October is Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog month, and as a proud rescue mom who never shuts up about her precious fur child as it is, this month gives me even more reason to sing the praises of these wonderful pups and the awesome people who save them. When it came time to choose a Literary Hunk of the Month, I consulted with my four-legged assistant, and we could think of no one more fitting than Dr. Alex Brandt, veterinarian extraordinaire, from Allie Larkin’s doggone fantastic novel Stay.
(And bonus: Alex is dreamy enough to make up for the fact that I never crowned anyone in September. Life got busy, guys. I make no excuses, but I will leave you with this picture of Riggins in his work tie as a peace offering.)
There is nothing dreamier than a man who loves animals, and a man who dedicates his life to saving and healing animals (when he’s not volunteering with the ASPCA) is pretty much as good as it gets. Add to that the fact that he does it while looking so damn fine in his flannel shirts and paint-splattered jeans and you’ve got yourself a guy who would be prime Love Connection material. I mean, his hair is always flopping in his face. He has to wear a headband when he performs surgery. How adorable is that?! (Okay, the headband part might not be something he’d want to admit on Woolery’s couch, but, you know, I’d take it.)
Good looks aside (and did I mention? He looks goooood), it’s Alex’s heart that makes him such a swoonworthy hunk. He’s immediately lovable. He’s kind. He’s genuine. He hangs out with old people. He’s super good with dogs. (Yes, a trick of the trade, but still.) He’s been heartbroken but it hasn’t hardened him. He’s the kind of guy who deserves a really great girl, and Van, Stay’s smart and funny protagonist, is a really great girl.
From the first pages of Stay, I fell head over heels for Van and wanted so badly for everything to work out for her in her quest to get over the man she pined over for years—the man who then (ouch!) married her lifelong best friend. And yes, Joe, her giant, hundred-pound puppy who only understands Slovak, is more than enough man to help her nurse her jilted heart, but if he comes with a charming, big-hearted veterinarian, is that really so wrong?
Stay is a tale worth wagging your tail over, and Alex Brandt is the pick of the literary litter. So let’s raise a squeaky toy to this dashing doctor, because all dogs deserve a vet as delightful as this one.