Meet Riley, the adorable Irish Setter who is the heart and soul of GOING ALL THE WAY.
I don’t own big dogs. I’m actually quite terrified of big dogs, in fact, my dog that is so small she can fit in my purse. But then my son adopted a puppy. A sweet adorable little fur ball that has the biggest brown eyes you’ve ever seen. Of course I fell head over heels in love. He isn’t an Irish Setter but some kind of hound mix who gets bigger every time I see him. He is so big that when he races toward me, loping along like a clumsy horse at full-speed ahead, I freeze with terror sure that he is going to knock me over and flatten me, and voila–Riley was born.
Riley is big and gorgeous, clumsy and loving. His big paws and long tail cause destruction and chaos every which way he turns, and yet, he looks up at you with so much love and happiness you melt into a gooey puddle. This is how I feel about Buddy and how Carrie feels about Riley. This is the absolute worse time for a giant dog to enter her life and yet here he is, turning her world upside down. And suddenly, he and his owner are the absolute best thing to ever happen to her.
Riley is the catalyst that brings our two lovebirds together. With that gorgeous mutt, we would not have had such an awesome romance. No great laugh-out-loud moments. No swoon worthy yes-we-belong-together scenes. It was Riley who knew they should be together from the start, and he made sure they knew it too!
Here’s an excerpt where Riley did his doggone best to get Ryan and Carrie close to one another:
Ryan and Carrie both worked the shampoo into his fur, rubbing and massaging until the dog was covered in suds. And still he flailed around, trying to escape.
“I don’t think there’s a dog on the planet who hates getting bathed more than this one,” he said as he struggled to hold on to the slippery animal. By the time the dog was thoroughly washed, he and Carrie had as much shampoo on themselves as Riley did on him.
“Are we ready to rinse?” he asked.
“Now is as good a time as any,” Carrie muttered. She didn’t look like she was having fun. Neither was he, but he was having a damn good time looking at her in her wet sudsy clothes.
Ryan picked up the hose and turned on the nozzle. As expected, Riley fought them at every turn. Ryan practically had to jump on top of the dog to hold him steady enough to rinse all the suds out of his long fur. But then Riley started to turn, to rotate around in an attempt to shake him off. Carrie jumped in, throwing herself across the dog and trying to hold him steady, when the hose got loose.
Ryan grabbed for it, but fell off Riley and onto his back. The house sprayed high in the sky to rain back down on them both.
“I got it!” Carrie grabbed for the hose, pinching it in her hand and gasping in deep breaths as she collapsed again. “Why couldn’t your sister have had a Chihuahua?”
“What, and miss all this fun?” He couldn’t remember the last time he laughed this hard.
She turned her head and looked at him. “You call this fun?”
He glanced at her tee shirt and waggled his eyebrows. “Very fun.”
She looked down and saw her vibrant pink bra showing clearly through the wet fabric. “I can’t believe you!” She released the hose and gave him a face full of water.
“Hey, now!” He grabbed for the hose. She pulled back and then they were rolling on the wet sudsy grass, wrestling for it, Riley barking up a storm. The next thing he knew, he was lying on top of her, water raining down on them both and without giving it another thought, he kissed her.
GOING ALL THE WAY
After a failed marriage and quitting her high-pressure job, Carrie Steinhem is ready for uncomplicated fun. Love? Not what she’s looking for. She’d rather crash a wedding with her friends and find a hot hookup. The bride’s father is onto her, though. But just as her night out veers toward public embarrassment, a sizzling stranger sweeps in and claims Carrie as his date.
Potential hookup? Check. If she doesn’t get cold feet first.
Ryan Burton is on the fast track to a promotion…assuming he can avoid distractions and nail this new account. Except the woman he rescued at a friend’s wedding ends up not only being his new neighbor—she’s his client’s ex-wife. And his client has every intention of winning her back.
Carrie and Ryan would love to leave complicated alone, but when two people share a duplex and irresistible chemistry, temptation—and love—is right around the corner…