Book Reviews

Mischief Maker (Animal Lark 1) by Andi Lee at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 14-August-2019

Book Blurb

What to expect when your pet rat is expecting, or how to fall in love at a pet show.


Jamie Hewett rescues and breeds prize-winning fancy rats. While he’s surrounded by supportive, animal-loving friends, his ex-boyfriend has never been one of them. One embarrassing breakup later, he definitely isn’t looking for love again, but perhaps a rebound relationship might ease his broken heart.


Liam Donnelly’s quirky dating life is the subject of a popular vlog, and his viewers have interesting ideas on where he might find romance. When they suggest he take Mabel, his new rat, to a pet show, he’s up for the adventure.


Although they can’t deny their growing interest in each other, neither Jamie nor Liam believes in love at first sight. They’ve both had bad luck with men, and Jamie isn’t pleased that Liam makes a living as a serial dater. On top of that, others are conspiring to keep them apart, and Jamie is left holding the baby—or twenty-plus babies—when their fur children have no trouble making a connection. Will a YouTube ukulele serenade convince Liam that Jamie’s love for him—and their unborn rat children—is for real?


Book Review

“Contrary to what many people believe, pet rats are not the dirty, disease-infested creatures of folklore. Domestic rats are affectionate, clean, sensitive and easy to train.” ~ Dr. Karen Becker

Besides being a taxi driver, Liam Donnely, of ‘Mischief Maker’ by Andi Lee, films and produces a vlog that is very popular. Liam has many followers, who anticipate viewing videos featuring his love life. Every week Liam regales his followers with videos of men he dates, filming his “adventures” as they go along, with varied results.

The love of Liam’s life is a white, female fancy rat named Mabel. Mabel offers him affection, companionship, and unconditional love, unlike most of the men who have been in his life. She is his best friend. When he expresses concern about her being lonely, his followers suggest going to the National Fancy Rat Show, where, as a rat lover, he is sure to meet the man of his dreams. “Armed” with Mabel on his shoulder, he walks around for a while until someone mentions that Mabel needs company and that the best breeder to talk to is a guy named Jamie. While looking for Jamie, Liam runs into two men having a heated argument; apparently, one is breaking up with the other. Feeling sorry for the man who is being broken up with, Liam offers him comfort; he convinces the distraught man to come with him so he can collect himself. Liam soon discovers that the man he rescued is Jamie, the man he is looking for.

Jamie is grateful to Liam for comforting him, but a bit alarmed that he left, so quickly, with a perfect stranger. When Liam explains that he wants a companion for Mabel, Jamie relaxes a little. However, he explains that he doesn’t have any rats available at the moment. He’s a responsible breeder, whose litters are planned. He has homes for his babies before they are born and, actually, he has a waiting list for future litters. Liam is disappointed, but wants to keep in touch, hoping he can get some babies later.

Liam really likes Jamie. He’s not looking for a relationship, but he needs a plus one for his sister’s wedding and decides that Jamie would make a great pretend boyfriend. They keep running into each other and, although he fought getting to know Liam, Jamie decides he would be great for a little rebound fun. Neither man is in a position to be serious about someone, but the thing this is, the more they are around each other, the more they want to be. Liam’s interest in and love for rats, is something that endears him to Jamie and bonds the two of them. When Jamie gets a rescue rat and babies to keep for a shelter, Liam is fascinated and wants to adopt two of them when they are old enough. Things are going well for them until Jamie finds his prize male rat in with Liam’s regular rats. Jamie is convinced that Liam must have made a mistake and put him in the wrong cage. They have a huge fight and Liam leaves, taking his girls with him.

I loved this book! It has so many elements in the story that check all of my boxes: pet rats, deaf culture, and bats. I’ve adopted rats for over thirty years. They are my favorite pets. Many of the scenarios in the book are very familiar to me. Andi has done an excellent job of presenting these precious little creatures as the wonderful little beings they are. Thanks, Andi, for writing the most delightful book I’ve read in a long time.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been purchased by the reviewer.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 196 pages/62755 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 13-August-2019
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
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