A 2016 Riptide Holiday Charity Novel
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publication date: November 12, 2016
Length: 170 pages
Reviewed by Erin
Carter Embree has always hoped to be rescued from his productive, tragically boring, and (slightly) ethically compromised life. But when an urchin at a grocery store shoves a bundle of fluff into his hands, Carter goes from rescuee to rescuer—and he needs a little help.
Sandy Corrigan, the vet tech who helps ease Carter into the world of dog ownership, first assumes that Carter is a crazy-pants client who just needs to relax. But as Sandy gets a glimpse into the funny, kind, sexy man under Carter’s mild-mannered exterior, he sees that with a little care and feeding, Carter might be Super-Pet Owner—and decent boyfriend material to boot.
But Carter needs to see himself as a hero first. As he says good-bye to his pristine house and hello to carpet treatments and dog walkers, he finds that there really is more to himself than a researching drudge without a backbone. A Carter Embree can rate a Sandy Corrigan. He can be supportive, he can be a hero, he can be a man who stands up for his principles!
He can be the owner of a small dog.
A portion of the proceeds benefit The Trevor Project
Everyone has their favorite thing about the holidays. Warm sugar cookies right out of the oven, the perfect cup of hot chocolate topped with lots of fluffy whipped cream, a cozy blanket to wrap up in as you sit by the fire ... and so many more. What you can also add is an Amy Lane holiday story. If you're looking for something warm and fluffy and sweet look no further than Freckles, Amy's newest release and part of a holiday anthology from Riptide Publishing.
I'm telling y'all right now, Sandy and Carter will melt your hearts into a big puddle of happy feelings. Throw in the MOST adorable puppy named Freckles and well ... quite simply you'll be done for. In typical Amy Lane style, this book will hit you right in your warm, gooey center. Two lovable, endearing characters, angst free and lots of cuddles and sweet kisses make Freckles a book you can read over and over.
This is a book about following your heart, finding yourself, and realizing that sometimes all you need in life is that perfect someone for you ... and maybe a cute puppy, too. Carter just pulled at every single one of my heartstrings as he learned how to be the perfect puppy daddy ... and how to stand up for himself along the way. Unhappy at his job, Sandy's quiet acceptance of Carter and his faith in him allowed him to grow and finally stand up for himself. And Sandy? Who doesn't wanna squish a kind of dorky, cute guy who loves animals?
Freckles will make you feel good and definitely get you in the holiday spirit. It's perfect for this time of year and will make you smile. Best of all ... a portion of the proceeds will go to The Trevor Project so be sure to pick up this book right away. You'll be glad you did!
“God, what’s Brenda blubbering about?” Marc Jacobsen demanded.
“I have no idea.” Carter avoided eye contact. Jacobsen was actually a good-looking guy—blond and blue-eyed, like the name implied. He had a pool and a tan, and liked to brag about making money by the pool while tanning. Since it had been in the eighties right up until the end of October, he still had evidence of making money on his face, and a lovely smile to glint against it too.
He was possibly the most amoral man Carter had ever met.
Oh, he worked within the letter of the law, it was true. But Carter once watched him take a full fee from a dying woman who was suing her doctor for not spotting her cancer sooner. The suit was bogus—the cancer had simply moved very fast and poor Mrs. Sandford would never live to see trial—but Jacobsen took the retainer and then forgot about the case until the funeral notice.
Carter had refused to put his name on any of her documents, and refused any money that came as his due for the research he’d done on the case. Jacobsen had been careful after that—Carter was reasonably sure Marc had kept his most morally bankrupt files off of Carter’s desk since then.
As it was, Carter would never be a lead courtroom attorney or, really, anything better than second chair, because Jacobsen didn’t trust him enough.
I gave up Greg for this?
Greg had wanted a cruise. He’d asked for one for Christmas. Greg waited tables, and Carter had enjoyed giving him things. Apparently, giving him the wrong things.
Maybe you should have given him a blowjob once in a while.
Carter thought wistfully of the last time he’d had sex. Maybe it would have benefited both him and Greg if it had been recent enough to recall.
“Well,” Jacobsen said irritably, “whatever it is, could you make her stop? I mean, she keeps looking at me with cow eyes, and it’s pissing me off.”
“Our client killed the plaintiff’s dog,” Carter said, not able to keep the truth to himself on this day. “I think you need to invest in a thicker skin.”
Jacobsen smiled at him with smarmy charm. “Why wear a thicker skin when you can invest in a better suit?”
Carter rolled his eyes—but he didn’t say anything.
He didn’t say anything for the rest of the day, in fact, and the weight of what he didn’t say, coupled with the weight of getting little sleep the night before, tripled with hating Marc Jacobsen with all his heart, sent him to the grocery store after work that night for Advil and antacids, and maybe for some chicken soup and possibly for a soul.
He felt as though his own soul had been sucked out of his body, and the grocery store was his last recourse.
Until he saw the boy, the box, and the thing inside.
The boy was sitting outside the grocery store, huddling in a windbreaker made for an adult. He was a basic, late-model, white suburban child—brown hair, brown eyes, freckles, uneven teeth in unfortunate sizes. He wore an orange baseball hat with Giants emblazoned on the front, and until he saw Carter’s approach, he’d been slumping disinterestedly against the stucco wall of the Safeway, engaged in some sort of electronic game.
But the long November shadow hit his feet, and boy did that kid pick up his shtick.
“Hey, mister, do you want a dog?”
Carter blamed what happened next on the distraction of his miserable day.
“Do I want a what?”
The kid jumped up then and reached inside the box, retrieving something so small his hands hid everything but white wisps of fur. On God’s bones, Carter would have sworn the kid was selling gauze and other medical supplies.
“A dog! It’s part Chow, part Samoyed, and it’s gonna be about forty pounds. It’s my last one and . . .” The kid’s eyes grew limpid, and his lower lip began to tremble. “My dad, he says if I don’t give away the last puppy, he’s going to send her to the pound.”
“Puppy?” There was a puppy in the kid’s hands?
“Here, we call her Tuffy, but you can call her whatever you want, just stick out your hands and—”
Carter put his hands out automatically, and the thing that landed in them started to drag something warm and wet along the inside of his wrist.
“Puppy?” he said again, incredulously. If not gauze, he would have assumed it was a gerbil. He tried to look the thing in the face, only to be hampered by a long set of dog-bangs that completely obscured any visual ability whatsoever.
Startled and puzzled, he wrapped his hands around the thing’s body and held it up so he could actually see its face.
It gazed back for a moment, black rubber nose wiggling in its squashed little snout, little beard vibrating with every breath.
Like magic, a pink tongue came out and swiped across his lips. He gasped in surprise and it swept inside.
“Oh, ew! Dog! What have you been eating!”
The kid’s voice came from far away. “Probably cat shit—I wouldn’t let her do that!”
Carter looked up in time to watch the kid jump into the passenger seat of a sky-blue Mustang Fastback, puppy box left behind.
“Oh my God!” Carter muttered as the car took off in a rumble of smoke. He looked at “Tuffy.” “Oh my God!” he said again.
His reward was a more cautious lick on his nose.
“Oh,” he said, mesmerized by the wide-set dark eyes darting under the dog-bangs. “My God.” He pulled the bangs back and fondled the little ears. “Lookit you. You’re not a gerbil, are you?”
The dog started licking his cheek again, and he swallowed. Then Carter spotted it, the tiny, brown six-legged nightmare crawling underneath the fur.
About Amy Lane
Amy Lane exists happily with her noisy family in a crumbling suburban crapmansion, and equally happily with the surprisingly demanding voices who live in her head.
She loves cats, movies, yarn, pretty colors, pretty men, shiny things, and Twu Wuv, and despises house cleaning, low fat granola bars, and vainglorious prickweenies.
She can be found at her computer, dodging housework, or simultaneously reading, watching television, and knitting, because she likes to freak people out by proving it can be done.
Connect with Amy:
- Website: greenshill.com
- Blog: writerslane.blogspot.com
- Twitter: @amymaclane
- Facebook group: Amy Lane Anonymous
- Goodreads: goodreads.com/amymaclane
To celebrate the release of Freckles, one lucky winner will receive Freckles in ebook and another ebook of their choice from Amy’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 19, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!