Book: Caring for Riggs
Series: Love Off Leash
Publication date: May 15, 2017
Length: 99 pages
Reviewed by Meredith
Love dogs and smoking hot men? The Love Off Leash series is for you. Different authors. Unrelated stories. Shared theme of new love and pets.
Love, loss and finding a forever home.
After years abroad, Kyle Skelton returns to Chicago to plan his grandfather’s funeral. Weighed down by guilt about neglecting the prickly old man who once looked after him, Kyle is determined to find a good home for Gramps’s senior dog. The last thing he needs as he confronts his complicated past is the distraction of the handsome next door neighbor who’s been taking care of Riggs.
Darrell Baines is prepared to despise his neighbor’s grandson on sight. He believes this stranger is only interested in valuable things Vince may have left behind. But after witnessing the renewed bond between Kyle and Riggs and learning more about the unhappy teenager who fled Chicago years earlier, Darrell’s hard stance softens. It’s easier to forgive when Kyle is heaping blame on himself.
Darrell is almost too comfortable in his quiet routine, while Kyle has never found a place that felt like home. As these opposites walk their dogs together, unexpected friendship grows. A late night adventure adds passionate fuel to the fire, but Kyle is only passing through so a chance for anything more than a fling seems impossible.
When Kyle’s never-met father arrives for the funeral and Rigg’s health takes a turn for the worse, Kyle’s emotional turmoil reaches critical mass. Will his fragile new bond with Darrell be the powerful lifeline he has always needed?
Even though Darrell has always had family around he's always been a bit of a homebody. One who rather read and play with his dog than travel the world like Kyle does. He was Kyle's grandfather's neighbor and friend. With the loss of Vince (Kyle's grandfather) it brings Darrell something he always wanted, a fairytale.
I will admit there was sadness to this tale and great loss. I ached for Kyle and at the same time was so unbelievably proud of the strength he didn't realize he always had. This was a love story that made my heart feel warmth and happiness.
It's a quick read and the writing is wonderful like all of Bonnie Dee's books are. The Love Off Leash series is wonderful so check this one out and all the books in the series. Each is a standalone, so enough
Waking up that morning, Darrell could no more have imagined how the day would end than he would expect flying monkeys to storm the city. But then he’d felt that same sense normalcy three days ago—before walking into Vince’s apartment and finding the old man dead. Life was throwing crazy curve balls at him all this week.
Now, as he entered the crowded, gamy-smelling Shamrock Bar to the raucous beat of Einstein’s Abacus, he snuck a sideways glance at the handsome world traveler beside him. Who would’ve guessed Vince’s scrawny grandson would grow up to be so hot? Or that he wouldn’t be quite the neglectful asshole Darrell had pegged him as but actually quite a nice guy carrying a load of regret?
Plus, he’s interested in you. He made an offer not once but twice; first about the speed-dating comment, then about finding an activity to fill the rest of the night. All you’ve got to do is let him know you’re interested too. Think of the possibilities!
Hell, the possibilities were about all he had been thinking of ever since it became clear the attraction ran both ways. But a quick, greedy grapple with a stranger wasn’t really Darrell’s style, so he’d suggested going to hear the band.
There wasn’t a free chair in the closet-sized club tucked oddly between a tea shop and a florist. This was the type of dive Einstein’s Abacus usually played, tight enough to really pack ’em in.
After standing and listening in the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd, Darrell spotted a small space next to one of the high plank tables—a place to rest their elbows and drinks, at least. He and Kyle wedged in and shouted drink orders at a passing waiter. So much for intimacy. There would be no talking until the band took a break between sets. And it wasn’t really dancing sort of music, even if Darrell had been a dancing type.
It took two full songs before their beers finally arrived. The heat in the room was off the charts from the crush of bodies vying for space. Darrell had already sweated through his shirt. He drained his glass in two thirsty draughts and began to regret coming out—until Kyle backed into him, ass to crotch, a bump caused by a chain reaction of people shifting along the table. Kyle didn’t move away, but kept his body pressed warmly, firmly against Darrell’s.
Darrell resisted the urge to rest a hand on his hip and pull him even closer. He leaned an elbow on the sticky wooden plank and pretended to focus on the music rather than the man snuggled so close to him. Kyle smelled rich and ripe, the scent of a guy who’d missed a few showers due to traveling, but that natural odor only roused Darrell’s lust. He wanted to lean into the crook of his neck—right there—and nuzzle.
No. No, he didn’t. He wanted to absorb the clever lyrics of Einstein’s latest song, full of double meanings, poetic phrases, and pop culture references that sent a ripple of laughter through the listeners. The band was always good, but this new song was something special.
Kyle laughed, and his body vibrated against Darrell’s groin. Excruciating! Kyle looked over his shoulder and hit Darrell hard with his bottle-green gaze. “They’re funny! I like them,” he shouted.
Darrell bent close. He had to so Kyle could hear him, right? “The bassist is a friend of mine. These guys have played together since college. They’re pretty popular locally.”
“And they’re playing here?” Kyle brows shot up. Even his eyebrows were red. How cute!
“Eddie says, ‘Never play a venue you can’t fill. It makes people desperate to get in.’ Exclusive, you know?” Darrell added, “Luckily, they know me here.” God he sounded like he was bragging about being able to get into a hole-in-the-wall dive. He bit his tongue and quit talking.
As the song came to a purposely discordant end, Darrell realized Kyle was leaning into him. Maybe it was his imagination. But no, that firmly rounded ass wasn’t just resting but rubbing against his crotch. Darrell had been doing a pretty good job of keeping his cock under control, but now it swelled huge. He wanted to push back, show his interest. But if he was wrong about what was happening, it would be too embarrassing. He held absolutely still, not even applauding along with everyone else in the joint.
Another number began, one of the band’s few ballads, a slow, soothing contrast to their usual jazzy tongue-in-cheek style. Kyle began to sway. He moved his hips side to side, then, oh God, turned to face Darrell, placing his hands on his hips. “Dance with me.”
This time, he didn’t have to yell. The song was quiet enough Darrell could easily hear his seductive tone, a siren call he couldn’t resist. He’d usually go to great lengths to avoid dancing, but tonight he couldn’t help swaying with the beat, hypnotized by Kyle’s eyes as if the man were some sort of snake charmer. His overactive logical brain went dead, and pure animal physicality took over. He swayed, he grooved, he bumped and ground like a Dirty Dancing extra as his arms stole around his partner’s waist.
Crotch to crotch, they moved. Pressed close from hips to chest, faces only inches apart. He was nearly a head taller than Kyle, but if he inclined his face, their mouths would fit neatly together. The glow in the other man’s eyes and his parted lips signaled a kiss would be welcome, but Darrell’s cautious side held him back, trembling on the verge of something amazing.
When the song was over, their bodies continued to move together. A nearby woman wolf-whistled. “Hell yeah!” Others around her applauded. Darrell abruptly realized it wasn’t for the band but for him and Kyle, unintentionally putting on a show. He dropped his hands from Kyle’s hips and stepped back, putting space between them.
Kyle continued to gaze at him hungrily. He snaked a hand around the back of Darrell’s neck and drew his face down close to whisper in his ear. “I like your friend’s band, but do you want to go back to your place now?”
Darrell swallowed hard, his body so jacked up and full of desire, there was no other possible answer besides “Yes!”
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