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Best Supporting Animal!
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:32 am    Post subject: Best Supporting Animal! Reply with quote

+IHS+

I was skimming Loretta Chase's Mr. Impossible, an old favourite, last night. My favourite minor character has got to be the mongoose whom they name Marigold. Very Happy

It's so easy to squeeze a pet into a story. In fact, books with horseback riding do it all the time; and the horse's name and temperament often help to characterise its rider. Yet Mr. Impossible (which, incidentally, has camels instead of horses) is the first novel I've read in which a pet has its own motivation, personality and even resolution, and plays a special role in the plot. Very Happy

Can you think of any other Romances with great "roles" for animals?
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Sandy AAR



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 443

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two of my favorites are the great Fred from Crusie's classic Anyone But You and Harry the hairless wonder from Susan Donovan's Take a Chance on Me.

Both those dogs were real "people".

Also, in the non-romance world, Dean Koontz's Watchers.
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Elizabeth Rolls



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1076
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's the parrot in Beverley's Forbidden Magic, several dogs in Heyer - who could forget the Baluchistan Hound in Frederica? Possibly my favourite though is a Crusie dog - Katie in Crazy for You. To be honest she sounds like exactly the sort of little dog I'd never have by choice. But she's such a helpless creature and I love the fact that it's sticking up for Katie that jolts Quinn out of the rut she's been in. Actually I love that book, period. Katie is just part of it, but I think she's a very important part. I think if Katie had been a more kick ass sort of dog, she might not have pushed the right buttons in Quinn. (Damn it! Why didn't I ask Crusie about that last year when I had the chance??)

Elizabeth
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LinnieGayl



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 824

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schola, one of my favorite mini-polls that we've done in recent years was for top ten animals in romances. The full write up can be found at the link listed below (including the "best of the rest"), but the top ten are:

1. Fred the dog in Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie
2. Galahad the cat In Death Series by J.D. Robb
3. Hairy the dog in Take a Chance on Me by Susan Donovan
4. Pooh the dog in It Had to Be You by SEP
5. Rex the hamster in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich
6. Newton the Corgi in The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn
7. Elephant in Kiss An Angel by SEP
8. Marigold the mongoose in Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase
8. Dumfries the dog in Saving Grace by Julie Garwood
10. Rejar in cat form in Rejar by Dara Joy

http://www.likesbooks.com/animalhouse2007.html
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yay! Marigold made the list! Very Happy

But she's only #8??? Evil or Very Mad Ranked after Newton the corgi??? Evil or Very Mad

From the article:

Quote:
What was it about your favorite animals that made you vote for them? (LinnieGayl is curious about the mongoose, because when she looked up a picture of an Egyptian mongoose, she decided she wouldn't want one anywhere near her).


I haven't looked up the Egyptian mongoose, but I've seen "regular" mongoose (What's the plural? Mongooses? Razz Mongeese? Laughing Or just mongoose again?) and they are adorable!!! I watched a whole business of them defend their young against a snake. It was amazing. They just bobbed up and down to make the predator dizzy and unsure which of them to strike first; and whenever he darted forward, they all darted back in perfect synchronisation! Very Happy Soon, the snake gave up and slithered away.

(According to the Internet, "business" is the proper collective noun for mongoose.)

Elizabeth Rolls wrote:
There's the parrot in Beverley's Forbidden Magic


I thought of him, too, but can't recall his name.

It has quite a personality--some might say a personality disorder--and plays a significant role in the plot; but he's not half as adorable as Marigold . . . or even Newton.

Another Beverley pet I love is Xeno from Tempting Fortune, though he doesn't really affect the story or make a memorable splash.
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Carac



Joined: 06 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will give you one better:

Fred is not just a supporting character in Anyone But You; he darned near steals the book from um.... what's her name.... See what I mean? LOL.
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schola wrote:
Yay! Marigold made the list! Very Happy

But she's only #8??? Evil or Very Mad Ranked after Newton the corgi??? Evil or Very Mad

I found Newton much more memorable, but then I really, really didn't like Mr. Impossible. I have no recollection of the mongoose beyond its existence, whereas Newton was very entertaining, and sprayed the hero with dirty water on command, which is to his credit. Very Happy

I also liked Pooh from It Had To Be You, Lady Danbury's cat - Malcolm, I believe? - and Ian's dog Rollo in Drums of Autumn/The Fiery Cross/A Breath of Snow and Ashes. Crusie has great dog "characters" in most of her books.

Edited to add: I can't believe I forgot Baskerville from A Countess Below Stairs! He should be on any "top pets" list.


Last edited by Yulie on Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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KayWebbHarrison



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1241
Location: SE VA. USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember that poll. None of my favorites made the top ten.

There are the FAM animals in Robin D. Owens' HeartMate series. Most of them are cats, but there are dogs and one fox.

Jayne Ann Krentz creates animals with wonderful personalities. There is Winston in the Eclipse Bay trilogy. Her Harmony futuristic series under the Jayne Castle name has the fuzz bunnies, starting with Fuzz in the first two, who become integral parts of the action.

JAK' s Deep Waters has Otis, the parrot. Family Man has Jinx(?) the dog who carries his metal bowl around with him and develops a taste for the heroine's pesto sauces.

Amanda Quick's Deception has a huge dog, belonging to the heroine's nephews (can't recall his name). Leo in With this Ring has Elf, a dog often mistaken for a wolf. The hero in Dangerous has a cat whose eyes are the same color as his.


In addition to Galahad in J. D. Robb's In Death series, Nora Roberts also has quite a menagerie. Most memorable are Queen Bee, the puppy, and Mongo, the dog of a murder victim, in Carolina Moon.

Kay
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am just finishing A Wanted Man (Stone Creek) by Linda Lael Miller and the hero has a dog named Pardner. I'm not sure of what kind but he's big and he's golden. Anyway, I love animals in books and this dog is written very well.
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Kass



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Sheep-Pig by Dick King-Smith is great, of course...inspired the very good movie Babe.

And Bungy the budgie from Order of the Phoenix was wonderful.
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MaryK



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
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Location: Denham Springs, La

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Best Supporting Animal! Reply with quote

Schola wrote:
Can you think of any other Romances with great "roles" for animals?

The cat-like furzels in Linnea Sinclair's Games of Command. Because they're telepathic and can sense the bad guys, they play a crucial role in the outcome of the plot.
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LinnieGayl



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KayWebbHarrison wrote:
Jayne Ann Krentz creates animals with wonderful personalities. There is Winston in the Eclipse Bay trilogy. Her Harmony futuristic series under the Jayne Castle name has the fuzz bunnies, starting with Fuzz in the first two, who become integral parts of the action.

JAK' s Deep Waters has Otis, the parrot. Family Man has Jinx(?) the dog who carries his metal bowl around with him and develops a taste for the heroine's pesto sauces.

Amanda Quick's Deception has a huge dog, belonging to the heroine's nephews (can't recall his name). Leo in With this Ring has Elf, a dog often mistaken for a wolf. The hero in Dangerous has a cat whose eyes are the same color as his.

Kay


Kay, I love the animals in JAK/Quick books. I wish I could remember the dog in Family Man, but he was fantastic!
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Susan/DC



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:07 pm    Post subject: Animals Reply with quote

Elizabeth Rolls wrote:
There's the parrot in Beverley's Forbidden Magic, several dogs in Heyer - who could forget the Baluchistan Hound in Frederica? Possibly my favourite though is a Crusie dog - Katie in Crazy for You. To be honest she sounds like exactly the sort of little dog I'd never have by choice. But she's such a helpless creature and I love the fact that it's sticking up for Katie that jolts Quinn out of the rut she's been in. Actually I love that book, period. Katie is just part of it, but I think she's a very important part. I think if Katie had been a more kick ass sort of dog, she might not have pushed the right buttons in Quinn. (Damn it! Why didn't I ask Crusie about that last year when I had the chance??)

Elizabeth


And Katie is also the catalyst for a great "showing, not telling" scene. When Quinn first takes Katie home, she carries the dog under her jacket. Nick's partner at the garage says something like "Did Bill knock Quinn up?" -- Bill being Quinn's then boyfriend. The way Nick's head immediately pops up at the thought lets you know that Quinn means more to him than either of them realize at that point in the book.
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Elizabeth Rolls



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
When Quinn first takes Katie home, she carries the dog under her jacket. Nick's partner at the garage says something like "Did Bill knock Quinn up?" -- Bill being Quinn's then boyfriend. The way Nick's head immediately pops up at the thought lets you know that Quinn means more to him than either of them realize at that point in the book.


I'd forgotten that detail. It's a while since I read it. Good point too. Everything turns on Katie and people's reaction to her one way or another. The scene where Nick and Quinn bust her out of the dog pound is priceless.

Elizabeth
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone know this title?

I read a Contemporary Romance--probably RomSuspense--several years ago (maybe even ten years ago!) with a cat named Puff. The heroine is an author who dedicates a book to the cat, calling him her "Magic Dragon." That make her a target for some bad guys who think that she is referring to someone whose codename (or whatever the term is!) is "Magic Dragon." That is, of course, the hero.

At one point in the plot, they all fall into a river (that's hero, heroine and cat) and the hero drags the heroine out but almost leaves the cat behind. He doesn't, however, and when he wades in to bring the heroine back her pet, she calls it the bravest thing she has ever seen! Laughing
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