Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Review + GIVEAWAY: Fetching Sweetness

Fetching Sweetness
By Dana Mentink
Love Unleashed #2
Harvest House, 2016


Standing between Stephanie and her dream is one hundred pounds of lovable trouble.

It should have been so simple for Stephanie Pink: Meet up with Agnes Wharton in a small town in California, retrieve the reclusive author's valuable new manuscript, and be promoted to a full-fledged literary agent.

But Agnes's canine companion, Sweetness, decides to make a break for it before Stephanie can claim her prize. Until Agnes has Sweetness safely back at home in Eagle Cliff, Washington, Stephanie will never set eyes on the manuscript she needs to make her dreams come true.

When Stephanie tracks the runaway mutt to a campground, she meets Rhett Hastings---a man also on the run from a different life and a costly mistake. Rhett agrees to help Stephanie search for the missing dog . . . thus launching a surprising string of adventures and misadventures.

Once Sweetness gets added to the mix, it's a recipe for love and loss, merriment and mayhem, fun and faith in the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest.

Purchase a copy:

My thoughts

Without a doubt, Fetching Sweetness by Dana Mentink is one of the most enjoyable books I’ve ever read. It’s an exquisite little gem, a wonderful feel-good book – and, although I didn’t know it at the time, it really is possible to read an entire book with a smile on your face. In fact, I’d love to meet Dana because anyone who can write like this must be quite a character! Fetching Sweetness is #2 in the Love Unleashed series, but stands alone.

Part of the story takes place in Big Thumb, California – “south of Redding and north of nowhere” – and the rest involves a road trip up the Pacific Coast, which provides great opportunities for Stephanie and Rhett to gradually open up. There’s several hilarious moments also, thanks to Sweetness.

Rhett is a great leading man, simultaneously strong and vulnerable, arrogant and humble, “a man who was bent on living out the words in his Bible, determined to climb out from beneath the shadow of his sins.” And Stephanie is such a fun and unique character, with a passion for something to which all readers can relate, and that’s books. Stephanie loved the feeling books gave her, “a feeling that there was goodness and love and justice in the world, even if it was only fictional.”

And then there’s Sweetness, not really a secondary character because he plays such a pivotal role. Even cat people like me can’t help but fall in love with this guy. The relationship between Rhett and Sweetness is especially touching. “What does a dog see? he wondered. Dogs didn’t care if you were wearing wingtip shoes or flip-flops from the dollar store. They looked at you and saw the intangibles, the man inside. . . . What did a dog know of human failure? He just kept looking at you without bringing up your past or expecting you to do the right thing.”

Rhett and Stephanie are an unlikely match, yet they have one thing in common: they are each pursuing their own life agenda, one confident he was following God’s direction and the other without God in the equation. That’s pretty close to real life, if you ask me! And a little uncomfortable when I think how often I’ve been guilty of exactly that.

“Fiction tosses up the truth about life that
we’re too blind or preoccupied to see.”

How true are Stephanie’s words, for not only does Fetching Sweetness focus on how God’s plans trump ours every time, but that it often takes someone else to point out the obvious things that we fail to see.

Highly recommended.

Please click on the title – Sit, Stay, Love – to see my review of the previous book in this excellent series.


Dana Mentink lives in California, where the weather is golden and the cheese is divine. Dana is an American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year finalist for romantic suspense and an award winner in the Pacific Northwest Writers Literary Contest. Her suspense novel, Betrayal in the Badlands, earned a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award.

Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third and fourth grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with her husband, two daughters, a dog with social anxiety problems, a chubby box turtle, and a feisty parakeet.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Litfuse landing page:



To enter the drawing for Fetching Sweetness, please click on this link and share my Facebook post, then leave a comment here. Has a pet blessed your life, present or in the past?

BE SURE to leave your name and your email address in a safe format - [at] and [dot] - for the drawing. E-mail required for entry. Contest ends at midnight PST on Monday, August 29. Winner will be chosen by and contacted by e-mail.

Eligibility: US residents


  1. I have been seeing reviews of this book all over the place. I really need to read this one. :-)

    1. You certainly do, Melissa! Did you read the one before this - Sit, Stay, Love? It's not necessary because these books stand alone, but it is wonderful also.

  2. I've read, reviewed & enjoyed this book so I'm not entering. But I am sharing on FB & Twitter!! :-)

    1. Thanks so much for sharing, Trixi! You're always so good to help. I adored both books in this series, but Fetching Sweetness was especially touching.

  3. Liked and shared. I had a wonderful black lab named Stitch for 10 years. She was a great dog and I miss her everyday. Now I have a cat named Ms. Mouser, she adds so much happiness to my life. Life would be so empty without pets.

    1. "Life would be so empty without pets." Well said, Dianne! The joy they give us far outweighs grief over their loss - and like you said about Stitch, we never forget them. I have two precious black kitties, Melody and Grace.

  4. Great review! Sounds like a wonderful book!

  5. I've read great reviews of this book. I 've had a lot of sweet pets but Buddy had a special spot. He had Parvo as a puppy and I nursed him back to health. He was my protector and my best friend and I miss him still today.

  6. I've read great reviews of this book. I've had several sweet pets but my favorite was Buddy. He had Parvo as a puppy and I nursed him. He loved me and was extremely loyal to me and I still miss him!
    cps1950(at)gmail (dot)com

  7. Liked and shared!
    cps1950(at)gmail (dot)com