BOOK REVIEW! Rescue Me by Sarra Manning


Title: Rescue Me
Author: Sarra Manning
Series: N/A
Pages: 400 pages, hardcover
Source: Library
Rating: 4.5/5 cupcakes!
Margot and Will cross paths at the local dog rescue centre where – after a series of misunderstandings and a lot of consternation – they agree to foster Blossom (a staffy with a giant head, soft, floppy ears and kohl-rimmed brown eyes) together: one week on, one week off.

Margot and Will don’t get off to the best of starts: he thinks Margot is demanding and needy and Just So Much. And she thinks Will is emotionally unavailable, slightly brittle and very mistrustful. They’re both right.

But the more they bicker, the worse Blossom behaves, and they realise they have to form some sort of truce in order to dog-parent (or “pawrent” as Margot calls it, to which Will rolls his eyes) her together. It’s almost as if Blossom has plans of her own…

This book wasn't on my radar until I saw it at my library, but I'm SO glad I decided to pick it up. It was so heartwarming, and I highly recommend! 
Um, everything.

The characters are so, so wonderful. We have Margot, a plus-sized 36 year old who works in the fashion industry. Having just broken up with her boyfriend who was unable to commit to a future with her, she is highly aware of her biological clock ticking, and it's beginning to wear her down. Her friends are all getting married, having children, and moving away, leaving Margot feeling stuck and unlovable. She decides to adopt a dog, as she knows they will offer her the unconditional love and acceptance she hasn't been able to find. 

Then there is Will. He is closed off and emotionally distant. After years furthering his career in various cities around the world, he returns back to London to help with his family's florist business. 

Will and Margo couldn't be more different. I guess it's the grumpy x sunshine trope? I was SO there for it. Margo was peppy and talkative and positive; I loved her so much! Her desire for a family was so palpable, and I felt like the author captured her fear and urgency incredibly well. Given Margot's history, her desire to have a family was so understandable and had me crossing my fingers that she would be able to cultivate the life she dreamed of.

And Will! I loved him so much. He cared so much for his family (putting money in a trust fund so his little sister could go to university? So sweet!), and despite his aloof exterior, his care, compassion, and understanding made me fall in love with him.

I loved how the author wove Margot and Will's backstories subtly throughout the story, revealing layer by layer as to what had shaped Margot and Will into the people they were. 

Also Blossom!!! She was a rescue Staffie that absolutely stole my heart. Seeing how the love and care Will and Margot showered her with transformed her into a secure, happy pupper made my heart so happy! 

The characters were written wonderfully. *chef's kiss*

I also loved all Margot's friends and the people she worked with. There was such a wide range of characters and despite them only being side characters, Sarra Manning managed to give them distinct personalities. All the relationships also felt so natural. It didn't feel like I was reading a book at times, more like witnessing the every day lives of real life people. I like it when a book feels so real that I forget that I'm reading something that has been crafted by someone. That's always a good sign of story-telling, I think.

I also loved Will's family! His mom, step-dad and sisters were so realistic. The family dynamics were messy and imperfect, but you could see how much they loved and cared for one another. Again, they all had such distinct personalities that felt so natural.

The relationships were written so well! I loved Margot's relationships with her friends and work colleagues. Her friendships were so genuine, and it was heartwarming seeing her friendships with other women who encouraged her and supported her. 💛

I lovedddd Will's relationship with his family. Like I said, the family dynamics were written incredibly well. It showed the frustration and disappointment we have with family, but also the love, care, and loyalty that accompanies it. Will didn't come from an easy background. He grew up with an abusive father, and it was heartbreaking to see the effect this had on him. However, his mother put herself and her kids first and crafted a better life for them. The contrast was evident, and I felt deeply relieved that his mother forged a better path for them.

As I said, Margot and Will could definitely fall into the grumpy x sunshine trope and I was totally on board with that. I loved watching them slowly fall in love with each other's quirks and how they put aside their differences to give Blossom the best. The author wrote the progression from strangers to friends to lovers so incredibly well and, again, it felt very natural.

There were so many cute moments that had me squealing AND THE ENDING!! I was crying as it was so wholesome and just absolutely perfect.

It was so heartwarming watching them begin to trust each other and share things they hadn't ever verbalised before. I absolutely loved watching them let each other into their lives, reading their hilarious text exchanges, seeing Margot become part of Will's was honestly SO PERFECT. 

They just complimented each other so well. And they took care of Blossom together so well. I JUST LOVED THEM SO MUCH.

I adored the plot! Two lonely people who end up coparenting a rescue dog is such an adorable idea. There are so many dogs in this book, and I absolutely LOVED it. I loved seeing how Blossom grew from a terrified, insecure dog to one that flourished under the love and care she received from her owners. This was more a character-driven novel than plot driven, but I wasn't bored once and found myself flying through the pages. I was just so invested in the characters and in the story and just wanted to see them thrive. I hadn't realise how invested I was in the story until the ending when I was just casually crying in my room at 11pm because this story made me SO HAPPY. 

I LOVED THIS BOOK. Honestly, if you love dogs, dual narratives, something like enemies-to-lovers, and characters that are written with so much depth and heart you will love this. The dialogue was so natural and the relationships were written with so much authenticity. The romance progressed at the perfect pace. The characters felt so incredibly real. They had so many layers which the author did a spectacular job of revealing to the reader throughout the book. I honestly adored this book so much! A feel-good contemporary romance with heart, authenticity and depth - you can't go wrong with it! 

  • Mention of death of a parent
  • Cancer (not detailed)
  • Alcoholism and abuse (not detailed, brief mention)
  • Mention of panic attacks/therapy
  • Some expletives used (only on a few occasions)
  • Think there were 2 steamy scenes but I skipped past them, so I'm not sure how much detail went into it. Aside from that, it was quite clean.
I give it: 4.5/5 cupcakes!