The Dalmatian Dilemma
She’s opened up to him…
But will he let her in?
Former air force officer Reyna Montero wants to become a firefighter, despite her family’s wishes. In a bid to impress the fire chief, Reyna agrees to train the station’s naughty dalmatian—and turns to fellow veteran and dog expert Sean Wakefield for support. As they work together, independent Reyna gradually lets Sean see her vulnerable side…until mounting pressures tangle with their dreams coming true.
Reyna’s smile, surrounded by glittering, sparkling lights, knocked him off his game. He’d known that smile would be memorable. It was rare. That made it more valuable.
“Get her some food.” Mimi snapped her fingers in front of his face. Had she been forced to repeat herself? “Then we dance. Do you know how to hustle, Reyna?” A sly grin curved her lips. “Sean knows how to hustle.” She wagged her eyebrows and then straightened her tiara.
He and Reyna watched her descend from her stage. Then he noticed Reyna had covered her cheeks with both hands.
“Do you wish I’d taken you back home?” Sean bent his head so she could hear him. Her eyes met his—a kiss would be so easy. But she said, “No, I was wondering if Mimi would adopt Brisa, too. My sister would love her. I love her.”
Sean made a mental note to ask someone smart why finding out that a woman loved the same person he loved more than life automatically made her the most beautiful person in the world.
He sipped his lemonade and immediately puckered his lips while pinching his nose against the brain freeze. Her reluctant chuckle reminded him they weren’t doing this, they were friends, not lovers, but the warmth that spread across his chest suggested only his brain had gotten the memo. The rest of him was still connected to her. He couldn’t help it. Making her laugh was like a drug.
“She’s not a beach dog.” Reyna unhooked the leash. “Should we try walking down by the water? Let’s see if she likes that better.”
“Can’t hurt.” Sean stood and brushed the sand off his jeans. Dottie immediately snorted. She’d made her feelings clear about the sand. “And then we’ll find a different dog park, one with lots of grass.”
Reyna nodded and they slowly walked down toward where the waves wet the sand.
Dottie perked up at the retreat of the water and followed it tentatively until the waves crashed back in. She ran away, her tail wagging wildly. She might hate sand, but she loved the new game she’d found.