REVIEW: Talk to the Paw by Melinda Metz
Inspired by the true story of a Portland, Oregon, cat who stole from his neighbors—and stole America’s heart . . .
SHE’S PUTTING HER LOVE LIFE ON PAWS
Jamie Snyder is thirty-four and single but NOT ready to mingle. After suffering through The Year of the Non-Committal Man, The Year of the Self-Absorbed Man, and The Year of the Forgot-to-Mention-I’m-Married Man, Jamie’s ready to celebrate The Year of Me—and MacGyver, of course. MacGyver is an adorable tabby with a not-so-adorable habit of sneaking out at night and stealing things from the neighbors. That’s right, MacGyver is a cat burglar. He’s still the only male Jamie trusts—and the only companion she needs . . .
BUT HER CAT HAS OTHER IDEAS
MacGyver knows his human is lonely. He can smell it. It’s the same smell he’s noticed on their neighbor David, a handsome young baker who’s tired of his friends trying to fix him up. But now MacGyver’s on the case. First, he steals something from David and stashes it at Jamie’s. Then, he steals something from Jamie and leaves it with David. Before long, the two are swapping stolen goods, trading dating horror stories, and trying not to fall in love. But they’re not fooling MacGyver. When humans generate this much heat, the cat is out of the bag . . .
Dear Ms. Metz,
Since I am basically owned by my cats, of course I had to read this book. Not since Theresa Weir’s too brief and much lamented Cool Cats duology have I read a book with a cat’s POV. We need more. My cats agree with me on this. Yes, I talk to them and yes they communicate back.
To get the most enjoyment out of this novel, a reader has to be willing to accept a few things. One – that everyone in this small housing complex in Los Angeles is willing to leave open or crack open a window leaving enough space for a cat to get in and out and that these people apparently don’t have screens on them. Two – that MacGyver can smell emotions on humans and can pair humans appropriately based on them. I guess his track record is better than a lot of dating agencies so maybe Jamie needs to rent him out.
Since neither Jamie nor David are looking for a relationship I’m actually tickled that they’re not and the whole premise isn’t just a plot con. I get tired of the “I’m not looking for a romance” characters who then are immediately ready for a romance. Jamie has endured a bunch of no-go boyfriends and with a monetary legacy from her mother to support her for a year, Jamie wants some me time to figure out what she really wants out of life. Her awful dates – courtesy of two of her new neighbors who just won’t hear Jamie’s “no” – just cement Jamie’s determination to go date free for the rest of the year.
David’s friends are urging him to start dating again as it’s now three years since his wife’s death but David’s not sure. He doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life alone but for right now, he’s good. He’s got a job he likes, a dog and some friends. But to get his friends to let up, he agrees to try a dating service. The results are similar to Jamie’s and it’s on a particularly bad date that Jamie and David finally actually meet.
Mac’s been trying to get them together for a few weeks now and if only their noses were as good as his, they’d smell the loneliness and need in each other. Mac kicks up his efforts a notch by also helping some of the neighbors, and takes more time to twit David’s bonehead dog while he’s at it, and finally these two start to interact.
Now here’s the beauty of the book. They don’t immediately start thinking relationship much less romance. Instead, they fake date to keep the friends and neighbors off their backs and they enjoy just being friends. No pressure, no worries. Everything is fine. Until mutual attraction and images planted in their heads make them take it a step sideways to friends-with-benefits and everything goes haywire.
The reasons behind that actually make sense. The end of the book was fast approaching and I was wondering what would happen next. Time – that’s what. The epilogue actually works for me and I’m with Mac in a happy space when things wrap up. Now the reason for the lower grade is an annoying subplot with an annoying character that is continued over the course of the story. A little of this and him went a long way. Mac however, is the cats pajamas. B