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  • Writer's pictureCaitlyn Lynch

Book Review: Pug, Actually by Matt Dunn

I’m not even all that keen on pugs (shh) but this is just too cute, a romcom (and it’s really a romcom, not a traumatic women’s fiction disguised behind a cute cover!) told from the point of view of the heroine’s pug, Doug. Yes, Doug the pug. It’s absolutely adorable.

Doug’s cuteness is needed to distract from the not-so-friendly feelings you might start off with for the heroine, Julie, when you realise she’s literally the ‘other woman’. But things aren’t black and white. Julie didn’t start out trying to steal a married man. She didn’t know Luke was married until their relationship was well under way, and then he pulled all the tricks out of the bag… his wife doesn’t understand him, they’re on the verge of separating, they’re not intimate any more, and all the rest. Doug, of course, knew all along that Luke was a rat, but since he can’t speak Human, all he can do for Julie is be lovingly supportive when she cries (again) into his neck folds.

Because this is a proper romcom, Julie’s REAL love interest soon shows up, Tom, who is to Doug’s horror a V-E-T, but Doug could forgive even that if it would make Julie happy. Now if love rat Luke would just go away

Julie’s a bit of a hot mess, to be honest, but because we’re seeing the story through Doug’s eyes - and Doug loves her in the uncritical way only a dog can - it’s hard to judge her even when she’s falling yet again for Luke’s lines. Julie has awesome friends and a loving father (who also gets his own happily ever after) who help her finally come to the understanding that she’s self-sabotaging out of fear.

This reminds me a lot of Bridget Jones, in all the good ways - another hot mess who shambles her way to a happily ever after - but as told through the eyes of a dog, and honestly, it’s really cute. I was entirely delighted with it and I’ll be looking out for more by this author in the future. Five stars.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.

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