Though Rebecca's breed is Chihuahua, what breed of dog is she bathing in the opening scene?
- Shih Tzu
- Chinese Crested
Here's the clue:
Like all males, this one was a sucker for a back massage and he leaned into her skilled hands with a blissful moan. He arched his back when she found that “spot” and Rebecca chuckled at the dog’s leg-shaking response. She glanced in the mirror over the stainless steel doggie bath. The steam always made Rebecca’s red hair frizz and it tickled her cheeks as she worked suds into the Powder Puff Chinese Crested.
With her teenaged kids at school, Rebecca sang along to the tune of “Uptown Girl” booming from the light-rock station. She sounded pretty good and blasted out the words she knew, substituting “doggie paws” where her memory failed.
Rebecca took her hand off the Crested to swipe the encroaching frizz out of her eyes. Of course the dog took advantage of the freedom and shook, splattering her with water and suds. “Darn you little rascal.” She twitched as doggie bath water dribbled down her face. Glancing at the mirror, she dabbed her cheeks with her shirt sleeve. The suds in her hair would have to wait.
As she reached for the warm water spray hose, a muffled doorbell rang. Her eyes shot to a plastic black-and-white Chihuahua clock, its tail wagging to the tick of each half-second. Damn, ten minutes early and he’s at the wrong door. Can’t people read the sign? She fastened the grooming loop on the Crested and folded up the side panel of the bath to ensure the dog’s safety.
Dashing from her studio, she opened the door of her Southern New Jersey home. With a sharp jolt, her breath caught as a friendly grin and sky-blue eyes gazed down at her. “Hi, I’m Matt Johnson.”
Rebecca stood motionless. Her mouth hung open, her mind unable to focus.
Though his deep bass had resonated on the phone, she didn’t expect someone quite so tall or handsome. Fortyish? He had to be close to her age. With an uncharacteristic wave of self-consciousness, Rebecca slid her fingers through her mop of sudsy hair. “Um, you’re early. Come in. I’m Rebecca Lee.”
Her fingers trembled as she held the door open for him. She rushed ahead and spoke over her shoulder so she wouldn’t have to look at those eyes again. “This way. You’re going to have to wait a couple of minutes while I rinse out this dog.”
Rebecca smiled inwardly at his hushed remark. Her shoes squeaked on the black-and-white checked floor that matched her clock and curtains. One wall displayed a checkerboard of pictures of Rebecca and her winning dogs and the wall across the room was lined with white kennel cages. Though she made every effort to keep it sterile as a hospital, it sounded more like the pound when the dogs spotted Matt.
“Silence,” Rebecca shouted and the raucous barking stopped, except for Bruno, the boisterous Long Coat Chihuahua on the end. He always demanded to have the last word. Now in her studio, her confidence resumed and she reached for the spray hose.
Matt moved in next to her, focusing on Rebecca’s sodden victim, shaking like a vibrating cell phone.
Her heart skipped a beat.
She scooted aside and glanced in the mirror. A whistle slipped past her lips. The bubbles in her hair had dissipated, but the mass of red frizz had taken over. Soon her face would be lost beneath the tangle. She showered the poor dog with warm water, wishing she could hang her head over the bath and spray it down too.
“That’s not a Chihuahua, is it?” A question that no dog professional would need to ask.
But Rebecca expected greenhorn questions from amateurs. “No, Puff’s a Chinese Crested.”
He casually leaned against the bath. “Really? I thought they were hairless.”
“You’re right, but there are two varieties, hairless and powder puff, like this one.” She toweled off the dog, put him in a crate and attached a hair dryer to the cage door. “So, you’re looking for a pet Chihuahua?” She managed not to tremble when her eyes met his again.
Romance Reviews Blog Hop: Recommended Read:
CRAVING PERFECT by Liz Fichera is a darling story about Grace Mills, a shy baker who has low self esteem. She thinks she'd like to live the life of the "beautiful people," but when she gets her chance, transformed into a beauty by an out-of-control treadmill, she finds things as a leggy blonde aren't as great she had imagined. I love the male lead, Carlos - he's soooo dreamy!
This is definitely an ideal "cuddle-up-and-read" book!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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