Hi there! It’s MJ O’SheaJ I have a little bit of my newest book Pawsitively In Love to share with you. It’s always a big moment when the two main characters first meet… but sometimes the big isn’t exactly good.
That’s definitely the case for Austin and Evan. Austin runs a pet salon and Evan, well, he’s a new dog owner who hasn’t quite gotten his schedule down. As you’ll see they didn’t exactly get off to the best start. I have to admit I kind of like when things have a rocky beginning. Gives the characters room to mess up a bit more before things start to go well. I think I might be mean. 🙂
Here it is! –
Excerpt: Six… six fifteen… six thirty. Austin’s belly rumbled with protests about missing lunch and a lot of wrangling dogs and cats around. He’d tried the phone numbers on Dexter’s file two more times with no luck. He was about to call it an evening himself, paperwork or no, and just take the little pug home with him for the night—since his owner was obviously a brain-dead bastard for leaving a puppy in his shop for so long—when the door to his shop burst open. A man, dark-haired and gorgeous with neatly pressed khakis and a button-down that didn’t match his damp, red face, came barreling in.
“I’m sorry I’m late.” He gave Austin a charming smile. “It’s been quite the day.”
Austin made a face. “I certainly hope so, because we closed a half an hour ago.”
The guy’s face went from contrite to horrified. “Oh-oh. I thought you were open until seven. I’m so sorry. I got here as fast as I could.”
“You should be.” Austin didn’t know what was wrong with him, other than his own long day and a temper that rarely showed its ugly face other than in the most inappropriate moments. “You should also feel very lucky that I was the last one here instead of one of my employees who wouldn’t know what to do with a puppy whose owner abandoned him.”
“I’m really very sorry that I’m late.”
“Do you know that young dogs need to bond with their owners?” Austin continued. The twitch in his eye had grown to a full-blown hunger-induced rage. “They need to feel secure that someone is going to be there to take care of them. Neglect in early months can lead to all kinds of emotional issues down the line.”
Austin knew nothing of the sort, but it sounded good, right? Mister model hair probably spent more time on his pretty outfits and pretty hair and pretty face than he did on his new puppy, who needed love and affection.
“I don’t neglect Dex.” Charming and contrite turned to, well, to a little pissed. Austin decided it was time to shut his big mouth if he didn’t want an awful review online. Evan Partridge, according to Dexter’s file, reached over and scooped up his dog from where he rested sleepily in Austin’s arms. Austin felt a momentary shiver at the contact, which, no. Absolutely not. But then he noticed that Dexter wriggled his tail happily at Evan, the neglectful asshole, and licked his chin. Austin wanted to take Dexter away from him and make sure he was loved. Evan returned Dexter’s nuzzle and scratched his belly before he looked back up at Austin.
“What do I owe you?” His voice was clipped.
Austin rattled off his price for a bath and nail trim. He was tempted to charge a fee for sticking around an extra half hour, but he didn’t want to have to calculate it while Evan Partridge, model-gorgeous but seriously pissed-off pug owner, waited, practically drumming his fingernails on the register.
Evan pulled a wallet from his back pocket, where a small leather leash was also hanging. He dropped a stack of bills far more than the asking price on the counter. “I don’t need any change,” he grumbled. “C’mon boy. Let’s go home. I think we both need some dinner and a treat.”
Evan clipped the leash onto Dexter’s newly refastened collar and placed him gently on the floor. Austin watched as Evan stalked out of the shop with baby Dexter trotting happily behind him on the way home to his dinner. A sinking pit of regret hit Austin in the chest. He’d never been so out of line with a customer—especially one whose dog seemed to adore him.
“You’re not the only one who needs dinner and a treat, Evan Partridge,” Austin muttered. Maggie looked up from where she’d been curled peacefully on the floor.
“I bet you’re sick of being cooped up, huh, pretty girl?” Austin said to Maggie. He decided then and there that he’d come in early the next morning to clean up.
He’d had more than enough. Paperwork or not, it was time to go home.
And there you have it! Austin and Evan’s first, and not so great, meeting. There will be more, and they get progressively more disastrous before they start to get better. If you want to read a bit more about Austin and Evan, there’s a blurb and a link below. Thanks for letting me stop by. <3
Blurb: What Austin Lloyd lacks in academics, he makes up for in his love of the animals who frequent his pet salon. He’s not lucky in romance, though, and his family would like him to settle down with a good man. Austin—and his golden retriever, Maggie—couldn’t agree more.
Evan Partridge isn’t good at letting people in. His messy family life and the past that’s shaped him aren’t worth bringing up. But his pug, Dexter, sure likes the pet salon owner.
Austin and Evan get off to a rough start, but being friends soon turns into something more. Unfortunately, Evan’s secretive behavior nearly does the relationship in, and the budding love affair almost crashes and burns when Evan’s troubled sister shows up on his doorstep.
Not speaking to each other is killing them both, but Evan doesn’t know how to keep Austin and help his sister at the same time. He just knows he has to try. Winning back Austin’s trust back, however, is going to take a whole lot of work.
About the Author: M.J. O’Shea has never met a music festival, paintbrush, or flower crown she can stay away from. She loves rainstorms and a perfect cup of tea, beach days, music, bright colors, and more than anything a cozy evening with a really great book.
She is from the Pacific Northwest. While she still lives there and loves it, M.j. has the heart of a wanderer. So she puts all her dreams of far off places and extraordinary people in her books.
Except for every once in a while when she does what all travelers have to do on occasion… come home.