I love dogs in stories, but I can’t stand it when the animal invariably dies in the end. That’s why when I let my hero Jake in THE COLDWATER WARM HEARTS CLUB acquires a pet, he ends up saving the dog instead of mourning him. After snatching the straggly mutt from dodging traffic, Jake decides to name him “Speedbump.” Jake would never have picked this little pile of fur for a pet, but Lacy loves it at first sight.
And Jake loves her.
He just hasn’t figured out how to show her yet. In the short excerpt below, he and Lacy are cleaning the filthy pup up.
“Well, I guess Speedbump is better than Roadkill. Speedbump it is.” Lacy gently placed the dog into the sink of warm water.
The newly christened pup didn’t think much of the arrangement. He startled and quivered with nervousness. Whenever she dipped a handful of water on him, he gave a full body shake, flinging droplets all over. By the time Jake returned with the shampoo and an old towel, the front of Lacy’s navy T-shirt was drenched.
“Let me help,” Jake said. “Maybe he’ll stop shaking.”
He poured a quarter-sized amount of shampoo into his palm. Then he stood behind Lacy, put his arms around her and reached into the sink to scrub the dog.
Whether it was the addition of another pair of hands or the fresh scent of shampoo, Speedbump finally stood still and let them wash him.
Truthfully, Lacy sort of lost track of the dog altogether. She was too distracted by the heat coming off the chest of the man behind her. There was something undeniably pleasurable about having Jake so close. The strength of his arms around her, the way their hands slipped and slid against each other in the bubbles, the—
Lacy started to giggle.
“What’s so funny?” Jake wanted to know.
“Doesn’t this remind you of something?” She turned so she was caught between his body and the sink. “The pottery wheel bit from Ghost?”
The scene where the doomed lovers worked a disastrous pot on a wheel together, slathered in liquefied clay, had been lampooned plenty of times in later comedies, but the first time Lacy had seen it, she thought it was one of the most sensual love scenes ever. Jake must have thought so, too, because his gaze met hers with undeniable heat.
He wants to kiss me.
And she wanted him to with an urgency that surprised her. She slid her arms around his neck and stood on tiptoe as he bent to meet her mouth.
But alas, “the course of true love never did run smooth.” In a few paragraphs, Speedbump leaps out of the sink, dashes around the room flinging soapy water everywhere and ruins the mood completely. But you get the idea that both Jake and Lacy are caring people whose hearts are big enough to take in a furry little stranger.
Have you ever adopted a pet? The fuzzy little dog at the top of this post is my own Charlie, the inspiration for Speedbump. Charlie was also a stray we rescued from traffic. Share your thoughts on “found pets” for your chance to win a print copy of my new release, THE COLDWATER WARM HEARTS CLUB!
“This story will tug at your heart as a maligned heroine comes back home under a cloud of suspicion and a damaged war hero helps her find a new happy ending.” – RTBOOKReviews