Keeps, for the most part, was such a great, sweet, fun book that had me laughing and smiling and loving it the whole way through! Well, ladies, if you love cowboys, I have no doubts that T.J. Jameson will steal your heart. He is such an amazing guy and he's so sweet, he's really just adorable. He's definitely someone you can count on, he's a gentleman...mostly, but by his own admission, he can be bad too. T.J. also has a stubborn jerkish side to him as well, but I liked it because then he and Merry would get into arguments that only fueled the heat between them and just made things hotter!  Merry was just wonderful! She's strong, stubborn, determined, and she'll do whatever she can to help all of her dogs. She's had a hard past and so she kind of has hang-ups which make her resist a real relationship with T.J. at first, but I understood and it didn't annoy me. In fact, I really loved her character, especially how far she went for her dogs, and whenever she challenged T.J. because hello -- HOT! Plus any woman who names two of her foster dogs Chip and Salsa is someone I want to be around!  The dogs, of course, were the best out of everybody! They were charming, sweet, fun, and silly. They will melt your heart and have you laughing and smiling at all their crazy antics.  Although For Keeps is a mostly light-hearted read, it does have its share of heartbreaking moments too. They made my heart hurt for the characters and what they had to go through, but the sadness led to some beautiful moments that made every bit of pain worth it the end. This was just an awesome beautiful story, I loved it, and I'm so excited for the next book in the series!  For Keeps is a standalone told from dual points of view and it does have a HEA for both humans and animals. ******** Reviewed on behalf of Give Me Books Blog ********

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alima Livzletlivz

    Rachel Lacey’s second book, “For Keeps” in her Love To Rescue Series keeps you captivated, charmed and amused. Merry Joy Atwater is one firecracker of a woman who would do anything for the love of animals. Working as a full time nurse, and trying to keep her Triangular Boxer Rescue afloat is no easy task, especially when that bank balance is nada. But Merry is tenacious and is ready to take on the job of a dog trainer at Camp Blue Sky, for the summer, even though the sexy cowboy vet T Rachel Lacey’s second book, “For Keeps” in her Love To Rescue Series keeps you captivated, charmed and amused. Merry Joy Atwater is one firecracker of a woman who would do anything for the love of animals. Working as a full time nurse, and trying to keep her Triangular Boxer Rescue afloat is no easy task, especially when that bank balance is nada. But Merry is tenacious and is ready to take on the job of a dog trainer at Camp Blue Sky, for the summer, even though the sexy cowboy vet T.J. Jameson is running it. All T.J Jameson wants is for his autistic nephew and other kids with special needs to get some animal therapy. What he doesn’t anticipate is a spitfire of a woman named Merry to come bouncing into his life with her dogs and making an impact on his life. All he wanted was his nephew to be happy and he ends with fostering a dog that he never even wanted in the first place, considering his frightening experience with dogs. Merry is not into long-term relationships, and T.J is looking for a nice and quiet woman to be his wife. T.J wants an organized life and Merry is just merry and rambunctious. Working on the camp, T.J realizes that Merry is more than what she seems to be. Behind all her hard work and love for children and animals is a lifelong of pain and loss that she burdens her heart. And Merry falls in love with the gentle and loving TJ, as she works with him everyday. “For Keeps” doesn’t disappoint at all, as it takes Merry and T.J on a roller coaster ride of unpredictable love and pain. Rachel Lacey does another fine job of characterizing Merry and TJ, with layers to their relationship. A simple love story with enough love, laughter, tears and happiness to make it an enchanting read. And it’s wonderful to visit with Cara, and Olivia sure made her mark. “For Keeps” is definitely for keeps!!!! Received an ARC from Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via NetGalley for an honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Romancing the Book

    Reviewed by Angela Book provided by NetGalley for review Originally posted at Romancing the Book We meet Merry at the start of the story dealing with financial problems. The Triangle Boxer Rescue that she started years ago to help her favorite bread is in jeopardy of closing because of the lack of funds that they have. This story is told from Merry’s point of view and really delves into some serious issues that people deal with in everyday life. By a chance encou Reviewed by Angela Book provided by NetGalley for review Originally posted at Romancing the Book We meet Merry at the start of the story dealing with financial problems. The Triangle Boxer Rescue that she started years ago to help her favorite bread is in jeopardy of closing because of the lack of funds that they have. This story is told from Merry’s point of view and really delves into some serious issues that people deal with in everyday life. By a chance encounter at the local veterinarians office Merry runs into TJ while his is so gallantly try to save her from a dog attack. You can tell there is chemistry there between them but we don’t get to really see it develop until a third of the way through the book. We do see a couple of glimpses of the story through TJ’s eyes but the majority of the story is told by Merry. How do you live in a closed off world afraid to open up because you can’t stand the thought of loss? The thought that your just not good enough for better is just something that you can’t get past. In For Keeps Merry deals with the hardships that come along with being young and experiencing loss that no person should have to go through but is a fact of life. TJ is the perfect fit for Merry to help her our of her shell and open up, but is she willing to change who she is in order to let him in? Can she let go of the past and move forward with the cowboy that she is desperately trying not to fall for? And is TJ able to put his stubbornness aside and open his eyes to the possibility that Merry is just what he has been looking for and he didn’t even know it. I was compelled by the love of animals to read this book and was so NOT disappointed. The relationship between Merry and animals is amazing, then add to that the ability to help others overcome their fears and I was drawn right into the book. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

  24. 4 out of 5

    The Brunette Bookworm

    For Keeps was my first read by Rachel Lacey and I was very impressed! It was really good! The storyline was interesting and pulled me in right away. The writing flowed smoothly and the pacing was perfect. I loved the slow buildup to the romance. It made their love very believable and therefore highly enjoyable for me. The chemistry between Merry and TJ was fantastic! You could feel the steam rising off of the pages whenever they were together. The main characters were interesting and For Keeps was my first read by Rachel Lacey and I was very impressed! It was really good! The storyline was interesting and pulled me in right away. The writing flowed smoothly and the pacing was perfect. I loved the slow buildup to the romance. It made their love very believable and therefore highly enjoyable for me. The chemistry between Merry and TJ was fantastic! You could feel the steam rising off of the pages whenever they were together. The main characters were interesting and likable, especially Merry. It’s not often I like the heroine more than the hero in romance, but in this case I totally did! Merry was caring, loving and selfless. She was fantastic with both kids and animals. She had a huge heart and was always helping out others. I loved how much Merry loved those dogs of hers. Being an animal lover myself, she totally won me over for that alone :). TJ was a good guy overall, but at times he pissed me off. At first he came off a bit judgmental and condescending and I absolutely did not care for his attitude towards shelter dogs. I understood it came from a traumatic experience in his past, but being an animal lover myself I just wanted to shake some sense into him. However, even he was won over eventually by the sweet, unconditional love of Merry’s shelter dogs. I loved reading about TJ’s horses and Merry’s dogs. The animals played just as important a role in this story as did the secondary human characters. Also, reading about the summer camp at TJ's ranch and the kids that attended was heartwarming. If you like books that prominently feature sweet animals and adorable kids, then you will really enjoy this one. Ms. Lacey has a new fan in me. I will definitely be adding the first book in this series, Unleashed, to my TBR pile. *ARC provided by publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review* Originally posted on www.thebrunettebookworm.com

  25. 4 out of 5

    Katie(babs)

    If you love a story with a heroine who saves dogs, For Keeps by Rachel Lacey is for you (A cover that has a dog or cat on it, is an automatic read for me). Merry is a very special heroine indeed. She’s a nurse who also runs a volunteer dog shelter. She fosters dogs so they can be adopted. She spends all her time, resources and money to make sure rejected dogs are adopted. When her rich, anonymous donor stops sending money, Merry is backed into a corner. Without the funds she needs, her dog shelt If you love a story with a heroine who saves dogs, For Keeps by Rachel Lacey is for you (A cover that has a dog or cat on it, is an automatic read for me). Merry is a very special heroine indeed. She’s a nurse who also runs a volunteer dog shelter. She fosters dogs so they can be adopted. She spends all her time, resources and money to make sure rejected dogs are adopted. When her rich, anonymous donor stops sending money, Merry is backed into a corner. Without the funds she needs, her dog shelter might go belly up. TJ runs an farm and horse stable. He also has a summer camp for kids with disabilities, mainly because of his autistic nephew. TJ has a fear of dogs in general because he was attacked by some when he was younger. When he meets Merry, he’s interested in her, and finds what she does admirable, but refuses to allow any dogs on his property. But when he sees how much his nephew brightens up and communicates well with one of Merry’s dogs, he invites her to work a few months at his camp, allowing the kids to help train the dogs Merry’s is fostering. Merry doesn’t understand what TJ’s deal is with disliking dogs, but she needs the money he’s offering her to work at his camp. She accepts, and begins to see a different side to TJ. He wants to date Merry, but she feels they don’t have enough in common to have a stable relationship, even though they are very attracted to one another. For Keeps is a very solid romance, although TJ isn’t as likeable as Merry. At times he was too rude and condescending to Merry, who has a heart of gold, but doesn’t enter Mary Sue territory. I expected her to walk away from him, even after the great sex they have. But by the end I did believe they worked through their difference for their HEA. You can’t go wrong with a romance featuring cute dogs and a heroine who loves them.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ami

    For Keeps was definitely better for me compared to the the first book. Merry and T.J. spent quite a lot of time together (compared to Cara and Matt) while she was helping him with the summer camp -- thus I could easily see the progress of them falling for each other. There was no 'deadline' on their relationship. The issues that both Merry and T.J. had to deal with were more of their inner conflicts. Merry had a heartbreaking background story -- (view spoiler) For Keeps was definitely better for me compared to the the first book. Merry and T.J. spent quite a lot of time together (compared to Cara and Matt) while she was helping him with the summer camp -- thus I could easily see the progress of them falling for each other. There was no 'deadline' on their relationship. The issues that both Merry and T.J. had to deal with were more of their inner conflicts. Merry had a heartbreaking background story -- (view spoiler)[she lost her baby when he was only two-months-old because of SIDS, and she was worried that she couldn't be a good mother because of it (hide spoiler)] -- while T.J. needed to stop thinking about his 'ideal' type of woman that could be with him to taking care of the ranch. I loved both Merry and T.J. as characters. Both were really good with animals and children -- well, Merry was slightly better since she was also a pediatric nurse, so she knew how to speak and connect to T.J.'s autistic nephew. However, T.J. was also a wonderful uncle, and he only wanted the best for Noah, that I just couldn't stop myself from swooning every time. As in with book #1, the animals scenes here were top-notch!! Not only shelter/rescue dogs this time, but it also have horses!! Not to mention the whole camp scenes, where the kids were learning how to work with the dogs. I loved ALL the dogs, Ralph, Amber, Chip, and Salsa -- with their different attitudes... This was a compelling read for me indeed. There will be one book left in the series -- and it's about the animal activist Olivia. Couldn't wait to see how the trouble she will be in and how she deals with law enforcement ^^

  27. 5 out of 5

    Under the Covers Book Blog

    Combining my love for animals and my love for cowboys, this book was the perfect sweet read to entertain me on a cold winter night.  Merry is a nurse and runs a voluntary dog rescue program out of her home. I was immediately sucked in by Merry's personality and her giving nature. She's the perfect blend of strong willed heroine, but she doesn't come on too strong because she's also playful. And it's that playfulness that I think is the perfect mix to TJ's serious outlook. And if you love your heroes on the surly Combining my love for animals and my love for cowboys, this book was the perfect sweet read to entertain me on a cold winter night.  Merry is a nurse and runs a voluntary dog rescue program out of her home. I was immediately sucked in by Merry's personality and her giving nature. She's the perfect blend of strong willed heroine, but she doesn't come on too strong because she's also playful. And it's that playfulness that I think is the perfect mix to TJ's serious outlook. And if you love your heroes on the surly side then look no further than cowboy TJ. He runs a farm and has an ideal future wife in mind. No frilly girls need apply, he wants a cowgirl who's ready to live on the farm with him. Imagine his surprise when he's immediately attracted to Merry, who by all means is very girly. When they're almost forced by circumstances to work together, sparks fly very fast even if he doesn't want them to. This is a cute, feel good romance. It's my first time reading this author and it was an enjoyable experience. There are times when I am just in the mood for a story to put a smile on my face, without all the angst, and this did the trick. The fact that there's kids and animals just got to me even more. *ARC provided by publisher❤ ♡ Don't want to miss any of our posts? Subscribe to our blog by email! ♡ ❤

  28. 4 out of 5

    Francesca the Fierce (Under the Covers Book Blog)

    3.5 stars Combining my love for animals and my love for cowboys, this book was the perfect sweet read to entertain me on a cold winter night. Merry is a nurse and runs a voluntary dog rescue program out of her home. I was immediately sucked in by Merry’s personality and her giving nature. She’s the perfect blend of strong willed heroine, but she doesn’t come on too strong because she’s also playful. And it’s that playfulness that I think is the perfect mix to TJ’s serious outlook. And if you love your heroes on the surly side 3.5 stars Combining my love for animals and my love for cowboys, this book was the perfect sweet read to entertain me on a cold winter night. Merry is a nurse and runs a voluntary dog rescue program out of her home. I was immediately sucked in by Merry’s personality and her giving nature. She’s the perfect blend of strong willed heroine, but she doesn’t come on too strong because she’s also playful. And it’s that playfulness that I think is the perfect mix to TJ’s serious outlook. And if you love your heroes on the surly side then look no further than cowboy TJ. He runs a farm and has an ideal future wife in mind. No frilly girls need apply, he wants a cowgirl who’s ready to live on the farm with him. Imagine his surprise when he’s immediately attracted to Merry, who by all means is very girly. When they’re almost forced by circumstances to work together, sparks fly very fast even if he doesn’t want them to. This is a cute, feel good romance. It’s my first time reading this author and it was an enjoyable experience. There are times when I am just in the mood for a story to put a smile on my face, without all the angst, and this did the trick. The fact that there’s kids and animals just got to me even more. *ARC provided by publisher

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chelsey Wolford

    With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I am definitely in a loving state of mind, so therefore I have wanted to read sweet, adorable romance novels. Rachel Lacey has been a favorite author of mine for quite some time. I absolutely adored the first book in her series and this one was just as charming and cozy. I am such an animal lover, and just recently lost my dog of nine years, so this book did its job in making me feel comforted and allowing me to read about other people who love and value With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I am definitely in a loving state of mind, so therefore I have wanted to read sweet, adorable romance novels. Rachel Lacey has been a favorite author of mine for quite some time. I absolutely adored the first book in her series and this one was just as charming and cozy. I am such an animal lover, and just recently lost my dog of nine years, so this book did its job in making me feel comforted and allowing me to read about other people who love and value the relationship with their pets just as much as me. Not only one of the main characters, but both of the main characters have a fond admiration for rescuing animals, and for that reason I was able to fall in love with both of them very quickly. Both of the main characters, Merry and T.J., were written as any character should be, with fears and vulnerabilities. Their work lives, home lives, and families played a part in the story and this is what made it all seem real to me. They change and develop as characters and we learn more and more about them as the story progresses. I could never decide which character I liked better; their feelings for each other were apparent and I wanted every problem to be resolved in both of their lives. I hope to see Merry’s friend, Olivia, show up in the next installment of this series! ***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Forever in exchange for my honest review***

  30. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    I received an ARC copy in exchange for a honest review, but I also purchased a finished copy for my library. What do you get when you mix sexy and lovable heroes, smart and independent heroines, and some of the most adorable puppies? You get Rachel Lacey's enchanting Love to the Rescue series. I fell madly in love with the first book, Unleashed, and I could not wait to get my paws on For Keeps. I loved For Keeps just as much as I loved the first book. Oh, my gosh, these books are amazing. The ch I received an ARC copy in exchange for a honest review, but I also purchased a finished copy for my library. What do you get when you mix sexy and lovable heroes, smart and independent heroines, and some of the most adorable puppies? You get Rachel Lacey's enchanting Love to the Rescue series. I fell madly in love with the first book, Unleashed, and I could not wait to get my paws on For Keeps. I loved For Keeps just as much as I loved the first book. Oh, my gosh, these books are amazing. The characters are so damn lovable. TJ... Dear, sweet TJ... He is my new favorite book boyfriend. Merry is nothing short of amazing. Both are kind hearted characters that went through things that tested their strength and left holes in their hearts. The transformation they go through in the book was perfection. I loved watching them fumble along the way in hopes that they'll be able to open their hearts for each other. The transformations doesn't stop with the two main characters. The children in the book go through their own heartwarming growth. I adore Rachel's writing style. She made me laugh, grin like a fool, and get teary eyed towards the end of the book. I cannot wait until Olivia's book and a part of me hopes that even Amy may get her own little happy ending.

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