Book Review: Finding Riley

A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed Rescuing Finley the first book of Dan Walsh’s Forever Home series. After reading Mae Clair’s reviews of books three and four of that series, I decided to purchase and read the second one.


An unexpected surprise brings the Mitchell family of Savannah a chance to experience the vacation of their dreams. An unexpected disappointment threatens to turn it into the worst trip of their lives. John Finch and his friend Alfred have been living off the grid in Florida for several years. But given the cold winter months, freezing rain, and terrifying lightning storms, John’s thinking his lifestyle could use a total makeover.

A new friend enters the picture and changes everything. Kim Harper (the dog trainer introduced in Rescuing Finley), is contacted by a billionaire philanthropist seeking help with a new dog training project to help the poor. She wonders if he’s for real or if this rich, handsome man’s interest in Kim goes deeper than her dog-training skills?

My Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Finding Riley is the second book of Dan Walsh’s Forever Home series and I enjoyed it as much (or maybe more) than the first one.

Riley is a high-spirited canine who travels with his family for a December vacation in Florida. John is a homeless person who has come to live in a camp with his friend Alfred. When they stop in a remote area, Riley breaks free of his leash and escapes into the woods. As it turned out his young owner, Jeffery, fastened the least to the ring holding Riley’s ID tags, enabling him to easily break free.

A few days later, Riley wanders into the camp where John lives and the two of them become fast friends. John begins to call him Smiley and his entire demeanor changes because of the dog. On the advice of Jenny, another homeless person who has worked in animal shelters, he takes “Smiley” to a local shelter to be scanned for a microchip to see if his family can be located.

I had mixed emotions. While I was saddened for Jeffrey, I also recognized the bond John had formed with Riley and my heart went out to him.

I won’t provide any spoilers, but I’ll say I teared up at the end. (Happy tears.) A perfect Christmas story suitable for reading any time of the year. Needless to say, I will be reading the other books of this series.

23 thoughts on “Book Review: Finding Riley

  1. This and Rescuing Finley are on my Kindle and TBR, Joan. I think this one worries me the most of all of them, but I know Dan always delivers an HEA. Great review and a nudge for me to bump this higher on my reading list!

    Liked by 1 person

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