Carmichael specializes in delivering wonderful stories that revolve around the amazing relationships that can develop between humans and animals. Her characters are always warm, the romance believable and the animals unforgettable.

Dog trainer Jane Connor and her golden retriever Shadow are talented contestants who never dreamed that their toughest competition would turn out to be a novice trainer with a tiny papillon, Dobby.

Jane's world has taken a tough knock after her Arizona kennel is destroyed in a wildfire. Winning the $100,000 top dog circuit prize means a shot at rebuilding. To finance her run to the championship, Jane agrees to let freelance TV producer Angela Gardner film their life on the road, from competition to competition.

Computer programmer and widower Cole Forrest hopes that taking his 8-year-old daughter Teri and their brilliant little Dobby on the dog circuit this summer will bring them closer together and give Teri something to smile about. Jane and Cole's friendly competition is laced with a burgeoning attraction. The summer promises to be fun and challenging, both on the field and off.

(Dec., 419 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith