May 30 2014 10:00am

First Look: Diane Kelly’s Paw Enforcement (June 3, 2014)

Diane Kelly
Paw Enforcement
 St. Martin's / June 3, 2014 / $7.99 print / digital

Officer Luz is lucky she still has a job after tasering a male colleague where it counts the most. Sure, he had it coming—which is why the police chief is giving Megan a second chance. The catch? Her new partner can’t carry a gun, can’t drive a cruiser, and can’t recite the Miranda Rights. Because her new partner is a big furry police dog. So that’s what the chief meant when he called Megan’s partner a real b*tch…WILL FATE THROW HER A BONE?With Brigit out on the beat, Megan is writing up enough tickets to wallpaper the whole station. But when a bomb goes off at the mall’s food court, it’s up to Megan and Brigit to start digging—and sniffing—for clues. With the help of dead-sexy bomb-squad expert Seth Rutledge and his own canine partner named Blast, Megan finds herself in a desperate race to collar a killer. Will justice be served—or will she end up in the doghouse?

While I know I should e-mail an author more often after reading an enjoyable book (everyone likes praise), it pretty much falls to the wayside of everyday life—laundry, work, paying bills. But after reading Paw Enforcement, I just had to e-mail Diane Kelly to let her know how absolutely enjoyable I found her newest release.

For those of you that want Romance with a capital R in your books, this is not that book, but for those of you that love a strong, don’t-mess-with-me heroine, a dog, a mystery, and a budding hunky love interest, then read on.

Officer Luz is definitely a strong, compelling heroine with slight anger issue—she did Taser her partner Derek Mackey in the cojones. Part of it was residual from the bullying she received during school because of her stutter. But most of it was because he was and is a sexist pig. He had it coming.

Lucky for her this little issue was brought to the Chief instead of Internal Affairs. The Chief agrees that Mackey was a prick, but he lays down the law:

“I’m going to keep this incident off your record and let you slide this time…”
“But only this time,” he added. “You’ll be booted off the force and face criminal prosecution if you pull a stupid stunt like that again. You hear me?”

I swallowed hard, forcing down the lump that formed in my throat the instant the word “stupid” registered with my ears. I was not stupid. Impatient, sure. Short-tempered, hell yeah. Maybe even impulsive.

But not stupid…

“Understood, sir.“

”I’m assigning you a new partner.” The chief’s eyes gave off a wicked gleam, like the glint from a freshly polished revolver. “She’s a real bitch. You two will get along great.”

I ignored the implication that I, too, was a bitch. Unlike stupid, though, being called a bitch didn’t really bother me.

“A female officer?” Teaming with a woman could be fun. With a female partner, we could listen to NPR or a book on tape, maybe a good detective novel. A female partner would smell better too.

Of course you know what is coming. Sergeant Brigit is a dog, and she is not happy about being paired with a rookie.

Well, Brigit wasn’t too crazy about being partnered with Megan, either. Officer Luz smelled like a rookie. Too fresh, too clean. Her uniform lacked the stench of terror-induced sweat that no detergent could ever quite wash out. Luz hadn’t seen real danger yet, that was certain. It would take some training to get her up to speed.

So Brigit and Megan are off to a very rocky start. And it is going to get worse before it gets better:

Brigit stuck out a paw and put it on top of a cardboard canister of doggie beef jerky. She looked up at me and batted her big brown eyes.

I checked the price. Nine bucks? This dog had expensive taste. Heck, I didn’t pay that much for my own fancy organic snacks.

“No,” I told her using my foot to nudge her paw off the canister.

Brigit stiffened, stared up at me, and emitted a low warning growl: Grrrr.

Time to let this bitch know who was boss. I bent down, got in her face and narrowed my dark-brown eyes at hers. 'No' means ‘no.” I’m the one in charge and don’t you forget it.”

The dog stared back at me, unblinking, her lips pulled back in a silent snarl. I returned the sentiment, my eyes locked on hers in a primal power play, waiting to see who would blink first. After twenty seconds or so, my eyes began to water, but damned if I’d let this dog best me. I’d keep them open until my retinas burst. . .

I’ll let you guess who wins this round. Still Brigit has some big compromises in store for her too:

Brigit sniffed around the edges of the lower kitchen cabinets, her nose picking up scents she translated into a mental inventory. Whole-grain bread. Roasted almonds. Granola cereal. No cookies, or potato chips. She sniffed the seal around the refrigerator next. No hot dogs, No ham. No baloney. Only fruits, vegetables, and soy milk. What kind of fresh hell was this?

So what about the budding hunky love interest? I definitely concur with Officer’s Luz assessment:

The yellow Lab trotted up to the fence and barked at Brigit: Arfarf!

Brigit responded by dragging me over to the fence so she could sniff the Lab through the chain link. Both dogs wagged their tails. Looked like it was love at first smell.

“Hey!” the guy called, walking toward the fence.

Okay, now my damn became hot damn! I looked up and gave Mr. Sexy a small wave, not trusting myself to respond verbally. . .

“Haven’t seen you two here before.”

“First day,” I replied. No stutter. Thank God.

He smiled. It was a soft smile, a sexy smile that kind that could cause a girl’s leg bones to turn into spaghetti…

The bomb squad officer stepped closer, reaching his hands up and curling his fingers around the top of the chain-link fence. I tried not to notice the way his biceps bulged, how his broad chest tapered down to flat abs and a trim waist. I tried, but I failed. I noticed. Then I kept noticing…

He cocked his head. “I’m Seth Rutledge, by the way. I work for the fire department.”

“So I figured," I replied, gesturing at his shirt.

He looked down, as if to remind himself what he was wearing. He chuckled, cocked his head, and flashed me a grin. “I can see why you’re a cop. You don’t miss any clues, huh?”

Told from the first person point of view—alternating between Megan, Brigit and a terroristic bomber out to make a name for himself, there is plenty to keep you turning the pages. Brigit and Megan’s points of view are very humorous as are their antics but when the going gets tough, these two have each other’s back.

I am so glad that this is the first book in the series. I have already pre-ordered the second one, Paw and Order, due out the end of 2014.



Learn more or pre-order a copy of Paw Enforcement by Diane Kelly, available June 3, 2014:

Buy at AmazonBuy at Barnes & NobleBuy at Indiebound



Leigh Davis, blogger

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. Kareni
This sounds like an entertaining book! Thanks for the review.
2. scarlettleigh
@Kareni -- I loved it. It is just a fun book - cute, with nice mystery.
Carmen Pinzon
3. bungluna
Got this on my to-buy list. I'm really looking forward to it.
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