Title: Pug Actually
Author: Matt Dunn
Publisher: HQ Digital
Genre: Romance, Humour
Book format: Digital pre-publication copy
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Description:  When your dog plays Cupid…what could possibly go wrong?
Loyal rescue pug Doug wants his adoring owner Julie to find unconditional love and happiness – and he knows she won’t find either in the arms of Luke, her married boss.
Doug is terrified that Julie will become a lonely cat-lover if she stays single too long, but he can’t let her fall for any more of Luke’s empty promises. Julie needs to move on – and Doug is convinced that Tom, a newly divorced V-E-T, is perfect for her (despite his questionable occupation).
There’s just one problem: Julie and Tom can’t stand each other.
Doug doesn’t quite understand the quirks and complexities of human relationships, but he won’t let that get in the way of his mission to bring Tom and Julie together. After all, being a ‘rescue’ works both ways…

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is such a fun and funny story with a pug as the main narrator!  Pug Doug’s owner Julie is dating her boss Luke but Luke isn’t good for Julie, and Doug knows it.  When Luke comes around to Julie’s house after work one evening, Doug manages to ward him off with his evil stares.  But it’ll take more than that to get rid of Luke for good, and Doug is determined to help Julie see that Luke is bad news for her, by finding her a new romantic partner.  There’s only one problem though, the potential perfect guy just happens to also be a  V-E-T!

This is such a fun story and I instantly fell in love with Doug the pug’s narration from the start!  The whole story is told from Doug’s point of view and I love this interesting take on the typical romantic comedy, as there are lots of fun references to things that Doug does.  Doug’s owner Julie can’t see that the relationship she’s in is bad for her, how her boss Luke is only stringing her along and isn’t really committed to a long term relationship with her.  Julie’s character was a bit naive, but I still loved how this story went with Julie slowly wising up to how things really are in her current relationship and what Luke is really like, the further the story goes on.

Quite a few things happen with some great and funny moments, and heart-warming ones too, while Doug tries to not only sort out Julie’s love life, but also gets involved with her dad’s life as well.  Doug’s character is so likeable and I love how intelligent he is and how the whole story keeps being shown from his point of view, with the odd funny doggy reference to things like an ‘aromatic lamp post’!.  The story is good, if a little predictable in places, with some great moments, especially when we later see Sarah and also the slow development of things with Tom.  There are some moments that I really enjoyed like what happens at the event Julie puts on for work and later the brilliant way things end up for all the characters at the end of the story.

I like the ending and it was one that really made me smile.  Doug’s final act in that chapter is just perfect and I love how this book’s ending just put a big smile on my face.  I also like how things ended up with Luke and Julie’s neighbour too.  It was just such a great ending and one which just seemed perfect for the story!  There are a few uses of the f and s swear words in the book, but only very occasionally.  The story feels as if it’s meant to be set in Britain with the way people talk and references to things like corner shops, carrier bags costing “5 pee”, as Doug narrates it, and the whole feel of the story, the way Dot and Jim talk and the use of the word pavement.  However what did annoy me a little was that there were quite a few American terms or spellings in this book too, at least in the digital arc copy I got (which might not be in the finished version), like favour, elevator and Q-tips instead of their British English counterparts which made the story feel a little off whenever I read one of these words.  It didn’t spoil the overall narrative and atmosphere of the story, but it was something that was a bit annoying for me personally.

Overall this is such a fun and lovely story and I’d recommend everyone to try this book if you’re looking for a fun romantic comedy with a canine narrator!  I just loved the cover of this book and the story is so funny, with moments where I actually laughed out loud, and my only big disappointment is that I can’t spend more time with Doug and his owners as I just really loved having him as the narrator to this love story!

Pug Actually is currently available in digital format and will be released in hardback on 14th October 2021.


What do you think of this book?  Do you like books told from the point of view of animals?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂