Who Is Your Favorite (Fictional) Four-Legged Friend?

by Amy Loosemore, Harlequin.com Team

Pets have a special place in our hearts — and in books! In fact, we have a whole sale on books with dogs on the covers this month at Harlequin.com! But you can find many more four-legged friends in the pages of novels. Here are a few of my favorite animal characters in books…

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1) Buttercup in Just One of the Guys by Kristan Higgins

Buttercup in Kristan Higgins’s Just One of the Guys is the perfect complement to heroine Chastity O’Neill — she’s 5’11” tall, atheletic, with four alpha-male older brothers…so a poodle or purse-dog just won’t do. Here’s how Kristan introduces Buttercup:

Part bloodhound, part Great Dane and part bull mastiff,her coat is red, her ears are long, her tail like razor wire. Bony head, awkward body, massive paws, drooping jowls, doleful yellow eyes… Well, she won’t be winning any doggy beauty pageants, but I love her, even if her only tricks thus far are sleeping, drooling and eating.

Buttercup’s not the daintiest dog in town, but she’s full of heart — just like Chastity.

 2) Familiar in Caroline Burnes’s Fear Familiar Miniseries

I confess, I’m more of a cat person than a dog person. So a feline character that helps people fall in love and solve mysteries? Well, that’s just right up my alley, and so is Familiar, the cat character who stars in Caroline Burnes’s Fear Familiar miniseries. There are over 20 tales in this Harlequin Intrigue miniseries, starting with the titular first book Fear Familiar published in 1990. If you’ve never read this series, you can find several titles available in ebook.

3) Grimalkin from Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series

Move over Grumpy Cat — Grimalkin is the sassy feline that I love most. Well, this one may be a bit of stretch, because while Grimalkin appears in cat form he’s way more than just an ordinary cat, despite his catch phrase “I am a cat” to explain his extraordinary abilities. Here’s a snippet of Grimalkin’s first appearance in The Iron King:

“Where are you?” I gasped. “Show yourself.”

“I am not hiding, little girl.” The voice sounded amused. “Perhaps…if you open your eyes a bit wider. Like this.”

Directly in front of me, not f ive feet away, a pair of saucer-like eyes opened up out of nowhere, and I stared into the face of an enormous gray cat.

“There,” it purred, regarding me with a lazy yellow gaze. Its fur was long and wispy, blending perfectly into the tree and the entire landscape. “See me now?”

“You’re a cat,” I blurted stupidly, and I swore it arched a brow at me.

“In the crudest sense of the word, I suppose you could call me that.” The feline rose, arching its back, before sitting and curling its plumed tail around its legs. Now that my shock was fading, I realized the cat was a he, not an it. “Others have called me Cait Sith, Grimalkin, and Devil’s Cat, but since they all mean the same, I suppose you would be correct.”

What are your favorite animal characters? I’d love to hear them in the comments! Plus, share more of your favorite dog stories and pictures in the Harlequin Community.

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