Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Review - - Bark! The Herald Angels Sing

Bark! The Herald Angels Sing
By Roxanne St. Claire
The Dogfather - Book 8
Publisher: South Street Publishing
Release Date: November 9, 2018
Reviewed by PJ

With Christmas and a family wedding fast approaching, there’s happy chaos in the air at Waterford Farm. However, not everyone in the Kilcannon clan is caught up in the magic of the moment. Matriarch, octogenarian, and beloved blogger Gramma Finnie hears the clock of her long life ticking far too fast, while her great-granddaughter, teenager Pru, feels squeezed out of planning her mother’s nuptials. 

But when this unlikely duo is tasked with the project of producing the “Somethings” for the wedding – and only have Christmas Eve to get the job done – Gramma Finnie and Pru have a purpose and a plan. They set off to find the perfect old, new, borrowed, and blue treasures, but it doesn’t take long for things to spin out of control faster than Gramma’s Toyota in a snowstorm. Detoured by a stray border collie, thwarted by nature and an elf parade, and trapped by a rifle-toting mountain man, it will take more than the power of the Kilcannon clan to save these two from a Christmas catastrophe. It will take the luck of the Irish, a love story from long ago, and a whole lot of help from the angels to make this holiday merry and bright.

My thoughts:

The stories in Roxanne St. Claire's The Dogfather contemporary romance series aim straight for the heart and this new holiday novella is no exception. In the final days leading up to the wedding of reunited lovers Molly and Trace (Bad to the Bone), the couple's teen daughter, the uber-organized Pru, is feeling left out of the preparations and her great-grandmother "Gramma Finnie" is feeling left out of life. When the two combine forces to find four very special "somethings" (old, new, borrowed and blue) for the wedding, their enthusiasm leads them into a snowy adventure with unforeseen, and potentially perilous, consequences that could see the Kilcannon family spending Christmas without their beloved matriarch and "General" Pru.

I adored this story. St. Claire has brought these characters to life throughout the course of this series but, for the most part, they've been secondary characters, not the main focus. In this novella, Gramma Finnie and Pru finally step into the spotlight, giving readers the opportunity to learn more about them and the special bond they share. Especially enjoyable is the window St. Claire opens into the past as Gramma Finnie shares the untold story of how she met her beloved late husband, Seamus. Moving flawlessly between 1940s Ireland and their present-day adventure, Gramma Finnie's story is poignant, heart-wrenching, and hopeful. St. Claire has a way of pulling me into a story so that rather than reading about the events within I feel as though I'm actually experiencing them along with the characters. I could easily identify with both Pru, a girl on the cusp of young womanhood, as well as Gramma Finnie, a woman in the sunset of her life, wondering if all of her adventures are behind her and after "meeting" young Finnie and learning about that part of her life, I have even more affection and admiration for this woman who is the very heart of the Kilcannon family.

Whether you've read the earlier books in this series or not, this is a short, heartwarming story that celebrates family, the joy of the season, the unconditional love to be found in a four-legged companion, and the absolute necessity of kindness. Pru and Gramma Finnie's adventure made me laugh, cry, and fall in love with the Kilcannon family all over again.

It isn't necessary to read the entire Dogfather series in order to enjoy Bark! The Herald Angels Sing but I do recommend reading Molly and Trace's journey to love in Bad to the Bone first. Once you've finished those two stories, head on over to Roxanne St. Claire's website to sign up for her newsletter for access to the heartwarming and poignant bonus story of Molly and Trace's wedding. You'll want to keep the tissues handy! 


  1. I love this series. I am hoping it is in print form.

  2. I checked and yay, it is in paperback, did not know this book was coming out and next week, I thought Old Dogs New Tricks was next, Nice Surprise.

    1. Oops! I responded to your first comment without checking the second. lol

      Old Dogs, New Tricks is the next full-length novel. It should be out sometime in the spring. Are you on Facebook? If so, join St. Claire's Dogfather Reader Group. It's a fun place that she visits a lot and keeps readers up to date on all the latest Dogfather news. https://www.facebook.com/groups/roxannestclairereaders/

  3. WOW another new to me series.....and this is right up my alley. Thanks.

  4. What a great series. I'm looking forward to reading this one. Lovely review.

  5. I too love this series and totally enjoyed this story. I want to read more about Grandma Finnie's story in Ireland. Thanks for the review PJ.

  6. I have enjoyed reading this series. I haven't started the novella yet. Will read after Thanksgiving.

  7. I believe I have joined her group. Will have to make sure I did. TY.

  8. This series is on my wish list. I wish I had started it when the first book came out. Once I have all the books, I can enjoy a binge reading session. I look forward to meeting the family, especially Gramma Finnie. Her, I believe I can relate to. Have a great Thanksgiving.