October Book Of The Month: The Mighty Finn
Review 5 stars Loved it
I loved this story! It made me laugh and it made me cry. It was wonderful! I would highly recommend reading!
No one recognized Charlotte Forsythe, author. Even more relieving, no one recognized Charlotte Forsythe, crime victim.
She ended their game a bit sooner than usual, hoisted the strap of the beach bag over her shoulder, and walked Finn a mile to the dog spa. She rather thought that a mile’s walk in the city always seemed to take longer than a mile’s walk in the country.
The spa’s personnel greeted Charlotte and her dog with polite, professional smiles until the spa’s owner came out to meet them personally. He squatted down and rubbed Finn’s ears. The dog moaned happily.
“We’ve got a bona fide hero in here today,” he told the pink-garbed employee who approached at his signal.
“Oh?” the young woman asked obligingly.
“Yes,” the owner said with a bright smile. “Finn here rescued his mistress from kidnappers. It was in national news.”
The young woman blinked with uncaring incomprehension. Then memory sparked and she exclaimed, “Oh! I remember now.”
Charlotte held her silence and felt uncomfortable.
“Ma’am, we’ll take good care of this brave guy, yes, we will,” the young woman crooned as she rubbed Finn’s broad head.
“Thank you for entrusting your precious friend to us,” the owner said, his voice ringing with sincerity as he slipped a temporary lead over Finn’s head. “Do you want to keep his collar and leash with you or leave them here?”
“I’ll leave them here, if that’s all right,” she answered.
He nodded and removed Finn’s collar, not bothering to unsnap the leash. He hung them on a peg behind the registration desk.
“Why don’t you return in two hours?” he suggested. “That will be enough time to make sure our hero’s properly groomed and has a little play time, too.”
“All right,” she answered. “Thank you.”
Charlotte gave her dog a reassuring pat and left him in the care of spa personnel.
Hefting the bulky beach tote, she walked to the café where she was scheduled to meet the rude SEAL and allow him to grovel for forgiveness. She arrived early, double-checked her notes to make sure she had the correct destination and time, and allowed herself to be seated at a table in a sunny, peaceful spot. Not caring to look as though she had been abandoned by her date, she pulled her e-reader from the tote and occupied herself.
The shadow cast by the man’s big body alerted her to his presence. She looked up and squinted.
“Hello,” she said politely, if not warmly.
“Hi,” he replied. As he seated himself, he apologized, “Sorry I’m late.”
He held out his hand; she ignored it. After a second, he let it drop back to his side. She hadn’t forgiven him yet.
“That’s all right. I’ve got a little while before I have to pick up Finn.”
“Finn. That’s an unusual name for a dog,” he commented as he seated himself so that his back was against the wall and he could command a wide view of the sidewalk. His eyes moved restlessly for a minute, scanning the crowd for potential danger.
“He was … unexpected,” Charlotte explained even as she quietly observed his automatic preparedness, the assumption of protective detail. She filed that away for future use in another novel. “The breeder apparently did not secure the kennel gates well enough and was surprised when the litter included a harlequin Great Dane. He claimed someone slipped her a Mickey Finn. So, the spotted dog became Finn.”
“I like that better than Mickey,” Eric commented. “Mickey has too many associations with a certain cartoon mouse.”
She smiled politely at him, but the smile did not reach her eyes. Eric signaled to the waiter for service.
“I Googled you,” he said quietly.
She nodded and said nothing.
“How I acted toward you was rude and inexcusable,” he apologized. “Considering your ordeal, I feel doubly ashamed. I really am sorry.”
“Thank you,” she said quietly and simply. She hoped he wouldn’t mention that again.
The waiter approached and they placed their orders.
“How long are you in San Diego?”
“I fly out Friday next week,” she said and turned her face toward the sun. “It’s beautiful here.”
“The weather’s very consistent,” he agreed.
“Not so much in Indiana,” she replied.
“You live in Olivia?”
She nodded and asked, “Did you grow up here in California?”
“No,” he replied. “I’m a Nebraska farm boy.”
Her eyes flicked over the broad shoulders and chest, the strong column of his neck, the square jaw, sculpted cheekbones, and glittering gray eyes.
“You’re a long way from the farm,” she commented. “I just don’t see you wearing overalls.”
“I never did,” he replied as the waiter set their drinks on the table.
She put her lips over the straw and took a sip of her sweetened iced tea, thinking, “Well, there goes another stereotype.” Eric’s eyes snapped to the sight and his imagination immediately segued to the thought of her pink lips wrapped around his dick. He shifted uncomfortably in his chair.
“So tell me about yourself,” Charlotte said, oblivious to his sudden discomfort. “Start with your name.”
Eric snorted and replied, “Yes, I suppose we could start with the basics.” He extended a hand across the table toward her and said, “I’m Eric Outerbach.”
Charlotte tilted her head and made the connection. That time she took his hand. He felt a zing of attraction at the skin-to-skin touch, which surprised him. He wondered if she felt it, too.