Tom Mayer
Mountain Times (Boone, N.C.) Publications

Teaching your old dog new tricks simply requires the right treat — so goes the story of “Dog Training the American Male,” a riotous romp through relationships of the young, the old and the restless.

When the ratings for Dr. Nancy Beach’s “Love’s a Beach” radio relationship show begin a downward spiral — due in no small part to the host’s own foibles and inability to sustain a lasting romantic relationship — the licensed counselor realizes she needs an injection of both credibility and panache to bolster her flagging career.

Enter Jacob Cope, a former Lehman Brothers bright-boy turned ventriloquist and, for novel purposes here, the Typical American Male.

Thrown together by fate — aided by separate siblings who have tired of Nancy’s and Jacob’s residence in their respective back bedrooms — the pair venture into the wild, aka, sharing space under a single roof.

A short honeymoon period later, and Jacob, being the TAM with TAM habits, is in serious need of a relationship booster. His answer, to cement the family with a dog-version of his TAM self, sets up a comedic trek as Nancy discovers training techniques will not only subdue her new house guest, but her boyfriend. The outcome is radio’s hottest new hour as Nancy replays her successes as relationship advice for her mature female audience.

Will Jacob discover he is being played for a puppy? Will Nancy learn that her insecurities are not insurmountable? Can the American male really be trained by sexual persuasion?

Comedic newcomer L.A. Knight offers a fresh farce replete with a cast of well-drawn characters, fast-paced wit and merging cinematic story lines that triumph as a novel, but would feel equally right on a London stage, as a Netflix original or in a theater near you.

“Dog Training” (Taylor Trade Publishing) is a new look at age-old male-female quandaries, but also a book for mature readers that will find more than one male looking at himself — and suddenly realizing why he’s so eager to help with the dishes.

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Author L.A. Knight

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