When I was a teenager, I had a poster that said, “The more people I meet, the more I love my dog.” It was very true back then with Frankie — my Scottish Terrier cross Staffordshire Bull Terrier rescue who kind of looked like a very hairy black Pumba — and it’s still true today with my monster dog, Kalbati.
Most people agree that dogs are amazing, but Kalbati… She’s special. Kalbati has been with us for seven years. We were told she was about two or three months old, but when we went to pick her up, it was clear they had fudged the details over the phone. She was probably about six months old and double the size we were expecting. There was no way she could fit in the carrier we brought along, so she sat on my lap and vomited her way home. It was a really long drive and not the most auspicious start, but she quickly made herself at home in our chaotic house and our hearts.
Kalbati has the sweetest nature of any dog I’ve met. She’s a Labrador crossed with some kind of hunting dog, and she’s about 80 pounds of energy and love. She’s no pushover, but she has great energy and can calm down any scared or aggressive dog. She’s also the best mom to rescue kittens and takes the nightshift by letting them snuggle with her in her bed, which means I get some sleep.
Kalbati is also the inspiration for Lic (Licorice), one of the dogs in my debut release, Romancing the Grumpy Rancher, releasing in RESCUED, a boxset of contemporary romances with heart, heat, and dog treats.
Like Kalbati, Lic has a big heart and tons of patience. She’s much more friendly than her human, Matthew Thomas, the grumpy rancher who isn’t too happy when his sister’s best friend from college shows up on his ranch the same day Lic finds a stray puppy. Savannah and the rambunctious puppy disrupt Matthew’s organized, quiet life in the best way.
This story was so much fun to write, and I hope readers enjoy getting to meet Matthew and Savannah and their four-legged friends.
Excerpt from Romancing the Grumpy Rancher…
One of his eyebrows rose just a little, and those full lips pressed into a firm line. “It’s not muggers you need to be on the lookout for. This is not the city, where going out for a run is as simple as running ten blocks one way and then ten blocks back. We have spotty cell reception in places and critters who would gladly chase your pretty little behind down the trail just to see if you’re worth taking a bite out of.”
Hearing Mr. Stern and Studly talking about her behind shouldn’t make her pulse flutter. But it did. Even though flirting with her best friend’s grumpy older brother was probably the worst idea ever, a smile stole over her lips, and she couldn’t resist provoking him. “I’ve been told my pretty little behind is definitely worth taking a bite out of.”
Something flashed across his face—something predatory and primal—before he shuttered it back behind stark disapproval. Maybe Olivia’s brother wasn’t as stalwart as she’d described him. As fun as investigating that possibility might be, Savannah knew it was inadvisable. She didn’t want to be the cause of any drama between Olivia and the brother who’d all but raised her.
“While you’re here, you should stick to running along the drive and staying close to the main house where you’ll be safe,” he said. “That way, I won’t have to waste time sending anyone out to rescue you.”
“I didn’t need rescuing, Matthew.”
His eyes widened at her use of his name, and she realized they technically hadn’t been introduced yet.
About the Author
Tamlyn Black is a mom to three amazing wildling kids, a monster rescue dog who sheds about a pound of fur a day, and two former feral cats who moved in and took over when they discovered they could have comfortable beds, free food, and endless snuggles.
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