Walk the Dog
Publication date: June 8th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
A steamy, fun single dad stand-alone romance set in New York City and New Orleans.
Temporary. That’s my life in New York. Eventually, I’ll have to move back home to New Orleans. In the meantime, I’m all about enjoying these years.
Against my better judgment, I agree to dogsit for my friend. As I feared, it does not go well. As a matter of fact, it goes so poorly we end up at the vet- the dog’s fault, not mine.
On the bright side, Dr. Herriot could star in his own veterinary reality TV show, if there is such a thing. The man is sex in scrubs.
Mason Herriot might just become the highlight of my year. As it turns out, not only is he single, but he also needs some fun in his overworked life. And fun? That I can do.
My daughter is my world. The fledgling veterinary practice is my career and my passion. As a single dad, I couldn’t balance both without help from others. Some days, it doesn’t feel like I’m balancing anything at all.
Delilah Daniels walks into the clinic on one of those days. My partners are out with the flu, and I, once again, am stuck at work.
I can’t even explain why I ask her out. It’s spontaneous. There’s an energy to her. A zest for life. And there’s something about how she cares for her friend’s dog.
We aim for casual. I may be a single dad, but I’m not blind. Delilah packs some curves and it proves hard to keep those dates family-friendly.
In a nanosecond, casual loses all appeal. We can make this work. If I can convince Delilah her home’s no longer in the Big Easy…
Less than two steps into the great room, I halt. On every single wall, pieces of paper are taped. For a minute, I’m unsure, but no, it’s most definitely children’s art. Some of the paper bears the marks of age, faded colors, and dust. Those are mostly comprised of lines and scribbles. Some of the fresher papers include torn-out pages from coloring books, carefully drawn in the lines. A few are colorful paintings in the abstract. Handprints and footprints. Others landscape and animal drawings. Many cat and dog line sketches. I point at the paintings and grin. “Do your kid owners send you artwork?”
He slips both hands into his front pockets and closes one eye, as if he’s thinking about my question. “Kid owners? You mean my patients’ owners?”
“Yeah.” There’s a ton of art here. He must have been collecting these for years.
“No. My daughter is a budding artist. These are all hers.”
Jesus, Mother, Mary, and Angels. I did not expect that. A single dad. I’ve never done that before. Dated a parent. People with kids usually seem so different.
His shoe taps mine. “You can close your mouth.”
“Oh, no, I ah—”
“I should’ve said something yesterday, but I didn’t really know how to bring it up. I haven’t dated, or tried to date, since she was born. If it’s an issue for you, we can just be friends. Really. I’ve got a great vegetarian lasagna in the oven and a huge kale salad, so I hope you’ll still stay for dinner. An adult dinner without a child at the table is a rarity for me.”
As he’s talking, I twist around, studying all the art, wishing my brain would catch up. This is fine. What does it matter if he has a daughter? I’ll probably never meet her. I mean, isn’t that kind of a rule among single parents? You don’t introduce dates until you’re serious? And I’m gonna be moving. I don’t do serious. But wait…
“Are you single?”
He exhales, and it sounds like a mixture of a laugh and relief. “Yes. Never been married, actually. Kara lives with me. Her mom’s in a band and isn’t around. Or…she hasn’t been.” He calls as he heads to a hall at the end of the room, “Can I get you something to drink? Wine? Water?”
“Wine, please.” Yes, this situation calls for alcoholic reinforcement.
Isabel Jolie, or Izzy to her friends, is an Amazon bestselling indie author with an unquenchable thirst for a good, sexy love story. Izzy’s heart pumps faster for stories with strong heroines, down-to-earth realism, and an unexpected twist.
When she’s not writing or reading, she can often be found with a glass of wine in hand relaxing with her husband, daughters, and good friends lakeside.
Izzy fills her Instagram feed with funnies, inspirational “brain candy”, and anything that meshes with her mood of the day. #mood.