Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: Dad in Training
Author: Gail Gaymer Martin
Publisher: Love Inspired
Release Date: September 2009
Genre/Sub-genre: Inspirational Romance
Year/Setting: Present Day Michigan
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: None
Gail's Website: www.gailmartin.com
Brent Runyan can’t figure out how to help his nephew, Randy. Randy is a troubled orphan who needs a real home. Uncle Brent is a bachelor workaholic who has no clue what to do to make his house a real home for both of them. He’s adrift in a sea of regrets until he runs into Special Education teacher Molly Manning. She’s convinced that love, time and a dog will make things right.
Molly is happy to offer a little help to Brent. Every chance she’s around him, she has the chance to promote her "Teacher’s Pet" project and try to find a way to rent the building his company has for sale. Molly wants to create a no-kill shelter with doggie daycare services and expand the Teacher’s Pet program so more special needs and at risk youth can be served. Molly found that helping troubled kids train dogs gives them the self-esteem they usually are lacking and teaches them some of the same points their dogs are learning. Brent is starting to like spending time with Molly and even feels a little stirring of romance.
While Brent is impressed with Molly and her program, he wants nothing to do with practically giving her the company building. When she goes over his head to his father, he sees red. Too bad he is so angry that he will barely speak to her. It becomes very clear that she may have sabotaged her only chance to start her shelter and her shot at true love. I wasn’t sure if they would ever overcome their obstacles.
I appreciated how Gail Gaymer Martin incorporated faith into Molly’s life without making her seem like a religious nut. Molly has a heart filled with love to give. She’s hiding issues from her own past that threaten to keep her from ever having a happy future. She’s such a softhearted woman, until it comes to her shelter. Then she’s like a bulldog on a bone. A strong woman wrapped in a soft package. She’s a dynamo whom I’d love to have as a friend.
Brent was a little harder for me to like at first. He came across as more uncaring than strong. Once I started to see his true feelings, I began to like him a lot more. By the time I thought they would break off all connections, I was cheering for both Brent and Molly.
This book comes complete with discussion questions in the back. It would make a great title for a book club to read and discuss together. Gail based this story on her own daughter’s love of pets and the real Teacher’s Pet program in Michigan. I loved Teacher’s Pet and hope more communities will fund programs like this one.
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