May 5, 2022

HTP Summer Reads Blog Tour Book Review: The Dachshund Wears Prada by Stefanie London

at 5/05/2022 12:20:00 PM

How do you start over when the biggest mistake of your life has more than one million views?

Forget diamonds; the internet is forever. Social media consultant Isla Thompson learned that lesson the hard way when she went viral for all the wrong reasons. A month later, Isla is still having nightmares about the moment she ruined a young starlet’s career and made herself the most unemployable influencer in Manhattan. But she doesn’t have the luxury of hiding away until she’s no longer “Instagram Poison.” Not when her fourteen-year-old sister, Dani, needs Isla to keep a roof over their heads. So she takes the first job she can get: caring for Camilla, a glossy-maned, foul-tempered hellhound.

After a week of ferrying Camilla from playdates to pet psychics, Isla starts to suspect that the dachshund’s bark is worse than her bite—just like her owner, Theo Garrison. Isla has spent her career working to make people likeable and here’s Theo—happy to hide behind his reputation as a brutish recluse. But Theo isn’t a brute—he’s sweet and funny, and Isla should not see him as anything but the man who signs her pay cheques. Because loving Theo would mean retreating to his world of secluded luxury, and Isla needs to show Dani that no matter the risk, dreams are always worth chasing.

Note: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Spoilers abound.

TLDR; this book is a delightful and charming rom-com with Sex in the City vibes.

It's been some time since I've read a book that features an animal as a plot device. I'm not a fan of Sex in the City, but I could tell that this book gave off similar vibes. Fans of the grump-sunshine trope will enjoy this book. In a rare turn of events (at least to me), we meet the male lead first. Theo Garrison is the son of a Hollywood actress and a member of New York's upper crust. Orphaned at a young age after his parents died vis à vis a car crash while fleeing persistent paparazzi. This loss and trauma lead Theo to become a very private person and earned the moniker, the Hermit of Fifth Avenue. He hates the paparazzi with a vengeance and will go out of his way to keep his private life private. Following the death of his beloved, if not eccentric, grandmother, Theo inherits his family's publishing house and his grandmother's spoiled Dachshund, named Camilla. Camilla goes through dog sitters like water. After the last one quits, the agency that Theo hired, "fired" the pair as clients. While still grieving the loss of his last family member, Theo has to deal with a spoiled dog that exhibits destructive behaviors. 

Our female lead, Isla Thompson, is a social media consultant. She's confident, empathetic, and observant, which makes her good at her job as a social media consultant. Unfortunately, her story starts off with her career (and that of her client) going up in smoke after her client vomits all over her Met Gala-esque dress on Instagram live. Yikes! After she is blacklisted from every marketing firm in the city, Isla is desperate for a job to help pay for her sister's ballet classes and keep a roof over their heads. I love Isla! She's responsible and rolls with the punches, but at the same time, she's relatable. Her family history is so sad. Spoiler: her mom had Isla at a very young age and is most definitely not parent material. Isla was barely an adult when her mother abandoned her and Dani to run off with a man. Being abandoned like that definitely left scars on both sisters but in different ways. I liked how the trauma was portrayed in each sister. For Isla, she was already accustomed to the realization that her mother never wanted her and accepted the fact that their mother wasn't coming back. For Dani, the fear of abandonment and being forgotten is rooted deep, and even after years of therapy, Dani still has panic attacks and crying jags whenever she cannot get ahold of Isla. 

About the main couple, Isla and Theo meet at a park when Camilla manages to slip out of her leash. Isla, who happened to work as a dog sitter in high school. Theo, in desperate need of a dog sitter, hires Isla on the spot. Their relationship is not insta-love, but close. The time period between their initial interaction to them becoming intimate was in the span of a couple of months. Over the first few weeks, they slowly get to know one another. Isla, in particular, gets under Theo's skin real fast. I think it's safe to say that he fell first. Their "complicated" relationship implodes when Theo finds out about the Instagram account that she made for Camilla. Theo, who has been betrayed in the past by an ex-girlfriend, immediately falls back on his tried and true methods of not dealing with his emotions and cuts off contact. This is the only thing I did not like about this book. Eighty to eighty-nine percent of the book was about how their relationship formed and how it changed Theo. He developed some self-awareness of how much he liked being with someone again. I thought he overreacted to the Instagram account but at the same time, I understand where he's coming from. Post-break-up, Theo does develop some more self-awareness of how lonely it was to be by himself all the time. He even connected with Camilla and their shared grief. There is a redemption arc for Theo with assistance from Dani. The ending was equal parts satisfying and expected.

4.5 stars!

About the Author

Photo Credit: Jimmy America

Stefanie London is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. Her books have been called "genuinely entertaining and memorable" by Booklist, and her writing praised as "elegant, descriptive and delectable" by RT Magazine. Originally from Australia, she now lives in Toronto with her very own hero and is doing her best to travel the world. She frequently indulges her passions for lipstick, good coffee, books and anything zombie related.

Social Links:

Author Website  |  Instagram  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads



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