“Dog Eared Love” by Maggie Dallen, Tammy Andresen, Dawn Brower, Tracy Krimmer, Holly Tierney-Bedord, Amy Gettinger, Katie Rose Guest Pryal, and Lauren Faulkenberry
Blurb: Read eight tail wagging tales of romance. Some steamy, some funny, join these hotter than hot couples who need a nudge from man’s best friend. Because every good romance needs a little help…and sometimes the best wingman is a four-legged friend.
**Excerpt of “In With the New” by Tracy Krimmer
“What do you do for a living?” I’ve wondered this since I first met him. He’s here in the morning when most people are headed to work, and he doesn’t dress like a businessman.
He scratches his eyebrow and his head falls back. Now I’m the one waiting in anticipation. Is he some sort of celebrity? I wouldn’t even know since I don’t watch any television. Or a private detective? That would be kind of awesome. He smiles as he says, “I’m a dog trainer.”
There’s no way he’s a dog trainer. If he were, he would have jumped at the chance to solicit his services. Here I am, a lost puppy owner, and he has the perfect in. “You are not a dog trainer.”
“Cross my heart. I own a training facility here in town. I run a small store inside, too. It’s only me, and most times I am there by appointment only.”
I nod my head. “Very cool. No wonder Phil is so wonderful. You really know what you’re doing when it comes to animals.”
“I went through a certification process, but I’ve always loved animals, especially dogs. Like I said, they’re a man’s best friend.”
I glance at his hand resting on the bench and find I have to stop myself so I don’t place mine on top of his. There’s so much more behind what he says to me on the surface. Between the lines, he’s been hurt. Comfort lies where his dog is.
“Well, if things don’t get under control with Moose soon, I may have to hire you.” I mean this. I don’t want to ask him for help, and I honestly don’t think I have the time to work with a trainer, but if I’m going to trust anyone, I think it’s going to be Eli.
“Moose is a good pup. He’s just that—a puppy. He needs structure and exercise. And lots of love.”
When I agreed to adopt Moose, my caring meter was through the roof. My friend Melinda needed a home for the puppy. Her dog Lacy birthed six pups and all but one—Moose—were adopted. I stepped up to the plate as I always do. It’s easy to fall fast for a puppy, so much so that you forget what’s involved in owning one. “Well, I’m keeping you in mind.”
Moose is having fun, but I need to finish my video for today and make it to the store before three. “I should get going. Same time tomorrow?”
I stand to call Moose back to me, not that he’ll even listen. He recognizes his name, he just chooses to ignore me.
He’s standing now as well and turns to face me. “Would you like to join me for dinner tonight? A know a great place. Italian.”
A date. With Eli. I run through my day in my mind. If I rearrange a few things, I could be able to make it work. I don’t know if I want to go on a date, though. Eli’s great, but I’m so busy right now, and the next week is going to be so busy. I shouldn’t. I’ll only regret that I didn’t use my time efficiently. “I don’t know. My to-do list is a mile long.”
“As are your excuses. Come on. It’s dinner.” He tilts his head, lowering his eyes to my lips. His eyes meet mine again, locked like a target. “An hour and a half, two hours, tops.”
Saying yes would put me in time constraints that would stress me to the max, but not having to worry about dinner seems appealing as well. Those hazel eyes won’t disconnect from mine, and the corner of his lip curls into a smile. I can’t say no. “Fine. No more than two hours.”
“It’s a date,” he replies.
I’m afraid to admit I’m excited, but I am. Spending time with Eli is becoming such a pleasant experience, and one I look forward to and want to keep repeating. We agree to meet at the restaurant, and as I leave him to go grab Moose, I do the only thing I would do—I step right on the bag of Moose’s poop, smashing it beneath my feet.
**About Tracy Krimmer, author of “In With the New”: Tracy Krimmer loves penning chick lit and Women’s Fiction as well as reading the same genre. Her passion for the written word began at a young age and her favorite place as a child was the library.
When she’s not writing, she enjoys fitness, crushing candy, and napping. She lives in the Midwest with her family.