Goodreads ~ The best thing between Oliver Barrett and Mackenzie Williams is a fence.
Ever since Oliver's new-neighbor gestures were met with unfriendly responses, he's decided to keep his distance. After all, he's in this seaside town to get his life on track again. That doesn't include working hard to get on Mackenzie's good side - no matter how intriguing she may be. His intentions are put to the test, however, when his dog becomes infatuated with hers.
The two crafty canines do their best to break down the barriers between the properties. And where the dogs go
, well, the humans must follow! It doesn't take long for a powerful attraction to build between Oliver and Mackenzie. They soon discover that the worst of first impressions can lead to the best possible outcomes
Mackenzie was in a horrific accident and has been spending the last year recuperating in her cottage outside of Melbourne. She is a producer on a soap opera and her boss has brought in someone to replace her for the year she has been off ... unfortunately, he has been doing such a good job that they are considering keeping him on so Mackenzie will be out of a job.
Oliver discovers that his wife, Edie, has been having an affair with her ex-boyfriend for most of their six year marriage. To get his head together, he heads to his late aunt's cottage to clean it out and get it ready to sell. The cottage is next door to Mackenzie.
Mackenzie and Oliver's first encounter doesn't go well. Mackenzie had just finished working out and wasn't feeling well so was abrupt when Oliver went over to introduce himself. Their dogs, Mr. Smith and Strudel, though, fall instantly in love! Mackenzie feels bad and invites him over for supper to make amends and their friendship grows from there. They help each other figure out what their new realities could be.
This is the first book I've read by this author and I enjoyed it. It was set in Australia and written by an Australian so I was a bit concerned that the writing style would be different than I'm used to but this wasn't the case. There were a couple words I had to Google, though, like "hard yard" and "harpy". It is part of a Harlequin series but I found it didn't read like a Harlequin (the story was meatier with older characters) which I liked.
I liked Mackenzie and Oliver. I enjoyed their funny and friendly banter and interaction and their honesty with each other (though attracted to Mackenzie, Oliver is still recovering from Edie's betrayal and let's Mackenzie know he's still messed up). I love dogs and I liked that Mr. Smith or Strudel were a big part of the story but the author didn't make them over cute and in our face all the time.
As a head's up, some of the language and activity are for mature readers.
I would recommend this book and look forward to reading others by this author.
I don't usually pay attention to the cover of a book. This one, though, really conflicts with the story. Because of her accident, Mackenzie has had to have her head shaved and though her hair is growing back, she laments that it is still quite short. On the cover, it's long. Oliver's hair was longer ... in fact, Mackenzie comments at one point that she's never dated a man before with longer hair than her.