Review: Barking Up the Wrong Tree by Jenn McKinlay

Barking Up the Wrong Tree
(A Bluff Point Romance #2)
by Jenn McKinlay
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Publication Date: Sept. 26, 2017
Genre: Romance


Carly DeCusati returned home to Bluff Point, Maine, with her tail between her legs. But she’s determined to get her life back on track—and that means finding new homes for the elderly golden retriever and overly talkative parrot she inherited before her old life fell apart.

Enter physical therapist and hot one-night stand James Sinclair. James doesn’t care that Carly doesn’t do relationships. He is determined to win her heart, promising to help her with the pets if she’ll just give him the time of day.

Carly agrees to date the irresistible James, and, for the first time in years, she’s dreaming of a happily ever after. But James has secrets, and if he can’t open up to Carly, their future could go to the dogs…



Carly does not do relationships. Like, she has had one boyfriend all her life and when that crashed and burned she decided one was more than enough for her. Also, later in the book it is brought to light that it wasn’t just your typical dating and broke up under bad circumstances kind of relationship. It was way more dramatic and traumatizing than that. However, when she’s laid off from work, inherits her deceased neighbors mini zoo, and has to move back home to regroup, she finds herself in a situation she’s never been in before. Not only is this commitment phobe now the owner of an old golden retriever and a swearing parrot, her one-night stand can’t seem to take a hint. It doesn’t help that her hometown is so small that it’s nearly impossible to not bump into the same people day after day. Pretty soon, Carly finds her resolve crumbling little by little.

This was a really enjoyable read. While the premise is not anything knew, I loved the characters themselves. Carly was not afraid to be who she was and do what she wanted. She did not want a relationship with anyone and never fell under the pressure to fit the “norm”. Plus, when you hear about what went down with her one and only “boyfriend”, it’s no wonder the girl swore off relationships. I would too if I were here. That is a horrible situation she found herself in and I don’t blame her for reacting the way she did. However, James was a stand up guy and I really wish she would have realized that sooner. Not only did that have amazing chemistry, but they were so cute together. You could just tell that James was head over heels in love with her from the moment they met. And that may have something to do with him meeting her in college when she was with her then boyfriend but her not remember him. Poor James.

I loved the added bonus of Hot Wheels, James’ wheelchair bound dog and Ike the ill-mouthed parrot becoming best friends. The image I conjured up of Ike riding Hot Wheels’ back was just too precious. I really wish that they had been added into the cover because in all honesty, Saul (the Golden Retriever) did not get as much book time as these two did.

Barking Up the Wrong Tree was a fun read. It was adorable, had me laughing, and was easy to relate to. Not only did I have a connection with the main characters, but I loved all the secondary characters as well. While I know it’s impossible to transport yourself into a book, I REALLY want to go to Bluff Point and meet all these amazing people. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.



Favorite part…

There’s a part in the book where James and Carly throw a birthday party for his grandfather. Everyone wants to know how they met and instead of telling the truth about Carly picking him up at a bar, they each take turns giving a crazy story about their first encounter. Which ranged from Carly winning him in a bachelor auction for $2.73 and a fuzzy TicTac, to Carly meeting James at a strip club where he worked as a dancer. They kept upping the ante every time someone new asked how they met and I loved it.


Previous reviews from A Bluff Point Romance
About a Dog



13 Thoughts on “Review: Barking Up the Wrong Tree by Jenn McKinlay

  1. I love your favorite part. I think I laughed through the whole scene.

  2. Aw, Hot Wheels sounds too cute. Many books have a fairly standard premise but the characters really make it or break it, so I’m glad to hear this one was a make it! 🙂


  3. I can see why you liked this one, it sounds really good.

  4. Funny, adorable, well you got me 😀

  5. This sounds all kinds of sweet. I think I might try this one.

    And you know…dogs. Bonus points! lol

    For What It’s Worth

  6. Adding this to my TBR! I had to google if she was the same as the mystery author I enjoyed and she sure is!!

  7. This sounds like a cute and fun read. I am glad you enjoyed it.

  8. You already had me at dogs and a swearing parrot! LOL Makes me want to read it for that content. I may need a swearing parrot. LOL The human characters also sound like people I’d want to meet. 😀

  9. If I hear about a book that has dogs in it, I am sold. This one sounds cute. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. 🙂

  10. Oooo this sounds good! I think I could relate to Carly. And all the animals sound fun.

  11. Always promising to see someone bounce back from a bad relationship, and adding in animals to a book always makes it more fun. Hugs…RO

  12. bookwormbrandee on 11 October, 2017 at 3:25 pm said:

    This sounds like such a fun read! And you had me really smiling – and making my husband suspicious ha! – while reading your favorite part. That’s funny!

  13. Yes on Hot Wheels! He really should have been on the cover. Or Saul had a bigger role. They were all so cute, though 🙂

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