When Dachshunds Ruled the Serengeti

Michael Murphy
Contemporary romance
Available from Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-62380-581-4
May 2013

Phillip and Jose are roommates at a prestigious Ivy League college. Phillip comes from a wealthy family and has more than he needs to jump start his college life. Jose, on the other hand, is one of nine children born to poor Mexican migrant farm workers. He's not even sure he'll be able to afford food let alone buy the books required. Differences aside, these two become fast friends and eventually lovers. When a family emergency sends Jose back home his relationship with Phillip is put to the test.

I liked this book and for the most part it was an extremely likeable read. I will say the first part was totally engaging from the start. I was mesmerized as Jose told his story. His life was no picnic and it didn't seem like his time at college was going to get any better. At this point I was struggling to keep it together, my emotions all over the place. There's one scene where I finally had to reach for a tissue. The author successfully set the scene to evoke that particular response. From this point I was engrossed in the story, then it took a turn that went off kilter. What I liked was the strong interaction between Jose and Phillip. Unfortunately, the second half took me in a direction I didn't want to go. The other thing that bothered me was the author's depiction of the racism leveled against Jose. It seemed exaggerated a bit with a tendency to overwhelm the story. Fair warning this book is driven by angst and it doesn't let up until the end. Even with these little problems, the story held my interest enough to enjoy the read. I'm hoping the author has plans for a sequel.

Overall rating:
Sensuality rating: Very sensual

Reviewer: Beverly
June 11, 2013

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