Life on the Leash by Victoria Schade

Life on the Leash by Victoria Schade

Victoria Schade comes to the blog with her debut offering, full of dogs, change and challenges. Please read on for my review of

Life on the Leash

Cora is a successful dog trainer, fully in the camp of gentle methods and no tugging. Her bestie is a pit-mix named Fritz, who generously shares his affections with her roommate Maggie and a number of foster dogs that have come through their tiny Washington D.C. apartment. Having spent her time in corporate America, Cora created her dream job and started her own company and has a roster of successful and happy dog-owner partnerships.  There’s only a couple of tiny burrs in her world of doing for the dogs: a boxer puppy named Ollie, a toy poodle named Chanel, their owners, and watching her ex strut and floss on television as part of a reality landscaping television show.  Ollie is just a puppy – and like all puppies, he’s got his own way of looking at the world, made easier with some consistent, kindly performed training: but his ‘parents’ are on two sides of the coin.  One wishes that he be perfect, NOW, and the other is more willing to endure and enjoy his puppydom, all in a way to flirt with and get closer to Cora.  Charlie also has a high-powered job as an attorney of a rescue organization – and is gorgeous to boot, leaving Cora more than a bit flummoxed and starstruck.

But, a visit with one of her favorite people and her Bouvier, she meets Eli, a ‘geek-chic’ computer whiz with a way with dogs, an easy demeanor, and neighbor of the barking and often neglected poodle Chanel. But Eli is a ‘comfortable’ guy – when Cora is (and history proves it) attracted to the twuntwaffle himbos, selfish, egotistical and wholly unbothered by morals, loyalty or even their own over-developed competitive natures.  Charlie is an utter cad, but she can’t help but think with her libido – and when he fails her spectacularly – it really fails.  But, in the middle of that relationship failing, we see Cora’s quiet but always apparent affinity for dogs, bringing her into helping with Chanel, a white toy poodle with an owner who is incapable of taking care of herself, let alone a dog. More than a bit depressed, with an apartment full of clutter in a ‘hoarder’s starter kit’ way, Eli’s first running into Cora and Chanel, and Chanel’s obvious liking of him, to his stepping into the breach to foster the desperately needy dog is wonderful and a perfect example of the ‘right’ man for Cora – if only she would see it.

It’s not all about dogs – or even training: it’s Cora’s ability to befriend canine and humans alike, all with her quiet and considered approach. Her no-nonsense roommate always ready to boost her up when she’s low, fashionista who pulls together outfits and is that sort of best friend who is ready with ice cream, hugs or a bottle of champagne.  As a duo- these two play off one another as friends should, and the bolder Maggie is more than willing to push Cora into things she should do: mostly auditioning for a new dog training show.  From nerves through the audition, and her back and forth between Charlie and Eli, Cora has a ton of revelations come to her, and more than a few disappointments.  A nice mix of friendship and chick-lit feel to the solid train-wreck that is the romance to nowhere with Charlie, and the unexpected emergence of Eli in the running for her heart – the story was sweet, cute and clever: particularly the ‘pro shelter doggie’ message with her rescued pit, and his ‘doggie welcome wagon’ approach to meeting and welcoming new doggie friends. If you like dogs- you’ll love this. If you are a cat person- well, you may find a new tolerance for the canines you encounter. And everyone can appreciate Cora’s growth in confidence and her relationship with Eli – perhaps even more than wanting to put her in a time-out when it comes to Charlie.

Life on the Leash by Victoria Schade

Title: Life on the Leash
Author: Victoria Schade
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction
Published by: Gallery Books
ISBN: 1501191675
Published on: 18 September, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 352
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 23 minutes
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne Flame

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Must Love Dogs meets My Not So Perfect Life in this hilarious romantic comedy about a dog trainer who’s a master at managing her four-legged friends, but when it comes to her love life...let’s just say she still has a lot to learn.

Cora Bellamy is a woman who thrives on organization. She’s successfully run her own dog training business for years, perfectly content with her beloved rescue pitbull as the main man in her life. She’s given everything to her business, and her lack of social life (or slobber-free clothes) has been completely worth it.

But all that changes when she meets Charlie Gill, the hottest client she’s ever had. The only problem? Charlie’s taken. Luckily, Cora has a new friend—the sweet, lovably geeky Eli Crawford. More loyal than a retriever, he’s always there to help Cora with her problems, including her love life. That’s why she’s shocked to realize that even as things start heating up with Charlie, there might just be a more-than-friends spark between her and Eli, too.

As Cora’s life gets more tangled up than a dogwalker’s leashes—and as she prepares to audition for a dog-training TV show that may irrevocably change her entire life—she has to figure things out before it all goes straight to the dogs.

Charming, witty, and warm-hearted, Life on the Leash inspires you to cheer for every underdog looking for love.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.


About Victoria Schade

Victoria Schade is an author, speaker, and dog trainer known for her upbeat approach to living and working with dogs. She has been featured in The Washington PostMartha Stewart Living, Real Simple, Reader’s DigestThe Bark, and many dog-specific publications. Victoria has worked on Animal Planet’s annual Puppy Bowl special for the past twelve years. She has served as a pet expert for Petside, Pet360, petMD and PawCulture, writing training and behavior content and appearing in educational videos. Life on the Leash is her first novel.


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